Shootings in New York City surged past the 1,000 mark on Sunday, according to police data obtained by the New York Post, representing an astonishing 87 percent increase compared to the same time last year.
NYPD crime data cited by the outlet shows that 1,004 shootings have taken place so far this year as of Aug. 30 in New York City, dwarfing the 537 that had taken place by the same time in 2019.
The last time the Big Apple saw more than 1,000 shootings was in 2015, in which 1,138 incidents were logged for the whole year.
“Despite challenges, NYPD officers are undaunted. They’ve made 353 gun arrests this August—outpacing the tally by this time last year. And they’re keeping this pace in the face of attrition; a hiring freeze; overtime cuts; and a surge in shootings across NYC,” NYPD News said in a tweet.
Earlier figures (pdf) released by NYPD, show that in the week Aug. 17-23 of this year, there were 228 percent more shootings compared to the same week last year, while the number of shooting victims was 276 percent higher.
The surging gun violence in New York City comes as the battle heats up between President Donald Trump and White House hopeful Joe Biden over who can keep Americans safe after recent protests and riots have taken a deadly turn. A 17-year-old from Illinois has been charged with killing two men during the mayhem in Kenosha, Wisconsin, while amid protest-related clashes in Portland, Oregon, a man was shot to death.
Trump has blamed Biden for siding with “anarchists,” who the president has argued are responsible for hijacking legitimate protests, while the Democrat nominee accused Trump in a speech in Pittsburgh of stoking divisions and so fueling the unrest.
“No one will be safe in Biden’s America. My administration will always stand with the men and women of law enforcement,” Trump said during his Republican nomination acceptance speech last week, blaming local Democrat politicians for inaction in the face of riots.
In a counter-message to the president’s call for “law and order,” Biden accused Trump, whom he called “an incumbent president who sows chaos,” of seeking to “instill fear in America,” while claiming that Trump’s second term would see more violence roil the nation’s streets.
“Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is reelected?” Biden said. “He can’t stop the violence, because, for years, he has fomented it.”
Biden, in his remarks in Pittsburgh, sought to challenge Trump’s characterization of him as soft on crime.
“The senseless violence of looting, and burning, and destruction of property—I want to make it absolutely clear, something very clear about all of this—rioting is not protesting, looting is not protesting, setting fires is not protesting,” he said. “None of this is protesting. It’s lawlessness, plain and simple. And those that do it should be prosecuted.”
“Just watched what Biden had to say,” Trump wrote in a tweet soon after the former vice president concluded his remarks in Pittsburgh. “To me, he’s blaming the Police far more than he’s blaming the Rioters, Anarchists, Agitators, and Looters, which he could never blame or he would lose the Radical Left Bernie supports!”