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Updated: February 11, 2024, 8:09 AM

Assaults on NYPD escalate to record-breaking totals in latest anti-cop sentiment: ‘Full-blown epidemic’

By Dean Balsamini and Tina Moore

City cops are getting beaten at a record-setting pace — a disturbing and dangerous trend fueled by radical protests, an influx of criminal migrants, bail reform, anti-cop rhetoric and soft-on-crime prosecutors, experts told The Post.

The number of cops hurt by suspects surged 20% in 2022, when 4,724 uniformed officers suffered injuries in attacks, compared to 3,933 in 2021.

But the law enforcement nightmare grew worse last year, when 4,077 cops were hurt by suspects in just the first nine months of 2023 — on pace for a record-breaking 5,436 injuries, the latest NYPD stats show.

The data for the last quarter of 2023 has not been released.

“Well over 5,000 cops were attacked and injured last year – that’s not only a record, it’s a full-blown epidemic,” Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Hendry told The Post.

“The vicious attacks on police officers we’ve seen recently didn’t come out of nowhere. This dangerous environment has been building for years. . . . It’s not going to get better until those who attack police officers are consistently prosecuted and kept in jail. And that won’t happen unless New Yorkers keep speaking up to demand an end to the chaos.”

The NYPD’s “Threat, Resistance and Injury” data includes three categories: physical injury, substantial injury and serious physical injury.

In 2021, a total of 295 officers were either substantially or seriously injured.

That number rose 7% to 315 in 2022.

In the first three quarters of 2023, there were 261 such injuries — on pace for a 10% spike to 348.

The shocking stats come a week after as many as 14 migrants joined in a vicious caught-on-camera beating of two police officers in Times Square.

Only one of the suspects was ever jailed, with five charged but let go without bail.

Several reportedly headed to California upon release.

On Thursday, Bragg announced he had indicted seven of the alleged attackers on new felonies — but all were already in the wind.

The Times Square cop beatdown was only the latest in a bloody spate of assaults on cops:

  • On Jan. 22, four officers were wounded by unhinged New Yorkers in two separate attacks — one involving a machete-wielding madman who slashed a sergeant across the head in Brooklyn and sent two other cops to the hospital. A little more than an hour later, a fourth cop was punched in the face by a disturbed man at a Manhattan subway station.
  • On Jan. 17, a Brooklyn woman was charged with mowing down a police officer at a Manhattan crime scene with her vehicle in a shocking moment caught on video. Sources said she later told authorities it was intentional, saying, “F–k these cops, it’s a lesson to him.”
  • On Dec. 12, a teen was arrested for assaulting and spitting on a cop at Brooklyn Academy High School.
  • On. Nov. 11, an NYPD lieutenant was repeatedly punched by two men armed with knives on a No. 1 train in the Bronx.
  • On Aug. 4, two men threw construction barrels at a 59-year-old cop, striking him in the head during an Aug. 4 riot in Union Square.

“Everyone wants to fight,” said one 28-year-old female cop on the Upper West Side who was recently injured while cuffing a shoplifting suspect.

She said the suspect fought against her so hard she sprained her hand.

“He got out the same day,” the cop groused.

“There’s no respect for the law,” added a 40-year-old cop, who feels hampered in responding to violent suspects because of a prevailing anti-cop attitude that can lead to civilian complaints and departmental discipline.

“Now, you have to be careful what you do. They’ll come after you.”

NYPD Lt. John Macari said, “We have witnessed the NYPD become emasculated.

“Now we have cops on the street who are afraid to act. . . . They’re more afraid of the professional and legal ramifications of taking police action than the fear for their own lives.”

Observers say soft-on-crime prosecutors such as Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg; a woke City Council pushing anti-cop, paperwork-generating bills such as the recent “How Many Stops Act;” and state bail reform that allows most accused criminals to walk without being held; have produced a revolving-door justice system where criminals are coddled and cops are vilified.

“The reason so many NYPD officers are being injured is simple: the criminals have become emboldened because there are no consequences for resisting arrest or fighting with officers,” said Sergeants Benevolent Association President Vincent Vallelong.

“If today’s criminals are not afraid of attacking police officers, they have even less qualms about hurting members of the public,” he added.

Retired NYPD Sgt. Joseph Giacalone, an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, blamed woke pols.

“You have too many City Council members that just hate the cops and want to abolish them,” he said.

Constraints put on cops by Albany over the last decade are part of the problem, experts said.

They include cashless bail, passed in 2019, which allows even violent criminal to walk free after arrest; and the Raise the Age law, passed in October 2018, which lets most 16- and 17-year-olds escape any serious consequences for their crimes.

Observers note that the City Council made matters worse by creating overbroad bans on “chokeholds” and “reforms” that put officers at risk of being held personally liable if a use-of-force incident goes wrong.

On Jan. 30, the City Council overwhelmingly rejected Mayor Eric Adams’ veto of the “How Many Stops Act’’ — which he and other critics argued would threaten public safety.

NYPD cops will be forced to report on even their most minor interactions with the public.

“And they keep on creating new laws too that just keep handcuffing the police,” Giacalone said.

Cops “can’t arrest anybody because they’re worried about the [chokehold] law. Things get messy when you’re trying to arrest somebody out there. It leads to more altercations and fighting because [cops] can’t end it quickly.”

Prosecutors such as Bragg did law enforcement no favors when he said he wasn’t going to prosecute second-degree assault as a felony against anyone who assaults a police officer, he continued.

“So basically, they have just told everybody, ‘You can do whatever you want. Fight the cops,'” Giacalone said.

The tide against the NYPD began to turn “the second” Bill de Blasio announced he was running for mayor in January 2013, the retired sergeant said.

“It was an anti-police platform. Between ‘the talk’ with his [African American] son, his comments about his ‘fundamental beliefs’ about the police, cops turning their backs on him — the list goes on and on. You can squarely lay it all on his doormat,” Giacalone charged.

In 2019, the city was shocked by viral videos showing brazen young men in Harlem and Brooklyn throwing buckets of water at cops.

“I love my job and the department, but I was embarrassed,” a veteran police source said.

“That shows such a huge lack of respect.”