The Commissioner of the NYPD finally admitted on Thursday that actions and policy against police officers was stopping them from being able to do their jobs.
Dermot Shea, who has had the top job in the police department since December of 2019, said that the political actions being taken against the NYC police force were tantamount to "handcuffing" the officers and preventing them from protecting the community.
Following the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, New York City has become a gathering point for protesters bent on abolishing or defunding police departments across the country. In June, Shea agreed with NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio that funds should be diverted from the NYPD and funneled into other organizations. He did not agree, however, that $1 billion should be siphoned away from the police force already operating on a razor thin budget.
A 600-officer plain clothes NYPD unit meant to prevent violent crime was disbanded as a direct result of the anti-police demonstrations. Since that time, New York City has seen unprecedented spikes in shootings and murders, including those of several small children.
In his several months as the commissioner, Shea has overseen a plague of crises hit New York under the incompetent leadership of de Blasio. Like the mayor, Shea has been a target of criticism from residents of the city and people across the nation as the watch NYC revert to its days of rampant street crime and surging violence.
Within the largely progressive New York City Council, Shea has also been lampooned by far left members who believe the police should be disbanded and defunded even further than the staggering $1 billion already approved by city leadership. More conservative voices have castigated Shea as a de Blasio puppet, eager to please the mayor and support his submission to the Marxist voices of the Black Lives Matter movement.
After watching his police department for weeks be painted as racists and villains while protesters are allowed to lay waste to the city, Shea seems to finally think that the confusing new laws about chokeholds, the disbanding of anti-violence cops, and the gut punch budget reform is too much. It appears to have finally dawned on him that the protesters and leftist lawmakers are exploiting the death of George Floyd to further a radical political agenda.
"I think there is absolutely valid causes about what came out of Minneapolis … but I think that people are using that just cause to advance agendas and agendas that existed long before the incident happened," Shea told CNN Thursday morning. "I think we’ve crossed a tipping point on many levels in terms of taking tools away from the police that maybe these last two months it’s just a completely different situation where it’s a toxic environment."
Perhaps it was the dozens of New Yorkers that have been shot and killed in the last few weeks that caused Shea to realize the movement against police has created a "toxic environment."
"There are laws that are handcuffing the police," Shea said. "I think that we have gone too far." Though Shea has largely avoided speaking out against city officials, including the mayor who swore him in, he panned the City Council decision at the beginning of the month to cut the NYPD budget so severely, saying they had caved to "mob rule."
Perhaps if Shea is truly concerned about this police force and the safety of the 8 million people living in New York City, he will follow the lead of Chief of Department Terence Monahan and take a physical stand with the men and women in blue. Monahan was severely injured yesterday after assailants equipped with baseball bats attacked a protest of police, clergy, and concerned citizens demonstrating on the Brooklyn Bridge in defense of the NYPD. Seven other police officers were also hurt in the fracas. At least 37 arrests were made, according to police involved in the incident.