Earlier this month the NYPD announced crime stats from August indicate that murders, shootings and overall crime is on the decline; however, recent violence in the city is showing another reality.
According to the NYPD, in August the number of murders and shooting incidents in the city declined compared with August 2020. Murder decreased by 8.6% while shooting incidents decreased by 30.7%. Overall crime in the city decreased by 5.4% in August. The department made 343 gun arrests for the month of August 2021, a 6.3 % decrease compared to August 2020.
However, gun arrests for the first eight months of 2021 have increased by 37% compared with gun arrests through August 2020 and are up 30.3% compared with the number of gun arrests through August 2019.
“Every day, our Police Department, and our hardworking men and women who make it up, are continuing to develop better ways to police, encouraging better community relations and ensuring community safety for all,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea in a statement. “Our city’s common future depends on this unwavering commitment to safety, fairness, intelligence-driven policing, targeted deployments, and state-of-the-art training—all with the continuing aim of reducing the damaging impact of criminality and violence in New Yorkers’ lives.”
Shootings over the last several weeks show a grim reality that violence is still wreaking havoc on the city.
Last Saturday, an 11-year-old was one of three victims shot during a shooting at Clermont Park in the Bronx during a Central American independence party. The child was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Police say the three suspects shot into a crowd of around 250 people and fled in a car with Texas license plates.
On Tuesday, a 17-year-old boy was shot in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx. Police say the shooting was in revenge for a fight the shooter and the victim got into on Sunday over road rage. The 17-year-old was shot twice in the leg and hand and was treated at a local hospital and released.
In Brooklyn, reports indicate a 19-year-old college student was shot in broad daylight Tuesday afternoon near Brooklyn Borough Hall at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. The victim was an innocent bystander when a conflict erupted between a group of teens. The victim is expected to survive.
On the same day just moments later on nearby Jay Street, a 27-year-old man was shot in the leg by an unknown assailant. The victim was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Just two weeks ago, seven people were shot in one night in the Bronx. One of the shootings saw four people shot outside of a catering hall.
Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new $37 million violence intervention employment program that will create 1,500 jobs in Brownsville, South Jamaica, East and Central Harlem, Mott Haven, and across the Bronx. The initiative connects individuals at risk of involvement in gun violence with good-paying green jobs in partnership with BlocPower.
“A recovery for all of us does not exist unless each and every New Yorker feels safe,” said de Blasio. “By providing training and employment opportunities to those at risk of gun violence, we can stop violence before it happens and invest in safer communities.”
The employment program focuses on communities experiencing 50% or more of shootings citywide. The first wave of hiring will include more than 200 residents from neighborhoods facing disproportionate levels of gun violence. The program will work with local community organizations and referred individuals identified as at-risk.
Program participants are connected with immediately available gainful employment opportunities and a pathway to permanent and well-paying jobs at a salary no lower than $20 per hour.
“This project addresses social, economic and environmental injustices that impact low-income neighborhoods, and people of color, and aligns with what BlocPower is trying to accomplish—improving the health and well-being of New Yorkers and creating opportunities to bring economic prosperity back to the communities that need it most,” said Donnel Baird, CEO and co-founder of BlocPower.