New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday it is "unconscionable" that criminals released early from prison over coronavirus fears would commit new crimes.
"I think it's unconscionable just on a human level that folks were shown mercy and this is what some of them have done," de Blasio told reporters during a briefing Monday, according to the New York Post.
The mayor elected to release more than 1,400 city inmates as part of the state's prison break over concerns that the virus would ravage prisons and further the spread of the infectious disease.
De Blasio's comments follow news from over the weekend that at least 50 inmates who were released early have reoffended and landed back in jail — with some already being readmitted into society again.
"We do see some recidivism. I have not seen a huge amount, but any amount is obviously troubling," he said. "We're going to just keep buckling down on it, making sure there's close monitoring and supervision to the maximum step possible. And the NYPD is going to keep doing what they're doing."
Responding to the story on Twitter, conservative political analyst Ben Shapiro wrote: "De Blasio being surprised that criminals commit crimes is just pure 100% uncut De Blasio."
The Washington Free Beacon's Brent Scher added: "It's almost like we had them in prison for a reason!"
The Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York, which represents over 50,000 active duty and retired police officers, also joined the chorus of those slamming the mayor.
"Unconscionable? What did you think would happen @NYCMayor? Didn't your office review and sign off on the release of hundreds of these inmates?" the organization wrote.
According to the Post, city officials said last week that more than 300 inmates and 500 correction department employees have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least two inmates died.