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Police Commissioner's Remarks at West Side Terror Attack Update Press Conference

November 1, 2017

Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill: Good morning, everyone. Now, regarding our joint NYPD-FBI investigation into yesterday's truck terror attack on the West Side of Lower Manhattan — today, we're going to give you an update on some of the things we've learned overnight. You're going to get an update on the injured from FDNY Commissioner Dan Nigro, then you'll hear from Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo.

I want to thank for being here Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance; Joon Kim, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York; Commissioner Roger Parrino is here from the New York State Homeland Security; and then Joe Esposito from OEM — the Commissioner of OEM — is here also. I'd also like to thank the State Police for being here today, and for everything they did yesterday.

Chief of Department Carlos Gomez is going to lay out some of the security plans we have in place in light of yesterday's event, and ahead of Sunday's New York City Marathon. He'll also give you an update on the traffic situation on the West Side.

Bill Sweeney, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Office of the FBI, will make a statement, and then John Miller, Deputy Commissioner of Intel and Counterterrorism, will share with you some of the details about the work that we're doing on this case.

You have to understand that this investigation is still in its infancy. We do not yet have all of the answers, and there are details today, and there will be more down the road — and not everything we're going to be able to share with you. You understand that. You know, in terms of casualties, this was the worst terror attack in New York City since September 11th, 2001.

I want to take a minute to commend all New Yorkers. I want to commend everyone who lives in, works in, and visits our great city because no one in this city is complacent. We saw the strength of that resolve last night with the very large crowds that attended the annual Halloween Parade in The Village. And we'll see it again on Sunday, when 50,000 compete in the marathon and another 2.5 million people cheer — cheer them along the route.

The NYPD, the FBI and all of our law enforcement and private-sector partners remember our past. And we work very, very hard together, each and every day, to prevent the type of thing that occurred here yesterday. What happened yesterday was not OK. It will never be something any of us will just accept as inevitable. Since 9/11, we — again, along with our partners at the local, state, and federal levels — have disrupted or prevented two dozen plots against New York City. Countless lives have been saved.

But none of that matters when eight innocent lives are taken by a criminal committing a cowardly act — driving a rental truck. We are working hard to get to the bottom of exactly what happened yesterday, and why. And we're working tirelessly to prevent anything like this from getting repeated.

I tell you as often as I can that true public safety is a shared responsibility. Law enforcement, government agencies, are doing what we can. And the men and women who work with us do it better than anyone anywhere in the world. But we need everyone's help. There are more than 8.5 million people in New York City, plus all the people who commute in every day and all the tourists. That's a minimum of 17 million extra eyes and ears and gut feelings that can remain vigilant on behalf of all of us. I talk about this all the time. If you see something out there that doesn't look right, if it makes you uncomfortable, you have an obligation to make a call or to flag down a police car. At least give us the opportunity to investigate that.

I want to thank everyone for their ongoing help today, and every day. And thank you again for the swift response yesterday by the NYPD officers and New York State Police, the firefighters and EMS workers, who did a really great job under the circumstances.

Now right now, let me introduce FDNY Commissioner Dan Nigro. Dan's going to give you an update on the injuries from yesterday. Dan?