Thomas Demands SAFETY AUDIT of DMX Vigil Shooting

Questions How 1,000’s Can Gather without Proper Safety Plans in Place

MOUNT VERNON - April 15, 2021: In response to two shootings following a celebration of the life of iconic rapper DMX (who was a Mount Vernon native) at 4th Street Park, Former Mayor and Candidate for Mount Vernon Comptroller Richard Thomas issued the following statement:

“The administration is to be commended for their effort to celebrate the life of Earl Simmons, better known as DMX; however, they must be questioned on why their event lacked proper safety plans for both COVID and crowd control,” said Thomas.

“As Comptroller, I would evaluate the dangerous situation and make recommendations on how the administration could do a better job at protecting the people by issuing a preliminary Safety Audit report within 2 days of the shooting incident and release a full Safety Audit report within 2 weeks,” he added.

“Blood was spilled. Hundreds of people and small children were in harm’s way. Questions must be answered, especially by the Chief of Staff who seemingly overlooked serious details on safety. How many police officers were on duty? Did the City invite other jurisdictions to assist in crowd control? Were there any COVID protocols put in place for social distancing? How much did this really cost,” Thomas asked.

“These are just some of the questions an audit report by a Comptroller Thomas Office would issue to benefit the public,” he said.

“Two people were shot because the environment was out of control,” said Thomas. “This could have been avoided if the City had better management of the situation. This is why as Comptroller, I will work with the administration to be more accountable for their decisions – both good and bad,” Thomas added.

“My immediate recommendation is for the administration to rethink their policy to abandon the use of the ‘Fun Committee.’ It was structured to involve multiple agencies and ask basic questions to account for convenience, local-business participation, and, most importantly, provide public safety,” Thomas concluded.

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BACKGROUND: Hon. Richard Thomas believes that the role of Comptroller is more than just an accountant. It is supposed to be an impartial advisor on how to make Mount Vernon better. Someone that can influence outcomes and proactively implement policies to support the day-to-day operations. Mount Vernon’s next Comptroller must know the difference between a spread sheet and the actual business of the City. They must be able to predict what the operations need to succeed by working with Commissioners in advance and accomplish savings for the taxpayer by asking the right questions before catastrophes happen. Further, the Comptroller must be both creative and disciplined in structuring affordable financial solutions to keep taxes low and, ultimately, fix Mount Vernon.

Thomas pledged to recruit the brightest minds to be First and Second Deputy Comptrollers so the Office of Comptroller can undo the damage caused by years of willful neglect and incompetence.

Given recent social unrest caused by police encounters resulting in the death of unarmed black men (Daunte Wright and George Floyd) in Minnesota, the double shooting confirms there was a major failure in the decision making by Mount Vernon’s administration to not consider safety as part of their planning of the DMX Vigil.

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