Photo Credit: Hana Levi Julian
NYPD patrol car (file)

In a move that seems to be a response to calls by “Black Lives Matter” protesters and rioters to “defund the police” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea has announced the NYPD will disband the plain-clothes Anti-Crime unit.

Shea made the announcement Monday afternoon, describing the move as a “seismic” shift in the culture of the department. Some 600 officers are to be affected.

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“It’s a big move,” Shea said. I would consider this in the same realm as (moving away) from stop, question and frisk. It’s time to move forward and change how we police in this city. We can do it with brains, with guile, and not with brute force.”

Shea claimed, however, that the protests “really did not factor in here,” despite the timing.

Shea and the NYPD have faced massive heat over police tactics during the George Floyd “protests.” Activists, protesters, rioters and elected officials have escalated demands to “defund the police” department’s budget by as much as $1 billion.

But over the past four weeks, citywide crime statistics also skyrocketed, according to the New York Daily News.

As of Sunday, there were 38 homicides, compared to 19 in the same period a year ago, NYPD figures show. There has been a 25 percent increase in homicides to date in 2020, with 159 murders so far this year compared to 127 in the same period last year. Shootings have also spiked, by 32.6 percent over the last month compared to the same period in 2019, and 24.3 percent so far for 2020. Burglaries have also increased citywide by 47 percent for the year so far, with 6,595 incidents compared to 4,480 in the same period in 2019.

DA’s Offices Lose NYPD Personnel
The officers from the Anti-Crime unit will be reassigned into new roles “effective immediately,” Shea told reporters, “including the detective bureau, neighborhood policing and other assignments,” he said.

“It will be felt immediately among the five district attorney’s offices. It will be felt immediately in the communities we protect… This is no reflection whatsoever on the men and women of the police department who are out there doing the work,” Shea underscored. “This is a policy shift coming from me, personally.”

The New York Times reported Monday that all the officers assigned to the Manhattan district attorney’s office have been reassigned. The same has taken place in the DA’s offices of Bronx, Brooklyn and in Queens. Police personnel were also pulled from the DA’s office in Staten Island as well.

Interestingly, the timing of the pullout took place a few hours after the district attorneys had announced they would not prosecute “protesters” who were arrested during the George Floyd riots.

According to The New York Times, Shea said Friday the resources were required to cover the protests.

At least 300 cops have been injured on the job covering those so-called “protests” with some of the rioters hurling tennis balls filled with concrete at the police officers. Others have attacked them with other weapons, including trash cans, live fireworks and Molotov cocktails. Dozens of NYPD police vehicles have been damaged and in some cases completely destroyed.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.