New York City police union President Patrick Lynch blamed the municipal and state governments Tuesday for New York City’s escalating murder rate.
“Our city council, our mayor’s office and the state legislature have handcuffed police officers and given the street back to the criminal,” Lynch told Fox News’ “Hannity” when asked why “18 people were shot last night.”
“Remember just a few short years ago the city was out of control. Police officers literally took our street corners back block by block.” Lynch told interviewer Lawrence Jones. (RELATED: You Took My Son: Go To Hell: Father And Grandmother Of Slain 1-Year-Old Baby Speak Out Against Killers)
He said the city has now taken the side of those who “demonized police officers” and have changed the rules so that the crime does pay.
“When a criminal hears from city hall, there’s going to be a soft touch on crime, they know exactly what that means,” said Lynch. “It means there’s a smorgasbord on the streets and we are going to take advantage of it and they have. We have children being shot on the streets. How terrible can that be?”
The police union president went through a list of some of the recent victims of gun violence in the city, which included the tragic killing of a one-year-old baby at a park: “A 1-year-old on top of a 14-year-old, a 15-year-old, our aspiring basketball player in the Bronx who was going to announce to his mother what college he chose to go to, but before he can do that was gunned down.”
“We are waking up in the morning and saying, ‘How many last night?’ That’s crazy,” he continued. (RELATED: ‘Defunding … Means Defunding’: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Not Satisfied With Cutting NYPD By $1B)
Lynch said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to cut $1 billion from the New York Police Department wasn’t based on reasonable policy but responding to “a slogan on a sign at a march.”
He said he has no issue with people protesting, adding that he has protested himself before, but insisted the drive to defund the police is really about abolishing the police. “They’re not going to stop at a billion dollars,” he alleged. “They don’t want police officers on our streets.”
Lynch said he is not optimistic for the future of the city.
“You know what, I’m a guy who always sees the light at the end of the tunnel but I’ll be honest with you, I’m having a hard time even seeing the tunnel now.”
Sixty percent of New Yorkers do not support defunding their police force and 57% oppose reducing its budget, according to a recent poll.