New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is encouraging the city’s law enforcement to police behavior they believe is hateful, even if it is not criminal.
“I assure you, if an NYPD officer calls you or shows up at your door to ask about something you did, that makes people think twice, and we need that,” de Blasio told reporters on Thursday.
“I assure you, if an NYPD officer calls you or shows up at your door to ask about something you did, that makes people think twice, and we need that.”
— Matthew Chayes (@chayesmatthew) March 18, 2021
De Blasio’s advice follows an Atlanta shooting that killed six women. While the shooter admitted that it was a “sex addiction” that drove him to kill, multiple politicians, corporate media outlets, and others have speculated if it was a targetted attack on Asian Americans. It was because of the narrative surrounding this shooting that de Blasio said the New York Police Department would make a point to investigate complaints and concerns over “anti-Asian sentiment and hate crimes.”
“Even if something is not a criminal case, a perpetrator being confronted by the city, whether it’s NYPD or another agency, and being told that what they’ve done was very hurtful to another person—and could, if ever repeated, lead to criminal charges—that’s another important piece of the puzzle,” de Blasio said.
Officers, de Blasio continued, should evaluate “if someone has done something wrong” even if it’s not illegal or criminal and take action from there.
“One of the things officers are trained to do is to give warnings,” de Blasio said. “If someone has done something wrong, but not rising to a criminal level, it’s perfectly appropriate for an NYPD officer to talk to them to say, ‘that was not appropriate, and if you did that on a higher level, that would be a crime.’ I think that has an educating impact on people.”
De Blasio previously expressed support for defunding the police and excused Black Lives Matter rioting in NYC as “a powerful, painful, historical moment” that did not need to adhere to his strict COVID lockdown mandates.
His recent comments sparked outrage on Twitter after some noted that the mayor was urging the use of police power to enforce an agenda even when there is no criminal activity involved.
Defund the police! Have non-armed social workers address non-violent matters! Unless there is a thought crime in which case the NYPD will be there presently. https://t.co/3B6VE6FFyR
— Emily Zanotti (@emzanotti) March 18, 2021
What could possibly go wrong with letting cops target people who have not committed a crime, based on the cop's sense of what constitutes "hateful" conduct? https://t.co/QCcK9BdtPq
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) March 18, 2021
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) March 18, 2021
My hot take: Cops should prevent crime, not people being mean. https://t.co/DesCbPMa10
— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) March 18, 2021
So the NYPD should harass and intimidate people who have committed no crime? Did I get this right? https://t.co/t1BU89vzOK
— Liz Wolfe (@lizzywol) March 18, 2021