Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday downplayed the surge in shootings plaguing the town as he defended his decision to not rent more cops with $6 billion in federal COVID-19 aid — though President Biden explicitly authorized such a move.
De Blasio additionally falsely claimed that Biden’s remarks weren’t aimed on the Big Apple, though gun violence throughout the town has spiked more than 40 p.c this 12 months — together with the broad daylight shooting of a tourist in Times Square and two children caught on digital camera ducking bullets in The Bronx.
“He specified that to certain cities that were dealing with challenges that are greater than ours,” de Blasio mentioned of the president in response to a query from The Post throughout his day by day City Hall press briefing.
But a White House supply mentioned de Blasio was “incorrect.”
“Cities like New York that are experiencing a spike in gun violence as a result of the pandemic are eligible to use [the] money to hire additional police officers above a pre-pandemic baseline level to help address that,” the supply mentioned.
The metropolis’s $98.7 billion metropolis price range for fiscal 2022, adopted Wednesday, added simply $200 million to the NYPD’s price range, which final 12 months was slashed by $1 billion amid demands by protesters to “defund the police.”
Last week, Biden mentioned the White House was “providing more guidance” to native governments on how they might spend the $350 billion doled out by means of his “American Rescue Plan,” together with “to help reduce crime and address the root causes.”
“For example, cities experiencing an increase in gun violence are able to use American Rescue Plan dollars to hire police officers needed for community policing and to pay their overtime,” the president mentioned.
Following de Blasio’s information convention, The Post requested City Hall which “certain cities” the mayor was referring to, and famous that NYPD statistics present that shootings this 12 months have elevated 42.7 p.c by means of June 27 in comparison with the identical interval final 12 months.
Since 2019, shootings have more than doubled, by 105.1 p.c, the official CompStat figures present.
In Los Angeles and Chicago, shootings are up 47.4 and 12 p.c since final 12 months, respectively, and 41.6 and 59 p.c since 2019, based on statistics posted on-line by their police departments.
De Blasio spokesman Bill Neidhardt referred to as it “wildly misleading to use percentage increase as the only comparison point” and supplied a chart ready by City Hall final month that compares the variety of shootings in eight main cities — however on a per-capita foundation.
The chart exhibits New York with the fewest variety of shootings per 100,000 residents, and a charge of 17.3 p.c this 12 months, up from 10.5 final 12 months.
“We started lower, are lower,” Neidhardt mentioned.
“Percentage increase highlights how low of a starting place we were in thanks to Mayor de Blasio.”
Although the chart doesn’t embrace annual charges of enhance, its figures present that shootings in New York are up 64.8 p.c — more than anyplace else besides blood-drenched Baltimore, the place gun violence is up 84.2 p.c.
Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago and Newark, N.J., all have smaller will increase than New York, whereas Boston has truly seen shootings drop 18.8 p.c, based on City Hall’s statistics.