Former Republican New York City mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa sounded off Tuesday after a gunman opened fire in a crowded subway car along the D, N and R lines in Sunset Park, Brooklyn earlier in the day.
Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, a volunteer group of citizens who have a history of patrolling the subways and other problem spots in the city, told Fox News that the day’s events and the city government’s continued refusal to fully support law enforcement and tough criminal justice policies will only exacerbate the southbound flight.
Sliwa, who grew up in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn, several miles east of where the shooting occurred, said the NYPD is still working with $1 billion fewer in resources than it was prior to the Defund the Police movement’s rise.
“We never were able to get the cops back that we so desperately need, when this maniac attacked these people,” he said.
“And remember he had a Glock and he fired three shots after letting out canisters of gas in a crowded, closed train as people scramble for their lives,” he added, calling commuting on the MTA’s underground network “like crawling into the belly of the beast each day” amid the crime spike.
He noted that the 36th Street station is the convergence of three important lines – running from Coney Island, Bay Ridge and Gravesend, all north into Manhattan.
Sliwa said a station of that importance and size should have reliably working surveillance cameras, which were reportedly inoperable when the shooting occurred.
“[The MTA] is a system that is falling into the abyss, and the politicians just keep cycling – crime in the subways up to 100 percent. You’ve got to take the handcuffs off the police, flood the system – do stop and frisk, and return some civility to the subway system,” he said.
“If you don’t, New York City will never recover — and more residents will be fleeing to Florida and Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee,” he said.
Fox News further reported that police in New York and Philadelphia are seeking a “person of interest” identified as 62-year-old Frank James.
A U-Haul truck reportedly connected to James was found to have an address on it from a facility near the Hunting Park neighborhood of Northwest Philadelphia, reports said late Tuesday.