Brandon Hendricks was “the kid you want your daughter to marry,” his uncle told The Post. But now he’s dead at 17, cut down Sunday night in yet another of the city’s soaring number of shootings.
The loss of the Bronx hoops star with a bright future is breaking hearts across the city — but not slowing the #DefundtheNYPD train one bit.
Hendricks, eyeing top college teams after he graduated from James Monroe HS a week ago, went to a friend’s birthday barbecue — and hours later wound up pronounced dead at St. Barnabas Hospital. His coach called him “a remarkable basketball player” and a “charismatic, humble young man.”
But guns are going off all over the city these days. Last week saw 85 victims hit in 63 shootings, more than twice the 26 gunshots fired in the same time last year.
One law-enforcement source blames the teen’s death on the NYPD’s decision — under pressure from anti-police protesters — to scrap its anti-crime units, which focused on getting guns off the streets.
To appease critics further, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council are also moving to slash $1 billion from the department’s $6 billion budget.
Yet the activists won’t be satisfied: The plan uses “funny math and budget tricks” to “mislead New Yorkers,” gripes a Communities United for Police Reform flack.
It’s true the planned haircut won’t likely devastate the force: It reportedly includes taking school-safety and homeless-outreach work away from the department, which isn’t a real cut.
As for canceling a class of 1,100 recruits: That’s the kind of hard decision you expect when the city has lost billions in revenue thanks to the pandemic; all agencies, the NYPD included, must make do with less.
Yet if these trims mean fewer cops — as de Blasio admits is possible — they’ll need even more tools to help curb the surging violence. Those anti-crime units, for example, may be more necessary than ever. So, too, will fixes to Albany’s still-botched 2019 bail reform, which lets criminals roam free before trial without posting bail.
At a minimum, the city’s leaders need to explain how they’re going to boost law enforcement — not just rush to appease the cop-bashers.
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