Former NYPD officer and Secret Service agent Dan Bongino said the two assassination attempts on New York City police officers over the weekend, which left two officers wounded, is a result of "making the cops a political punching bag."
"This is almost exclusively a problem with the radical left,” Bongino said. “I have vivid memories of my time with the police department in New York City from 1995 to 1999 and I have never seen anything like this.”
Bongino, a Fox News contributor, made the comment on “Fox & Friends” on Monday.
He said that “there has always been street crime, there has always been violence against police” but not conversations in NYPD police precincts “about potentially being assassinated while going to work.”
Police say the suspect, identified as Robert Williams, carried out two “assassination attempts” on officers in the Bronx less than 12 hours apart. Williams was taken into custody on Sunday morning after unloading his 9mm handgun on officers, wounding a police lieutenant in his upper left arm.
Investigators were confident the man in custody had carried out a similar assault Saturday evening on two uniformed police officers sitting in a patrol van, police said. One officer was wounded when a bullet grazed his chin and neck.
“What is going on?" asked Bongino. “Why is it happening in these places where you see political leaders using cops as a political football and beating up on them all the time? Is this not a serious question worth entertaining?” he continued.
“I mean there’s a thin line between chaos and civilization. Everybody knows that. That's not hyperbolic to say that and who mans that line? Our cops. And you want to make them a political punching bag? I mean it’s time to open our eyes. It's a serious, serious problem.”
Bongino also commented on reports by the Daily Mail report that a top NYPD official is now warning officers not to wear their police uniforms or department logos in public.
“This problem of making the cops a political punching bag, this is almost exclusively a problem with the radical left,” Bongino said. “Do a basic Internet search and you are going to see it so it's a twofold problem and it’s very simple to figure out.”
“So liberals, get your blinders off and listen for a minute,” he continued. “When you make the cops the focus of your political ire, ridiculously so because you think you can get a few points in your polls, and you start beating up on the cops and supporting all these anti-cop movements, shocker, a lot of people in the public who look up to you and respect you if you’re a political leader are going to adopt that and become anti-cop themselves.”
The weekend attacks come amid rising tensions between the city’s 34,000-member force and the administration of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has implemented several measures that critics say are hostile to police.
De Blasio oversaw a dramatic decrease of the stop and frisk policy, which gave beat cops wide latitude to detain and search people for weapons, made the Big Apple a sanctuary city and has slated the Rikers Island jail for closure. In addition, new criminal justice reforms passed by state lawmakers effectively end cash bail for a wide variety of criminal suspects.
De Blasio condemned the shootings tweeting on Sunday, “This was a premeditated assassination attempt against New York’s Finest. It was also an attack on ALL New Yorkers and everything we believe in. This MUST be a city where everyone can live in peace and respect. This individual attempted to destroy that. We will not let him win.”
In response, the Sergeants Benevolent Association tweeted, “Mayor DeBlasio, the members of the NYPD are declaring war on you! We do not respect you, DO NOT visit us in hospitals. You sold the NYPD to the vile creatures, the 1% who hate cops but vote for you. NYPD cops have been assassinated because of you. This isn’t over, Game on!”
“When you live in a liberal city, run by a former communist mayor like Bill de Blasio, who makes it easy to be a criminal… you get more criminals,” Bongino said on Monday.
He added, “I was a cop in the [former New York City Mayor Rudy] Giuliani era. You know what? It really sucked to be a criminal because if you got caught in the corner peeing in the street. You know what happened? If you had a warrant, you went to jail for the whole weekend so a lot fewer people were out there doing their business in the street.”
Fox News’ Stephen Sorace contributed to this report.