Nearly 600 New York City police officers have either begun the process of retiring or are inquiring about resigning or retiring, in response to the rioting that has engulfed the city following the death of a man in police custody in Minneapolis, former NYPD Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik told Fox News.
The claim was made by Kerik to Jeanine Pirro on Saturday on “Justice with Judge Jeanine.” Pirro asked about the number of officers injured in the more than week of rioting.
“Well, you’ve had over 300 – I think about 320 – that have been injured,” Kerik said. “You have some in the hospital. But there were over 300 injuries.
“And the thing that scares me, judge, I’m hearing close to 600 cops have either put in their papers or they’re talking to the department about resigning or retiring.
“Like, this is insane.”
The New York City police force had more than 38,000 officers as of 2018.
Kerik also commented on the response to the riots in New York.
“No, I don’t think they handled it well, and I think they were following the direction of the mayor, Mayor de Blasio, who told them initially he wanted them to take a light touch to dealing with this.
“Well, you could take a light touch when you’re dealing with peaceful protesters. We do peaceful protests very well in the City of New York by the thousands per year. But in this case, when a peaceful protest turns violent, one rock, one Molotov cocktail, one bottle, one assault: It’s no longer peaceful and at that point, it’s got to stop. People have to disperse or people have to get locked up.
“And in this case, basically, that is not what happened and they went on a rampage and destroyed, I mean, literally destroyed, a substantial piece of New York City.”