New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pinned the hefty task of solving the Big Apple’s crime problem on the federal government, arguing during a recent interview that “federal support” will help thwart the uptick in violence.
De Blasio, a Democrat, was being interviewed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday night when he suggested the surge in New York City’s violent crime – which has seen a staggering increase in recent months – was caused by the economic impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic. He then lamented that the “help” the city needs should come in the form of federal support to keep city workers employed.
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“We are seeing this all over, cities all over the nation. It’s been a massive dislocation. People don’t have jobs. There isn’t school. … You talk about every element of our society, Wolf, this is what’s contributing to this massive surge that we’re all experiencing,” he said. “Let’s be clear, the help we need is to make sure we can keep all of our public services – we’re talking about safety, health, education – they’re all on the line now if we do not get federal support soon.”
NYC SHOOTINGS THIS YEAR, TOPPING 777, HAVE SURPASSED 2019 NUMBERS, POLICE SAY
Speaking of the ongoing stimulus talks in Washington, D.C., de Blasio said he was “very worried.”
“My challenge is, where am I going to have the people to do this work?” he continued. “I may have to do as many layoffs as 22,000 city employees from every department by October 1 if I don’t get federal help.”
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Shootings citywide in the month of July skyrocketed by 177% year-over-year, from 244 this July to 88 in 2019, police data shows. Murders also surged by 59%, with 54 compared to last July’s 34.
As for 2020 so far, 235 people were murdered in the first seven months of the year, compared to the 181 people who were killed during the same time period in 2019, police said.