Shootings in New York City are up nearly 300% from where they were this time last year, and according to former NYPD officer Rob O’Donnell, the increased violence could be the new normal thanks to the ineptitude and ideology of the city’s politicians who seem unwilling to do anything to address the surge in violent crime.
On Wednesday, at least four NYPD officers were assaulted as they sought to protect an anti-violence march on the Brooklyn Bridge, including Terence Monahan, the department’s top uniformed official. According to CBS2 in New York, counter-protesters felt “that the unity march was too supportive of the police,” which, last time I checked, wasn’t cause to assault anyone. At least two people have been taken into custody in the attack, which happened just hours after Mayor Bill de Blasio signed six measures aimed at ending certain police tactics, including the use of any chokeholds on individuals who are resisting arrest.
O’Donnell tells me on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co that the police reform measures are likely to make confrontations between cops and resisting suspects even more violent, as officers may have to resort to using batons and other non-lethal weapons to subdue suspects thanks to the new legal restraints on the use of lesser force options. O’Donnell’s concerns were echoed by the union for New York State Troopers, which released a statement on Wednesday demanding that troopers be pulled from duty in NYC over concerns about officer safety and liability.
“We have arrived at this unfortunate decision due to the hastily written so-called police reform legislation recently passed by the New York City Council,” said PBA President Thomas H. Mungeer. “This poorly conceived bill, which will be signed into law by Mayor de Blasio today, puts an undue burden upon our troopers; it opens them up to criminal and civil liability for restraining a person during a lawful arrest in a manner that is consistent with their training and is legal throughout the rest of the state. Furthermore, this legislation will prevent troopers from safely and effectively arresting resistant subjects.”
According to Mungeer, the new regulations would “criminalize methods of restraint, including putting any pressure on a person’s chest or back.”
He said those techniques are used by law enforcement agencies across the nation “when officers are faced with violently combative subjects.”
“I find it extremely troubling that these acts are now defined as criminal in nature, even if they were unintentional and no injury was sustained by the subject,” Mungeer said.
O’Donnell tells me that the “cure” offered by the mayor and city council is worse than the disease, and argues that holding police accountable for criminal acts or civil rights violations can be done without hindering their ability to take criminal suspects into custody. Instead of offering up any true reforms, O’Donnell says the city is simply handcuffing officers at the expense of those suspected of committing violent crimes, and he fears that gang members, drug dealers, and violent offenders will now operate in the belief that city leaders are more concerned about protecting them than the general public.
I asked O’Donnell about a pair of studies that claim increased violence around the country, including New York City, is the result of increased gun sales, and laughed, saying that the argument is “typical of the liberal media” and that the claim is just not backed up by facts on the ground.
“They’re illegal guns,” he added, “that are coming from the judicial revolving door releasing gun offenders back out onto the street that realize ‘Hey, if I can use a gun in a shooting and maybe just wound someone I’ll only get six months or maybe be released because of my COVID fears.”
O’Donnell says even though he’s allowed to legally carry a firearm in New York City thanks to federal law, he won’t be returning to the city he served anytime soon. In fact, given the increase in crime, the former officer says he’s told family and friends not to visit either, calling the spike in crime both preventable and “disgraceful.”
Check out the entire interview with Rob O’Donnell above, including his response to my question about what he thinks would happen if New York City decided to reverse decades of anti-gun legislation and recognize the right of New Yorkers to both keep and bear arms. Also, be sure to stick around after the interview for an incredible armed citizen story that will almost certainly be ignored by the national media as well as the story of a pair of police officers in Sheffield, Alabama who were in the right place at the right time to save a city councilwoman from being burned alive when the forklift she was driving caught fire.