Assemblyman William Colton (D-Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights) is continuing to push for more law and order, with his latest sharp words coming after an unprovoked attack against an elderly woman in his district.
According to police reports, an 89-year-old woman was approached from behind by two men who allegedly slapped and set fire to her shirt. The incident was reported just before 7 p.m., July 17 near 16th Avenue and 77th Street in Bensonhurst.
“No seniors, or any citizens, should be terrified to walk the streets of NYC. Criminal acts like these cannot be and will not be tolerated,” said Colton.
This attack comes as Brooklyn continues to see large increases in murder, burglary and auto theft.
While crime continues to be comparably low in police precincts covering Colton’s district, overall crime in Brooklyn South, which includes the precincts in Coltin’s district, has skyrocketed.
According to NYPD stats, murder is up more 70 percent for the year with 29 victims thus far this year as compared to 17 at this point last year. In all of 2019, there were 34 victims of murder. Corresponding to this figure, there has been a 102 percent increase in shooting incidents with 103 reported incidents of shooting so far this year compared to 51 at this point last year.
Brooklyn North is also seeing dismal numbers with shooting incidents increasing more than 90% and murder by almost 58%.
“Any individuals that commit a criminal act must be condemned and brought to justice. The two suspects that made this attack on the vulnerable senior must be apprehended, and it is essential that the District Attorney’s office will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” Colton said.
How to deal with this increase in violence, and what is causing it, is a place of contention for Brooklyn lawmakers, who disagree on what the proper course of action is, but for Colton it’s pretty simple.
“The NYPD must be properly funded, and they must get back the authority to do their job to protect the people of NYC,” he stated.
“As time passed by since the city council voted on Mayor De Blasio’s proposed budget cuts to the NYPD, it became more and more evident that it was the biggest mistake ever made. We see more and more homicides, and robberies in our city because our law enforcement hands have been tied,” he said.
New York City lawmakers approved an austere budget that shifted $1 billion from policing to education and social services in the coming year, after the demands were made from protestors and activists after the murder of George Floyd.
The cuts to NYPD remain controversial, some opponents saying that the billion-dollar slash was not enough, others- like Colton- saying that police funding should not be reduced with increasing crime rates.
“I will fight for justice and I will protect all the citizens no matter what their ethnicity or their skin color to the best of my ability. We are all human beings, and no one should be afraid to walk the streets of our great New York City. Lawbreakers must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Defunding the police is not the answer. It sends the wrong message to the criminals,” said Colton.