“A number of other American cities unfortunately are going through much, much worse [crime spikes], and that’s where that [federal relief] money was targeted,’’ Mayor Bill de Blasio blathered Friday as he stuck to his guns on using none of the city’s $6 billion from President Joe Biden’s COVID-aid package to fight surging shootings and homicides.
That is, he doubled down on his claim Thursday that Biden’s recent suggestion that cities use relief money for cops was “to certain cities that were dealing with challenges that are greater than ours.”
White House sources said later Thursday that Blas was “incorrect,” noting: “Cities like New York that are experiencing a spike in gun violence as a result of the pandemic are eligible to use [the] money to hire additional police officers above a pre-pandemic baseline level to help address that.”
Of course, Biden had never talked about using the COVID cash against crime until his pollsters recently discovered the public-safety issue is hurting Democrats nationwide. But that doesn’t remove de Blasio’s dunce cap.
After all, Gotham has seen shootings more than double since 2019, far worse than Chicago (up “just 59 percent” from 2019), for example. That’s why polls have consistently shown crime and public safety to be the top issue in the mayoral race.
Yet the new $98.7 billion city budget adopted last week boosts the NYPD budget just $200 million, far less than last summer’s $1 billion cut, made to appease the “Defund the police” protesters. Meanwhile, the budget allots $250 million to boost “public awareness” of the cop-policing Civilian Complaint Review Board.
Bottom line: Lame-duck de Blasio can’t be bothered by the public’s concerns nor the president’s guidance — let alone the simple truth.
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