Mayor Bill de Blasio blamed the uptick in violence over the weekend on the coronavirus pandemic, while defending the city’s latest policing reforms and vowing to keep New York City “the safest big city in America.”
De Blasio held a press conference Monday after a weekend of violence across New York City that left at least eight people dead and more than 44 people shot and injured.
“I want to talk about what happened this weekend. Many were out there celebrating, but we saw too much violence, and we have a lot of work to do to address it,” de Blasio said, while adding that “there is not one cause for something like this.”
“This is directly related to coronavirus,” de Blasio said. “This is a very serious situation… As we’re getting into warmer and warmer weather, we’re feeling the effects of people being cooped up for months, the economy hasn’t restarted – we have a real problem here.”
De Blasio vowed to “double down” to address the violence, which included shootings in Brooklyn, the Bronx and upper Manhattan, noting that it was going to take “neighborhood policing” and cooperation from clergy and elected officials.
“This is all hands on deck,” de Blasio said, while adding that the city has “been dealt a really tough hand.”
“It was the health care crisis in March and April, May we were coming out of it, the warmer months. People are cooped up … they don’t have the normal things to engage their lives,” he explained. “But we’re going to overcome it. It’s going to be tough and take hard work.”