A reported drop in low-level policing by the NYPD has led to a 66 percent decline in arrests, according to the New York Post.
Police officers concerned about their safety following the double murder of two police officers in Brooklyn on Dec. 20, 2014, have allegedly stopped writing citations and making arrests for misdemeanor crimes.
Since the double homicide, a number of officers have reportedly abandoned enforcement of low-level offenses, which according to the New York Post, has led to a 66 percent drop in arrests for the week starting Dec. 22, 2014, compared to that of 2013.
Traffic violation citations also plummeted by 94 percent as did Criminal Court Summonses for low-level offenses like public drinking and urination. Parking violations dropped by 92 percent and drug arrests by the NYPD's Organized Crime Control Bureau are down 84 percent.
The New York Post's claims, which haven't been verified by the NYPD, assert that officers are now making arrests only "when they have to" due to safety concerns.
Officers Rafael Ramos, 40, and Wenjian Liu, 32, were killed at close range the Saturday before Christmas as they sat in their squad car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, in Brooklyn, who had announced on social media that he was going to kill police officers in revenge for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Soon after the shooting, Brinsley fled to a nearby subway station where he was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Tensions between the NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio have been growing ever since he refused to endorse a Staten Island grand jury's decision last month not to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo in the chokehold death of Eric Garner in July 2014. A scathing New York Times editorial outlined five related reasons that some critics have taken issue with the mayor.
The critics, namely police union head Patrick Lynch, believe de Blasio has sided with protesters in the wake of civil unrest, and that subsequently he has blood on his hands for the officers' deaths.
Hundreds of NYPD officers have turned their backs toward de Blasio in public — at Woodhull Hospital shortly after officers Ramos and Liu were pronounced dead, and again at Ramos' funeral — as part of a silent protest against him for appearing to support protesters over his own police force, and for comments he made on ABC's "This Week" in which he said that his son, Dante, was at great risk of being injured or harmed by a police officer if he moves suddenly or reaches for his cellphone, because "there's a greater chance it might be misinterpreted [because he's] a young man of color."
Last week, de Blasio was heckled while speaking at a graduation ceremony in Madison Square Garden for nearly 900 new police officers. Days prior a group of well over 100 NYPD officers collectively turned their backs on him while he delivered the eulogy at Ramos' funeral, which drew criticism.
"I certainly don't support that action yesterday, I think it was very inappropriate at that event," New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton told CBS' "Face the Nation" "That funeral was held to honor officer Ramos, and to bring politics or to bring issues into that event, I think, was very inappropriate and I do not support it."
Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives Endowment Association, told the Guardian that "no work stoppage has been sanctioned by the unions, but added as officers were now "targets for execution" it was "enough to make anyone hesitate regardless of your profession."
"This is not a slowdown for slowdown's sake. Cops are concerned, after the reaction from city hall on the Garner case, about de Blasio not backing them," a source was quoted as telling the Post.
Earlier this week de Blasio sat down for talks with the NYPD but there was no resolve.
"There were a number of discussions, especially about the safety issues members face. There was no resolve," Lynch said in a statement after the two-hour discussions.
The Christian Post contacted Commissioner Bratton for comment but he couldn't be reached by press time.