People in New York City are hearing a lot of loud bangs in their neighborhoods these days, and it’s not people getting an early start on Independence Day fireworks. (Okay… some of it is, but that’s a different problem for another article.) The majority of it is gunfire. Over the past few weeks, there has been a surge in shootings, and all of these events can’t be written off to the recent riots taking place around the George Floyd protests. So just how bad is it? According to the NYPD, the number of shootings thus far in the month of June is the worst they’ve seen since 1996. (NY Post)
Bullets are whizzing around New York this month at a rate not seen in nearly a quarter century, according to the NYPD — and police sources warned that the recent run of gunplay may be the new normal.
Through the first three weeks of June, which came to a close Sunday, city streets echoed with 125 shooting incidents, Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael LiPetri told The Post on Monday.
“We have to go back to June of 1996 to get a worse start for June,” said LiPetri. “That is a telling stat.”
Twenty-four years ago, Rudy Giuliani was mayor and, while the city had made strides in tamping down crime, Gotham still saw 2,938 people shot and 984 murdered.
To put this in perspective, if the city continues to see gun crimes at this level they will be facing rates that were last seen under Rudy Giuliani’s tenure as mayor. And keep in mind that the 1996 rates were after Rudy had actually cut the crime rates by more than half. Gotham had a couple of years with literally more than 2,000 murders before he started cracking down.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has been asked about these statistics and he’s been coughing up the same platitudes every time. He’s gone on the record saying he was “not going to allow gun violence to continue to grow.” He later vowed that New York was “not going back to the bad old days when there was so much violence…”
That all sounds great, but thus far it’s only words. His own NYPD cops out on the beat tell a very different story. One cop in Brooklyn said this was “the bloodiest week in de Blasio’s reign, and it will only get worse.” His own Police Commissioner recently described the situation using a reference to the Titanic, saying there was “an iceberg straight ahead.” And few of the men and women on the front line foresee the situation improving any time soon.
How did we get to this point? Well, the city recently disbanded its plainclothes anti-crime unit. They also announced plans to cut the police budget for overtime so they could “redirect” the money into social justice programs. Prior to that, as we covered here repeatedly, new “bail reform” laws turned the courts into a revolving door for criminals. That happened at the same time that the “empty the jails” movement was flushing ever-larger numbers of offenders back onto the streets before their terms were up.
Fewer cops on patrol plus more criminals on the prowl is a mathematical formula for… exactly what you’re seeing now. And this will be Bill de Blasio’s legacy when he leaves office if he doesn’t toughen up and figure out a way to get things back under control. The gangs of New York didn’t just disappear after Guiliani and Bloomberg cleaned up the city. They were just driven into the shadows, waiting for their moment to come back. And now they’re apparently partying like it’s 1999. Er… I mean, 1996.