NYC is in 'troubling times' amid shooting surge, but doesn’t need 'federal involvement': Cuomo

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday described New York City as being in “very troubling times” amid a surge in gun violence and an uptick in graffiti — but said he told President Donald Trump there was “no need for federal involvement.” 

Trump on Monday threatened to send federal agents to cities including New York City to address crime and civil unrest. During a news conference on Wednesday, however, Cuomo said he told the president the “situation can be managed by the state, to the extent anything has to be done.” 

“I spoke to the president about it (yesterday). I said that I was also concerned about the increasing crime in New York City, and that people in New York City are concerned about the increasing crime,” he said. “New Yorkers understand the issues of crime in New York City. We are concerned about it; we are watching it; we are monitoring it.”

“But I have not declared a public safety emergency, and since the state hasn’t made a declaration I don’t see why there’s any reason why the federal government should take action,” he added. “And the president agreed with that, and said that we would talk if he thought circumstances changed.” 

Asked by 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa what the state’s threshold would be to declare an emergency, Cuomo said he would “know it when you see it.” 

“I’m a native New Yorker, as you well know, and we’ve dealt with crime in New York City, and there have been ebbs and flows,” he said. “We’ve been talking to the mayor, I understand the pressures that are happening, and the dynamic that’s happening, and we’ve been working with the city to make certain changes.” 

“The city is in very troubling times, and we are seeing deterioration on a number of levels,” he added. “You have a sense of civil unrest that is going on, (and) then the graffiti on top of it all plays into this overall impression of the city in decline. And that is troubling, because you have the reality and the perception. If that is the perception, it becomes a problem in and of itself.” 

New York City should work to address its graffiti issue, the governor went on to say, maintaining the city “makes a big mistake in not addressing these situations.” 

“I mean, clean it up. What does it take? It’s spray paint. We know how to do these things, we did these things, we learned these lessons,” he said. 

“When you see these things going on, for people who have been in the city, they do see it as a return to the ‘bad old days.’ They do,” he added. “People who went through the city in the 70s and the 80s, it does look like this is a reversion, and it’s a problem.”