Following up on John’s coverage from yesterday, the protesters and rioters in New York City aren’t getting everything they want, but they’re at least getting a piece of the pie. Amid calls to “abolish the police,” Gotham’s Police Commissioner announced yesterday that there would be a “seismic shift” in Big Apple policing with the disbanding of the undercover anti-crime unit. Some members of that special task force have been involved in the deaths of subjects, including the very high-profile death of Eric Garner. The Commissioner seems to feel that this move will quiet the masses. The roughly 600 members of this unit will be scattered to various other duties. (NY Post)
The NYPD is disbanding its undercover anti-crime unit — nearly six years after one of its plainclothes cops killed Eric Garner with a chokehold, sparking the rallying cry of “I can’t breathe” for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced the change Monday afternoon at police headquarters, describing ending the unit as “seismic” shift culturally in the NYPD.
The roughly 600 cops — spread out at precinct and public housing patrols across the city — will be reassigned into other posts, including the detective bureau and neighborhood policing efforts.
While scanning the headlines for New York City news, it was kind of unsettling to see the story of the anti-crime unit being disbanded right next to one in the New York Daily News with a very different subject. “Murders continue to surge in NYC with 38 killings in the last four weeks.” Because disbanding your anti-crime unit is precisely the thing you’d do when your in the middle of a surge in murders and other violent crimes, amirite?
A bloody four-week stretch has helped drive murders up by more than 25% across New York compared to a year ago, according to NYPD statistics.
The city saw 38 killings over the past four weeks compared to 19 over the same time frame last year. So far, there have been 32 more murders this year than in the same period in 2019, with 159 through Sunday.
Shootings have also increased this year, with 394 as of Sunday compared to 317 in the same period last year.
Yep. The city had literally double the number of murders over the past four weeks than it did during the same period last year. Shootings are up also, with 77 more being recorded. But that wasn’t all. Burglaries were up 47%, with 6,595 incidents versus 4,480 in 2019. Auto thefts were up by 60%.
Granted, there are no doubt a lot of factors at play here. As the Commissioner noted, the new “bail reform” law is putting a lot of criminals back out on the street faster. The overall “empty the jails” drive is also creating many more opportunities for recidivism. And, of course, there are a certain number of criminals who are taking advantage of all the chaos and mayhem surrounding the riots and marches by hitting targets while the cops are otherwise occupied.
But still, the numbers are real. The crime rates, including murders and shootings, are going up. Is that really the best time to break up one of your most experienced and effective anti-crime units? I think both the Mayor and the NYPD need to be able to tell the public whether this is being done because it’s the best policy to keep New Yorkers safe or if this is a political sop to the protesters and the Democrats on the City Council. And if it’s the latter, which is what it looks like, that’s no way to run a metropolis.