Police Commissioner Dermot Shea was as soon as once more a no-show at a press convention held by Mayor Bill de Blasio and targeted on crime preventing the place reporters peppered Hizzoner with questions over his administration’s dealing with of the Big Apple’s deadly shooting surge — and his high cop’s obvious absence.
And the embattled $239,000-a-year NYPD head was later shielded by his employees as he fled out the again door at an awards banquet, dodging a group of reporters assembled to ask him in regards to the mounting bloodshed within the 5 boroughs.
There have been greater than 400 shootings in New York City since Shea final took questions in March, data present — and the tempo reveals no indicators of abating.
That contains 150 shootings between May 3 and May 30, the latest four-week interval for which comparable figures can be found. It’s a staggering 164-percent enhance from the 57 reported over the identical time interval in 2019 and a huge leap from the 91 reported in 2020.
When repeatedly pressed by reporters about Shea’s no-show act amid the tsunami of set off play, de Blasio claimed the matter amounted to little greater than “inside baseball.”
“People can ask questions in the negative, I’m going to answer in the positive,” Hizzoner stated. “I think this is a little inside baseball with all due respect.”
“We are doing what we’ve got to do to set the strategies in place to get past this really tough moment in our city’s history — and we will overcome it,” he added.
De Blasio made the remarks as he and one among Shea’s aides, Deputy Commissioner John Miller, rolled out what they claimed was a new “first in the nation” partnership with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to get extra weapons off the road.
But, they had been pressured to ultimately concede that almost all of what was introduced Tuesday had existed for years.
“We’re doing something we’ve been doing for a long time, we’re just doing it much better,” Miller ultimately answered underneath questioning from reporters.
Shea ostensibly skipped the each day press briefing to attend a luncheon for the New York City Police Foundation at 1 Police Plaza.
Reporters gathered within the hallway outdoors the occasion in an try and ask Shea questions, however his employees whisked him out a again door in plain view of the press.
Meanwhile, cops are fuming about City Hall’s Tuesday rollout with the ATF, police sources stated, describing the announcement of the get weapons off the streets program as nothing greater than placing a new coat of paint on the NYPD’s current relationship with the feds.
“It happens already,” stated one. “Information being exchanged is common practice.”
During the press convention, the mayor additionally reiterated his months-old prescription for tackling the gun violence — together with placing 1,400 newly graduated cops on the beat,
“It’s all smoke and mirrors like yesterday,” stated a second. “De Blasio can’t blame COVID and his perfect storm anymore.”
“Next they will announce a new program called ‘community policing,’” the individual added. “The truth is crime is out of control these cops feel they have their hands tied and feel no one in City Hall will back them.”
Pressure mounted additional this week for de Blasio to do more as Gotham’s gunplay epidemic claimed the life of adorable 10-year-old Justin Wallace in Far Rockaway, Queens over the weekend, in a caught-on-tape shooting that horrified the town.
Wallace’s father has said publicly he suspects the shooting is linked again to a long-running dispute between the household and neighbors over a shared driveway. However, police sources advised The Post the motive remained unclear and there have been no arrests but.
Over the final two days, de Blasio has responded to the growing cries for motion by as soon as once more highlighting a 28-percent enhance in gun seizures and reintroducing several initiatives that City Hall rolled out months in the past to fight the shooting disaster — all to apparently little impact.
Shea’s absence from these efforts has been conspicuous, particularly as Hizzoner conceded Monday the town was seemingly in for a lethal summer time.
“For the rest of the year, we’re going to be dealing with a major challenge,” he stated, with no one from the Police Department on the dais Monday.
A evaluate of data and calendars by The Post reveals that Shea has not taken questions from both the City Hall or police press corps since March 12, regardless of the spate of violence.
Representatives for the Police Department didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
In response to questions, City Hall Press Secretary Bill Neidhardt stated the luncheon had been deliberate for months.