On Jan. 5, two weeks had passed since the NYPD's enforcement activities had plummeted, with arrests down by more than half since the two cops were killed in Brooklyn.
Between Dec. 29 and Jan. 4 – fearing for their safety – cops wrote barely any summons and arrests were way down. In response, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton threatened the city's cops, saying that he was launching an investigation into the plummet in enforcement.
During a news conference at the NYPD headquarters, Bratton said he would crack down "very forcefully" if the probe uncovered any evidence of a "job action."
"I will look very specifically, precinct by precinct, tour of duty by tour of duty, sector car by sector car, officer by officer," Bratton said. "And we will deal with it very appropriately if we have to."
The NYPD's latest weekly year-to-year figures showed:
- Citations for parking violations had fallen 93%.
- Summonses for traffic violations also nosedived, leveling off at 92%.
- Summonses for petty crimes such as public intoxication were down by 91%.
In the same period, the police made a total of 2,401 arrests, which were 56% less than the 5,448 arrests recorded the previous year.
When Bratton was asked about the decline in police activity, he said that in addition to mourning the Dec. 20 execution-style murders of Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, the NYPD was stretched thin by having to deal with the anti-cop protests since November.
"If, in fact, we feel…that we're engaged in some type of job action, then we will deal with it very forcefully," he said.
According to The New York Post, cop union leaders told members to respond to all calls with two patrol cars, and to make arrests only when "absolutely necessary" to avoid any potential copycat attacks after the Ramos and Liu assassinations.
Frustrated, Michael Palladino, the head of the detectives union responded to the accusations.
"You can't win," he said. "When cops make arrests and give summonses, they are accused of being robotic with no feelings, when cops exercise discretion and express feelings, they're accused of being political and disrespectful."
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