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Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly on Sunday slammed the current mayoral candidates for not taking strong stances against crime — as he called last week’s broad-daylight attack on an Asian woman in Manhattan indicative of a city in decline.
Kelly — who served two stints as the city’s top cop, most recently from 2002 through 2013 under Mayor Michael Bloomberg — weighed in during an appearance on John Catsimatidis’ WABC 770 radio show, “The Cats Roundtable.”
“As you look down the road, as far as crime-reduction in New York City, it’s a very bleak picture,” Kelly said. “There’s no light at the end of the tunnel, as far as I can see.”
Kelly, who has mulled his own mayoral run, added, “the mayoral candidates, so far, are not talking about any sort of crime-reduction.”
“It’s all about monitoring, restricting the police. I just don’t get it,” he told host Catsimatidis.
Businessman-turned-candidate Andrew Yang — who in February aided a photographer being attacked aboard the Staten Island Ferry — has called for more funding for the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force, for which he received a mixed reaction from prospective voters.
But the apparent overall lack of interest in cracking down on crime, Kelly said, does not bode well for the future of New York — and New Yorkers.
“You can remember the days when politicians would say, ‘Hey, I’m tougher on crime than my opponent,’ ” said Kelly. “Now you don’t hear any of that. It’s very much a concern for citizens in New York.”
As an example of the type of crime taking hold in the runaway city, Kelly cited last Monday’s brutal mid-day beatdown of a 65-year-old Asian woman on a Midtown Manhattan street.
“It kind of made you sick,” Kelly said. “It was happening so blatantly at 11:40 in the morning.”
Brandon Elliot, a 38-year-old convicted killer on parole for the murder of his mother, allegedly started pummeling Vilma Kari on West 43rd Street without provocation while yelling anti-Asian slurs and the message, “You don’t belong here!”
Elliot — who, a fellow resident at his Midtown homeless shelter has claimed, is mentally ill — faces charges including assault as a hate crime.
“I think it’s indicative of a much deeper problem. That is, the huge number of people who need mental-health assistance on the streets of our city, roaming free without any sort of professional help,” Kelly said. “These are the people who are pushing subway riders onto the tracks. They’re the ones that are creating assaults. They’re the ones that are aggressively panhandling on the streets.
“We need something done. As far as I can see, there’s nobody even talking about this issue.”
Kelly also noted that no fellow New Yorkers physically intervened on Kari’s behalf — or at least called 911.
“You would like to see citizens who would engage,” he said. “But at the very least, you want them to call 911, and they did not do that, as far as I know.”
In fact, a security guard who witnessed the attack locked himself behind his building’s door rather than step in, video shows.
“It depends on your physical condition, your age, your size, as to whether or not you’re going to get involved,” Kelly continued. “But certainly call the police. And that wasn’t done.”
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