“Complete lawlessness,” one cop termed the incident in Harlem in the early hours Sunday — and it’s fast becoming an apt description of much of the city.
Officers responded to an electronic ShotSpotter alert just before 4 a.m., and discovered a block party still raging. Worse, the crowd attacked the police, with members screaming obscenities as they hurled bottles and other debris at the cruisers.
The NYPD showed tremendous restraint, perhaps too much — retreating vans down Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and avoiding arrests or injuries as it dispersed the mob over several hours. How many innocents were at risk in the interim? And how are police to reverse the surge in shootings when they meet this kind of reception?
Eleven New Yorkers were shot across 12 hours that night, with several of the victims refusing to cooperate in any investigation. And that doesn’t include the couple gunned down with an AR-15-style rifle Saturday afternoon on an East New York stoop.
That’s over 80 people shot in a week, with at least six fatalities.
Other signs of disorder are more mundane, like the assaults on the barricades that close off roads under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “open streets” effort. Drivers blowing through those barriers are plainly putting innocents at risk while showing utter contempt for the law.
As are the people shooting off fireworks at all hours of the night, with cops evidently ordered not to interfere.
Indeed, “don’t interfere” seems the slogan for every city authority these days. Police took troubled vagrant Matthew Mishefski to Mt. Sinai Hospital on Saturday . . . after he started running around naked in Washington Square Park and got into a fight with two other men.
But he’d been camped out in the fenced-off fountain for a month, amassing a living-room worth of furniture. Is it really a coincidence that he was finally hauled in only after he made the front page of The Post? Where were ThriveNYC and all the other city mental-health programs all those weeks?
This is a guy who answers only when addressed as “Jesus Christ Lord Saviour,” yet the system fails to protect him or the public with mandatory treatment. Indeed, he was discharged Sunday morning, returned to the park, stripped again and got hauled back to Mt. Sinai. He may be out again by the time you read this.
The city seems not only to be increasingly out of control, but to be led by “authorities” who don’t care (or dare) to restore basic order. New York has recovered from far worse — but only after choosing leadership committed to putting public safety first.
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