In the wake of the high-profile fatal shootings of NYPD Officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora, Hochul spoke during a Gun Violence Strategies Partnership meeting spearheaded by President Biden during his visit to the Big Apple on Thursday. The governor, touting a different law she signed months back addressing ghost guns in New York state, fell short of addressing the controversial issue of cashless bail.
Adams, who’s already seen six officers shot, two of them fatally, as well as two major fires in New York City barely a month since he took office, called on Hochul last week to make changes to bail reform. But at a separate press conference, the governor stood by the “fundamental premise” of the controversial legislation that took effect in January 2020 under her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo.
“The governor needs to make a decision. Either go one way or the other. She’s dancing, and she’s not taking a stance on either side. And that’s not right, either,” Paul DiGiacomo, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, told Fox News Digital Thursday. “Take the side of law and order or take the side of no law and order – one or the other. You know, you can’t keep dancing.”
“And I’m going to call her out on that because people are dying at an alarming rate, and she’s the leader, she should be supporting our law enforcement personnel throughout the state,” he added.
Shootings and violent crime infamously surged in New York City in 2020 when the anti-gun plainclothes unit was disbanded under former Mayor Bill de Blasio at the height of the defund-the-police movement. Adams, fulfilling a campaign promise, brought a modified version of the plainclothes unit of detectives back last month as part of his Blueprint to Combat Gun Violence.
As Democrats attempt to put the progressive pipe dream to rest entering a midterm election year, Biden insisted Thursday that “the answer is not to defund the police.” His administration’s strategy aims to stop the flow of guns, bolster law enforcement and increase funding for community policing.
“All these politicians are going whichever way the wind blows because two young cops were killed. Now they want to support the police,” DiGiacomo said, noting the circumstances his detectives weathered over the past two years include a pandemic, rioting, children shot and now “police officers being assassinated.”
DiGiacomo insisted the NYPD has been doing its job in getting illegal guns off the streets, but he said the efforts are undermined when those arrested immediately return to the streets under cashless bail.
“The NYPD in the last probably two and a half years, have made over 8,500 gun arrests, 90% of those people were let back out onto the street. Many of them were repeat felons,” DiGiacomo told Fox News Digital. “Many of them were caught with guns again, and they were let out again. So, you know, the NYPD is doing their job. We’re doing our job. The elected officials are not doing theirs.”
Judges must be given more discretion to keep violent or dangerous criminals in jail, DiGiacomo argued, and discovery laws “bogging down our system” need to be amended to give district attorneys more time to collect evidence and contact witnesses to properly prepare cases for trial.
He also said New York’s Raise the Age law needs to be addressed, as increasingly more 13-, 14- and 15-year-olds are being caught with illegal firearms. There needs to be some sort of consequence, perhaps a mandatory minimum sentence, for those arrested with an illegal firearm, DiGiacomo said.
Speaking at the president’s strategy meeting Thursday, Hochul highlighted a different form of legislation she said she signed into law months ago targeting ghost guns. The Scott J. Beigel Unfinished Receivers Act makes the sale of the unfinished frame or receiver of guns a felony offense.
“For the first time in my life I’m seeing a unification of purpose that has been missing, and the ones who ought to be afraid of that are the ones who dare violate the laws that are in place to protect the people of our cities and our state,” Hochul said Thursday at NYPD headquarters, touting the partnership of federal, state and local resources coming together to address gun violence.
In response to Rivera’s and Mora’s deaths, the governor last week launched an Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns to combat the illegal trafficking of guns into New York from surrounding states.
“We cannot wait a single day longer. The challenge that lies before us is not unique to New York state, it is not unique to New York City. It is an American crisis,” the governor said Thursday. “But what we’re doing here in the state of New York and the city of New York can be used as a model for other parts of our country to show them what real collaboration looks like.”
Hochul said the state budget will reflect added support for police as well as for after-school programs and more employment opportunities for juveniles and young people.
“We saw an incredible increase in violence immediately following the pandemic. It appears to me that the human condition is very frail,” Hochul said, also pointing to increased suicides and substance abuse.
“We have to figure out the root causes here, and that is why in my budget I not only triple the amount of money to support our law enforcement activities and community policing,” she continued, “but triple the amount of money being spent on the exact types of programs that we’ll be talking about here – figuring out what exactly is happening when young people are faced with the decision that will affect them for the rest of their lives. Do I stay on the straight and narrow, or do I succumb to the streets?”