De Blasio: Stronger Police, Community Relations Can End Gun Violence

Steve Burns
July 14, 2020 - 1:44 pm

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    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday continued to espouse police-community relations as the primary way to solve the recent spike in gun violence.

    The city has dealt with frequent gun violence in the past, but Mayor de Blasio notes there are some added complications this time around. 

    “Families are suffering. People don't have jobs or school to go to. The court system is not working. I mean, come on, we are not dealing with business as usual here,” the mayor said.

    Still, he hopes what has worked before will work again.

    “That's how we turn this tide. Communities and police together in common cause,” he said.

    De Blasio has resisted calls to bring back the NYPD’s Anti-Crime Unit, which was tasked with getting illegal guns off the street.

    “That unit is hundreds of people in a force of 36,000,” the mayor said.

    It was disbanded a month ago by NYPD Commission Dermot Shea.

    When asked if Shea should be fire should the city fail to curb the rise in gun violence, Mayor de Blasio stressed that the city is facing “extraordinary challenging circumstances” and says he felt Shea was doing his best.

    “He felt and I agreed with him that it was important to make a change in that strategy, but to use the talents of our officers in new and better ways,” said de Blasio. “Literally I don't know anyone who knows more about how to do that than Dermot Shea, so I have faith that we're going to make the adjustments we need to address this problem.”

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