An unprecedented spike in gun violence and the murder of a one-year-old child are spurring some of New York City's community leaders and activists to ask for reinstatement of the NYPD's anti-crime unit.
“What we’re saying out here clearly is that we need these police on the street. We need to have that anti-crime unit — a modernized version, with some monitoring to take place. But we need their intel so we can get these guns off the street,” Herbert said. “Today, the gloves come off. To this mayor, and I’ll say it again, what’s happening in New York City … the blood is on your hands.
The unit was disbanded and its 600 officers were reassigned last month at the order of Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. It's believed he was acting on command of Mayor de Blasio.
The anti-crime unit was made up of undercover, plainclothes cops assigned to each precinct and to city housing. Their primary mission was getting people who commit gun crimes and their weapons off of the street.
Some activists and civil libertarians demanded the end of the unit because its officers were involved in more shootings than other NYPD units.
“It has had a particularly problematic reputation among our clients and among the community for being hyper aggressive about policing,” Jennvine Wong of the Legal Aid Society told CBS2.
At the time the unit was being disbanded police supporters warned that the result would be a wave of violence.