PRESS RELEASE

Suozzi: Hochul Failing to Lead During Crime Crisis in New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Suozzi Demonstrates Contrast to Hochul with His 15-Point State Action Plan to Tackle Crime

Glen Cove, NY – Congressman Tom Suozzi, Democratic candidate for Governor, today took Governor Hochul to task for not taking immediate action to address the crime crisis that has engulfed New York, particularly New York City. Suozzi criticized Hochul for staying silent on the Manhattan District Attorney’s controversial prosecution policy, fixing bail reform, and voting against common sense gun safety laws as a member of Congress.

“Hochul’s lack of action is an abdication of leadership and endangers police and innocent New Yorkers across the State,” said Suozzi. “She has not put out a plan to comprehensively address the crime epidemic, she is silent on critical issues, such as bail reform and the Manhattan DA’s controversial policy to not prosecute some crimes, And her ultra-conservative record in Congress is wholly out of step with how we need to tackle gun violence across the state.”

Standing in front of the NYPD’s 32nd Precinct in Harlem, Suozzi outlined his 15-point State Action Plan to tackle the crime crisis in contrast to Hochul’s slow response and insufficient inaction.

In the month of January, a total of 5 NYPD officers have been shot, including one officer slain and another fighting for his life. Last week, an 11-month-old, two days away from her first birthday, was struck by a bullet in the Bronx, and earlier this month a 19-year old young woman was shot and killed while working at Burger King in Manhattan.

During her short tenure in Washington, Hochul voted against several bills that would have strengthened gun safety in New York and prevented the flow of firearms from entering the state. Hochul earned an ‘A’ rating from the National Rifle Association and took campaign contributions from the gun lobby. Among the legislation that Hochul voted in favor of was the federal bill to allow people to bring guns across state lines from outside of New York, a major challenge recently cited by New York City Mayor Eric Adams in his Blueprint to End Gun Violence. She also bragged about her work to make it easier to purchase a firearm when she served as Erie County Clerk.

In addition to her conservative record in Congress, Hochul has since refused to take a position on whether she agrees with the Manhattan District Attorney’s new controversial policy of downgrading armed robbery to a misdemeanor and not prosecuting resisting arrest.

On January 11, Suozzi called on Hochul to convene an emergency meeting of the five District Attorneys in New York City to establish a set of law enforcement standards to ensure that New York State’s criminal laws are being equally enforced across the five boroughs. Under the New York State Constitution, the Governor, as Chief Executive, is charged with upholding the laws of New York and has the authority to place the DA with the Attorney General if the District Attorney fails to carry out their responsibilities to enforce the law.

To date, however, Hochul has not stated whether she believes the Manhattan DA meets this threshold or whether she agrees with the new directive. Suozzi has cited the Manhattan DA’s policy as a “green light for chaos” and released a television ad that made clear he would remove any DA as Governor who did not enforce the law.

Hochul has also refused to say what she will do to fix bail reform or if she will persuade the legislature to act during the legislative session. Suozzi faulted her for refusing to say whether she believes judges should have more discretion or if judges should be permitted to take dangerousness into account.

“It is Governor Hochul’s responsibility to persuade Democrats in the State legislature to fix bail reform,” said Suozzi. “She must lead, that’s what an executive does, and it’s high time she comes out of hiding to tell New Yorkers where she stands on the critical public safety issues facing our residents.”

Suozzi State Action Plan

The plan outlined by Suozzi will ensure urgent intervention, get guns off the street, and help vulnerable people to prevent future crimes. In the immediate term, the plan would:

  • Fix the bail reform law by allowing judges to take violent offenders off the street
  • Remove any DA who refuse to enforce the law
  • Implement a Targeted “Stop, Question, and Frisk” Program that Respects Civil Liberties using only by properly trained, certified officers; Using statistical monitoring on use of force, racial data
  • Improve juvenile justice records so judges have enough information on prior offenses
  •  Sufficiently fund DA offices so they can implement the Discovery Process overhaul

As a way to remove guns off the street, the plan would

  • Create a tri-state commission to stop the flow of illegal guns into New York
  • Expand ShotSpotter to more areas of New York
  • Expand gun buybacks in coordination with community groups
  • Fully implement NY’s Red Flag Law with an effective enforcement mechanism
  • Unite behind common sense federal legislation

The plan would also help vulnerable people to prevent future crimes. This would:

  • Implement Nassau County’s revolutionary “No Wrong Door” program statewide
  • Expand Kendra’s Law to allow judges to get troubled people the help they need
  • Get better social services to children and families, especially in underserved areas
  • Hire more social workers who can provide compassion and tough love to struggling New Yorkers
  • Expand the SNUG neighborhood violence prevention program

“There is no more important job an elected official needs to do than to keep people safe,” concluded Suozzi. “New York deserves a Governor who will make tackling the crime crisis a top priority.”

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