Police Commissioner Shea to leave at end of year
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea and First Deputy Commissioner Ben Tucker have put in their retirement papers for the end of the year, multiple news sources reported on Thursday.
Shea was appointed as police commissioner by outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio in November 2019. Both have long records of service with the NYPD, with Tucker’s going back to 1969.
While no further information was available on Tuesday, the resignation may be related to Mayor-elect Eric Adams’ statement that he planned to appoint a woman as police commissioner, which would be a first for the city.
Although Adams himself was a police officer for 22 years, his advocacy as leader of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, in which he often spoke out against police brutality and racial profiling, put him at odds with police “brass” at the time.
When Commissioner Shea was appointed, crime in the city was at a historic low and kept going down. But when the COVID-19 pandemic began, however, several categories of crime began to go up.
Shea and Mayor de Blasio criticized the court system for the rise in crime, a view refuted by two prominent Brooklyn lawyers.
“It sounds like someone who doesn’t know how the court system works,” Arthur Aidala told the Eagle, targeting de Blasio. Michael Farkas added, “Violent criminals aren’t shooting people by the dozens every week now because they think the courts are closed. The courts aren’t even closed.
Shea’s NYPD also came under criticism because of the conduct of some police during the Black Lives Matter demonstrations following the killing of George Floyd — including a well-publicized incident in which a police vehicle began driving into a crowd of protesters in Brooklyn.
In addition, Commissioner Shea disbanded the NYPD’s Anti-Crime Unit, a plainclothes detail that was criticized for a disproportionate number of police shootings. Adams has vowed to reinstate the unit as a crime-fighting tool, despite protests from activists.
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