Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota warned of the dangers of "handcuffing" the NYPD. Credit: Metro Photo Archive
Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota stood outside the 67th Precinct in Brooklyn Thursday morning and warned of the danger facing the city should he lose the mayoral election.
Lhota chose the setting because, he said, even though murders and shootings are at historic lows citywide, data from the NYPD's most recent CompStat report shows a 166% increase in shooting victims in East Flatbush in the last four weeks compared to the four weeks prior.
The NYPD confirmed that month-to-month statistic is accurate.
In the 67th precinct, the number of shooting incidents is down from last year, though the number of shooting victims is up, but by a smaller margin. 73 people were shot in the 67th precinct this year, compared to 64 people last year, a 14.1 percent increase. There have been 48 shooting incidents in the 67th precinct this year so far, down from 56 over the same time period last year.
Citywide, shootings are down from last year's historic lows by more than 20 percent.
The drop in the number of victims is slightly greater citywide than the drop in shooting incidents — East Flatbush, where the 67th precinct is located, is one area in the city where it seems shooters are reaching their targets with greater accuracy then they were before.
Lhota blamed the new City Council laws at least in part for the "spike" in crime. The laws mandate an Inspector General for the NYPD and established more broad protections against profiling, encompassing gender, sexual orientation, and immigration or housing status, among other criteria.
Lhota accused the laws of "handcuffing" the NYPD and having "a chilling effect" on law enforcement.
But Sergeants Benevolent Association president Ed Mullins recently maintained it is too early to attribute any fluctuations in criminal activity or police response to the laws, which have not actually taken effect yet.
The laws will go into effect on Nov. 20.
The Republican candidate slammed his Democratic opponent Bill de Blasio for "his reckless agenda," and said he would "absolutely" worry for his family's safety should de Blasio, who is currently polling with a 44-point lead, win the race.
Lhota bristled when pressed about his former boss, Rudy Giuliani, though he continued to defend him and said they had been "texting back and forth." He repeated the claim he made at the debate Tuesday night that Giuliani brought in "a renaissance" in the city and said "the good outweighs whatever you think was bad."
While Giuliani was credited for a significant reduction in city crime, the police department also developed a reputation for vicious brutality under his watch. It was during his tenure that Abner Louima, a then 30-year-old Haitian immigrant, was sodomized by police officers with a broomstick inside a police stationhouse just a few precincts over from the one where Lhota stood Thursday morning. An unarmed Guinean immigrant, Amadou Diallo, was also killed by police officers during Giuliani's mayoralty. He was shot 41 times in the vestibule of his apartment building.