The Biden administration’s plan to target violent crimes and rising gun violence addresses what Democratic mayors and state officials have asked for, New York Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa told the Daily Caller News Foundation Friday.
Local officials have asked the federal government to assist local law enforcement officials in making arrests and prosecuting criminals who commit firearm offenses, Sliwa told the DCNF. The Biden administration announced plans Wednesday to target the illegal exchange of firearms across state lines and into New York through strike forces comprised of federal and local law enforcement officials, according to the White House.
“It’s what mayors have been asking for even Mayor de Blasio,” Sliwa added. “The only way you can get a fair shake for the citizens is in federal court. The feds are going to have to arrest suspects for crimes that they never before had to deal with because local law enforcement has been rendered impotent, the judges are impotent, the criminal justice system is impotent because of no bail and the defunding of the police.”
Officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) will partner with New York Police Department (NYPD) officers to target illegal firearms and traffickers, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday. The group will work in regions where firearms are known to originate and in the areas where they’re frequently used to commit violent crimes.
Shooting incidents increased nearly 75% in New York City from May 2020 to May 2021, according to the NYPD. Overall crime in the city rose just over 20% in the same time span.
State and local criminal courts in New York have been restricted by no-bail laws and need the support of the federal government to prosecute criminals, Sliwa told the DCNF. The movement to defund the police has also hindered officer’s ability to effectively police New York City, he added.
“The focus of the president and a lot of Democrats around the country are the guns and not re-empowering the police,” Sliwa told the DCNF. “But even if you restore funding, and you put police officers back on a pedestal, they are going to hesitate to intervene, hesitate to be proactive because every time they do so they think they can be personally sued now.”
Police departments should bring back qualified immunity for officers so they won’t be afraid to intervene and use force if a situation warrants it, Sliwa told the DCNF. He added that officers are worried they could face personal lawsuits since they’re no longer protected by the government.
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