See-no-evil Bill is back.
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday brushed off the concerns of everyday New Yorkers about shootings on city streets when asked by a reporter at his daily briefing why he wasn’t at the scenes of recent horrifying slayings.
Instead, Hizzoner trotted out old excuses about his administration’s inability to get the Big Apple’s shooting surge in hand, as he was pressed about City Hall’s seemingly low-key response to a new spate of violence across the Big Apple.
He made the remarks hours after a tourist returning from Tuesday night’s Mets game in Philadelphia was shot just blocks from Penn Station a little after 2 a.m. — an innocent bystander, police sources said, to an early morning brawl between two other men on West 38th Street that escalated into trigger play.
“I don’t hear you talking about this,” said veteran 1010 WINS reporter Juliet Papa, as she recounted several recent deadly attacks. “Why aren’t you going to these neighborhoods to be supportive and to say this won’t be tolerated?”
“Juliet, it clearly won’t be tolerated, because for years now, we’ve been changing the whole reality of how we address crime and violence,” de Blasio said, once again using city’s record-low crime numbers before the coronavirus outbreak turned life upside-down to brush away the mounting worries.
“We had a horrible disruption last year, the perfect storm of COVID,” Hizzoner added, reviving his much-mocked excuse for his administration’s struggles to check the violence. “But the NYPD is out there doing great work, more gun arrests than we’ve had in a quarter-century.”
Despite the new casework, New York City recorded double the number of shootings in March 2021 as the year before — when the pandemic began to explode.
For the first three months of the year, shootings are up 57 percent compared to the same period in 2020, despite respite a frigid and snowy January and February that kept many New Yorkers inside.
The shooting surge across the city is just one of the myriad of public safety headaches plaguing City Hall at the moment.
Hizzoner’s administration is also struggling to combat the dramatic uptick in hate crimes directed at the Big Apple’s Asian American communities — with 34 attacks tallied by the NYPD this year alone.
And on top of all of that, de Blasio finally bowed to demands from the state-run MTA to put more police officers in subway stations and on trains after a string of high-profile attacks on riders underground — several of which were linked back to homeless New Yorkers who are struggling with severe and, apparently untreated, mental illness.
De Blasio began promising in December that he would ride the rails regularly to help restore the city’s confidence in the subways amid the attacks and lingering — but unfounded — fears mass transit could help spread COVID-19.
But, four months later, he still has yet to make the subway a regular feature of his commuting.
“I’m going to do it in a more systematic manner,” de Blasio again promised. “There’s obviously been a lot going lately that we’ve been dealing with, but I will simply ask the team to set a date and announce it, so you guys will know it’s happening and you’re welcome to come along.”
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