New York City has a crime problem.
While that, in and of itself, is not necessarily news, the city’s sudden uptick in reported homicides and other violent crimes is noteworthy, as it coincides with actions taken by elected officials to curtail the powers of police officers to take action against criminals.
With muzzled or fewer officers on the streets and continued anti-police rhetoric and legislation from public officials, criminals are gaining ground in New York, and citizens, not politicians, are paying the price.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has become the human face of the crime wave.
The far-left Democrat is also big on using symbolism.
He shut down the city’s anti-crime unit and supported defunding the NYPD of $1.5 billion last month amid nationwide civil unrest following the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.
He was photographed helping to paint a Black Lives Matter mural on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower earlier this month.
Just last Wednesday, de Blasio signed six bills aimed at reforming the NYPD, and he did it as a Black Lives Matter mural was being painted behind him in The Bronx.
“The Black Lives Matter movement has been at the forefront of change in New York City and across our nation. I’m proud to sign these sweeping reforms into law and honor the work they’ve done,” de Blasio said, according to a transcript on the city’s website.
“We now have fewer people in our jails than any time since World War II and we are safer for it and better for it,” he added amid a reported 277 percent increase of shootings in his city, according to Newsweek.
DE BLASIO: “We now have fewer people in our jails than any time since WW2 and we are safer for it and better for it” pic.twitter.com/isOM3P8yZ4
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) July 16, 2020
The mayor sat in the street at a desk and, with a few strokes of a pen, signed bills that allow bureaucrats to look over the shoulders of the officers in his city.
The symbolism was likely intended to portray de Blasio as a civil rights icon and a trailblazer working to end perceived systemic racism.
But the spot where the bills were signed, near the intersections of East 161 Street and Morris Avenue, soon became the scene of a violent crime.
Early Saturday morning in the area of the intersection, a man was stabbed.
The New York Post reported that at around 3 a.m., a man was stabbed in the right arm near the area where the city’s elected leaders had, days before, flaunted their virtues.
Luckily, the stabbing victim was not seriously hurt.
The same cannot be said for the optics of de Blasio’s anti-law enforcement stunt, or its location.
The spot where the mayor chose to symbolically sign bills to restrain NYPD officers is now itself a crime scene.
That’s not to say that the stabbing is de Blasio’s fault, or that the stabbing might not have otherwise occurred had the mayor not used the spot.
But for a man who regularly engages in using symbolism, the stabbing is tragically ironic.
Defunding police departments and going after good cops make no community safer, as New Yorkers have learned under de Blasio’s brand of leftist leadership.
But de Blasio is himself a symbol for what can go wrong when a highly populated city prioritizes virtue-signaling over commonsense leadership.
He is a vain man and a derelict leader, and his attempts to use symbolism to play the hero coincide with a crime wave that carries an incalculable human toll.
He has come to represent the importance of voting for competent leaders.
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