One of the few bright spots to Hurricane Sandy, besides a new found appreciation for a subway system we too often loathe, is that crime is down, and according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, there have been no homicides since the storm hit the city Monday night.
“We’ve had no murders for three days,” Commissioner Kelly told reporters today inside the portico of City Hall, following the mayor’s afternoon press briefing. ”And we’ve also had a reduction in domestic violence.”
Mayor Bloomberg has gotten his fair share of criticism for deciding to go ahead with the annual New York City Marathon, given the devastation throughout the city following Hurricane Sandy, including not far from the starting line in Staten Island. But the mayor is sticking to his previous promise to have the race run, to send a message of New York’s recovery and to help buoy an economy that has been battered by the storm.
“As Rudy Giuliani said to me this morning, he said, ‘You know, right after 9/11 people said the same thing,’” Mayor Bloomberg said. Being Mike Bloomberg, he then launched into an economic defense for his decision. “New York has to show that we’re here, we are going to recover, and that while we help people we can still help companies that need the business, still generate the tax base so that we have the resources to help people. We can give people something to cheer about in what’s been a very dismal week for some people.”
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced the Halloween-worthy arrest of 28-year-old NYPD officer Gilberto Valle III today. Mr. Valle, who was stationed at the 26th Precinct, has been charged with kidnapping, conspiracy and illegal use of a federal law enforcement database.
Those charges aren’t strange at all, considering the crimes were allegedly committed as part of a plot with co-conspirators to kidnap and cannibalize as many as 100 women.
The New York Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation have arrested 21-year-old Bangladeshi Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis for an alleged plot to bomb the New York Federal Reserve Bank in lower Manhattan.
Mr. Nafis was taken into custody Wednesday morning after authorities say he used a cell phone to try and detonate what he thought was a van filled with a thousand pounds of explosives. The van was a dud. Mr. Nafis was the target of a joint F.B.I./N.Y.P.D. sting that began months ago, after authorities became aware he was planning something:
Law & Order
New York Post reporter Doug Auer allegedly became the target of police ire after he wrote a scandalous story about an illicit Labor Day BBQ on the roof of police headquarters. Apparently, nothing is as sacred to New York’s Finest as roasted meat, fire code be damned.
According to Mr. Auer, current and retired cops responded on an unofficial NYPD message board with jeers, threats and personal details (including the reporter’s home address and personal photos from his Facebook page), Gothamist reported at the time.
Mr. Auer, who said he took down his Facebook page in response, is back–and now he’s commenting on his private Facebook page. He’s also threatening “atomic wedgies” to those who come after him.
Mayor Bloomberg recently put all of his commissioners on notice that they have to figure out a way to cut their budgets in anticipation of a $2.5 billion budget shortfall in the coming months. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was asked to submit a new spending plan that includes a cut of some 2.7 percent in the current fiscal year and 4 percent next year. Other agencies have been asked to produce similar, and sometimes even larger, reductions, but it’s the NYPD’s cuts that have many politicians crying foul.
Today the NYPD released surveillance footage of the Wednesday-night incident that left actress Lindsay Lohan accused of striking a pedestrian then leaving the scene. The video may be more useful in defending Ms. Lohan than prosecuting her. It shows a typical late-night street scene, several people milling around a parking area entrance. Ms. Lohan’s vehicle noses through then leaves the frame and no one seems alarmed or concerned. Take a look:
SLUGS AND THE CITY
In light of the three very recent, very public shootings involving the New York Police Department—including the most recent one at the Empire State Building, where the majority of the injured were hit by bullets that came from NYPD guns—New Yorkers may be curious about the level of proficiency our city’s “finest” have when it comes to firing guns in the middle of the most populous city in America. Enter a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” thread, this time featuring a six-year veteran of the city’s police force, answering questions about our cops and the guns they carry on their belts.
At least ten people have been shot at the Empire State Building this morning including an as-yet-unidentified shooter according to a spokesman for the New York City Police Department. The male shooter was killed, but the NYPD says further information about the gunman or his motivations is currently “unknown.”
We’ll update this post as soon as we know more.
Over the weekend, NYPD officers shot and killed a man in Midtown. Today, they did the same thing to a dog near Union Square.
While we’ve been on the topic of Eddie Huang, we just received a call from the Baohaus owner about the peculiar gunshot he and his staff just heard outside of his East Village restaurant on 14th Street. UPDATED (see below).