July 9, 2020 | 2:05pm | Updated July 9, 2020 | 3:08pm
Mayor Bill de Blasio doubled down on the NYPD’s dubious claims that bail reform has contributed to the uptick in gun violence — defending police brass’ debunked “interpretation” of their own conflicting data.
“It should not be minimized that bail reform was one of many factors, but then post-March 1 overwhelmingly it’s about the coronavirus, and all the dislocation it’s caused,” de Blasio said.
“There are differences of interpretation. I believe that the much truer interpretation is to look at all of the factors, and the particularly central role of coronavirus and what’s happened in recent weeks,” the mayor added.
The mayor’s defense of the police leadership comes a day after The Post reported bail reform and coronavirus-related releases had next to no statistical impact on the surge of gun violence — despite the NYPD’s repeated insistence that they do.
Since Jan. 1, only one person out of 11,000 released due to bail reform was charged in one of the 528 shootings in Gotham — with 41 others believed to be suspects, according to NYPD data. And out of the 2,500 cut free from jail over COVID concerns, three people were suspected as triggermen in the shootings.
Police also inflated the numbers in both categories by folding in shooting victims and witnesses if they were part of the reform or Rikers releases.
“I think what leaders of the NYPD are saying is there’s a lot of different pieces hitting here. In fact, Commissioner [Dermot] Shea said the other day, I think on your station, that there’s been a perfect storm of factors,” the mayor said.
“So, sometimes, we’re going to have differences of interpretation, but I do believe the commissioner’s been clear that there are many, many factors here. And I can tell you what I believe, I believe those much bigger factors are what’s underlying the challenges we’re facing.”
Hizzoner has also blamed a backlog in state courts preventing the indictment of gun suspects, though the state has called his claims “absurd.”
Meanwhile, de Blasio dismissed New York Attorney General Letitia James’ calls for a commission, rather than a police commissioner reporting to the mayor.
“In terms of that particular proposal. I don’t think it’ll work. I think it would be counterproductive,” the mayor said, touting the end of stop-and-frisk and community policing as well as Shea’s move to disband the anti-crime unit.
“When you create diffusion of accountability, things don’t work. We all remember what the Board of Education used to be like,” he added.
James issued her preliminary report Wednesday as part of her investigation into how the NYPD handled the anti-police-brutality protests.
The state AG called on the city to “change the existing structure of the NYPD, which gives the police commissioner unilateral authority, the NYPD should report to the people it serves.”