NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There has been a stunning and shocking wave of lawlessness on the subways.NYPD Investigating Pair Of Deadly Shootings In Queens
New York City transit cops were on duty patrolling the subways Monday, but you have to ask, where were their brother and sister law enforcement officers when those mini-motorcycle drivers brazenly drove whole hog onto an F train recently? Or when unidentified graffiti artists struck again over the weekend, decorating 11 cars of two E trains with their distinctive mutli-colored palette?
— NYC (@NYC911) February 17, 2020
“We are seeing things that we haven’t seen and or heard of for decades,” said security expert Manny Gomez.
“Why?” asked CBS2’s Marcia Kramer.
“Obviously this is a situation that has been festering and growing for a couple of years now, where people, bad guys in general, feel it is OK to commit crimes,” Gomez said.
Gomez, a former cop and a former FBI agent, puts the blame on Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s doorstep, saying the perception of many cops that hizzoner doesn’t support them makes them less aggressive, Kramer reported.
20 Jamaica train cars hit with graffiti over the weekend according to Joe Campbell. The truth is if graffiti artists have the time to do all this work, then there’s more than enough time to sabotage the system or equipment in other ways. This @MTA @NYCTSubway system isn’t safe. pic.twitter.com/WXVHVrLXy5
— Progressive Action (@progressiveact) February 17, 2020READ MORE: Police: Man Stabbed In Head With Machete After Argument At Walmart In Kearny, N.J.
“Cops are being very protective of themselves, of their jobs, of their pensions and of their income,” Gomez said. “The feeling for a lot of cops is, hey, don’t be as aggressive as you could and perhaps should be because these are the repercussion if something goes sideways… the police know the mayor doesn’t support them.”
MTA Chief Safety Officer Patrick Warren says riding a motorcycle on the subway is “alarming for other passengers” and “completely unsafe.” But he insists major incidents of subway graffiti are down, and a MTA spokesman insists subways are safe.
Riders reserve judgment, especially when it comes to the motorcycles.
“Terrified,” one said. “Riding motorbikes onto the train is not a cool thing.”
“I think we need more security just so people will get tickets,” said another rider. “When I ride the subway I want to feel safe.”
“There should be more cops,” said another.
“Mr. de Blasio’s has a lot on his plate and I think it has to start there and filter down,” one rider said.
De Blasio was in Nevada campaigning for Bernie Sanders. A spokesperson did not return requests for comment.
The NYPD says the E motorcycle and graffiti incidents are criminal acts that will “never be tolerated.”MORE NEWS: New York Weather: CBS2’s 9/25 Saturday Morning Forecast
But the NYPD disagrees with the MTA about major graffiti incidents, saying their records show an increase: 19 trains attacked so far this year, compared to 16 in 2019.