In the wake of protests against police following the death of George Floyd, the NYPD’s plainclothes anti-crime unit that patrolled the streets was disbanded.
While this probably goes without saying, the NYPD’s plainclothes anti-crime unit, which is based over a thousand miles away from Minneapolis, was not involved in the death of George Floyd.
Predictably, crime in NYC has been surging ever since – particularly the sort of street crimes that the anti-crime unit is designed to prevent. According to a NYPD press release from July 6th, “the number of people murdered citywide increased to 39 v. 30, (+30%) for the month, while the number of burglaries increased to 1,783 v. 817 (+118%) and the number of auto thefts increased to 696 v. 462 (+51%) citywide.”
The numbers are bleak – but Mayor de Blasio is praising the policies catalyzing this violence.
As the New York Post reports:
The mayor kicked off his daily press briefing by addressing the spate in shootings, including one in Brooklyn Sunday night that claimed the life of a 1-year-old boy.
Later, de Blasio talked about the “horrible spate of shootings” in NYCHA public housing that he dealt with at the beginning of his tenure. “We threw everything we had at it. We have to do it again,” he said.
He shot down questions about firing Police Commissioner Dermot Shea — who disbanded the anti-crime unit last month — and lauded him as “one of the people who made this the safest big city in America.” “He felt — and I agreed with him — that it was important to make a change in our strategy, to use the talents of our officers in new and better ways,” de Blasio said. “I don’t know anyone who knows more about how to do that than Dermot Shea.”
The city’s top cop and other brass, however, have been markedly absent from de Blasio’s daily press briefings.
Like AOC before him, de Blasio also attempted to blame the pandemic for the crime wave. However, as I noted elsewhere, what one could describe as “crimes of necessity” (such as someone stealing to feed their family) are on the decline. Compared to last year, as of July 5th, reports of petit larceny by shoplifting were down 20%, and grand larceny by shoplifting was down 18%. Burglaries are on the rise – but home invaders don’t tend to steal food.