The announcement comes after the New York Police Department (NYPD) dispatched another 500 officers on Saturday to patrol above and below ground in the subway system on Saturday in response to the seemingly unprovoked attacks that all took place along the A-train.
A police union also used calls for an increased increase in officers to take a jab in the city council, pushing a reform package of criminal justice aimed at reducing the NYPD’s footprint.
Rigoberto Lopez, 21, of Butler Street in Brooklyn, has been arrested and charged with two murder counts and two attempted murders in connection with the stabbings along the A-line, a spokesman for the NYPD confirmed to Fox News on Sunday.
A person of interest had reportedly been taken into custody on West 186th Street and Audubon Avenue in Washington Heights on Saturday night for questioning, NY Daily News reported.
The first attack happened shortly before midnight Friday when an adult man was pronounced dead for being stabbed in the neck and torso on the A-train. About two hours later in the early hours of Saturday, an unconscious 45-year-old woman with multiple stab wounds was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead. Both victims were considered homeless and were found at opposite ends of the A-train line, falling into pools of blood under the subway.
A 67-year-old man and a 43-year-old person were also stabbed in the A-train during the last 24 hours, although their injuries do not appear to be life-threatening, authorities said.
The police union, which represents NYPD detectives, had issued a stern reprimand to the city council for pushing on an agenda to reduce the department’s footprint just a day before the additional 500 officers were called in to increase patrols in the New York City subway system.
“Perhaps Council President Johnson should ask NYers if they want more or less police on the streets and on the subways – especially since the tragic murders on the A-line,” the Detectives’ Endowment Association tweeted Saturday. “There’s no doubt they want to see more police. It’s time for politicians to wake up!”
The union shared a local news story reporting that City Council Chairman Corey Johnson on Thursday defended a new package of 11 bills for criminal justice that seeks in part to end qualified immunity for officers.
“These are big bills. It would change the footprint of police work in New York City,” Johnson said in an interview with NY1. “It builds on many of the demands for reform that occurred last year after the assassination of George Floyd.”
Package reforms also include: calling on the state to remove the police commissioner’s exclusive authority over police discipline and send it to an independent body; give the city council greater influence over the actions of future police commissioners and demand that the mayor seek the council’s approval to appoint a police commissioner; investigation of police officers with a history of bias requires NYPD to issue a quarterly report on traffic jams setting up a non-police emergency unit to call on mental health reform of school security officers role demanding reporting on turnover rate for school security and transfer of collision investigations to urban transport NY1.
Fox News’ Paul Best and Bradford Betz contributed to this report.
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