Ten people were shot on a Brooklyn subway and New York’s lieutenant governor was arrested on bribery charges on Tuesday.
Ten people were shot commuting to work on a Brooklyn subway by a gunman wearing a gas mask and a construction vest. Also on Tuesday, New York Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin (D) was arrested on bribery charges and resigned hours later.
- A manhunt is underway for the gunman who injured more than 20 people in the early-morning attack. The perpetrator is still at large as of Wednesday morning.
- NYPD identified Frank James, 62, as a person of interest in the attack. James rented a U-Haul van connected to the attack and posted a series of rants on YouTube over the past month railing against New York Mayor Eric Adams (D) and NYC’s mental health services.
- Mayor Adams said, “this is terror, someone attempted to terrorize our system.” He vowed to double the number of NYPD officers on New York’s subways in a statement after the attack.
- New York Lt. Governor Brian Benjamin (D) resigned after being indicted for bribery, fraud, and conspiracy in connection with a pay-for-play scheme where he received campaign donations from a real estate developer in exchange for funneling the developer a $50,000 state grant.
- New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) tapped Benjamin to be her running mate when she took over the governorship after then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) resigned over a sexual harassment scandal.
- Hochul declared she had the “utmost confidence” in her lieutenant governor just days before his indictment and resignation.
- New York’s byzantine electoral laws make it difficult to remove Benjamin from the primary ballot or for Hochul to pick a new running mate ahead of the June primary.
- The New York Times outlined in detail the corruption allegations against Benjamin and the investigation that brought him down.
- CNN published an “analysis” piece on the Brooklyn subway shooting calling for more gun control, even though the gun laws the perpetrator may or may not have violated are still unknown at this point.
- Politico reported Gov. Kathy Hochul is in a “difficult position” after Benjamin’s arrest and resignation have become a “political albatross” for the governor.
- Fox News interviewed ex-NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly, who called the suspect’s use of gas canisters “significant” to tracking down the subway shooter.
- The Wall Street Journal reported police are offering a $50,000 reward for information on the suspect, who was described as a 5’5” black male wearing a green construction vest and a gray sweatshirt.
- The New York Post argued Gov. Kathy Hochul’s “terrible judgment” led to this “terrible day.” The Post lambasted Hochul’s press conference after the shooting and her poor political judgment for picking Benjamin as her No. 2, as “the scandal could have been predicted by anybody who pays even cursory attention to New York politics” – except, it seems, the governor.
Corruption is just business as usual in New York State, which the Washington Post named the most corrupt state in an article published after Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation. Brian Benjamin is just the latest in a long line of New York politicians charged or convicted of crimes or whose career ended in scandal.
The following politicians were either indicted or had their careers end in scandal over the last 15 years alone:
- 3 consecutive Democratic governors
- 2 lieutenant governors
- Paterson and now Benjamin
- 3 of the last 4 elected state attorneys general
- Democrats Cuomo, Spitzer, and Eric Schneiderman
- 1 state comptroller
- Alan Hevesi, D
- 3 Supreme Court judges
- Gerald Garson, Thomas Spargo, – convicted
- John Michalski, who committed suicide after police raided his home
- 9 US Congressmen
- 5 Republicans – Tom Reed, Chris Collins, Michael Grimm, Chris Lee, Vito Fossella
- 4 Democrats – Anthony Weiner, Tim Bishop, Eric Massa, Charles Rangel
- 1 state Assembly Speaker
- 4 consecutive state Senate majority leaders
- 2 Republicans – Joe Bruno & Dean Skelos
- 2 Democrats – Malcolm Smith & Pedro Espada
- 1 state Senate minority leader
- 10 state senators
- 9 state assembly members
- 1 county executive
- 7 New York City Council members
This list is by no means exhaustive.
© Dominic Moore, 2022