On Thursday night, five men walked up to a father and daughter in Brownsville, Brooklyn. They pointed a gun at them, told the father to leave and then brutally gang-raped his 18 year old daughter. The brutality of the crime is horrific. This kind of crime was supposed to be a thing of the past, as Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg made New York City the safest city in the United States. Today, New York remains relatively safe, but there are signs that Mayor Bill de Blasio is not continuing this trend.
News of the rape did not emerge until Saturday night at 8:30 pm, a full 48 hours after the shocking crime occurred. The NYPD seemingly waited to release news of the gang rape until the moment when both the public and the press were most likely to not be paying attention to the news. It was shocking, especially after revelations that Rahm Emanuel had pushed back the release of politically damaging news in the Laquan McDonald shooting. This makes it all the more important to know who knew what and when.
Was the rape news release timing a ploy to protect the de Blasio narrative that 2015 was the safest year in New York City history? Was it timed to minimize the risk of people openly asking if New York City was becoming more dangerous? Both are pretty rational assumptions, as de Blasio has been hyper-sensitive to any accusation that he is reversing the progress of Giuliani and Bloomberg, and returning us to the “bad old days.” When he and his lackeys celebrated the 2015 crime stats, critics countered that murders, rapes, and robberies had actually increased. Of course, the administration dismissed these inconvenient facts as nothing to worry about and not important.
Sure, the delay in the release of the news could be explained away by de Blasio. He could say that the situation was fluid and that he didn’t want to release information until he had all the facts. However, that’s hard to fathom, as de Blasio and his administration have a history of providing facts in a hurry. When de Blasio buddy Bishop Orlando Findlayter was arrested during a traffic stop late at night in February 2014, officers discovered Findlayter had two outstanding warrants for his arrest. Moments after the cell door clanged shut, de Blasio was on the phone with the NYPD and getting his supporter sprung from jail. What about when de Blasio was quickly responding to the shooting of a police officer just this past Saturday at 2 am?
Equally astounding was a statement made by de Blasio’s police commissioner William Bratton just two days before the brutal Brooklyn rape, advising women to avoid rape by employing the buddy system. It was a form of victim blaming. De Blasio, who claims to be a proud feminist and advocate for women, did nothing to discipline Bratton for his incredibly stunning “advice” to women on how to not be raped. Two days later that “buddy system” failed to protect this girl.
Where is the outrage from the National Organization of Women, who endorsed de Blasio in his 2013 mayoral bid, on his silence about Bratton? Afterall, they did say of de Blasio, “Throughout his years in public office, Bill de Blasio has been a dedicated advocate for the rights and well-being of the women and girls of New York City.”
Their statement should have included an “*” that said, “unless it is politically inconvenient.”
We are two years into de Blasio’s reign of error and poll after poll shows that New Yorkers are very concerned about the decline in quality of life and increased crime. This outrageous act perpetrated against the father and daughter has shaken New York City. The de Blasio administration should not be playing politics with it.
Evan Siegfried, a Republican strategist and columnist, is president of Somm Consulting. You can follow him on Twitter at @evansiegfried