Biden Visits New York City Amidst Rising Crime Tide

In News

President Biden will visit New York City and participate in events to curb crime. The visit comes in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of two New York Police officers, Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora, last month.

In Summary

  • On Thursday, President Joe Biden will visit New York City, hosted by Eric Adams, the city’s recently elected mayor. 
  • The Justice Department is developing strategies to combat illegal gun trafficking and violent crime.
  • Parts of Biden’s crime agenda are stalled in Congress, and his efforts to overhaul the country’s policing system have stuck. The White House withdrew Biden’s first nominee for ATF director last month.
Mayor Eric Adams. PHOTO COURTESY

Biden, Mayor Eric Adams scheduled to visit a Queens crime prevention center.

Biden will visit New York City on Thursday & take part in crime-fighting events as part of an effort to demonstrate that his government is responding to a national wave of violent crime.

Biden will be hosted by the city’s newly elected mayor, Eric Adams, a former police officer who rose to power on a platform of anti-crime that echoed many of the president’s long-stated ideas. Biden has made a point of cultivating a connection with the new mayor, courting him in the Oval Office in July and maintaining regular contact.

The visit is replete with symbolism: the leaders will pay a visit to a police headquarters to express their support for officers and tacitly reject the “defund the police” agenda advanced by some on the party’s left. Additionally, the leaders will visit a Queens crime-prevention facility to demonstrate their support for alternate methods of diverting people away from violence.

“I want him to acknowledge then see what I refer to as the rivers that feed the sea of violence in New York City and country,” Adams said Thursday morning during a CNN interview ahead of Biden’s visit. “We need to stop the flow of illegal guns into our city. They continue to stream from firearms dealers across the country.”

The visit comes in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of two New York Police officers, Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora, last month.

When asked why Biden chose to visit New York, a White House official briefed reporters Wednesday evening under the condition of anonymity stated: “The president is going to New York City because it is a community that, like many other cities across the country, continues to see an increase in gun violence as a result of the pandemic.”

Woman Holds Sign Of Support For Police . PHOTO COURTESY

Justice Department moots a crackdown on illegal guns and violent crime.

The Justice Department plans to announce actions to combat illegal guns and violent crime in connection with the visit — though the measures will be similar to those previously touted by officials.

Biden had already vowed a crackdown on “ghost guns” — kits that enable purchasers to construct handguns without a serial number — and the Justice Department had issued a proposed rule last year imposing new limitations on such weapons. Thursday, the department announced that it would begin teaching prosecutors on ghost gun-related concerns. In addition, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives would designate a ghost gun coordinator in each field division.

According to a Justice Department statement, Attorney General Merrick Garland intended to direct US attorneys to prioritize prosecutions of individuals who criminally sold guns used in violent crimes while also taking other steps to work with federally licensed firearms dealers to prevent gun crime.

The department stated that it would produce a policy “explaining how responsible behavior by federally licensed weapons dealers may factor into its enforcement decisions — encouraging self-reporting of noncompliance and other proactive behavior that helps prevent tragedy.”

Aspects of Biden’s anti-crime program have been locked in Congress. His attempts to pass a comprehensive revamp of the country’s policing system have stagnated there. Additionally, lawmakers have not accepted Biden’s request for a new $500 million for community policing and intervention programs.

Additionally, the president has not put an ATF director, a critical role for coordinating anti-gun trafficking activities. In September, the White House withdrew his initial candidate, David Chipman, amid bipartisan opposition to his gun-control stance.

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