Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner O'Neill held a short, terse press conference on Friday evening to respond to the Department of Justice press release that called the city "soft on crime." Both men called the statement an insult, but the DOJ did not back down in a response to the city's response.

Calling the statement from the DOJ press office "outrageous" and characterizing it as a statement on behalf of both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and President Trump, the mayor said that the "soft on crime" language "denigrates the people of New York City and the men and women of the NYPD."

De Blasio also called the statement "an insult" and said that he had never met a police officer who was soft on crime. "The results speak for themselves. We've shown you month after month that crime has gone down. It's a message that seems to have reached everywhere but Washington, DC," de Blasio said.

The mayor also personally invited the attorney general and the president to say it to New York's face. "Come here to New York City and look our officers in the eye and tell them you believe they're soft on crime, see how that feels, see how the people in New York City will feel about that."

Commissioner O'Neill spoke next, and said that "my blood began to boil" when he read the DOJ statement. "To say we're soft on crime is absolutely ludicrous. In 2016 we locked up over 1,000 people in over 100 gang takedowns. Most of them are still awaiting sentences or are still in jail, maybe we should ask them we're soft on crime," O'Neill told the gathered reporters.

He also reiterated the decrease in shootings, murders and overall crime the city has experienced, which he pointed to in his first statement after the DOJ remarks. "Look at this city in 2017," O'Neill said, "it didn't happen by accident. There was a tremendous amount sacrifice," he said, before calling the statement "insulting to the memory of Sergeant Paul Tuozzolo, Randolph Holder, Brian Moore, Joe Liu, Rafael Ramos."

O'Neill ended his remarks by echoing de Blasio's comment that the statement was "outrageous."

Other city and state officials also took offense at the DOJ language. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito released a statement through the City Council, and also took to her own Twitter account to call Sessions "a JOKE."

Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Preet Bharara tweeted that the DOJ statement "makes no one safer."

New York City's lone Congressional Republican, Representative Dan Donovan, criticized the practices of sanctuary cities, but also wrote that the NYPD made New York the safest big city in America.

The Department of Justice didn't back down in the face of the criticism from de Blasio, O'Neill and other officials though. Instead, a DOJ spokesperson said that while the city's police were good, the policies the city implemented were bad.

And breaking with the other officials who came to the defense of the city's crime policies, the head of the NYPD sergeants union, Ed Mullins, released a statement in support of the attorney general.

[T]he City’s intransigence has placed in jeopardy millions in U.S. Department of Justice grant funds that we count on to help protect our communities. Despite what some politicians may think, law enforcement does not get to choose the laws we uphold, and it is our sworn duty to enforce all laws equally and without bias or preference. Attorney General Sessions is absolutely correct to hold New York and other jurisdictions accountable for their so-called ‘sanctuary policies.’ I just hope the Mayor will finally come to his senses and stop ignoring and harboring violent criminals before it is too late.

Earlier this year, Mullins went on John Catsimatidis's radio show and told the host that "the members of law enforcement in the NYPD want to cooperate with ICE. I speak to cops every day. They want to cooperate with ICE said that his members want to work with ICE to deport undocumented immigrants."