A police union stated the incident demonstrated that recently adopted laws have given criminals “free rein of the streets” in the five boroughs of New York City.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) released a 17-second video on Twitter, showing a black mugger brutally beating up an elderly white cyclist in broad daylight in Brooklyn on 24 July.
Police said the suspect approached a 68-year-old man, who was riding a Citi Bike, at around 09:05 am. The footage shows that after the victim had been forced to the ground, the perpetrator, dressed in all grey, punched and kicked him multiple times.
The assailant then turned the man’s body to grab items out of his pocket, reportedly including a cellphone and a silver necklace. The victim suffered a broken wrist and nose, according to the police report.
WARNING: The following video is GRAPHIC and may offend sensibilities.
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) July 25, 2021
The Detectives’ Endowment Association said in a statement that the incident could’ve happened because of “failed laws that allow no consequences and embolden criminals”.
— Detectives’ Endowment Association (@NYCPDDEA) July 25, 2021
There has been a major debate over the so-called “defund the police” movement, as people who back the idea call for cutting the police budget and abolishing some structures in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hand of a Minneapolis police officer and the BLM protests which ensued.
The calls for the initiative, however, come amid a spike in homicides across US cities – the phenomenon president Joe Biden described as the “gun violence epidemic”.
Meanwhile, Democrat Eric Adams, who is currently leading in the NYC mayoral race, said in June that the prerequisite to prosperity is public safety.