After a deadly mass shooting at a Buffalo convenience store, Governor hopeful Tom Suozzi (D-Long Island) berates Governor Kathy Hochul for saying “we’ve done a lot” in terms of her administration’s crime-fighting efforts.
“There has to be an overall plan, and it has to be front and center… You know, when I was younger I would never have said it, but now I feel it so strongly, having been at it for as long as I’ve had it: leadership is important,” Suozzi, a former Nassau County executive who faced Hochul in the June 28 Democratic primary, told The Post in an exclusive interview Saturday night.
“And this governor isn’t exercising leadership, on crime, taxes, a lot of affordability.”
The governor had pushed back against criticism of her handling of rising crime on Saturday ahead of the shooting, defending recent bail reform changes that have increased the number of offenses eligible for bail while making it easier to keep people off the hook process of detention if they have been charged with multiple crimes.
“We have accomplished a lot. I don’t expect you to hear that from my opponents because they don’t like the fact that we were successful,” Hochul told The Post exclusively ahead of the shooting, after making her first public appearance since announcing she was last COVID -19 had week.
“We changed the whole system, [and] We continue to ensure that people accused of the same crime, the same low-level crime, are not treated differently based on what they can pay,” she added.
The comment prompted a quick rebuke from Suozzi as he fought alongside fellow campaigner, former New York City Councilwoman Diana Reyna, in Buffalo.
“‘Successful?’ @Reyna4NY and I are in Buffalo, @KathyHochul’s hometown right now. Several people have just been shot in a @TopsMarkets convenience store on the East Side. Hochul refuses to make crime-fighting a priority. I will.” Suozzi tweeted.
The Long Island congressman recently unveiled a 15-point plan to combat rising crime, which included a call for Albany Democrats to pass legislation that would allow judges more discretion in incarcerating or posting bail for criminals Having charges based on perceived danger to public safety.
Some judges have not issued bail in several high-profile cases recently, although gun crimes and other violent crimes are eligible for bail, a situation that the Post’s Suozzi says could be addressed by gathering “statistical analysis” to hold lax judges accountable to pull.
“Hold them accountable. We need to discuss this publicly. That’s what a leader should be doing, but by treating it as an afterthought and not even discussing it, how can you possibly get the judges to look at it too? Suozzi told The Post on Saturday, referring to an alleged lack of leadership on the part of Hochul.
Suozzi and Hochul are also running against public advocate Jumaane Williams in the Democratic primary for governor.
A Hochul gubernatorial campaign spokeswoman said the governor failed to attend several fundraisers reportedly scheduled for Saturday with her newly appointed running mate, Rep. Antonio Delgado.
“I’m on my way to Buffalo to help with the response to today’s shooting. My heart breaks for the families of the victims and for everyone affected by this horrific and despicable act of violence,” Hochul tweeted Saturday night.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/14/suozzi-blasts-hochul-over-crime-in-wake-of-buffalo-shooting/ Suozzi slams Hochul for delinquency after Buffalo shooting