NYPD commissioner talks shootings, violence interrupters, leadership change, NYC Pride

Local News

NEW YORK — Gun violence continues to be an issue across New York City. 

As of June 13, more than 700 people have been shot, and there’s usually a surge in crimes during the summer.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea discussed what’s done to keep New Yorkers safe, whether or not there were any major issues during primary day, gun violence, NYC Pride events and what he’s doing to prepare for a possible change in police leadership as the city will elect a new mayor later this year. 

Primary elections

Shea told PIX11 News primary day elections “went pretty smooth.”

There was one incident where someone was removed from the polling site, but otherwise, everything was “pretty uneventful,” Shea said.

As New York City awaits the final vote for who will become the Democratic mayoral nominee, Shea was asked whether or not he has spoken with any of the leading candidates about how they tackle crime and policing.

Shea said he has not spoken to any of the candidates, but he’d “be happy to now.”

With new city leadership approaching, usually a new police commissioner would come as well. How is Shea preparing? 

“I’m focused on everyday here just keeping New Yorkers safe,” Shea said. 

Violence interrupters

There has been talk of “violence interrupters” and replacing armed police. 

Shea said there needs to be a “holistic approach” and the city needs to experiment with different things.

He said the NYPD has been working with violence interrupters, but added that they will not replace the police. 

“They’re meant to supplement the policing,” he said.

Bronx shooting crossfire involving kids

Last week, the NYPD released a shocking video showing the moment two kids were nearly caught in crossfire when a gunman opened fire on a Bronx sidewalk.

Shea said investigation “remains very active” and police and detectives have been doing a lot of work.

No arrests have been made, but Shea said he “fully anticipates” arrests. 

Shea would not say whether or not the incident was gang related, but acknowledged there continues to be a “lack of consequences” for those carrying guns.

NYC Pride parade

The NYC Pride parade will take place this weekend, and about 2 million people are expected to be out and about on city streets.

Organizers did not want the NYPD at the event, but they will still be around protecting people. 

Shea said the city is starting to see big crowds and adjustments need to be made for traffic control and such. 

He also anticipates anyone participating in pride events will come out and do it safely.

Three years after Junior’s death

During the weekend, the city marked the three-year anniversary of the death of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman Feliz.

Gang violence remains an issue citywide. Has Shea seen things change? 

Shea praised Guzman Feliz’s mother for her strength over the past few years. 

He also acknowledged gun violence has increased over the last three years.

“We all have to continue to plow ahead and do everything possible to knock down this gun violence,” Shea said.

Delays in courts

An article mentioned that there were no murder convictions this year.

Shea has been vocal to reopen courts.

He said he wants the city and new administration to “look at the holistic view” of what happens when someone is arrested.

“It’s much larger than the courts,” he said. 

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