New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been slammed for calling the city the “safest big city in America,” in spite of a massive jump in shootings throughout the city.
His comments come amid reports that the city saw a 75 per cent jump in shootings this February compared to last, in spite of a slowdown in reported murders and felony assaults.
According to the New York City Police Department, the city recorded 77 shootings in February, compared to 44 the same month last year. On the plus side, there was one less murder this year with 21.
To date, there have been 160 reported shootings comprising 173 victims, compared to 115 shootings and 131 victims during the same timeframe in 2020. Police state that 10 of the shooting victims were between the ages of 10 and 17.
The report has highlighted the importance of the police, who have been demonized amid calls to defund police departments nationwide following the death of George Floyd and subsequent widespread Black Lives Matter protests last summer.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that the city is in a “very precarious situation” as residents flee the city to greener pastures, per Fox News.
"It's teetering, to use a word. Crime is way up. Homelessness is way up. Many people have left New York City," said Cuomo during a news conference Wednesday. "We have to get New York City functional again and safe again. And viable again. And we have to do that quickly."
Despite his remarks, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has claimed that everything is fine in New York City, downplaying the extent of its worsening state.
"It's important to set a foundation here that even though we experienced some real challenges in 2020, particularly with gun violence, in fact, if you look at all of the numbers, overall crime decreased in 2020," said de Blasio in a news conference on Thursday. The mayor celebrated the decrease in overall crime, and also spoke on how police responses are now about "deepening the tie between police and community, deepening neighborhood policing."
"We are the safest big city in America," he said. "We will continue to be."