NEW YORK CITY - "If you assault a New York City police officer you need to be held accountable."
Those are the words of New York City PBA President Patrick Hendry, after three suspects who authorities say assaulted a police officer after he asked them to stop smoking at a subway station in the Bronx were released without bail by a judge.
The assault was caught on camera, and police unions in the city say they've had enough of the rise in assaults on uniformed officers.
"Criminals right now feel like they’re just going to get a slap on the wrist and be back on the streets of the city of New York," Hendry said.
According to NYPD statistics, assaults on uniformed police officers on duty have surged by 21% this year compared to the same period last year. When compared to 2021, there was a 41% increase.
"We need everyone to do their job. Our criminal justice system is broken at every single step," Hendry said.
In response to the outrage over the suspects being released on bail, the court's communication director said: "Release determinations, made after reviewing the facts and circumstances of a case, are about assuring that the accused return to court."
Last Saturday, Lt. Gypsy Pichardo was responding to a subway conductor’s call for help in the Bronx when he was brutally assaulted by two suspects.
"We’re asking you please stand up for our police officers. Enough is enough," Hendry said.
All of this comes as the NYPD is facing a hiring freeze in a department that union leaders say is already understaffed and stretched to the breaking point, with a record number of officers retiring.