You picked an optimistic time to depart him, O’Neill.
The mayor, that is.
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill’s dramatic departure from the division, launched with practically no uncover Monday afternoon, caps a tumultuous three-year tenure and is a marker event in what seems very quite a bit to be a cultural transformation in New York.
Whatever else might need prompted O’Neill’s resignation, this question looms large: Who must be a chief cop in a metropolis that appears to have misplaced the will to defend itself from criminals and their ever-present, ever-more-audacious advocates?
And make no mistake: The criminal-justice agenda concocted in Albany last winter and now embraced so ardently by Gotham’s leaders — bail “reform,” jail closing, tolerance for public dysfunction and so forth — represents a not-so-subtle give as much as the metropolis’s worst instincts.
So now, as this newspaper reported Monday, the metropolis is making able to spring 880 exhausting cases from Rikers Island to adapt to the Cuomo administration’s new bail authorized pointers.
So now, a whole lot additional will in all probability be cycled through arraignment courts and correct once more onto the streets as quickly as the new authorized pointers take effect in January — irrespective of the incontrovertible fact that even ultra-left Attorney General Letitia James thinks the new laws is nuts.
Where it goes after that is anybody’s guess. Not extra prone to a contented place.
But this quite a bit seems clear: In the Empire State, and most significantly in New York City, perps are the new victims — and the earlier ones are on their very personal.
It’s exhausting to consider why O’Neill, 31 years on the job and with a commendable file, would want to be half of this new actuality — significantly given Bill de Blasio’s obvious lack of enthusiasm for vigorous laws enforcement, and the method that angle complicates the day-to-day operation of the world’s greatest municipal police division.
To be clear, by the end, the outgoing commissioner was shouldering some heavy baggage of his private. It may be robust to overstate the cop-on-the-beat anger O’Neill generated when he fired Daniel Pantaleo — the designated scapegoat in the limitless Eric Garner affair — and it lingers. Maybe seethes is a larger phrase.
And, on the deserves, firing Pantaleo — whom every state and federal prosecutors cleared of any wrongdoing in Garner’s loss of life and whose violation of NYPD legal guidelines was at worst technical — did larger than anger avenue cops. It empowered the avenue itself.
Open contempt for the NYPD is an element now. They have been pouring water on cops — and, as quickly as, even a carton of milk — this summer season in consequence of that they’d every motive to think about they could get away with it. And, by and massive, they’ve been correct.
Now they’re trashing cop cars in public; marching by the entire bunch in Brooklyn to spew vile anti-NYPD invective; overtly defying officers in the subways and on the streets — and primarily they’re getting away with that, too.
All this began on O’Neill’s watch, and so maybe it is proper that he depart. But not all of it is his fault. Apart from Pantaleo, not even quite a bit of it.
The blame accurately resides with de Blasio, and with Gov. Cuomo as successfully, whether or not or not they perceive it or not. And whether or not or not they have the thoughts and the braveness to easily settle for it.
Bet they don’t, and win the pot.