Interview: NYPD commissioner addresses uptick in crime
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea addressed the recent uptick in crime seen across the city with News 12’s Katie Lusso.
"We do not have, in my opinion, a feeling of consequences on the street,” said Shea.
Homicides are up more than 20% and shootings are up more than 60% this year. Shea blames in part a criminal system that he says is not whole.
"People talk about crime and the police department, and we are a driver no doubt, but the criminal justice system as a whole needs to be functioning,” said Shea.
He pointed at courts being closed and early releases during the pandemic. "People are getting arrested and let right back out,” said Shea.
Shea also says that the newly signed police reform legislation is making it harder for his officers to do their job.
WATCH: Extended interview with NYPD Commissioner Shea
"That law went too far. It talks about pressure on the diaphragm, which could be inadvertent. It doesn't require intent, it doesn't require an injury,” said Shea.
"I’m not talking about someone standing on someone's chest. Nobody should stand on somebody,” said Shea.
It’s a bill he says is leading to morale issues within the department. Some local leaders called out the NYPD for what they called a “slowdown” - officers not patrolling and responding in retaliation for the new legislation.
"There's two different things here. I don't like that word: slowdown. I never did. I spent my day yesterday calling a number of officers who were injured. Cops are out there. They're doing what they can to keep New Yorkers safe,” said Shea.
He says officers are still responding and even addressed how officers were hurt on the job, including last week’s incident on the Brooklyn Bridge during which several officers were injured responding to a protest.
"Are cops concerned? Yeah, cops are concerned. They need to feel that they are supported. But slowdown? I would push back on that a little. Actually more than that, I would push back strongly on that,” said Shea.
He says he wants the community to know that his officers will be held accountable but says that accountability needs to go both ways.
"We all want the same thing. We want our kids to be safe, but we're gonna need everyone to get there quicker. Stop demonizing the men and women of this department,” said Shea.