Transcript: Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner O'Neill Host Press Conference to Discuss Crime Statistics

April 3, 2017

Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill: Good afternoon, everyone. Thanks for being here once again. I’m just going to make a few remarks and then Mayor de Blasio’s going to speak, and then I’m going to go over to Dermot Shea. We’ll go over March’s crime numbers for you and the first-quarter crime numbers too, then we’ll get to questions. 

I want to commend the men and women of the NYPD for what continues to be a great effort in fighting crime and keeping people safe. A large part of our success is attributable to our new way of conducting business – our neighborhood policing philosophy. Week after week, month after month, we’re going an even better job of identifying particular issues that are specific to individual neighborhoods. With the public’s ongoing help, we’re solving those problems and removing the criminal element from those communities. 

We also have to pay attention to what’s going on outside New York City, as well – all around the globe. I’ll tell you, the NYPD’s doing it better than anyone else anywhere. Recent attacks around the world further prove that acts of terror are not a matter of if, but when. There were two explosions in the Russian subway system this morning that killed at least 10 people and injured dozens more. So, we always have to be prepared – that’s the simple reality of living and working here in New York City, the high profiled terror target in our nation, if not the world. So, 24 hours a day, our NYPD [inaudible] monitor an ever-changing threat system, which affects every movement we make as an agency in terms of deploying proper resources to the right areas. To do this, we’ve assembled what we believe and know to be the finest police intelligence and counter-terrorism unit anywhere. It’s important that we’re here on Randall’s Island today – our base of operations for our Critical Response Command. 

I want to thank Chief of Counter Terrorism James Waters, and Deputy Chief Scott Shanley, who heads up CRC, for the great work that they do and their people do every day. Here at CRC, we’ve had hundreds of officers asked with securing infrastructure and sensitive locations all around the city. Those demands change constantly based on our intelligence gathering and sharing. The goal of our counter-terrorism efforts is exactly the same as traditional crime fighting. Not only do we need to keep people safe, we need to keep them feeling safe too. That’s one of the reasons we have such a show of force on New York City streets every day. All of these cops have access to long guns, they roll out fitted with heavy vets, helmets, and the latest technology. And, in conjunction with ESU and SRG, they’re ready to take on any emerging threat, including active shooter situations. That’s just [inaudible] outward facing display of public safety. The work doesn’t end there. We have many people constantly working behind the scenes to leverage technology to identify aspiring terrorists and to track individuals who want to harm our city and our country. 

As you heard me say before, we can’t do any of this alone. This is where our relationship with our State and federal law enforcement partners are critical. We also know that public safety, whether it’s traditional crime or the evolving fight against terrorism, is a shared responsibility. 
Much of what I’m talking about and much of what you see here today is supported through the nearly $200 million New York City gets annually in the way of federal Homeland Security grants. That funding appears the be threatened this year. Two weeks ago, I was in Washington DC to meet with some of our Congressional leaders about the topic. They were productive meetings. I’m still very optimistic New York City will get what it needs to continue fighting crime and terrorism, and continue keeping all New Yorkers safe.

Mr. Mayor?

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Thank you very much, Commissioner. Commissioner, congratulations to you, and First Deputy Commissioner Tucker, and Chiefs Gomez, Shea, Boyce – all the NYPD leadership. 

We have a really extraordinary report today regarding the month of March, regarding the first quarter of 2017, and, when you look at it in historical perspective – a record-breaking quarter. And it makes the point that the safest big city in America keeps getting safer, thanks to the good work of the NYPD. This quarter is extraordinary – what it means, again, in historical perspective – this is the safest quarter in the modern era. Again, the first quarter of 2017 has ended up being the safest quarter in the modern era of any quarter of a year in New York City history – and that’s an amazing achievement. Index crime is down 5.2 percent; murder – down 10.3 percent. This is compared to the same quarter last year. Shootings down – 22 percent compared to the same quarter of last year. So, overall – extraordinary achievement. 

Look at the month of March – this is particularly important – the safest March in modern history. That included an 8.8 percent drop in index crime compared to last March; a 35 percent decrease in murders compared to last March; a 28 percent decrease in shootings compared to last March. So, if you look month to month or quarter to quarter – very steady improvement by the NYPD. All of the tools that are not in place – the 2,000 more officers, the better technology, the better training, the neighborhood policing strategy – they’re all coming together to make a big impact in neighborhoods all over the city. 

Now, you’re going to hear from Chief Shea on more about the numbers. In human terms, this is crucial not only for the lives that are being saved and the families that are avoiding the pain and agony of crime striking them, but also because with success the door opens for further success. And the ability of NYPD to continue to pinpoint those who are behind the violent crime – every additional takedown of gangs, with every additional success getting a weapon off the street, it limits even further the work that the PD needs to do to get at the people who are creating the crime and creating the problems in our city.  So, this is a kind of momentum that has a huge impact, and we can see the trust that’s developing between police and community as a result of crime going down, as a result of neighborhood policing, and because people know there’s going to be real accountability with body cameras coming in over the next couple of years. All of this is adding up.

Now, as the Commissioner said, we’re here at the Critical Response Command headquarters and we’re here for a reason – because this has been one of the investments that has made a huge difference. New York City needed this kind of dedicated anti-terror force. We put a lot of our own resources into building it up. We, for years, could depend on federal resources as well. It was well understood that New York City was the number one terror target in the country, and of course that was a matter of national security, not just a local matter. 

I, like everyone else, was shocked to see the Trump budget make such huge cuts to national security and Homeland Security – $667 million overall cut from Homeland Security programs, including the ones that specifically keep New York City safe, including our ports and our subways. So, it is troubling to see this attack in St. Petersburg at the very same time as our federal government is trying to cut back the Homeland Security funding that helps protect our subways. New York City, as the Commissioner said, receives almost $200,000 million in that funding. 

Now, it’s more than ironic that the President talks tough about terror and then is taking away the tools we need to stop the terrorists. It just doesn’t make sense. It’s going to hurt New York City. It’s going to hurt his hometown. And maybe he’s been away from New York a little too long if he thinks we’re not going to fight it, if he thinks we’re going to take it laying down. New Yorkers will not take this laying down. 

We have asked the federal government to help us, knowing the enemies of this country are focused on New York City. There’s no reason in the world that should be considered only a local responsibility to stop terror here in New York City. So, we’ll keep fighting these cuts. We’ll fight with Senators Schumer and Gillibrand – alongside them – our Congressional delegation. I’ll be working with mayors and leaders all over the country who also are affronted by these cuts. This is going to be an example of the kind of cut in the Trump budget that’s going to meet with huge opposition. And, you know, when we first started talking about this, it was before we had seen the outcome on the Affordable Care Act. I think what’s clear since that played out is that this President’s plans can be stopped. A lot of people were emboldened by the fact that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act was stopped. So, we’re going to see a lot of energy to stop these budget cuts as well. 

We need to protect our city. We need the Critical Response Command at full strength. We need the training. We need the technology that the federal support has allowed us to have. We’re not going to take a step backwards, especially in a moment where we’re in greater danger than ever. We’re going to fight for the resources we need. 

A few words in Spanish –

[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]

With that, I want to turn to Chief Dermot Shea to give a full report. 

Deputy Commissioner Dermot Shea, NYPD: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Good afternoon, everyone. Last year, we said that we believe crime could go lower. We are now witnessing the effects of our sustained focus, on the recidivist population within New York City as our strategies take hold – and some of the strategies just mentioned. Overall, index crime for March – down 8.8 percent; year-to-date, crime is now down over five percent in New York City. I like to think of this – we talk about precision policing – it’s become an efficient precision, combined with community engagement – and that’s the neighborhood policing piece. All of these strategies are coming together quite nicely. 

As always, we could not, and cannot, and do not do it alone. Many of our partners on the prosecution side – the prosecutors throughout New York City – we could not do what we are doing without them. 

I’ll begin with some statistics regarding gun violence. In March, there were 48 shooting incidents – that’s down from 67 in March of 2016 – that’s a 30 percent reduction. Year-to-date, we’ve seen now 23 percent shooting reduction for the first three months of the year in terms of shooting incidents, and that’s on top of the lowest year recorded for shooting incidents last year, with 998. It’s not five straight months where we have come in with fewer shooting incidents than the same month the prior year. 42 fewer shooting incidents, more importantly, this year in the first three months – the first quarter. That translates to 65 fewer people shot this year. And, as expected, our success in combating this gun violence is translating, as we hoped it would, [inaudible] reduction in homicides. 

So, homicides now – 18 recorded in March – that’s down from 28 in March of 2016 – that’s a 36 percent reduction. Year-to-date, we have now recorded through March 31st, 61 homicides in New York City – that’s down from 68 – that’s a 10 percent reduction and that’s the lowest recorded number of victims in the CompStat era for the first three months of the year. So, that’s something we are especially proud of. 

This strategy regarding gun violence does not stop there. When you look at the homicides, we are also down in stabbing homicides this year. Eight fewer victims of homicides committed by stabbing or cutting instruments, and that coincides with an overall reduction in New York City this year of stabbing incidents – down six percent over all. So, a lot of positive news.

When you look at the first quarter, moving off of violent crime into the overall violent crime, or index crime, and talk about geography, every borough of New York City was down in crime for the first quarter. Every category of major index crime – all seven categories – for the first quarter were down. And now, when you zero-in and you look at total complaints, murders, shooting incidents, robberies, and burglaries, you saw the lowest numbers that we have seen in the first quarter since we started keeping these types of statistics in the early 1990s. The momentum that we have spoken about many times is building. I don’t think there’s any surprise anymore – I mean, there’s certainly not at this podium, but when you talk to the men and women throughout the Department, and the different units, and the realignment of Bob Boyce’s detectives, this is what is expected, going forward, and we’re very pleased with what we see so far. 

Commissioner O’Neill: Thanks, Dermot. We’re ready to take some questions. 

Question: So the LA Times reported last week that Latinos in LA are reporting fewer sexual assaults and domestic violence out of potentially tying that to immigration crackdowns. I’m   wondering if you are seeing any decreased reporting citywide of domestic violence or sexual assault in certain communities.

Deputy Commissioner Shea: I think it’s probably a little too early to say. It’s something we’re definitely aware of, the possibility of that. I think that when you look at the crime statistics in New York City – though, this has been a steady trend down for a number of years now, so definitely something to be aware of, on the lookout for, but too early to draw any conclusions. I would just say that the overall trending whether its violent crime, overall index crimes has been pretty consistent. The biggest thing that I take out of these numbers now – this is a quantum leap. When you look at the shooting reductions, it is a significant drop in this first quarter. This is not a continuation of a trending down. This is solid strategies really taking place, taking hold, and we’re seeing that momentum.

Mayor: Let me add to that. I’ve spent some real time trying to make sure that the question you’re raising – that we’re not starting to have that problem. I’ve talked to a lot of community leaders, including folks who work with immigrants, our own Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Affairs, which really tries to keep their finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the communities, obviously elected officials. I’m not hearing that, I’m happy to say. I am concerned about it for sure, but I’m not hearing it. And I think part of why is – and I give Commissioner O’Neill a lot of credit – you remember very early on after the executive order the Commissioner sent written instructions to the men and women of the NYPD about the fact that we’re going to continue our policies and that includes not asking documentation status.

I think that sent a very powerful message out that was received in communities all over the city that people continue to go forward to the NYPD and report crime and know they would be safe from deportation. So far I think – and let’s be clear, also that as we’ve said that policy is a continuation of a policy that goes back through my predecessors including Mayor Giuliani. So, I do feel that here the message has been received by many, many immigrants that it is safe to come forward to the NYPD, and we certainly don’t see any major change.

Question: Where are we with hate crimes because last time we had the conversation they were up?

Chief Boyce: They remain up right now – 144, this is to April 2nd versus 72 last year. And that’s a 72 difference, so it’s a 100 percent increase. Again, driven by the same things we’ve been seeking out for some time – the fact that these swastikas are throughout the city, and that’s what it is right now. Very little violence, thankfully, but that continues and anti-Semitic is the most right now with 123 percent increase. We do see an anti-black – it’s 14 versus 5, which is a 180 percent increase. So we see an uptick in the last couple weeks on that as well.

Question: How do you address this issue?

Chief Boyce: We investigate each one. The Hate Crimes Task Force has bumped up several individuals [inaudible] go out immediately and make arrests if we can. The swastikas are particularly problematic for us because sometimes they’re in transit, they’re in buildings. We don’t always have video. It’s a difficult case to prosecute – to investigate and prosecute. So that’s how we’re doing it, increasing our investigative powers to get it done. And again, engage the community to get their help on these things.

Mayor: And Juliet, just to add that it’s part education and it’s part consequences, and obviously those who commit violent acts, the overwhelming likelihood is NYPD will get them. That’s been proven over and over again, even some cases that were very complicated and took a while, they still got the people involved. And you remember the threats that were so prominent a few weeks back. Some of that took a lot of investigation, too as Bob can attest, but they did find the people behind it. So I think one of the things that we constantly have to do, it’s the good side of the equation is education. The tough side of the equation is showing consequences, and I think the NYPD has done a very good job on the consequence side of the equation.

Question: For Chief Boyce, you said that the percentage of homicides with shooting is down, but can you put some kind of finite quantities of that [inaudible] that weren’t –

Deputy Commissioner Shea: It’s about 30 percent this year. I could tell you that usually when we take a look at the homicides that occur in New York City, roughly 55 – maybe 59 – in that range of the homicides occur by gunfire. We’re sitting right now at 41 percent, so this is not unexpected. It was anticipated. As we refine the strategies and the gang takedowns and really zero in on those individuals that unfortunately still are carrying guns and using them in New York City, as we get more and more successful there, that can only drive that homicide number down. That’s the momentum I speak about, but shooting homicides down roughly about – based on the ones that occurred this year – roughly 30 percent.

Commissioner O’Neill: If you need hard numbers we can get them for you, too.

Chief Boyce: I actually have it here. They’re down 23 versus 33, down, exactly what you said 30 percent, down 10. The cutting as well down 8, and that’s down 40 percent. So that’s what we’re seeing.

Question: For Dermot Shea, you talked about focusing on recidivism and people who are driving crime. Do you see any correlation between immigration status of people who are committing these crimes given the comments of the White House and ICE that there needs to be a focus on people’s documentation [inaudible]?

Deputy Commissioner Shea: I think we look at all crimes and who’s doing them. Immigration status of an individual is not something that I’m looking at when I’m analyzing crime. We’re trying to put strategies together to combat the crime that’s taken place on the streets of New York City and in the homes, and we think we do a very good job of that. But in terms of what the individual’s immigration status – that wouldn’t be in the equation initially of what I’m looking at.

If I could I didn’t mention transit and I should’ve. So when you speak of recidivism on transit, one area of New York City that the crime was up in March was within our transit system, so we began March down in crime in two months and we had a bit of a rocky patch, particularly in Brooklyn and the Bronx – grand larceny related in transit – and it’s a perfect example of what one or two recidivists can do in a very short period of time. We had a couple of individuals who were going around either doing pickpockets or taking property off sleeping passengers, and in the very short period. And thankfully Joe fox’s personnel were on it and apprehended the individual, but in literally a two week period we saw a bump in transit crimes citywide.

Right now we see transit crimes citywide about 37 crimes up for the year through three months and the increase in grand larcenies surpasses that, so in a very short period of time one or two individuals can really, you know, cause a momentary blip or a spike.

Mayor: Let me just jump in. Azi, you were – I think at the beginning of your question – referring to Attorney General Sessions’s comments, is that right? Yeah, I feel bad for Jeff Sessions. You know he attempts to create a state of fear and tell people there’s about to be a crime wave, and then literally you know the next day the biggest city in the country reports a massive decrease in crime, so we should really look in the face the facts.

This city – this is the greatest city of immigrants in the entire country. Obviously, Sessions, part of what he’s trying to do, is trying to create the notion that immigrants are the source of more crime. That’s just not true. It’s a consistent effort to demonize immigration in general that the president and Sessions have been undertaking. But look at these facts. We’re the ultimate city of immigrants – half a million undocumented people, half a million permanent residents – a million people.

Crime is going down markedly, and because there is cooperation between immigrant communities and the NYPD, the NYPD consistently is getting the information they need to stop crime. It just destroys Jeff Sessions’s entire narrative, and it really makes no sense what he’s saying. We know there’s some parts of the country that are having some problems for sure, but we also know that this approach is the way of the future and we’re proving it in the biggest city in the country.

Question: He actually answered my question. It was about [inaudible].

Question: I wanted to ask – there’s an activist called Watch Patrol that released audio recordings today – appeared to show police officers celebrating after they arrested a member of the group – Jose LaSalle. Wondering if you’ve heard the audio recordings, if you intend to investigate them, or any response to the celebratory reactions to the arrest of this man.

Commissioner O’Neill: I haven’t heard the audios yet. If Mr. LaSalle has an allegation he should come forward with it so we can investigate it.

Question: [Inaudible] hate crime figures for March compared to the figures for February [inaudible]?

Chief Boyce: I just have the year-to-day ones. We can get back to you with those figures.

Question: Can I ask you what you think, in terms of the overall strategies that you’re putting in place, how will plans as you understand them right now to close Rikers Island affect what you’re doing right now? And in particular, Commissioner, do you support the notion that certain crimes like prostitution [inaudible] –

Unknown: [Inaudible]

[Laughter]

Question: – in plain view, do you think you [inaudible]?

Commissioner O’Neill: We’re reviewing the commission’s report. It’s important that we do that. But if you just take a look at where we’re trending as far as our arrests – are down, our summonses are down. So, our enforcement continues to go down and crime continues to go down also. So, it’s not – I don’t think there’s a need for us to change our strategies particularly as to Rikers being closed down. I think we have a very effective strategy right now.

As far as the crimes – I don’t think there’s any need to go through them crime by crime but we’re taking a look at each and every one of them.

Mayor: And let me just add – I think this extraordinary achievement by the NYPD in the month of March further validates the notion that we can achieve the most central element of the plan to close Rikers which is reducing crime and reducing the number of people who get arrested and go to jail to begin with. I mean these numbers are outstanding. And we intend to keep going in this direction. So, coincidental but very timely validation of the vision of ever-fewer people ending up in our jail system.

Commissioner O’Neill: David, Dermot’s going to talk about the arrest numbers.

Deputy Commissioner Shea: When you look at the arrests, we’re down about ten percent this year, David. We’re down about 25 percent in the last – probably since 2013. This year, through three months, we’re at roughly almost 25-year lows of arrests. So, it’s not more arrests. We’re constantly learning and tweaking strategies but one thing that I am very confident in – it’s not about more arrests, it’s about quality. It’s about the results – successful prosecutions. Those are far more important to me than numbers on a sheet – how many arrests. I like the place we are right now with our strategies. Again, I think it’s coming together quite nicely across the entire department. So, whether you talk about stops, whether you talk about criminal court summonses – hundreds of thousands fewer that just several years ago when you talk about the arrests.

I think we are in a very good place. And, again, I started and I’ll end with the prosecutors. We could not do what we’re doing without them, and constant collaboration between State, federal, special narcotics court – cases that we are doing to have the greatest impact. That’s the efficiency in the precision that I alluded to.

Commissioner O’Neill: Anybody that didn’t ask a question yet? In the back –

Question: Commissioner, is there a motive for that shooting last night in the Bronx?

Commissioner O’Neill: Alright, you want to –

Chief Boyce: Yeah, sure. In regards to the homicide of Margarita Franco which actually happened at about 2:30 am in the morning in the 4-7 on East 214th Street. We accounted for her actions that evening and that day up to a point where she talked to two males during that time. We spoke to two of those males. We were able to get some video on that street at that time. We see – if you see the video, and it’s graphic so I’m not going to release it or we’ll see what part we can release – we see a male walk up to her. She’s on the phone at that time. As she’s walking she speaks to the man briefly and they begin to walk together. At a very short time after that, she walks away then walks back from him, and he shoots her one time.

She is shot in the left side of her head, and she expires at that scene. Now, this male – we’ll put out a better description of him. It’s fairly fresh. We’re still looking for other video in this case. But right now, we still haven’t determined the motive at this point.

Question: [Inaudible] Rikers say that they see young people affiliated with gangs at Rikers. I’m wondering if there’s a possibility that closing Rikers might make your jobs easier –

Commissioner O’Neill: Can you expand on it a little bit?

Question: I’m saying that young people picked in crew – kind of lighter crew activity spend a few days, some time on Rikers, and end up having to affiliate with more heavy gangs there because there’s danger –

Mayor: Let me caution, then Commissioner will take it over. I think there is still a bit of a dissonance. We’re going to have a jail system under any scenario. And if folks are incarcerated, there’s always that potential. I think sometimes the stereotype became, you know, Rikers was the only place there’s a problem and every other jail was just plain fine and no attention was paid to the other three jails. And I would argue the entire jail system needs to be changed. The culture needs to be changed and everything we do up front to try and stop sending people to jail and to keep someone – particularly young people – from ending up in jail, that has to continue to be worked on.

So, just to remind you, you know, our vision says, if we can get the 5,000 people incarcerated – that’s unprecedented, amazing achievement, it’s still 5,000 people who will be incarcerated at any given moment. And so, those possibilities, that in the context of incarceration some bad influences could be present, that part doesn’t go away in my opinion.

Commissioner O’Neill: Just any long-term solution that helps us keep crime moving down, I think we’re, obviously, all in favor of. But if you look at our gang and crew takedowns – and we had 100 of them in 2016 – we’re just going to need to take a look at who we’re arresting. These are people with significant criminal histories.

Question: Commissioner and also Mayor – you both mentioned a couple of times the instance today in Russia but what is the NYPD specifically doing in reaction to what’s happened?

Commissioner O’Neill: I’ll get Chief Waters to give you a detailed explanation of what we’ve done, and it was immediate.

Mayor: Yeah, as Chief comes up I just want to commend him. The response, Dave, is always immediate – immediate strategic changes are made to reflect the nature of the incidents. So, in this case, it was an incident in the subway so we reinforced the subways. Now, obviously, in terms of targets associated with Russia and the Russian government, there was particular efforts to protect them. Chief –

NYPD Chief of Counterterrorism Operations, James Waters: Sir, so I think it’s important to start by – important to note the speed of which we deploy based on events that happen around the world. So, open-source explosions in the subways in Russia – we immediately look at what’s going on, what we can get from the media as well as our analysts go right to work in both the counterterrorism and the intelligence bureaus. If we have a liaison post which we don’t in this case but we would immediately reach out to the International Liaison Program. And we quickly deploy. The speed at which we deploy our CRC resources or redeploy them based on where they were when they started out the morning at five and six o’clock is important.

So, we moved right away to transit locations. We moved some of our long-gun teams into the transit subway systems, platforms, 42nd Street, Rock Center, etcetera. We also redeployed our dogs – our Vapor Wake k-9 dogs to those locations. And this is all to compliment the already robust presence of the Transit Bureau Police who are already out there riding the trains, working the platforms, using their transit dogs to keep New Yorkers safe.

Commissioner O’Neill: And this doesn’t require a phone call from me to Jim Waters. Chief Scott Shanley is already doing this. I called up Jim and he said, “This is already done.”

Chief Waters: It’s all reflex. It’s automatic.

Question: For either you or Dermot – Chief Shea. We’re three months into the year, the first quarter [inaudible] very good numbers last year [inaudible] with shootings and homicide [inaudible] optimistic you’re going to beat that?

Commissioner O’Neill: I’m always optimistic. You know why? Because I’ve been in this position for almost seven months now. I was Chief of Department for two years. I’ve been a cop for 35 years. I know the nature of the men and women who work for this police department, and the men and women that work in law enforcement in New York City. So, I’m optimistic we’re going to be able to keep pushing those numbers down.

Question: Just want to go back to the St. Petersburg thing and the reaction to it. So, what’s the message directly to the riders on the subways? What would you tell them? How safe is it? How many people – I don’t know how many people but [inaudible] I assume undercover working, etcetera?

Commissioner O’Neill: The message is that we are prepared for any eventuality but again this is shared responsibility. Everybody has to take a look at what’s going on around them and if they see something that makes them uncomfortable they need to make affirmative steps to make a call to 9-1-1, flag down a cop, stop a cop, and let us properly investigate it.

Mayor: And, Rich, I’d say further – New Yorkers should always remember we have the strongest counter-terror capacity of any police force in America, and that is every day out there to protect people. And now we have focused more of our resources on the subways to add to that protection. So, people many see the officers with long-guns, they may see the dogs. That should be to them reassuring of how much presence we have out to protect them.

Question: [Inaudible] assume that there are plain clothes people working –

Commissioner O’Neill: Yeah, it’s not just about what you see.

Question: [Inaudible] responsibility for the St. Petersburg [inaudible]?

Commissioner O’Neill: [Inaudible].

Question: With the weather getting warmer, a lot of people come back to New York who might travel to other locations. President Trump might be one of those people back here. If the Mayor is accurate that there could be seen more [inaudible] protesting or challenging his budget cuts, how is has the NYPD prepared for a possible Trump visit? What might [inaudible] around it?

Commissioner O’Neill: I think as everybody knows in this room that’s been in New York for any period of time that we are prepared. We are the best in the country at handling large scale events whether they’re pop-up or whether they’re pre-planned. I think we’re in good shape.

Question: Question for Dermot Shea on recidivist: How are you – can give us some specifics on how you’re focusing on that?

Deputy Commissioner Shea: You know, we don’t – I’ll go back about three or four years when – put into this place and some of the things that we looked at. People involved in disproportionate amount of shooting incidents; people arrested for firearm multiple times in New York City and sometimes still on the street; recidivism pattern, multiple shooting incidents. These are all themes that we have built into what we do day in and day out now. And to the question about going further; Bob and I were just speaking beforehand. Every day I am more impressed with the work; whether it is patrol, whether it is Intel, whether it is the detectives. What we have been preaching for the last two, three-plus years is becoming similar to the counterterrorism efforts – automatic. Our system is in place. We identify who is responsible for the most amount of crime. When somebody that has been tagged – whether you’re talking about overdoses or whether you’re talking about robberies or you’re talking about burglaries, who is at the most shooting scenes. What phone number shows up repeatedly when you talk about fatal overdoses? We prioritize every single thing we do to have the greatest impact in pushing whatever it is we’re trying to control further down. And you know, you can’t talk about any of this without talking about technology and the amount of resources that have been put into the NYPD in the last couple of years. It really has built a solid ground floor for us to do all these things.

Question: On Friday when the crime stats for City schools were released it didn’t include any data about warning cards that are now being given out by the NYPD in 71 schools. I’m wondering if that is something the Department is keeping track of – of warning cards? And if so if data about how many are given out is going to be made publicly available?

Commissioner O’Neill: I’m going to have to get that Grace. I’m going to have to get that for you. I don’t have that with me.

Question: For the Mayor, you talked about the Department of Corrections and redemption yesterday in your visit to churches. I was wondering if you think – I mean, do you think every person that is held at Rikers can be redeemed? Do you think that is a realistic goal to have?

Mayor: I think the overwhelming majority can be. People who are sentenced and serve time on Rikers by definition have not done the worst crimes; if you only have a sentence of less than a year. And our job is to try to turn them around. And again, I would argue that is in everyone’s interest. It is the moral thing to do. It conforms with our faith traditions to attempt to help people back on the right track. It is the smart thing to do in terms of reducing crime and reducing jail population. It is the smart thing to do in the name of taxpayers to not end up – I’ve seen people cost society a huge amount. Nothing cost more than incarceration. If we can provide some short term help to get someone back on track; to help them contribute to society again and never go back to jail, I think that is absolutely the right policy. And I think it will work in a vast majority of cases. I think there is a lot of research that shows that. Are there going to be some individuals for who it doesn’t work? Of course, but it is absolutely worth the effort in my opinion.

Question: To build off of someone else’s question: I wanted to get more specific about the proposal to decriminalize prostitution and whether or not you think that that specifically would be a good idea.

Commissioner O‘Neill: Right now, and again we are reviewing all of this, but I have met with a lot of advocacy groups and many people that are arrested – they are victims, not all but many. And this is something that we have to make sure that we walk down this line carefully. If it is just a civil penalty I think it might impede our ability to identify the people involved in it and move forward with an investigation. So, this is something that we’re not – we have an open mind to, but we have to review it further.

Question: It could mark an increase in prostitution if that were to go through?

Mayor: I’ll just comment – I’m the non-law enforcement person, but I think that the concern at the jump is that if you only have those civil penalties that it is harder to stop these crimes. And they are all crimes, so again we will be reviewing the report but there are real challenges with that proposal.

Question: Commissioner, could you actually expand on when you say it might be more difficult to either prosecute or identify [inaudible].

Commissioner O’Neill: Yes, we don’t have the ability to properly identify people when we are using the civil option. We don’t have the ability to bring them back into the station house. So many people involved in this are victims and we want to make sure that we can get them the right resources and get them the right help.

Question: [Inaudible]

Commissioner O’Neill: Correct.

Mayor: And Maura, again I am going to be the non-law enforcement guy and these guys can correct me, but you also wouldn’t be in a situation necessarily to isolate a prostitute; and let’s say in this case, sadly, a typical situation a woman in some cases a victim of sex trafficking, maybe someone from another country brought here. You wouldn’t be able to create a situation where you could isolate her from her captors and from those controlling her life. So, again I think the impulse behind these recommendations is humane ones certainly, but I think there are some real world considerations that have to be taken into account here too.

Commissioner O’Neill: And it is going to take some time to review the Commission’s report.

Question: Chief Boyce on the 6-7 homicide.

Chief Boyce: On Saturday, April 1st at about 23:40 – 11:40 in the evening we had two males at a soccer game at Erasmus Hall High School. They see each other – they are known to each other – this is an ongoing dispute between these two men over the affections of a female – actually it’s the victim’s wife. Alright – this goes back ten years to Panama. It has nothing to do with the soccer game at all. This was an ongoing beef. They engaged in a physical fight in the parking lot directly thereafter the game. One male, the perpetrator in this, we have identified him already. His name is Jamie Bennett. We are seeking him now. He’s got four prior arrest, two of which are sealed. He has – he takes a nine millimeter weapon and shoots the victim here, Louis Gonzalez at least once causing his demise. Mr. Gonzalez runs down the street and collapses. This male takes off. We’re seeking him right now. This is an ongoing dispute. It has nothing to do with the soccer game at all.

Question: [Inaudible] I believe in your remarks yesterday at one of the churches you lamented the fact that press reports described the [inaudible] history of the murder victim. And you sort of questioned why people needed to look at that. I’m wondering if you have spoken to police officials who have access to that information about releasing it.

Mayor: I have not spoken to police officials. I would say this is a case where everyone involved should be sensitive about the situation. If someone is a victim of such a heinous crime I don’t think it is appropriate to be talking about what were very minor run-ins with the law. And so, no I don’t think it’s the place of anyone to be promoting that information to media and I don’t think it is the place of the media to be talking about it. I mean, I think this is about certain deference to humanity here. But it also was just not an accurate portrayal of the individual. His life was a perfectly good and decent life even if it had a few blemishes.

Question: I wanted to ask about the sentencing of Randolph Holder to life in prison today.

Mayor: You mean the killer of Randolph Holder.

Question: That’s right – the killer of Randolph Holder. Commissioner, would you care to comment if you think in this particular situation, perhaps, death penalty would have been more appropriate?

Commissioner O’Neill: I’m not going to talk about the death penalty. I would just like to thank the Detective Bureau; I would like to thank the Manhattan DA’s Office for all the hard work that was put in on this case.

Mayor: As we go to other topics, just a quick comment: we made this press conference well into the afternoon today to make sure all of you had recovered from the Inner Circle and the after party and the after after party and [inaudible] went well into yesterday. And I want to just note some striking performances as we turn to questions. I don’t think Sonia Rincon is here. She deserves great credit. Two Rap Sensation, Jillian Jorgensen from now on known as J-Jo.

[Laughter]

Her new career – it has been great working with you in the media, good luck.

[Laughter]

Disco Diva, Juliet Papa, thank you for your stirring rendition. You’re interpretation of Laurie Gainer was exceptional.

And I want to finally single out a man – an actor of tremendous sensitivity and extraordinary ability, Rich Lamb, whose moving portrayal –

[Laughter]

– really commendable Rich.

I finally feel like someone understands me.

[Laughter]

Okay, questions.

Question: Commissioner, you’ve repeatedly said that the City and PD will only cooperate with ICE in regard to a limited category of people defined as serious or dangerous found under a city law of 170 crimes. The Daily News reports today that – I mean it sounds like PD can and in fact does collaborate with ICE on a much wider scale, sharing information for criminal – for people who are not on the 170 list, a broader pool, and I’m wondering if you can confirm that this is in fact the case?

Mayor: I’ll pass to the Commissioner. I think Deputy Commissioner is going to join us. The key word in your question – “made it sound like.” From what I’ve heard it does not tell us anything new and does not indicate any inconsistency.

Commissioner O’Neill: Commissioner Larry Byrne will speak about those two issues specifically.

Deputy Commissioner Byrne: [Inaudible.]

Commissioner O’Neill: You got to push the button.

Deputy Commissioner Byrne: Can you hear me now?

So, to date this year through Friday, March 31 for 2017, the NYPD had received 109 detainer requests from ICE. We honored zero of them so far – none. Only three qualified under the part of the law that allows us to hold the person for 48 hours while ICE gets an arrest warrant. In all three of those instances, the person was transferred to the custody of the Department of Correction before the 48 hour time elapsed. So we’ve honored zero detainers. As for the two things reported in the Daily News, the one person had a previous serious felony conviction, had been deported, and had re-entered the country illegally. So under our law again, we could’ve held that person for 48 hours and notified ICE. ICE chose instead to use their federal arrest powers to arrest him at the court house. We don’t control what ICE does, but when we ran his criminal history his outstanding warrant and history came up. The second individual also had a prior felony conviction and had a notation that there was a warrant for deportation open. ICE was contacted to determine whether that was the type of warrant under our statute that would make us have to turn him over to ICE, or that it wasn’t. It turns out it was civil warrant, not a criminal warrant, so we took no further action with ICE, but it was an inquiry about the outstanding warrant or the status, which was permissible under our statute because they appeared to qualify for being held. And that’s what happened on Friday.

Question: [Inaudible] detainer law, but the part of the Daily News story is about that contact – that sharing of information, this phone call that will tip off ICE.

Deputy Commissioner Byrne: Yes, let’s be clear on what tips off ICE. We’ve tried to explain this a number of time. If someone is in our custody that means we’ve arrested them. That means when we take them back to the facility, we fingerprinted them. Regardless of your immigration status, once we fingerprint you, your fingerprints go into a database in Albany. If ICE has flagged that person for notification for whatever reason, ICE is going to know as a result of the arrest. Not as a result of any contact from the NYPD, and that’s the same for every federal, state, and local law enforcement agency whether they’re looking for someone here illegally or a US citizen who has murdered someone in Pennsylvania. What triggers ICE’s notification is the finger printing and sending them is Albany. Everybody is finger printed when they’re arrested.

Question: Is there concern that further communication particularly flags people as in that second –

Mayor: If someone qualified under the law – I mean, again, respectfully you’re a little bit promoting a position here. We think our law is just and balanced. I have talked about the two extremes. One extreme would to not cooperate in any way shape or form on any arrest of any kind, no matter how bad the crime. We think that’s wrong. We think that would make us less safe. The other extreme, which conforms to some of what you hear from Attorney General Sessions, would be that no matter the offense, even if someone stole a load of bread, they should be deported; you know, if someone went through a stop sign, they should be deported. I don’t believe that. I believe we should determine what are the offenses that are serious enough to lead to deportation, and that’s why we did in an open – we had an open process in the city three years ago. We passed the law. There are 170 offenses. It was never legally challenged by anyone, and it’s a third way in this whole national discussion because it protects safety of people here without demonizing all immigrants and recognizes that we shouldn’t tear a family apart over a very minor offense, which as you know is the vast majority of offenses. If anyone commits an offense, and by the way the vast majority of immigrants are law abiding to the extent that they commit offense like any other people. They tend to be very low level offenses. We don’t want to see people deported on that. But in these incidences – in these two incidences, the individuals in question qualified under our law, and if we had clarified that the warrants were appropriate – it was appropriate to turn them over – that’s what our law says to do. And if they weren’t appropriate warrants we didn’t turn them over, but then the other piece of the equation, which I think is being under counted here is ICE exists, and it always has existed, and it has the ability to go out there and do its own independent action. We’re not in a position to stop that. The central point here is that we set the ground rules for that which we have to – the role we have to play in this equation, and we do it in a consistent way and that is part of why people can have confidences in their dealings with the NYPD if they happen to be an immigrant that there’s a set of ground rules that are being kept to.

Question: Mr. Mayor, when you announced the preliminary budget earlier this year, you talked about, you know, a lot of the uncertainty that was out of Washington and now you have a state budget that is most likely –

Mayor: More uncertainty.

Question: So can you talk about how [inaudible] executive budget process?

Mayor: It’s a tough situation because we have a double uncertainty now, and, you know, the situation in Albany is evolving hour-by-hour, but the last I heard before coming in here – you know, a budget extender is moving, sort of freeze the action for certainly a matter of weeks. It sounds like it will freeze things past the point of our executive budget, so I think you know that’s going to again encourage us not to speculate on the outcome in Albany because it’s not clear, and it’s going to encourage us certainly not the speculate on the outcome in Washington because we’ve said that one is going to be subject to a huge fight that’s going to play out for months. Although we haven’t made our final decisions, I think the expectation will be we’re coming to come in with a budget that puts those two pieces aside for now – the Albany and Washington situation – and talks about what we intend to do while we’re sorting out what all of that means. But no it’s not helpful, and we certainly want to see the situation in Albany resolved as quickly as possible.

Question: In November, there’s a ballot referendum for a constitutional convention that would allow voters to say yes or no that would then open up the entire document to make some changes [] election law. Do you have a position on it?

Mayor: Yes, I oppose the constitutional convention for the simple purpose of post-Citizens United world that process, if there were a constitutional convention it would be dominated by moneyed interests, and I’m very, very concerned about any outcome that would come from that. You know the way the state constitution works it’s a question that is asked on a regular basis to see if the people in this state want to have such a convention. If we’re talking about a society that did not allow any money in politics, I could see some good that could come out of a constitutional convention, or if we had a level playing field, yes I do think we might be able to use it to get some election law reform, but in this environment I greatly fear the negatives that could occur and unfettered spending by powerful forces. And I just don’t think it’s worth the risk. And by the way, we should be able to get election reform through the normal legislative process anyway. I’m certainly going to push very hard for that in the legislatives ession.

Question: [Inaudible] now that you’ve had a chance to familiarize yourself with the details of the Lippmann Commission –

Mayor: Oh, is that what you think? You are editorializing, sir. Let’s try again, “have you had an opportunity?” No, I haven’t.

Question: You’re saying you still don’t know –

Mayor: Yes, David. I haven’t read the report, David. I know it may be central to your life, but I have other matters going on at the same time. Continue.

Question: Well given that you announced on Friday the historic commitment the close Rikers Island, one of the most salient in that plan is that they would cite jails at five locations. Three of those locations already had a footprint as you know in Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. You made a commitment, and you said you wanted the fewest jails possible. So that plan would then have you put two jails – it sounds like it would be a great sort of way for you to make good on the commitment that you made to the fewest jails possible. You’d have one jail on Staten Island and one in the Bronx –

Mayor: I disagree. Again, you’re editorializing. No, it doesn’t seem like a great idea to me.

Question: [Inaudible.]

Mayor: That much I got, but I have not read the report. Literally, of course I know some of the pieces of it, but I haven’t read the report, and I’m not familiar with the details. Here, I’ll answer the point though. I said about 100 times on Friday –

Question: Would you commit within the next five years, assuming you have a second term, to starting the citing process for those new jails [inaudible.]

Mayor: I said that on Friday, too, so let me say the two things I want to say. I said on Friday the fewer jails the better. I’ll say on Monday the fewer jails the better. So I do not agree with the Commission’s report on that matter. They’re suggesting five new facilities. I don’t think that makes sense because it would involve expansion of facilities in Brooklyn and Manhattan, a facility on a site in Queens that exists, but does not have an active facility, and new facilities in the Bronx and Staten Island. I just disagree with that. I want the fewest new jails possible. And I don’t start with an assumption on where they’re going to be. For a lot of reasons, including there has to be a process with the City Council and with the members of the City Council. And I think everyone in this room is way too familiar with the land use process, with the ULURP process, and the role the City Council plays. We have to figure out where we can site them that the Council will buy into. And I think for that reason, among others, the fewer the better. On the five-year point – yes, absolutely, because the five-year point is when we intend to get to 7,000 people in the jail system.

So again to summarize from the other day – 9,300, I think we said, was the number on Friday. In our overall jail system, we need to get that to 7,000. At the point of 7,000, we have to be into the siting process. At the point of 5,000, that’s when we have the last inmate come off of Rikers. So, it’s just toward to the end. If the people retain me, it’s just toward the end of my time here.

But I actually, David, would like to start that discussion with the Council in the coming weeks because I think there’s energy and momentum right now. I want to figure out with the Council members what they want to do and what they are willing to do. And if we could come up with a vision sooner, I’d rather have it sooner. But I need it by the point we get to 7,000 inmates.

Yes?

Question: So, in the interim, in the meantime, what will you be doing on Rikers Island because there was a report from the federal monitor today that found that part of the [inaudible]?

Mayor: I’ve not seen that report, so I’ll speak broadly. I have not seen that one, and I don’t want to assume one thing or another about it. The process of reform of Rikers Island has been going on for three straight years. Up through the end of 2013, there was no process of reform on Rikers Island, period. But we have incessantly changed the situation – different approach to recruiting officers, different approach to training officers. We’re increasing the number of officers markedly to reduce situations where conflicts arise because there isn’t enough personnel present to keep the situation under control. We’ve taken strong disciplinary action against both officers and inmates who utilize violence. Obviously, security cameras throughout the facility. New efforts to reduce the weapons and contraband coming in. We’re moving in Albany right now. And we are hopeful that we’ll get scanners that will increase our ability to stop weapons and contraband from coming. All of these things are moving simultaneously. They have to keep moving. That was part of my point the other day. While we’re trying to figure out the best pathway out of Rikers, we’re still going to be there for 10 years or more, and we have to continue the work of reform.

Grace?

Question: Following up on that, I noticed that you wanted to get a conversation with the City Council to expand a lot of discussion over the weekend about the possibility of opening a prison on Staten Island. Are there any assurances that you can give the people of Staten Island one way or the other about the chance that a prison will be going there?

Mayor: My view is – I’ll speak for myself, I can’t speak for the City Council – but I have no intention of opening a jail on Staten Island because we need the fewest facilities possible. And so we know that very few of our inmates come from Staten Island. I want to see this move forward, and I want to figure out the fewest possible locations that allow us to get off Rikers Island. And Staten Island doesn’t really play a strategic role in that. So, that’s not my plan. I’m going to sit with the Council members and figure out what we can agree on that makes sense as a path forward.

Question: Mayor, sort of staying on this topic, the report from federal monitor – I know you haven’t read it yet, but it focuses largely on young inmates. I know that there’s been a lot of discussion about removing those inmates on Rikers Island. And –

Mayor: [Inaudible], there’s a plan to remove.

Question: [Inaudible] update on that? And with these kinds of reports coming out, are you concerned that in ten years, for the entire jail population, that [inaudible]?

Mayor: Let me say what I know and what I don’t know. I don’t have an exact date for you about the effort to site the facilities for the younger inmates. I do know we’re moving expeditiously on that. And that is separate from the plans we discussed on Friday. So that was already well in motion. From everything I understand, that will happen well in advance of anything we do related to the closing down of Rikers. But we can get you a clear answer on that. But no, we take – look, I take this situation very, very seriously. And, we can all disagree or agree on any given point. One thing I think is clear is – I’ve tried to make clear that City Hall has responsibility for fixing our jail system. And it’s not like a separate reality that we can’t – we don’t attempt – we have to own it. We have to own the solutions. It’s why we stopped punitive segregation for 16- and 17-year-olds, and then later for 18- to 21-year-olds. So you know, our vision is to get juveniles off and once for and all. We’re moving that plan right now.

Question: [Inaudible] State budget. So you’re saying you’re going to be in a position to have to make your Executive Budget without really any information about what the State budget or the federal budget will be. Is that realistic? I mean [inaudible] –

Mayor: It’s tough. It’s tough. Now I’d say a couple of things – the State situation – at least we have something to go by because we saw what – it almost came together, as you saw, a couple of nights ago. We have a sense of sort of the range of options. So I think it helps us to plan a little bit more in that context. But no, this is why there is budget modifications. This is why November has been set for a long time as the time by which we sort out a lot of stuff, including what happens in the federal budget. So, we’ll be able to be put together a budget that is realistic. We’ll have fallback possibilities by definition because the reserves [inaudible]. But it’s not the way things are supposed to happen, obviously. And it adds pressure to the process, and finally, I say the State unknowns are small compared to the federal unknowns. And that’s – that’s the piece we really need to [inaudible].

Question: So, how do you move on with your re-election campaign and make it palatable to residents and New Yorkers that they’re going to have more homeless shelters in their neighborhoods and more jails?

Mayor: Well, look, first of all, I don’t believe there have to be a lot more jails. That’s my whole point. I’ve said a few, and I mean it. I think we need just a few locations to be able to address this issue once and for all. We went over the numbers the other day – the existing jail capacity is about 2,400, 2,500. So, you know, just a few locations have to be sorted out. And that’s something we would do with the City Council through a ULURP process, where communities have a huge amount of input. And it’s something the Council has to agree on in an open, democratic vote. It’s something with a lot of checks and balances. But we’re talking about a handful of locations. And then, we’re done.

The homeless situation is entirely different. It’s – as you know, it doesn’t go ULURP – [inaudible] is something we have to determine. But we’ve also said we’re going to be closing a number of facilities along the way and that ultimately there will be fewer facilities housing all of those folks.

I think in terms of your question of how you make it palatable – you just tell people the truth. A lot of people in this city think it’s right for us to get out of Rikers Island, but you can’t do it without a few new jails. So we have to be honest with people. We’re going to be sensitive in that process. And then on the homeless shelters, we’ve got to show people that it is better than what we’ve had before. The taxpayers don’t want to pay for expensive hotels. We know that. So our plan gets us out of hotels. Taxpayers and New Yorkers, in general, don’t want to see anyone in housing that’s not good enough. That’s part of why [inaudible] get out of the clusters. And if we can keep creating homeless facilities that are for people from the same borough, and ultimately from the same neighborhood, which I really believe will change the attitude of a lot of people, and show that they can work, and show that they can be safe. Another – Julia, a huge X-factor is the NYPD is supervising shelter security. That’s really in the last year or two. That was never true before. So that’s a game changer. So I think people will come to realize it can work, but ultimately I think it’s just about leveling with people – this is what we’ve got to do to solve our problems.

Question: The Council is looking at codifying rules for legal defense funds, and I was wondering what you think reasonable parameters, contribution limits would be for such funds?

Mayor: I don’t have an assumption. I just know that there have been a variety of models for legal defense funds around the country. It’s not a new concept. It’s been around for decades. There have been viable ways of constructing them that are fair. There should be disclosure for sure. But again, we don’t know if a legislative process is going to be necessary. We have to have follow-up discussions with the Conflicts of Interest Board.

Question: [Inaudible] closer to the rules, or are any in place for campaign contributions, or to do the rules that apply for candidate [inaudible] – 

Mayor: I don’t – I don’t start with assumption. That’s – we’ve still got – it was just very recently we even got the original opinion from the COIB. And that, as I said at the time we got it, is something that we want to go back and have further discussion on.

Yes?

Question:  The MTA Board today approved the 15-month shut down of the L Train. I know that you don’t obviously have control over the MTA Board –

Mayor: Could you say that again? I’m sorry, what was that part?

Question: I know you don’t have control over the MTA Board but –

Mayor: Can we have a backdrop that says – and comes up and flashes that says the city does not control the MTA, the state does? Continue.

Question: But it is slightly shorter than the original proposed 18 months, I believe it was going to start later than originally proposed. What do you think of the fact that they approved the shutdown and the fact that it is a bit – a bit shorter than originally proposed?

Mayor: I don’t doubt that there has to be a shutdown of the L Train to fix it. I don’t like it and I don’t think anyone involved likes it, but I don’t doubt it’s true. I met with the President of the MTA to review it and it makes sense. I think everyone I know including the people effected who are the riders want the quickest plan to get the L train back and running. If that means shutting it down entirely, you know, to get that done, I think that’s what riders prefer and I certainly prefer. But we’re going to do real work with the MTA to figure out how to compensate for it. They already, I think, have some good plans for diverting riders to other lines and providing bus service. We’re going to look at what we can do to assist in that and make it as smooth as possible. And, you know, good news here is that when this all happens our city-wide ferry service will be up and running and that’ll certainly be a helpful piece of the equation. But, you know, it has to happen, let’s get it over with. Yes?

Question: When you first rolled out the smart phones for police officers, one of the things you said you’d be able to do is check identity of people right there on the street rather than bringing them down to the prescient in order to verify who they are. If police officers are able to take a fingerprint from their smartphone on the street, for whatever kind of reason, does – is that the kind of fingerprint taking that alerts federal or state officials that [inaudible] questions about [inaudible].

Commissioner O’Neill: What that fingerprint is going to do is be able to tell if someone is – first of all, who they are if they’ve been fingerprinted before, not just necessarily if they’ve been arrested, but it will give us an idea if they are wanted for any local, state, or federal crimes. Or if they’re in violation of Boarder Protection, if they’re runaways, so it will be very helpful.

Mayor: I want to just clarify on the question for everyone’s benefit. If someone has an ID verses if they don’t how it effects that equation.

Commissioner O’Neill: If someone has an ID, a legitimate ID, we don’t have to – we don’t have to fingerprint them.

Mayor: Which is why the fact that, you know, a million people have IDNYC including folks who aren’t documented is very helpful in this equation. Last call. I’ll do two more, go ahead David.

Question: Just on the mansion tax, it wasn’t part of any of the discussions, it seemed leading up to where we are now in Albany, are you disappointed, what’s the next step?

Mayor: There’s going to be more. Again from what we understand at this point, there’s an extender which means everything’s up for grabs again. And there were a lot – there was a very strong response from the people to the mansion tax and now this gives us a lot more time to build support so we’re going to stick at it.

Question: Mayor, [inaudible] fair but I read that you were booed today when you were at Citi Field –

Mayor: That’s every day at Citi Field.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: Every single time. And I think – I mean I will accepted my own personal reality, but I think most elected officials will tell you that elected officials at sporting events are running a very high risk of getting booed. But that’s okay. It was still – it was a beautiful day.

Commissioner O’Neill: Just one more thing before we go, if you’ll indulge me. Another reason why we came out here today which is an important piece of NYPD history is that not only is this the CRC Muster Room, this is also a permanent place for the locker of Police Officer Kevin Gillespie that was killed 20 years ago. So just – thought I’d let you know. It’s an important place –

Mayor: Right

Commissioner O’Neill:  – in NYPD history.

Mayor: Amen. Thanks, everyone.

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