NYPD Commissioner Blasts Repeat Gun Arrests

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

As the number of shootings continues to climb in New York City, the NYPD’s top dog is complaining that officers are making arrests, only to have the courts release offenders to the streets. Even when a suspect is picked up again, Commissioner Dermot Shea says the criminal justice system is likely to send them on their way.

“You have a 16-year-old kid arrested three times in 90 days with guns,” he said. “Why would this kid be put back onto the street over and over and over without meaningful help? So is it COVID? Is it incompetence? What is the plan here? Where is the mentorship?”

It’s interesting that Shea isn’t necessarily calling for keeping 16-year olds locked up and warehoused for carrying a gun without a license, but instead wants to ensure that they’re actually receiving some type of intervention from the city. What Shea’s describing is a classic catch-and-release system, and he believes its helping to fuel the violence in New York.

As CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported, a reported major gang war took the life of a 13-year-old in the Bronx — then three more became the victims of gun violence not far from the scene, including a 66-year-old woman who is recovering from a stray bullet to the leg.

The toll: Four incidents, eight victims on Monday alone. That has Police Commissioner Dermot Shea expressing frustration, pointing again to the defund-the-cops brigade that he says has hamstrung officers.

“In the past year we’ve had to push back on the City Council asking us to get rid of the database on gangs. We’ve been asked not to stop cars, don’t interview kids when they’re arrested,” Shea said. “At a time when people should be coming to us and saying ‘What do you need? What can be done to help?’ We’re seeing the opposite.”

The commissioner undoubtably has many legitimate beefs with the city council over its far-Left philosophy on crime and punishment, but my big takeaway from Shea’s comments is that if carrying a gun without a license is now seen as a minor offense in the city, then why on earth are Democrats still defending New York’s subjective carry laws as necessary for public safety?

Instead of the city’s current policy, which seems to center around the idea of banning guns for everyone and delivering slaps on the wrist to most offenders, wouldn’t it make more sense to ensure that residents can exercise their Second Amendment rights while ensuring that individuals who are actually committing violent crimes face real consequences?

Of course you’ll never hear Dermot Shea back that idea, much less anyone on the city council. Armed citizens aren’t just an afterthought in New York City politics; they’re completely taboo. Even with violence on the increase, the idea that the people have the right to bear arms in self-defense is seen as crazy among the dominant political class.

Hopefully they’ll get a stark reminder about the importance of the Second Amendment in the coming months when the Supreme Court takes up the issue of New York’s carry laws and the constitutionality of making applicants demonstrate “good cause” in order to obtain a carry permit. In the meantime, however, New York City is going to continue to be soft on crime and hard on those who want to protect themselves and their loved ones by keeping and bearing arms for defense.