Tags: Donald Trump | bill de blasio | challenges | trump | administration | justice department | statement

De Blasio Challenges Trump Admin Over DOJ Statement

Image: De Blasio Challenges Trump Admin Over DOJ Statement
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 21 Apr 2017 09:59 PM

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio responded to President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, challenging them to "look our police officers in the eye" after a report the Justice Department issued Friday describing the city as "soft on crime."

"It's an unacceptable statement that denigrates the people of New York City and the men and women of the NYPD. It is an outrageous statement, and it's absurd on its face. It ignores a quarter century of progress in this city bringing down crime," de Blasio told reporters Friday, Politico reported.

"I would say to President Trump and to Attorney General Sessions — if you believe this statement is accurate, come here to New York City, look our police officers in the eye and tell them that you believe they are soft on crime. See how that feels," de Blasio added.

The mayor made the statement outside police headquarters with NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill at his side.

On Friday, New York City was one of nine municipalities that have sanctuary jurisdictions that received letters from the Justice Department. The letter warned them they could lose federal funds if they didn't comply with federal immigration orders.

In a statement responding to the letter, the Justice Department said, "New York City continues to see gang murder after gang murder, the predictable consequence of the city's 'soft on crime' stance."

New York has actually seen a reduction in the number of murders over last year, according to NYPD data. Since 1993, murder is down 82 percent, shootings are down 81 percent and overall crime is down 76 percent, according to O'Neill, who has served as police commissioner since September.

"When I heard that statement, my blood began to boil," O'Neill told reporters. "To say we are soft on crime is absolutely ludicrous. In 2016, we locked up over 1,000 people in 100 gang take downs — most of them are still awaiting sentences or in jail. Maybe we should ask them if they think we are soft on crime."

"I find this statement to be absolutely outrageous," he added.

The Justice Department gave the nine cities until June 3 to show they were in compliance with a 1996 federal law that states local governments cannot interfere with immigration officials when requesting documentation about an immigrant's status.

Trump is following through on a campaign pledge to cut the number of illegal immigrants in the country, issuing an executive order in March that blocks citizens from six predominantly Muslim countries from enter the U.S. The president has also increased border patrols along the southern U.S., vowing to build a wall to keep illegal immigrants from entering the country.

Neither de Blasio nor O'Neill addressed the threat of losing federal funds if federal directives were not followed.

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio responded to President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, challenging them to "look our police officers in the eye" after a report the Justice Department issued Friday describing the city as "soft on crime."
bill de blasio, challenges, trump, administration, justice department, statement
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2017-59-21
Friday, 21 Apr 2017 09:59 PM
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