Shootings in New York City logged a staggering 220 percent increase in the week ending July 19 compared to the same week a year ago, while monthly shootings have surged by 194 percent compared to the same 28-day period in 2019, police figures show.
According to a report by the New York Police Department’s CompStat Unit (pdf), which covers the week of July 13–19 and provides percentage change statistics across a range of time frames, both the number of shooting incidents and the number of shooting victims have spiked.
The most pronounced surge is visible in the week-to-date figures for the week ending July 19, with 77 shooting victims and 64 shooting incidents this year, compared to 25 shooting victims and 20 shooting incidents last year. That’s a 208 percent increase in shooting incidents and a 220 percent increase in victims, relative to the comparable week in 2019.
Former New York Gov. George Pataki said in a July 26 radio interview that the surge in crime in the city is a fallback to “dark days” when crime in the Big Apple was rampant.
“When I took office, New York was the most dangerous state in America. People got used to safety over the last 20 years,” he told John Catsimatidis on 770 AM, the New York Post reported.
“They don’t remember the time back when we were so dangerous. What we are seeing now is a regression to those dark days when criminals ruled the streets,” Pataki added.
“When parents were afraid to send their kids to school. And when tourists knew better than to come to New York. I’m worried about the future of New York.”
Gun crime was worse in New York City 10 and 27 years ago, NYPD figures show. Ten years ago, there were 11 percent more shooting incidents and victims, while 27 years ago, the city reported 74 percent more shooting victims and 76 percent more incidents.
Pataki blamed city leaders for allowing “radicals” to stoke anti-police sentiment.
“In a short period of time, the radicals have taken over,” Pataki said.
The NYPD has repeatedly complained that last year’s bail reforms let criminals stay out of jail even after repeated arrests. Another contributing factor could be that as the city was hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak, many city services were curtailed or shut down, with courts adjudicating only the most pressing cases. Others, such as those involving gun possession, have piled up.
“We have over 1,000 people that have been indicted on a gun possession charge, where the cases are open, and they are walking around the streets of New York today,” Michael LiPetri, NYPD chief of crime control strategies, told the NY Post in June.
A monthly comparison, which looks at the number of shooting victims and shooting incidents in a 28-day period in 2020 relative to a comparable period in 2019, shows a 199 percent rise in shooting victims and a 194 percent increase in shooting incidents. The yearly comparison, which looks at year-to-date numbers of shooting victims and incidents between 2020 and 2019, shows a 78 percent and 69 percent rise, respectively.
“We’re going backward. It’s tragic,” Pataki said in the interview. “We’ve got to change it.”
Meanwhile, the City Council, at Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recommendation, recently slashed the NYPD budget by $1 billion amid a massive budget shortfall caused by the pandemic lockdown, as well as calls from some politicians to defund the police completely.
Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik called the move to cut funding to the police “ludicrous.”
“It defies common sense, it defies logic, and it defies sound management,” he told The Epoch Times.
Petr Svab contributed to this report.