NEW YORK — Overall arrest numbers have decreased since Commissioner James O’Neill’s decision to fire Daniel Pantaleo on August 19, police said Wednesday.
“The men and women out there are doing the job. They’re keeping the city safe,” said Chief Terence Monahan, who was asked about arrest numbers at a press conference addressing security for this weekend’s J’Ouvert festivities.
Monahan said the department has seen a decrease in the number of arrests, mainly misdemeanors, adding the department encourages officers to make those types of arrests with discretion.
He implied gun-related arrests and arrests for crimes involving violence have not seen the same decline.
“They’re not going to make the city any less safe,” he said, in reference to police officers. “I know they’re upset, but they’re doing their job as well as they’ve ever done.”
On Wednesday, the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York announced resolutions of no confidence in Mayor Bill de Blasio and O’Neill as a result of Pantaleo’s firing, noting that the PBA’s delegate assembly unanimously approved the non-binding measures.
“The unjust termination of P.O. Daniel Pantaleo was merely the final straw: both [de Blasio and O’Neill] have displayed an appalling pattern of malfeasance and nonfeasance that disqualifies them from continuing to serve in their current offices. Neither can hope to regain the trust or confidence of New York City police officers. They must resign or be fired.”
Pantaleo was fired on August 19, more than five years after the death of Eric Garner.
“It was an extremely difficult decision…it’s not something that I could make over a few hours,” O’Neill said at the time the termination was announced.
“I’ve been having to think about this since the day I was sworn in as police commissioner.”
Garner died on July 17, 2014, after police attempted to arrest the 43-year-old father of six, who was allegedly selling loose cigarettes illegally on Staten Island.
PIX11’s Ayana Harry and the PIX11 Web Team contributed to this report.