NYPD chief decries ‘total breakdown’ of justice after police assault by illegal immigrants

On. Jan. 27, a group of illegal immigrants allegedly assaulted two NYPD officers who were attempting to break up a disorderly crowd in Midtown Manhattan.

Illegal immigrants attack two New York Police Department officers outside a migrant shelter in New York on Jan. 27, 2024, in a still from video. (New York Police Department)

New York Police Department (NYPD) Chief of Patrol John Chell said on Friday that the release without bail of five illegal immigrants who allegedly assaulted two police officers demonstrates a “total breakdown” in the New York justice system.

“Well, the consequences — that’s the issue in the city right now,” Mr. Chell told NTD’s “Good Morning” program.

The NYPD chief of patrol noted that over 2,000 police officers have been assaulted or faced attempts in the last year. In his view, criminals feel emboldened to attack police because there are “no consequences.”

On. Jan. 27, a group of illegal immigrants allegedly assaulted two NYPD officers who were attempting to break up a disorderly crowd in Midtown Manhattan. The two officers were treated at the scene for minor injuries, including facial cuts and body bruises.

“Disgusting event,” said Mr. Chell. “This should not happen in our society.”

Police arrested four people at the scene; a fifth was arrested on Jan. 29, and two more were arrested on Jan. 31. Their charges include second-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, obstruction of governmental administration, attempted assault on a police officer, and gang assault.

The fifth suspect, who was arraigned and released without bail on Jan. 29, upon leaving the courthouse, gave the middle finger to cameras.

This action added “insult to injury,” said the NYPD chief of patrol.

Of the seven arrests made, only one suspect was remanded to jail with bail, according to Mr. Chell, who expressed bewilderment that neither prosecutors nor the judge requested bail for some of the suspects.

“The judge had an opportunity to step in and use her power and say, ‘No, I’m going to remand them,’” Mr. Chell said. “But they walk out the door, and they add insult to injury. You saw a couple yesterday who were arrested, who literally gave us the finger to our city, our country, our community.”

“It has to end,” he added, saying that elected officials and the judicial system need to be challenged “to set consequences.”

In previous remarks to reporters, Mr. Chell criticized the release of the suspects as “reprehensible,” saying the “cowards” should be “taken off our streets” and in jail.

Three suspects in the alleged assault are “still outstanding,” and while authorities have photos of a further four suspects, police don’t know their identities, said Mr. Chell.

Fox News reported, citing unnamed police sources, that four of the suspects had boarded a bus to California paid for by taxpayers. Mr. Chell confirmed that some of the suspects boarded a bus but did not mention how the tickets were paid for.

“We have three or four of them on a bus somewhere driving around this country. So this is a total breakdown in the system. This should not happen,” Mr. Chell said.

Police and unions frustrated by justice system

Prosecutors refrained from seeking bail for the suspects due to ongoing efforts to collect additional video evidence, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

The incident, captured on video, depicts a group of men kicking and striking the officers as they attempted to disperse the crowd.

The Police Benevolent Association (PBA), the largest police union, has strongly criticized the state’s justice system, expressing frustration at the suspects’ release without bail.

“Attacks on police officers are becoming an epidemic, and the reason is a revolving door we’re seeing in cases like this one,” said PBA President Patrick Hendry. “It is impossible for police officers to deal effectively with crime and disorder if the justice system can’t or won’t protect us while we do that work.”

This incident comes amidst a backdrop of heightened concerns about illegal immigration in New York City. Officials reported that more than 150,000 illegal immigrants passed through the city’s shelter system in less than two years, with over 67,000 currently residing in emergency shelters.

Illegal immigrants are being housed in hotels turned into makeshift shelters within walking distance from popular attractions, such as Times Square, the World Trade Center memorial site, and the Empire State Building.

The issue of illegal immigration has been a growing challenge for the city and Mayor Eric Adams, with a substantial increase in arrivals under President Joe Biden’s border policies.

In response, the city initiated a program in October offering one-way plane tickets to illegal immigrants willing to leave.

Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat and supporter of New York’s sanctuary city status, suggested that deportation should be considered for the group of illegal immigrants suspected in the assault.

“If someone commits a crime against a police officer in the state of New York and they’re not here legally, it’s definitely worth checking into,” she stated, the New York Post reported.

Ms. Hochul emphasized the importance of ensuring the safety of law enforcement officers, stating, “These are law enforcement officers who should never under any circumstances be subjected to physical assault. It’s wrong on all accounts and I’m looking to judges and prosecutors to do the right thing.”

Lorenz Duchamps contributed to this report.


Caden Pearson | The Epoch Times