Bob McManus of the New York Post wonders whether Demetrius Blackwell, who shot NYPD officer Brian Moore dead, would have been on the street with his gun had the old stop-and-frisk policies, which Mayor de Blasio eliminated, been in effect. Chances are that Blackwell, a reckless hard core thug, would have been, but we will never know for sure.
More broadly, McManus wonders about the consequences of what he calls “the astonishing shift, both in tone and in content, of New York’s public-safety debate.”
Whereas a decade ago there was a deep appreciation of what living in a city with 2,000-plus recorded murders every year was like, that memory has faded.
Nobody’s afraid of the subways any more, or most parks, and that’s a good thing. But sad experience demonstrates that safe trains, safe parks and safe streets generally don’t occur naturally — they must be achieved and maintained.
This takes wisdom, determination and, most of all, courage — qualities in short supply of late.
By contrast, there is no shortage of mindless leftism. For example, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is pushing to decriminalize public urination and other “quality of living” offenses. As McManus puts it, who would have thought that New York’s pee-puddle community would have a serious constituency in New York City government?
The rot is spreading to the city’s public schools. According to McManus, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña — a de Blasio appointee — has liberalized school-safety rules and reduced sanctions against potentially dangerous students. The result? Last week, city Comptroller Scott Stringer reported that violence in the city schools is up sharply, and that the Department of Education is lying about it.
It’s pretty basic. Go easy on dangerous students and you get more violence in schools. Go easy on gun-toting thugs and you get more violence in the street. Go easy on public urination and you get — well, you know.
McManus calls for “for strong leadership, clarity of purpose and a resurrection of will — the qualities that led New York from the wilderness a generation ago.” I fear, however, that the left’s war on standards is leading New York, and not just New York, back into that wilderness.