New York City remains "closed down" with no end in sight, and former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said Mayor Bill de Blasio has "destroyed" the city.
"Unfortunately, I don't see it coming back anytime soon," Kelly, the father of Newsmax TV host Greg Kelly, told "The Cats Roundtable" on WABC 770 AM-N.Y. "I love New York. I've lived here my whole life, was born here, going to die here, but it's not the place it was 10 years ago.
"Compare the end of the Bloomberg administration, a little less than 8 years ago, with the end of the de Blasio administration. It's the difference between night and day. This man has destroyed the city. This will be his legacy."
Most alarming for the longtime top cop and potential future mayoral candidate is the recent outlawing of qualified immunity for police officers in New York City, Kelly told host John Catsimatidis.
"Isn't it incredible, John, that these politicians think that their constituents are more concerned about hamstringing the police than in protecting them?" Kelly said. "They may be right. The world has turned upside down.
"This elimination of qualified immunity is just another example of politicians throwing obstacles in the path of police officers so they can't do their jobs. It's clear that they want cops to do literally nothing."
Qualified immunity had protected New York City police officers from civil lawsuits, but now criminals can sue police for alleged wrongdoing that will get tied up in courts and lead to cops "stepping back" from enforcing the laws and protecting the community, Kelly said.
"Police officers, they're not going to jeopardize the well-being of their family, their own well-being," he continued. "They will step back; they have stepped back
"If you look at crime reduction in New York City, it’s a very bleak picture. There's no light at the end of the tunnel."
Supporting police is so difficult politically now, Kelly said, noting none of the city's mayoral candidates have talked about being tough on crime, which used to be a platform selling point.
"The mayoral candidates so far are not talking about any sort of crime reduction," Kelly said. "It's all about monitoring, restricting the police. I just don't get it. I've been around a long time.
"You can remember the days when politicians would say, 'I'm tougher on crime than my opponent.' Now, you don't hear any of that."
Equally concerning to Kelly is the lack of talk about mental health issues in society leading to dangerous crime in New York City.
"That terrible attack on the Asian woman on Monday — it kind of made you sick," Kelly said of the women beaten outside of an apartment building in broad daylight. "I think it's indicative of a much deeper problem: the huge number of people who need mental health assistance on the streets of our city, roaming free. These are the people pushing subway riders onto the tracks. They are the ones who are creating assaults.
"We need something done. As far as I can see, there's nobody even talking about this issue."
Concern of the lack of safety in the city is only increasing, despite the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns making it a relative "ghost town," Kelly concluded.
"The Zoom phenomenon is upon us: People can stay home, people are staying home and doing work and getting paid for it," Kelly said. "Those businesses, mom and pop stores, if they even exist anymore, those restaurants are not going to come back unless you have pedestrian traffic. Look on the streets of Manhattan. You don't see anybody. 'It's a ghost town.
"I'm unfortunately pessimistic about the future of New York."
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.