Douglas Andrews / December 8, 2021

Columbia University’s Catch-22

Another stabbing, another murder, and the Manhattan-based Ivy League school is left to wrestle with what’s gone wrong.

In the last moments of his life, Davide Giri called out for help. Surveillance cameras — which are both ubiquitous and non-deterrent in crime-ridden, Democrat-controlled New York City — show Giri, an Italian graduate student and visiting scholar at Columbia University, being ambushed from behind and stabbed multiple times in Morningside Park. At least one of those wounds, which perforated his vena cava, was fatal.

The perpetrator, a gangbanger and career criminal named Vincent Pinkney, was arraigned Sunday on murder, attempted murder, and assault charges, and ordered held without bail — none of which could be particularly comforting to the friends and family of Davide Giri.

As the New York Post reports, Pinkney, who sources said is a member of the charmingly named Everybody Killa street gang, has 11 arrests dating to 2012 on a variety of charges. And yet there he was, out on the streets of Bill de Blasio’s Big Rotten Apple, knife in hand, stabbing away at innocent people. One of those people, Roberto Malaspina, 27, managed to escape with his life despite several stab wounds of his own. He’d been in the city for just a day before being set upon by Pinkney, and he was hospitalized in stable condition.

Sadly, this is how the Defund Democrats’ “welcome” visitors like Roberto and Davide to the once-great City of New York — and, increasingly, to the lawless landscape of Joe Biden’s America.

If Morningside Park rings a bell, it should. It’s right across the street from Columbia, and it’s the same park in which Tessa Majors, an 18-year-old Barnard College freshman, was stabbed to death almost exactly two years ago during a botched robbery. Apparently, the three murderers — Rashaun Weaver, then 14; Luchiano Lewis, then 14; and Zyairr Davis, then 13 — wanted young Tessa’s phone.

Majors was stabbed by Weaver while Lewis held her in a headlock. “The unrelenting viciousness of the attack on Majors” was noted by Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos. “Authorities have said [Majors] screamed for help and valiantly fought back against her assailants. This wasn’t 10 seconds. This was more than a minute.”

Said Tessa’s dad, an English professor at James Madison University: “Our hearts ache as we watch Tessa’s friends return to school, perform concerts, start new jobs, and experience all the things that our daughter never will. It is hard for many old friends to be around us. Our grief is too profound. We are too changed from the people we used to be.”

Are two murders in two years too much for Columbia President Lee Bollinger? Is he committed to keeping his students “alive and unstabbed,” as City Journal’s Nicole Gelinas put it? It’s hard to tell, given his lack of outrage over this most recent slaying of Davide Giri.

“Police have a suspect in custody,” he said. “The University is working closely with the NYPD to learn more details of the attack.”

No thanks from Bollinger for the cops’ quick work in catching Pinkney. And, as of yet, no calls from him for a stepped-up police presence around his campus, nor a radical revisiting of the Democrat Party’s anti-cop, pro-crime policies.

We’d be mistaken to limit this cops-or-crime quandary to Bollinger’s Columbia. In truth, it far transcends this elite Ivy League school. But if the words of Joe Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, are any indication, the Democrats just don’t get it. All they seem to want to do is talk about “guns” and “root causes” and blame COVID-19, when in fact the issues are culture, cops, and crime and punishment.

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