While many media analysts are focusing on the COVID death toll, now over 200,000, the remaining residents of the Big Apple have a different figure to worry about. The city has finished compiling the official law enforcement numbers for the month of September and New York City has hit a different sort of milestone. The number of murders in Gotham has now eclipsed the number that was seen for all of 2019 and there are still a full three months to go. As of Thursday, the city had recorded 344 killings, a figure that’s already higher than any full year since 2013, and that record is already in danger as well. (NY Post)
New York City surpassed another grim crime milestone last month, as the number of murders blew past all of 2019’s tally — and there are still three months remaining in 2020, according to new data.
The NYPD recorded 51 murders last month, or nearly double the 2019 figure for September — pushing the total number of homicides this year to 344. That is already the highest overall annual figure the city has seen since 2013, when 335 slayings were logged for that year, NYPD data shows.
If the current pace holds, murders could surpass 400 for the year.
Other crime rates are on the rise as well, particularly arson, thanks to the Molotov Cocktail crews that were roaming the streets all summer. Property theft and general robberies also spiked during the rioting. But the murder rate is the figure that’s really grabbing everyone’s attention.
Traditionally, the rate tends to drop in the late fall and winter months as the weather turns worse and the gangs tend to spend less time out on the streets. But New York still registers its fair share of killings even during those months. If traditional standards hold, the total number of murders could easily exceed 400, the worst we’ve seen since 2012. Shootings for the month of September also more than doubled when compared to the same month in 2019.
This isn’t happening for a lack of trying on the part of the police. Despite losing almost 2,500 police officers to early retirement or resignations and seeing significant cuts to their overtime budget, the NYPD still managed to take 607 illegal firearms off the streets last month. But the supply of gangbangers seems virtually endless and they run their own illegal weapons trade. They’re obviously doing a brisk business this year.
We are only a few months from entering Mayor Bill de Blasio’s final year in office at this point. (He’s term-limited and can’t run again in 2021.) This grim headline is part of the legacy that Hizzoner will leave in his wake unless current trends somehow turn around briskly and dramatically. Crime is creeping back up to levels not seen since “the bad old days” and the streets are far less safe than they’ve been in a long time. De Blasio’s failed leadership in the face of both the pandemic and the riots has left far too many businesses either permanently closed or only a shadow of their former selves. Those who are able to have been moving out to the suburbs as fast as their U-Haul trucks can take them. (Assuming you can find a truck to rent.)
The school system in New York City is a total disaster at this point, with the Mayor’s “hybrid” plan of having students alternate working from home with physical attendance in classrooms leaving both parents and students fuming. Pretty much the entire police force curses the Mayor’s name and relations between the police and the community are as bad as they’ve been in recent memory. So does this mean that New Yorkers will finally see the light and stop electing liberal Democrats like de Blasio back to office again and again?
Don’t bet on it. At this point, Maya Wiley, a top aide to de Blasio and cut from the same mold, is one of the early favorites to replace him. Meanwhile, the New York Times is focused on the question of why they shouldn’t have yet another White mayor. (Wiley is Black, by the way, so she’s got that going for her.) And if New Yorkers go to the polls next year and elect yet another de Blasio clone, should we really have any sympathy for them if that choice produces the exact same results we’re seeing now? Don’t expect me to shed too many tears for them.