Criminals taking advantage of masking policies force NYC mayor to make desperate plea

Residents of the Big Apple can sleep easier tonight knowing that Mayor Eric Adams (D) has tapped into his experience with the NYPD to recognize that, nearly three years after the policy was instituted, masking benefits criminals.

(Video: CBS)

The admission came this week as hizzoner worked out a plan with a bodega association to draft up signs store clerks could post at their entrances that state “No mask when entering.”

“We are putting out a clear call to all of our shops: Do not allow people to enter the store without taking off their face mask,” Adams said at a press conference. “And then once they’re inside, they can continue to wear it if they so desire to do so.”

Speaking at length during an interview with Pix11, the mayor, who has struggled to rein in rising violent crime now in his second year in office, boasted of the NYPD’s surveillance system throughout the city that would supplement a lack of cameras in certain shops as he said, “Let’s be clear, some of these characters going into stores that are wearing their mask, they’re not doing it because they’re afraid of the pandemic, they’re doing it because they’re afraid of the police. You saw what happened over the weekend when an innocent store owner was shot and killed. The person had a hazmat suit on and a mask.”

Adams was referring to an incident that occurred Friday on the Upper East Side where a man wearing a white coverall and black face mask was caught on camera holding up the Daona Gourmet Deli before fatally shooting the 67-year-old clerk.

NYPD Chief of Patrol Jeffrey Maddrey had expressed his support of the plan and said on Feb. 28, “We are asking the businesses to make this a condition of entry, that people when they come in, they show their face, they should identify themselves.”

As had been the case as state and local governments forced compliance with their draconian mandates and “recommendations” the glaringly obvious fault with the plan is expecting the small business owner to be at the frontline to enforce a rule that demands confrontation. Even more obvious is the fact that criminals will see no cause to comply with the policy.

To that end, Francisco Mata of the Bodega and Small Business Group told the New York Post he would rather see the mayor “make it illegal to wear the masks now,” and added the police should be in charge of enforcing policies like this.

“We cannot do that because two years ago, we tried to enforce people to wear the mask and people would not listen. It’s a good idea but we cannot enforce it,” Mata lamented.

Similarly, an officer with the NYPD referred to the plan as “another desperate act by a desperate administration” to the Post and said, “What store owner or worker wants to have an unnecessary confrontation with a possible criminal?”

“It is not worth it for them,” the cop added. “The mayor should be worried about the people in Albany and try getting them to change the laws.”

Even Adams admitted during the press conference that one of the biggest challenges the city faces right now is recidivism which has grown increasingly problematic as a result of soft-on-crime decisions out of the District Attorney’s office and due to bail reform.

NYPD statistics found shoplifting complaints increased by 45 percent in 2022 compared to 2021, passing 63,000 total reports.

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Kevin Haggerty

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