New York City first lady Chirlane McCray is now calling on residents to “physically intervene” to help stop violent crimes after publicly calling on husband and Mayor Bill de Blasio to “defund” the NYPD and redirect those funds to “youth initiatives and social services.”
“As attacks on Asian American communities continue, we’re asking New Yorkers to show up for their neighbors and intervene when witnessing hateful violence or harassment. I know that can be frightening when you aren’t sure what to do or say, but you can learn,” she wrote on Twitter Saturday.
She went on in a thread to explain the “5 D’s” — “easy to remember tactics that we can all use to de-escalate a situation.” They include, “distract,” “delegate,” “document,” “delay,” and “direct.”
“Respond directly to the aggressor or physically intervene and only after assessing the situation. Be confident, assertive, calm. This is risky, but sometimes all we can do is speak up,” McCray noted.
Her appeal, however, comes after Yong Zheng, 46, was fatally stabbed earlier this month trying to intervene in a robbery attempt, WLNY reported, noting further that “anti-Asian American hate” is “on the rise” in the city.
“Nice guys can’t be getting killed like this. The whole community right now, we are all upset,” Louie Liu of the Brooklyn Asian Civilian Observation Patrol told the outlet.
According to the NYPD, there were 20 arrests for anti-Asian hate crimes in the city last year; most suspects were black, according to the Daily Wire.
In June, de Blasio — who had named his wife head of a Commission on Racial Justice and Reconciliation — agreed to a recommendation from the group to shift some funding from the NYPD to community and youth programs.
“We will be moving funding from the NYPD to youth initiatives and social services,” de Blasio said during a press briefing, addressing decisions about police funding as riots following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis the previous month spread to his city and elsewhere.
“The details will be worked out in the budget process in the weeks ahead. But I want people to understand that we are committed to shifting resources to ensure that the focus is on our young people,” the mayor added.
“This is a beginning. I want it to be abundantly clear to all New Yorkers. These are first steps to what will be 18 months of making intense change in this city. The work of this task force is crucial,” de Blasio continued at the time. “This is a transformative moment.”
He noted further that street vendor enforcement would “no longer be the responsibility of the NYPD.”
In the wake of near-endless rioting around the country and efforts to defund police departments, crime has spiked in several cities including the Big Apple.
Gun violence has especially surged in New York City, with most of the victims being black. In June 2020, there were 194 shootings involving black victims, or an increase of 177 percent over the 70 incidents recorded in June 2019.
In December, ABC7 reported that over 11 months last year, shootings surged in New York City to a level not seen in many years. Moreover, according to the NYPD, 40 percent of those charged in shooting incidents have had prior gun-related arrests.