Bill de Blasio on Crime

NYC Mayor; Democratic Presidential Challenger (withdrawn)


Blames the feds for letting bad cops stay on police force

Secretary Julian CASTRO: The Department of Justice not going after Officer Pantaleo. [On July 17, 2014, NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who is white, arrested Eric Garner, who is black, for selling cigarettes; Garner died from Panataleo's chokehold -Ed.] He used a chokehold that was prohibited by NYPD. Eric Garner said that he couldn't breathe. Yet Pantaleo has not been brought to justice. [Why not?]

DE BLASIO: The Garner family are waiting for justice and are going to get justice in the next 30 days, in New York. You know why? Because for the first time, we are not waiting on the federal Justice Department, which told the city of New York that we could not proceed because the Justice Department was pursuing their prosecution. And years went by, and a lot of the pain accrued. And in the meantime, what I'm working on is making sure--and I have for five years--there will never be another tragedy, there will never be another Eric Garner, because we're changing fundamentally how we police.

Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) , Jul 31, 2019

Abolish capital punishment

Bill de Blasio on Capital Punishment / Death Penalty: Abolish it.

13 CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Cory Booker; Peter Buttigieg; Julian Castro; John Delaney; Tulsi Gabbard; Kirsten Gillibrand; John Hickenlooper; Amy Klobuchar; Beto O`Rourke; Bernard Sanders; Eric Swalwell; Elizabeth Warren; Andrew Yang.

Candidates who have called for abolishing capital punishment altogether say inmates sentenced to death should have their sentences commuted to life without parole.

Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues" , Jul 17, 2019

Bringing police & community together drives down crime

There's something that sets me apart from all my colleagues running in this race, and that is, for the last 21 years, I have been raising a black son in America. And I have had to have very, very serious talks with my son, Dante, about how to protect himself on the streets of our city and all over this country, including how to deal with the fact that he has to take special caution because there have been too many tragedies between our young men and our police, too, as we saw recently in Indiana.

So we need to have a different conversation in this country about guns, but also a different conversation about policing that brings police and community together. We've done that in New York City and we've driven down crime while we've done it.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami) , Jun 26, 2019

Federal policies responsible for mass incarceration crisis

We have a mass incarceration crisis. In our city, we have reduced our jail population about 30%. We're going to close the infamous Rikers Island jail. We are ending the era of mass incarceration in New York City. It's taking a lot of work to finally break free from that. Federal policies were a big part of why untold thousands of people and families had their lives entirely disrupted and in many ways destroyed, because folks who had done very little were sent to very long sentences.
Source: CNN SOTU 2019 interview of presidential hopefuls , May 26, 2019

OpEd: de Blasio soft on crime, undercuts police

Mayor de Blasio's made the rights of the criminal his priority and he has effectively decriminalized everything from fare-beating in the subway to defecating in the streets. He's placed regulatory handcuffs on the world's greatest police force while refusing to negotiate long overdue pay increases for one of the lowest paid police forces in the region. Other first responders like our city's life-saving EMS members have a starting salary of just $30,000.
Source: Townhall.com: "Fairness PAC" by Assemblywoman N.Malliotakis , May 17, 2019

Close Rikers; develop alternatives to incarceration

Closing Rikers: The Mayor made an historic commitment to close down the jails of Rikers Island in 10 years and create community-based facilities closer to the courts, jobs, families, and support networks of those incarcerated.

Alternatives to Incarceration: Mayor de Blasio expanded the supervised release program so that 3,000 nonviolent defendants can wait for trial in their communities instead of in jail. The Mayor also opened new drop-off diversion centers for people with mental health needs--giving officers a safe new alternative to arrest.

Re-entry Services for All Inmates: Under Mayor de Blasio, all inmates will receive re-entry support to connect them with jobs and more opportunity, helping break the cycle of recidivism. The city also offers five hours of programming focused on educational, vocational, and therapeutic needs to each inmate every day.

Source: 2020 Presidential Campaign website BillDeBlasio.com , May 2, 2019

Ban solitary confinement for youth; reduce it for adults

Dramatically Reduced Solitary Confinement in Our Jails: Mayor de Blasio banned solitary confinement for inmates 21 and under, putting the city at the forefront of correctional reform across the country. At the same time, the city reduced solitary confinement for all inmates by 60 percent.
Source: 2020 Presidential Campaign website BillDeBlasio.com , May 2, 2019

Free phone calls for people in custody

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that the City is now providing free phone calls for people in custody after fully implementing Intro. 741-A two days before the bill takes full effect. The implementation of Intro. 741-A makes NYC the first major city to grant free phone calls for people in custody and follows a recent set of reforms that aims to make jails safer and more humane.

"For too long have people in custody faced barriers to basic aspects of everyday life that can help create more humane jails," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "With free phone calls, we're eliminating one of those barriers and ensuring that people in custody have the opportunity to remain connected to their lawyers, families and support networks that are so crucial to re-entry into one's community."

Prior to the passage of Intro. 741-A, people in custody were charged 50 cents for the first minute and five cents for additional minutes for telephone calls. More than 25,000 calls are made daily from City jails.

Source: Mayoral press release, "People In Custody," NYC.gov , May 1, 2019

Eliminate cash bail: future without mass incarceration

For too long too many people have been unnecessarily & unfairly incarcerated based entirely on their ability to buy their freedom. By eliminating cash bail for those charged with most misdemeanors & non-violent felonies, we're helping more people remain with their families and support networks rather than behind bars. Together with speedy trial and discovery reform, I am confident we are moving toward a future without mass incarceration. However, there's much more we need to do to meet that reality.
Source: Mayoral press release, "Cash Bail," NYC.gov , Apr 1, 2019

Fewer and fewer arrests, and crime goes down and down

The NYPD has pushed crime to record lows, with the fewest homicides since 1951. Neighborhood policing is now the reality in this city, and it works. I want to be blunt about this. For years, there was a conventional wisdom in this town, and it said that you can only arrest your way to a safer city. Guess what? Conventional wisdom was wrong.

This is an amazing fact I'm going to tell you. Last year, the NYPD made 140,000 fewer arrests than the year we took office. Fewer and fewer arrests, and crime goes down and down. That's something to thank the NYPD for.

And the NYPD of today understands that that important work is done with the community, with community leaders, with civic leaders, with people on the ground who helped to do the work, the tenant patrols, the community patrols, and a crucial part of the equation -- the Cure Violence Movement, the Crisis Management System.

Source: 2019 State of the City address , Jan 10, 2019

The era of mass incarceration has ended in NYC

Conventional wisdom used to say that you can only imprison your way to a safer city. Wrong again.

Today the population in our Corrections system has dropped to less than 8,000 people for the first time in almost 40 years. The era of mass incarceration did not begin in New York City, but it will end in New York City. And we are getting closer every single day to that great day when we will close Rikers Island for good.

Source: 2019 State of the City address , Jan 10, 2019

NYC enjoying major drop in crime rate

In fact, crime has fallen in New York City in each of the major felony categories--murder and manslaughter, rape, assault, robbery, burglary, grand larceny, and car thefts. The numbers, when taken together, portray a city of 8.5 million people growing safer even as the police, under Mayor Bill de Blasio, use less deadly force, make fewer arrests and scale back controversial practices like stopping and frisking thousands of people on the streets.
Source: Mother Jones magazine on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Dec 28, 2017

Worried about why blacks need to be cautious around police

[In 2014], two weeks of growing demonstrations against police brutality had been sparked by a grand jury's decision not to indict a policeman who had choked to death a forty-three-year-old African American man named Eric Garner--in spite of the fact that the entire incident was preserved on a cell phone video. New York mayor Bill de Blasio had been careful not to criticize the grand jury, but he did make a point of expressing sympathy for the Garner family and for every parent who had to worry about his or her non-white son in any encounter with the cops. The mayor detailed the special precautions he and his wife insisted their mixed-race son observe in his dealings with the police: do everything they tell you to do, don't move suddenly, don't reach for your cell phone. "I've had to worry over the years," the mayor explained.
Source: Promise Me, Dad,by Joe Biden, p. 35-37 , Nov 14, 2017

Condemn killing police in retaliation for police killings

Right before Christmas 2014, two uniformed New York City policemen were executed by a lone gunman while sitting quietly in their patrol car in Brooklyn, just doing their job.

When de Blasio got word of the ambush, the mayor forcefully condemned the killings, and did so without pause, as did President Obama. The president said: "I ask people to reject violence and words that harm, and turn to words that heal--prayer, patient dialogue, and sympathy for the friends and family of the fallen." But things were already getting out of hand. Rudy Giuliani asserted that the president had given license to the gunman, who was found to have announced on social media his intention to hunt and kill police officers to avenge other [civilian African Americans] who had been killed during recent interactions with law enforcement. "We've had 4 months of propaganda, starting with the president, that everybody should hate the police," Giuliani said, a statement both mean-spirited and demonstrably false.

Source: Promise Me, Dad,by Joe Biden, 37-40 , Nov 14, 2017

Stop-and-frisk disproportionately targets people of color

Bill de Blasio is a strong advocate for greater transparency and police accountability. He has called for an inspector general at the NYPD, and he helped lead the fight for real power for the Civilian Complaint Review Board by introducing legislation to create true budgetary independence and greater prosecutorial authority for this important oversight agency. Bill de Blasio also pushed for a federal investigation into private immigrant detention facilities and urged the revocation of the contract held with the GEO Group, after allegations surfaced of detainee abuse and mismanagement.

Some of our approaches to public safety--such as stop-and-frisk--disproportionately target people of color and create anger and distrust toward officers when we need more cooperation between cops and communities. Innocent New Yorkers should not be subject to invasive and baseless searches strictly on the ac-count of race. Bill de Blasio will sign legislation to end racial profiling

Source: 2013 Mayoral campaign website, www.billdeblasio.com , Oct 22, 2013

Invest in Shot Spotter technology: audio & video on streets

Only 20 percent of shots fired are reported to the police, and nearly 40 percent of victimizations involving a firearm go unreported to law enforcement. The number of unreported gun crime diminishes accountability and limits the ability of the police to catch perpetrators of gun violence.

To address this, Bill de Blasio will invest in Shot Spotter technology--integrated audio and video gun sensors--for the 15 highest crime neighborhoods. Shot Spotter is proven to greatly expand the ability of law enforcement to respond to gun crime and has been adopted by police departments nationwide. With Shot Spotter, every shot is detected and linked to camera footage that is sent to dispatched police officers. This technology helps to deter gun violence and empowers responding officers with better information, improving safety and response to violent crime

Source: 2013 Mayoral campaign website, www.billdeblasio.com , Oct 22, 2013

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Other big-city mayors on Crime: Bill de Blasio on other issues:

Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee)
Bill de Blasio (D,NYC)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Bob Filner (D,San Diego)
Steven Fulop (D,Jersey City)
Eric Garcetti (D,Los Angeles)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Marty Walsh (D,Boston)

Former Mayors:
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)
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Page last updated: Mar 07, 2022