October 8, 2017

NYPD: Post Peddling A Tall Tale About Cop-Out

Deny Enforcement Lull in 42nd

NO FORT APATHY, THE BRONX: Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill both threw cold water on a New York Post story that said all the officers at the 42nd Precinct in The Bronx had stopped doing proactive police work. ‘The story obviously was based on a political agenda and on falsehoods and on no effort to do real research,’ Mr. de Blasio said. Photo: The Chief-Leader/Michel Friang

City officials last week denounced as totally incorrect a New York Post story Oct. 1 that said “100 percent” of the officers assigned to the 42nd Precinct in The Bronx had “abandoned aggressive or intuitive policing—to avoid getting sued or otherwise derailing their careers.”

“The premise of the story is idiotic and unfair,” said Mayor de Blasio, speaking at an Oct. 3 press conference on crime figures.

‘Beyond Belief’

It “goes beyond belief,” said Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill.

“I take umbrage,” said Chief of Patrol Terence Monahan.

The Post story stated, “The dangerous hands-off approach in the NYPD’s 42nd Precinct is reflected in official crime statistics, which show that shootings are up dramatically there…

“Cops throughout the 42nd Precinct, which covers the Morrisania section, are steering clear of encounters that could land them in court or in front of the city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board for alleged brutality, a law-enforcement source said.

“‘Police officers are afraid to do their job because they’re afraid of being sued and possibly arrested and prosecuted,’ the source said. ‘Basically, the Bronx DA has made it open season on officers in the 42nd Precinct, emboldening perps to go out and commit these violent crimes…’

“Several precinct patrol officers recalled incidents in which they didn’t bust suspected drug dealers who were taunting them while recording with cellphone cameras.”

Razzed by Neighbors

The piece continued, “In one case, a cop said, neighbors were ‘leaning out their windows, shouting at us to go away.’

“ ‘In the past, we’d stand our ground, start issuing summonses. But we just moved on,’ a cop recalled.”

Mr. Monahan issued a blizzard of statistics designed to show that cops in the precinct were indeed engaging criminals.

“Crime itself is down 8.8 percent over the last 28 days compared to the city that’s down 5.1 percent,” he said. “If you look at arrests, arrests in the 4-2 over the 28 days, up 2.7 percent while it’s down 9.6 percent in the rest of the city.

“More importantly, take a look at gun arrests. These are cops that are going out there, facing the danger, taking guns off the street of the people of the 4-2. Up 22 percent for the 28 days in the 4-2 Precinct, up 24 percent for the year. When we look at the city, they’re down 2.4 percent for the 28 days and two percent for the year.”

‘Reflects Political Agenda’

Mr. de Blasio, who has criticized The Post before, claiming it was biased against him and his administration, said, “The story obviously was based on a political agenda and on falsehoods and on no effort to do real research. And that is the norm at the New York Post, and I’m just surprised that people keep trying to make us think that we’re going to accept unnamed sources giving falsehoods as real information.”

“For me to sit here and believe that all of the courageous men and woman in the 4-2 Precinct are put off by drug dealers taunting them goes beyond belief,” Mr. O’Neill said. “...I know there is an increase in shootings, but that’s not necessarily reflective of the morale of the men and women of the 4-2.”

Crime figures for the entire city continued to drop as they have for many months. New York City experienced the lowest number of index crimes—felonies counted by the FBI—for September since the CompStat era began in 1994. There were 6 percent fewer index crimes between the beginning of the year and the end of last month than there were for the same period in 2016, department officials said.