Speaking to the press during one of his Emmy Award-winning news conferences on the ongoing COVID pandemic in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo said that he's got some concerns about the increasing crime rates in New York City.
"That deadline is not going to be waved, that is not going to happen. Government has to perform. This is critical. And it's not just critical because of April 1. It's critical because the increase in crime is compounding the problems in New York City. Yes you have COVID, yes you have increasing homelessness, yes you have people who are concerned about the long-term economic viability, and you have increasing in crime," Cuomo said.
Cuomo was discussing the April 1 deadline he enacted back in June, by which time he demanded the New York Police Department had to undertake specific reforms or lose funding from the state level.
At the time, he said "We're not going to be as a state government subsidizing improper police tactics, we're not doing it. There is no trust, and if there's no trust, the relationship doesn't work," Cuomo said. Now he's complaining that, as police pull back on precisely the tactics he decried, crime has been on a distinctly sharp rise.
On Friday, Cuomo said "If you look at the economic cycles, you are not going to have a strong economy if you don't get the crime issue under control."
New York City has been called a ghost town because so many shops are closed, storefronts are vacant, and the streets are empty compared to pre-pandemic times. There is simply more opportunity for crime in a locked-down society than in one with a vibrant economy and social life.
Cuomo spoke on Friday about being born and raised in a crime-ridden New York City, and that the "rate of crime, and the strength of the economy, there's a parallel."
After months of Democrats, including Cuomo, condemning police in the wake of George Floyd's death in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis, Cuomo called on officers to remake their relationships with their communities and get crime under control.
He discussed the emergence of the New York Sheriff's office, which has seen officers enforcing Cuomo's lockdown orders and business closures where the New York City Police Department refused to do so. The NYPD refused to enforce Cuomo's rule that disallowed people from gathering to celebrate Thanksgiving, and in their stead, the New York Sheriff's have been responsible for forcing businesses in restricted, high-contagion-rate zones, to close.
"We have some problems we can't figure out. We can't cure COVID yet, because we can't produce the vaccine. Fighting crime, restoring relationship with the community, that we know how to do."
Intoning concepts from the Great Reset, Cuomo said "Use this as an opportunity. It was already cleat that you had to reform the relationship between the police and the community. It was already clear that this was not working."
The BLM movement brought the cry to Defund the Police to mainstream discourse, and in its wake, crime increased across the country as police departments were defunded, or pulled back from their duty as animosity against them rose and morale within their ranks tanked. A report in July showed that crime was on the rise in urban areas. According to this report, most of those adversely affected by the crime spike were in the black community.
Black community leaders in New York asked for the NYPD to bring back their Anti-Crime Unit after a spate of shootings left a one-year-old baby dead, among others. Cuomo has apparently now taken notice of the community's concerns, six months later.
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