Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made light of recent concerns about spikes in New York subway violence by taking a jab at Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his criticism of the city for being “soft on crime.”
“My daughters, you know, they’re young adults, but they ride the subway at 4 a.m., and I’m perfectly happy about it,” Schumer said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday. “We are a safe city.”
Schumer went on to say, “And by the way, New York has grown from 7 million people in 1990 to 8.5 million today, the largest of any city, because crime went down,” he continued. “Mothers from Denver and Dallas were not sending their daughters and sons to New York in 1990. Now they’re happy to do it.”
“Here’s the greatest thing I worry about in this country,” Schumer said. “We’re no longer fact-based. The founding fathers created a country based on fact, and we debated the facts. We debated them at the constitutional convention. We debated them in town halls throughout America, and we were supposed to debate them in the legislature. We don’t have a fact base. If, say, Breitbart News and The New York Times are regarded with equal credibility, you worry about democracy.”
“But I’ll be happy to ride the subway at 4 a.m. with Jeff Sessions,” he added.
However, subway violence in New York City has gone up, according to data from the New York Police Department.
The New York Post reported on March 20 Felony assaults in the subway system rose 16 percent in February in contrast with the same month a year ago, while last June, The Wall Street Journal reported that sexual offenses on the subway shot up over 50 percent.
Additionally, 88 felony assaults had happened up to that point for the year compared to 74 during the same period in 2016 — a 19 percent increase that has not stopped going up since 2014.
From January through March 2016, assaults on the subway spiked 44 percent — from 52 to 75 percent from 2015, the Post noted.
“It’s devastating,” Brooklyn resident Francine Portus told The Post. “You pay your subway fare to go to get to work, not to see fighting. If you want to see a fight, go and watch wrestling. It’s not safe riding the subway, but I have to do it because that’s how I get to work.”