On Friday, NYPD Officer Jason Rivera, 22, was left dead after he and another officer, Wilbert Mora, 27, were responding to a domestic violence call in Harlem. Mora is in critical condition. They are believed to have been shot by suspect Lashawn McNeil. "According to multiple senior officials with direct knowledge of the investigation, the accused shooter, Lashawn McNeil, has a history of increasingly rabid belief in anti-government conspiracy theories," NBC New York reported.
However, in speaking about the tragic shooting, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) on Saturday did not refer to McNeil, but rather "the scourge of illegal guns on our streets." Her tweet also referenced how "a shot from an illegal gun took the life" of the officer. She likewise failed to mention Rivera or Mora by name.
Last night, a shot from an illegal gun took the life of a @NYPDnews officer.— Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) January 22, 2022
When I say we’re going to do everything we can to stop the scourge of illegal guns in our state, it’s not just talk. We are tripling funding for efforts to get these guns off the streets. pic.twitter.com/zXv0xbL4Em
Hochul was sharply rebuked on Twitter for her referring to the gun.
How’d the gun go off? Did it just discharge?— Dr. E. GarbleGarble (@MrsG8086) January 23, 2022
I guess these guns are walking around by themselves? Hummm, in the South "people" actually control the guns.— Barnett Smith (@bsmithonnow) January 23, 2022
Wow - according to "my eyebrows don't move when I talk" an illegal gun left the house and discharged itself. https://t.co/OyODltZq9Z— Catturd ™ (@catturd2) January 23, 2022
This follows a history of Democrats and the mainstream media failing to acknowledge the role of the criminal suspect. For instance, outlets like the Associated Press, CNN, and The Washington Post were more prone to blame the SUV for the Waukesha Christmas parade attack, than suspect Darrell E. Brooks, Jr.
Others pointed out on Twitter how this narrative appears to be a pattern.
I think the gun is related to the knife that killed a girl in California.— DG (@DavidJG1966) January 23, 2022
Others also criticized the focus of "illegal guns," rather than the overly relaxed bail and criminal reform laws that have resulted in fewer prosecutions and criminals being allowed to roam free.
How about making sure DAs don’t release repeat, violent offenders? https://t.co/5tHYHjCyaz— Amy Curtis (@RantyAmyCurtis) January 23, 2022
How about arresting people and keeping them in jail!! Hold the new DA responsible for his actions— SLR (@slr1967) January 22, 2022
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, as Landon reported earlier this month, has a particularly soft-on-crime stance which includes reducing serious crimes, like armed robbery, to misdemeanors, and that he is looking to prioritize "diversion and alternatives to incarceration."
In New York, though, crimes are taking place with an alarming frequency, including people being shoved in front of trains and an incident where a baby was shot in the Bronx. She just recently spent her first birthday in the hospital after recovering from brain surgery.
The New York Post has covered the crime situation extensively. Reporting from Friday noted that hate-crime incidents have increased by nearly 100 percent. While anti-Semitic attacks occur with the most frequency, anti-Asian attacks are up 343 percent.
And while Bragg is expanding the hate-crime unit, and called the crimes "intolerable," how are New Yorkers supposed to believe him when that same day The New York Post also reported that he's doubling down on his soft on crime stance.
Earlier this month, Charles Gasparino reported for the outlet that the New York Post has learned of a recall effort against Bragg already in place, despite how he just took office on January 1.