Police in New York City have made far fewer arrests and issued fewer summonses in the past two weeks amid claims that cops are holding back after two officers were killed in an ambush.
In a seven-day period that ended Sunday, NYPD officers made 2,401 arrests citywide, down 56 percent from 5,448 for the same week in 2013, the New York Times reports.
During the same period, only 347 criminal summonses were written, compared to 4,077 for the same week in 2013, according to NYPD statistics cited by the Times.
Parking and traffic tickets also dropped more than 90 percent compared to the previous year.
The drop followed a similarly steep decline in drug arrests, traffic violations and citations for low-level offenses like public drinking for the week ending Dec. 28
Some New York cops have anonymously confessed to the New York Post that they aren't making arrests for minor crimes because they fear for their safety following the fatal shooting of officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in their Brooklyn patrol car on Dec. 20.
Law enforcement officials say the diminished numbers are the result of a period of mourning rather than a deliberate slowdown.
Edward Mullins of the Sergeants Benevolent Association told the Times that officers have been told to put their safety first. Still, he insists the cops are doing the job to the best of their abilities.
“All of the 911 calls are being responded to,” Mullins said. “The lack of summons activity, we’re talking about financial fines. That’s one of those things that will correct itself, I’m sure.”
NYC Police Commissioner Bill Bratton declined to comment to the Daily News about the decreased summonses and arrests, which were announced the same day that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that crime for the entire year was down 4.6 percent from 2013.
Rates for murder, robbery and burglary were at their lowest in the last decade, according to WABC TV.
“This is the world’s greatest police department,” de Blasio said, according to the New York Daily News. “It’s been true for many years.”
Despite such public pronouncements, many New York police officers blame the mayor for creating an environment that led to the killings of Liu and Ramos.
During Liu's funeral on Sunday, many officers turned their backs on de Blasio when he spoke, despite being asked by Bratton in advance not to do so.