In the late afternoon on October 31, a man behind the wheel of a rental pickup truck drove through pedestrians and cyclists on the West Side bicycle path in lower Manhattan. He did so a shade north of the redeveloped World Trade Center, and in broad daylight on Halloween.
As of the time that I write this message to you, the reason for the attack remains unclear. The NYPD and our federal partners continue to search for a motive. What we do know are the harsh truths from the immediate aftermath of the attack: at least 8 people are dead, and a dozen or more lay injured. Our first responders continue to investigate and work around the clock to help those affected by this senseless act of violence. But we do not yet know the answer to that pressing question of “why,” for what purpose this man did what he did.
As ever, we stand in solidarity against violence in any form. Against all kinds of hatred, bigotry and intolerance, and we stand arm-in-arm with those working to understand this attack. With those who are protecting and aiding anyone who suffered and lost loved ones today. With our fellow New Yorkers who remain committed to living a life of their own choice.
We are fortunate that moments like today are rare for us here. We are fortunate that our peers, our colleagues and our friends freely place themselves on the frontlines of serving our City. While they do their jobs, we offer our support to them and anyone affected by today. Members of the board are always available, day or night, should you or your loved ones need anything related to the attack. And if you know anyone in need, having trouble expressing that need or finding assistance, we are committed to them as well.
As always, be vigilant and stay safe.
Brian E. Downey