New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio used to know that the NYPD mattered in the city. After bowing to leftist voices behind the city's civic unrest, de Blasio has capitulated to the demands of Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter calls for the defunding and abolishment of police, and in response, de Blasio has pulled funding and support for the thin blue line that kept the City one of the safest in the world, until now.
Back in February 2019, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the funeral for Detective Brian Simonsen, of the 120th police district. Simonsen was fatally shot when responding to a robbery, and it was at his funeral that de Blasio spoke in favour of both Simonsen and the NYPD
At that time, he spoke in favour of the New York City Police Department, saying:
"There should be no question about how special each member of the NYPD is, for the very fact that they made a choice to protect everybody else."
He spoke with kindness of Simonsen, saying "And like Brian, every member of this department would put their life on the line the moment, any moment, for their fellow New Yorker. I think we as a society forget so many things, and one thing we forget is that New York City simply cannot work—does not work—without guardians like Brian Simonsen. Our society cannot work without guardians like Detective Brian Simonsen.
"And we have to understand that every day and respond with the respect and support that our guardians deserve. It's time for all New Yorkers to appreciate that and act on that, to show the same love and respect that Brian did every day to his family, to his fellow officers, to the people he served, to the people of Calverton. He lived that way, we should live that way.
"I conclude by saying on behalf of every New Yorker, to [the Simonsen family], we will always, always be here for you. And we will all honour Brian, we will remember him, we will try to live as well as he did.
"And we will remember to support those who carry on his good work."
All that changed this year, in the wake of the Minneapolis Police Department's killing of George Floyd. Now, de Blasio sings a drastically different tune. De Blasio has cut funding for the NYPD that he once praised for their sacrifice, while watching crime skyrocket.
Instead of support for the NYPD, he picks on those officers who are forced into a position of defending themselves against violent rioters. He has joined with the Black Lives Matter political movement, which is entirely in favour of eradicating the police force, including the NYPD, the same department that de Blasio said the City of New York relied upon for its well-being.
"We are saying Black Lives Matter in New York City, and Black Lives Matter in the United States of America. Let's show Donald Trump what he does not understand, let's paint it right in front of his building for him," de Blasio said, while not following social distancing or face masking norms on New York's 5th Avenue.
He has authorized the removal of $1 billion in funding for the force that puts its lives on the line for New Yorkers.
Despite his call that black lives matter in New York, the reduction in the police force and the rampant, authorized lawlessness of the City's worst actors has resulted in more death for minorities in the City.
De Blasio defending his removal of funding for the NYPD, saying:
"Our young people need to be reached, they don't need to be policed, they need to be reached and supported and nurtured. And that's what we're doing. It's not only a billion dollars that you're talking about, another half billion beyond that, to create recreation centers, places young people can go that are positive. To create broadband access for young people that are in public housing.
"We've got to do alot of things differently if we're going to change the reality for so many young people in our society and one place where we were able to find that money was in our police budget."
He went on to say: "The facts are we took money from the NYPD, put it into youth programs, we are reducing the size of the NYPD. But still in a way that can keep us safe. We found a way to keep our patrol safe consistent and keep people safe while saving alot of money and reducing overtime costs. Figuring out things that the NYPD should not do anymore that could be better done by civilians. And of course constantly reforming the effort.
He then pivoted to schools. "We want to work differently in our schools. We've been doing this for years. Reducing suspensions, putting restorative justice approaches into place that are much more humane and focused on kids and their needs, not just punishing. This has been going on for years. So I'm very confident that we can make this reform and keep the city safe at the same time."
Simonsen's murder remains unsolved. And the current crime wave sees no signs of abatement, despite de Blasio's promise to put wifi in public housing.