Former Democrat New York Gov. David Paterson expressed concern Wednesday that surging crime in New York City is driving businesses out of the Big Apple.
Paterson joined “America’s Newsroom” to discuss the city’s crime crisis after a man went on an ax-wielding rampage inside a Manhattan McDonald’s over the weekend.
“I’m extremely worried about that. Businesses are closing. Businesses are locking up all the supplies,” Paterson said.
“You would think you were going into Fort Knox when you go into a Rite Aid.”
The city has seen a 34% increase in total crime since 2020 with robbery up 38%, burglary up 32% and assault up 18%, according to the New York City Police Department.
Paterson argued the COVID-19 lockdowns were a major contributor to an increase in criminal activity among young people.
“This is the reaction that we feared… they had no school to go to. They had no park to go to,” Paterson said. “They had no place else to go but into negative situations like gangs and crimes.”
With crime a foremost issue ahead of the midterm elections, leaders are eager to address the issue and find policies to get control of rampant criminal activity.
“We have to take back our streets,” New York GOP gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin said on “Fox & Friends.” “Our streets should belong to law-abiding New Yorkers instead of being turned over to criminals.”
While Paterson disputes Zeldin’s push to repeal cashless bail, he acknowledged the need for stronger penalties to keep repeat offenders off the street and send a message to criminals.
“There really isn’t that many people who are committing the crimes, it’s just they’re committing so many of them,” Paterson said.
“And they have frightened a city of 9 million people in a state of 19 million people.”