New York City, NY, USA – Murders in New York City rose 79 percent last month compared to last year, and shooting incidents soared 127 percent, according to new NYPD crime statistics. The citywide crime stats released on Friday show that New York’s summer crime wave continued into September, as the city continues to grapple with a disturbing rise in violence, Daily Mail reported.
Tensions in the city remain high after months of coronavirus lockdowns, economic misery and unrest in the streets, causing petty disputes to frequently escalate quickly into violence. As well, police say that gang violence has been a major factor in the rise in shootings.
There were 152 shooting incidents across the city in September, compared to just 67 such incidents in the same month last year, a 127 percent increase, the data shows. Over the first nine months of 2020, shootings were up 91 percent. Also last month, there were 51 murders in New York, compared to 29 in September of last year, an increase of 79 percent.
Through September 30, there were 344 murders in the city, compared to 246 murders in the first nine months of 2019, an increase of 40 percent. Burglaries also rose an alarming 38 percent in September and were up 42 percent for the year through September 30.
In a press release, the NYPD touted its “strong enforcement efforts”, saying that gun arrests rose 98 percent in September from the same month last year.
“NYPD officers have achieved this record level of enforcement despite the approximately 2,500 officer reduction in manpower—from attrition and no new academy classes—as well as a 59 percent cut to the uniformed overtime budget,” the department said.
Previously, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea has directly blamed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $1 billion cut to the NYPD budget for the city’s recent surge in crime. The $1 billion budget cut resulted in policing funds being reallocated to education and social services over the next year.
“You think back, crime follows certain patterns and trends. Certainly, we see upticks if violence in the summer… To have this crazy time happen this year, certainly, and leading to a defunding, it’s really hurt,” Shea told Fox Business Network last week.
“This defunding movement at a time when we know crime generally takes an upward trajectory in the summer has been a double-whammy,” Shea added.
Shea said the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the court system and legislative factors such as bail reform had also played a role in surging crime rates. On Friday, Shea praised the men and women of the NYPD for the sharp rise in arrests for illegal guns in September.
“Despite the unparalleled challenges they face every day, our officers continue to engage with the community and zero in on the drivers of crime,” Shea said in a statement.
“I thank the men and women of the NYPD who work relentlessly, day-in and day-out, to keep New Yorkers in every neighborhood safe. We will continue to address crime upticks and work in close partnership with the residents we are sworn to serve,” he added.
Across the country, most major cities have seen a sharp rise in violent crimes since late May.
On Thursday, actor Rick Moranis, 67, got an unfortunate taste of New York City’s rising violence when a man punched him in the face in a shocking unprovoked sidewalk attack on the Upper West Side. Video released by NYPD shows the “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids” star walking southbound on Central Park West near West 70th Street at about 7.30 AM on Thursday.
Suddenly, an unidentified man wearing an “I Love NY” hoodie strikes Moranis in the head, knocking him to the ground. NYPD did not reveal the victim as Moranis in the public alert, but law enforcement confirmed his identity to the New York Post.