Mayor DeBlasio strode into office a year and a half ago, a knight in the shining armor of progressive change, but these days he is an emperor without clothes — no fig leaf in sight — getting dumped on from all sides.
First the Finest turned its back on him for cozying up to anti-police protestors calling for “dead cops.”
Now blacks, who make up most of his voting base, are angry at him for ignoring the mounting bloodshed — 82 people were slain in the city in the first three months of 2015, up 11 from the same period a year ago — and stalling on his promised criminal justice reforms.
Black demonstrators wielded a coffin and body bags as props outside City Hall and accused the man inside of “blood on his hands,” demanding he create new crime-fighting tactics to stop the violence plaguing their communities.
DeBlasio is snagged like political moss between the rock of his crime-friendly policies and the hard place of his grievance-minded voters. He helped to cut back stop-and-frisk, which benefited black strongholds now crying foul the most, and the policing tool’s decline and the increase in crime is no coincidence: Murders and shootings in East New York and Brownsville rose after cops decreased stop-and-frisks by 99 percent in those areas.
In a case of political schizophrenia the mayor claims crime is at an all-time low, but then launched a summer anti-crime campaign to pour hundreds of cops into gritty blocks.
It takes only a few key acts of lawlessness — an unstoppable force if left unchecked — to shatter the calm that took decades to restore. The rash of gunpoint robberies and brazen muggings in Central Park — including three assaults in less than 24 hours — and the brutal rape of a woman in Chinatown by three teenage boys are enough to transport us to the ugly 1980s and early 1990s when marauders claimed the city and few felt safe in public places.
City Hall is understating the violence, but the victim toll and the smell of fear in the air are proof of a downward spiral happening on the mayor’s watch.
Follow me on Twitter @BritShavana