Lying NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea Should Be Removed Immediately

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[NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea]
BSN: "Early this year, Commissioner Shea started advancing the lie that bail reform was the reason for crime increases. He is still disseminating these fraudulent claims with no proof to back up his empty assertions"
Photo: YouTube

Lying police Commissioner Dermot Shea.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea is trying to use the recent uptick in violence to thwart necessary changes that must be implemented in the NYPD.

Shea is now utilizing his position as police commissioner to impede and undermine anything that changes corrupt NYPD culture. Therefore, he must be removed.

Early this year, Commissioner Shea started advancing the lie that bail reform was the reason for crime increases. He is still disseminating these fraudulent claims with no proof to back up his empty assertions.

Shea recently gave this rationale for the rise in violent crime “It’s bail reform. It’s COVID. It’s emptying out prisons.” According to him, releasing mostly non-violent prisoners—along with bail reform, is the reason for the current upsurge in violence.

Last week, echoing the lying lips of his boss, Chief of Department Terence Monahan said the rise was “a combination of things — bail reform, COVID releases from prison, court shutdown, which has Rikers [Island] at half of where they were.”

Monahan and Commissioner Shea, like far too many police officials, are damn liars.

You know this is true when even the very NYPD friendly New York Post publishes an article entitled “NYPD’s own stats debunk claims of bail reform leading to spike in gun violence.”

In that Post article, it says “State bail reform and coronavirus-related releases from city jails are not driving this year’s surge in shootings, the NYPD’s own data shows — despite the insistence of department brass to the contrary.”

Regarding the false claim that released inmates accounted for some of these crimes, the Post pointed out that “just one person released under the statewide bail reform laws passed Jan. 1 has been charged with a shooting” and “just 91 of the approximately 11,000 people sprung from Rikers Island under the initiative — or 0.8 percent — have been found to be anywhere near a shooting this year.”

The article also pointed to this important consideration “The NYPD disbanded its plainclothes anti-crime unit — which focused on guns and drugs — on June 15, with Shea citing the unit as generating a ‘disproportionate’ number of complaints and police-involved shootings.”

Here we see a police unit tasked with seizing guns disbanded because of their bad behavior. This is shocking given the violent leeway NYPD officers are often given.

The Post article states, “The department would not provide a comment on why it’s commissioner and top chief were making the claims about shootings without supporting evidence.”

Of course, they won’t. Lying and obfuscation is what NYPD leadership does. Then they wonder why the last remnants of their trust and integrity has been flushed down the toilet. Do these police officials believe they deserve respect when they lie like this?

Let’s consider for a moment New York Attorney General Letitia James’ online hearings for people who were abused during the George Floyd protests.

On one of the day's hearings, James pushed back on a message her office received which said the NYPD was not invited to participate. James made it clear she had on several occasions done just that.

The NYPD was no doubt angry because: many New Yorkers—of all racial, cultural and economic backgrounds—were articulating the horrors they witnessed being perpetrated by police. Witness after witness, (Black white, and everything in between) said the same thing: they saw repeated abusive behavior by NYPD officers on peaceful protesters.

Then something else happened displaying the cavalier nature in which Shea looked at these hearings.

After James’ pushback, it was announced Commissioner Shea would be a featured witness as the hearings were ending. It was assumed, even apparently by the Attorney General, that Shea would make himself available for lengthy in-depth questioning.

But that never happened.

Instead, Shea gave truncated “testimony,” where he acted as if the NYPD was the victim. When the questions were really starting in earnest, Shea let it be known to James that he had other more important things to do. Before he left, Shea told James a subordinate could answer any further questions. James, apparently taken aback by this, abruptly ended the hearing after Shea’s departure.

Shea’s attitude during his testimony was offensive. He lied and denied that there were any serious problems with the NYPD.

By extension, he was saying all the various New Yorkers who testified were just falsely demeaning the NYPD, for whatever reason.

Things have gotten so bad that Councilmember Rory Lancman, who supported cash bail reform, has issued a call for the removal of Commissioner Shea.

The last straw for Councilman Lancman was apparently Shea’s statement last week on NY1’s Mornings on One show. On the program, Shea said “We’re in a perfect storm of sorts with COVID, with the Rikers population, but, you know — look at the Rikers population of the last year. Ask a sane person, it’s about half. And where is that other half right now? We’ve transplanted general population to the streets of New York City.”

Lancman sent a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio calling for Shea’s termination saying, “If he won’t resign, you need to fire him and appoint a Commissioner and senior police leadership committed to, and capable of, obeying civilian authority and enforcing the law.”

Unfortunately, due to the timid leadership of Mayor de Blasio that is unlikely to happen—without serious public pressure. If Mayor de Blasio was a strong leader Shea would've been given the boot already, for repeatedly contradicting him.

For example, Mayor de Blasio has expressed support for the City Council’s recent passage of a law banning chokeholds. Commissioner Shea has called this law "incredibly reckless."

Here, Shea is telling us he thinks chokeholds are fine, even after Eric Garner—and George Floyd. How can chokeholds and kneeling on someone's back (as was done by officer Francisco Garcia a few months ago) be considered good policing?

Shea is obviously a champion of the bulk of white police officers who feel they should be exempt from any form of accountability, particularly when it comes to brutalizing Blacks, which they feel should be done at their discretion.

Commissioner Shea is a prime example of why American policing is corruptly racist, unaccountable, and out-of-control. To have real police accountability and transparency we need honest leadership.

Commissioner Shea does not fit the bill. He should be fired immediately.

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