For de Blasio, the police budget episode has been Exhibit A of how he is both hapless and unscrupulous.

At first, he tried to dance around the far-left pressure to defund cops but after he was booed and heckled off the stage at a June 4 ­memorial for ­George Floyd in Brooklyn, he instantly embraced the national madness.

Within days, de Blasio was throwing the mob a bone, saying that while he didn’t agree with calls for $1 billion in cuts to the NYPD’s nearly $6 billion in spending, he would propose “something substantial.”

Given the backdrop of protests, riots and looting, even that was reckless pandering. These “mostly peaceful protests,” as much of the media still insist on calling them, destroyed hundreds of businesses and scared sensible people out of their wits — and sent many of them to the exits.

A good, courageous mayor would have stood up to the anti-cop crowds and reminded them that the NYPD had saved thousands of black lives by taking illegal handguns off the street, and that a declining prison rate was another consequence. It was the police, not the protesters and rioters, who had made New York the safest big city in America.