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Sunday, 2 August 2020

New York City has already had more shootings in 2020 than in the whole of 2019 as man hit by stray bullet becomes 777th victim with five months still to go

  • New York City on Saturday night surpassed the gun shootings total for 2019
  • There have been 777 shootings so far this year, according to NYPD data
  • In the whole of 2019 the city recorded 776 shootings
  • The greatest number of shootings have been in Brownsville and East New York
  • The Upper West Side has seen the largest percentage increase in gun violence
  • Between June 1-30, there was a 130 per cent increase in the number of shootings
New York City has had more shootings this year than in the whole of 2019, after another violent Saturday night tipped the scales. 
A 24-year-old man walked bleeding into Lincoln Hospital in The Bronx on Saturday night, making the number of shootings this year rise to 777.
Last year there were 776 recorded shootings, according to NYPD data analyzed by the New York Post. 
'It only gets worse from here,' said Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
'As the shootings continue, so will retaliation. It's a vicious cycle that the NYPD worked hard to mitigate, but that they are no longer able and in some cases willing to do.' 
NYPD investigates scene of a triple-shooting in Inwood, Manhattan, July 5, as violence surges
NYPD investigates scene of a triple-shooting in Inwood, Manhattan, July 5, as violence surges
Scene of a shooting in the Bronx, July 7. Every borough in NYC is affected by rising gun crime
Scene of a shooting in the Bronx, July 7. Every borough in NYC is affected by rising gun crime
The body of at the scene of an afternoon shooting in Brooklyn on July 7
The body of at the scene of an afternoon shooting in Brooklyn on July 7
For years, officials have embraced the title of the 'safest big city in the country.' 
Crime in New York has fallen drastically since 1990, when there were 2,245 killings in the city.
Last year, there were 300 murders in the city - up eight per cent compared with 2018, police statistics showed. That was the highest number in three years, alarming some residents. 
In the year to June 30 there were 181 murders - a 23 per cent increase on the first six months of 2019. From January through June 2019, New York City had a record low of 135 homicides.
And gun crime has risen exponentially.
Five years ago, there were 1,138 shootings recorded. The number fell since then, to a low of 754 in 2018. Since then, the number has crept up, and 2020 is on track to be a depressingly dangerous year. 
In the last five years the number of shootings fell to a low of 754 in 2018, but is now rising
In the last five years the number of shootings fell to a low of 754 in 2018, but is now rising
Every borough in New York City has been affected by the surge in gun crime, with 942 people injured or killed, and children among the dead.
Between June 1 and June 30, there was a 130 per cent increase in the number of shooting incidents across the city, according to the latest data, released on July 6. 
The Upper West Side has seen the largest increase, with a 600 per cent rise in shootings recorded by the 24th Precinct, two blocks from Central Park - there was only one by this time last year, and there have been seven so far.  
Davell Gardner Jr was shot on July 12
Davell Gardner Jr was shot on July 12
The largest total number of shootings have taken place in two neighboring and notoriously troubled Brooklyn precincts - the pair of them accounting for 109 shootings, or 14 per cent of the city's tally.
East New York's 75th Precinct recorded 58 shootings so far this year - the most of any in the city, and about 14 per cent more than last year's tally at this time.
The nearby 73rd Precinct in Brownsville has recorded 51 shootings so far, a 50 per cent surge from the 34 counted last year. 
Among the victims was one-year-old Davell Gardner Jr, who was shot in the stomach and killed on July 12, while sitting in his stroller at a cookout in a Brooklyn playground.
Three men were also wounded in the shooting, which happened near the Raymond Bush Playground in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn.
Reverend Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy at the little boy's funeral, on July 27, and called the boy's death 'a disgrace'. 
'If nothing shakes this community, to see this young baby in a casket that doesn't even need pallbearers,' Sharpton said. 'His father could've walked him down by himself. This is a disgrace.
'I don't care who you are, what title you got, how much money you got. If you can look at a baby and not stop this gun violence, you are not worth anything to anybody. The problem we got is too many people with titles, no functions.' 
Al Sharpton comforts Davell Gardner Sr, father of the one-year-old boy shot and killed July 12
Al Sharpton comforts Davell Gardner Sr, father of the one-year-old boy shot and killed July 12
Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York, and the senior NYPD leaders have given a variety of reasons for the bloodshed. 
They have blamed coronavirus and the corresponding closure of courts; anti-cop sentiment; and the discredited idea that inmates released under state bail-reform law were to blame.
De Blasio has offered only a vague plan to combat the problem that largely amounts to gun-buyback programs and an increase in foot patrols in areas with high shootings.
He has refused to address the correlation between the surge in gun violence and the disbanding of the NYPD's 600-officer unit responsible for taking guns off the streets.
The plainclothes anti-crime unit had come under criticism for aggressive tactics that Dermot Shea, commissioner of NYPD, said led to distrust in communities of color. 
The unit was dissolved on June 15, and the officers were reassigned to other jobs. 
Police investigate a shooting in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn on July 16
Police investigate a shooting in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn on July 16
Every borough in New York City has been affected, with 942 people injured or killed this year
Every borough in New York City has been affected, with 942 people injured or killed this year
Shea said the move was not done as a response to national protests following the death of George Floyd on May 25, and a surge in demands for an end to police brutality.
However, it did come in the midst of the protests, and followed an announcement three days previously that the NYPD budget would be cut by $1 billion.
'We have identified savings that would cut over $1 billion dollars, including reducing uniform headcount through attrition, cutting overtime, shift responsibilities away from the NYPD, finding efficiencies and savings in OTPS spending, and lowering associated fringe expenses,' said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo and other committee chairs, in a joint statement after the decision.
The unit had achieved some success. 
Gun arrests were up eight per cent compared to last year by the time it was dissolved.
Gun arrests have since fallen 60 per cent over the past four weeks, officials said on Monday.
The troubling trend of gun violence began in May, when the city saw a 64 per cent jump in shootings during the month compared to 2019.
By the end of June, the city tallied 205 shootings — a 130 per cent jump from last year. 

NYPD union slams De Blasio over violence in New York City
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