Joe Lhota, Republican candidate for mayor of New York City, warned Thursday that his Democratic rival, front-runner Bill de Blasio's "reckless agenda" would usher in a crime wave if he wins.
"I know most New Yorkers are so accustomed to having safe streets, but the past few weeks have shown us … what can happen if I believe our police officers are not able do their job because of the City Council legislation," said Lhota, Politicker reported
"You can look all around the country when people ease up on their policing efforts. Look at Detroit, look at Chicago."
Asked if he would fear for his own safety if de Blasio were to win the race, Lhota told Politicker: "Absolutely."
Lhota, speaking at a press conference in Brooklyn, pointed to a 28-day report that recorded eight shootings, five rapes, and 57 robberies in one Brooklyn precinct. Shooting victims for the period are up 166 percent compared to the same period a year ago, reported Metro New York.
Lhota argued de Blasio's support of City Council legislation that's designed to curtail police officers' controversial stop-and-frisk policy would only make things worse.
"We've been now through two debates, several quiet weeks for Mr. de Blasio, and not once has there been a policy that he's offered that would keep New Yorkers safe," Lhota charged.
"A lot of ideas are pie in the sky, but not one that deals directly with public safety."
De Blasio's campaign responded to the charges as "baseless fear-mongering," Politicker reported.
"It's disappointing that Joe Lhota continues to take a page out of the right-wing, [former Mayor Rudy] Giuliani playbook with his baseless fear mongering," spokeswoman Lis Smith said in a statement.
Lhota has sounded the crime-wave warning before.
In an ad released in mid-October
, the Republican candidate predicted a crime wave would engulf the city if de Blasio wins.
The ad, titled "Can't Go Back," accused de Blasio of voting to "take over 5,000 cops off our streets." The ad also used footage from video showing bikers attacking a Manhattan motorist in an effort to argue de Blasio would have a soft response to "violent biker gangs."
"Don't let Bill de Blasio take New York backwards," the narrator says as a biker is shown smashing the window of a car with his helmet.
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