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There are times when New York is in mourning as a city, when tragic events permeate Gotham’s collective consciousness and color our daily stays and interactions.
The horrific murders of New York Police Department officers Wilbert Mora and Jason Rivera were such an event. The loss of these two brave public servants, both in their twenties, showed how deeply unsafe New Yorkers have come to feel on their streets.
At his funeral on Wednesday, Mora’s sister asked how many cops had to die “before the system changes?” It’s a question on the lips of café patrons, metro users and neighbors on the steps.
CONTROL THE CRIMINALS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS SCOURGE
The deaths of these officers seem equally unacceptable, as much the result of poor leadership as the overall state of the city newly inundated with violent crime.
This palpable sense of fear, unthinkable just a few years ago, was a key reason ex-cop Eric Adams beat out a group of anti-police progressive candidates to win the mayoral job last November. Since then, things have only gotten worse.
Rhetorically, Adams said many of the good things about the return of undercover crime units, openness to implementing Stop, Question and Frisk, bail and respect reform. and daily thanks to the NYPD. But now that rhetoric must turn into action, no matter how much the far left may oppose it.
That’s exactly the message Adams needs to send when President Biden visits New York on Thursday to try to show a dodgy nation that the White House takes crime seriously.
This town knows what it takes to fight crime. We need aggressive and proactive policing, we need real prison sentences for violent offenders, and we need leaders who aren’t afraid to have the backs of the cops.
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This recipe made New York one of the safest cities in the world starting with Rudy Giuliani in the 1990s, and it can easily be replicated.
Biden himself was eager to tackle crime at the turn of the last century as the leader of the 1994 crime bill. Today, he looks like a shell of that friend of the police who bends over backwards to protect an extreme left that at best wants to defund the police and at worst despises it outright.
It is no longer enough for Biden to ignore these radical voices, he must speak out against them.
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The families of the fallen officers, the police themselves, and the people of New York and America demand that our grief at the too rapid loss of such heroes not weigh us down in vain. An essential first step is to announce, without warning or dithering, that our leaders are on the side of the police, not the criminals they fight.
If Joe Biden is serious about a reset and Eric Adams is serious about transforming his city, the call must ring and actions must follow quickly. It’s the least Officers Mora and Rivera deserve.
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