NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD has released shocking new crime stats showing the number shootings in the city has skyrocketed.
Incidents were up 27 percent in the month of June. That includes eight stray-bullet shootings and 10 innocent victims. One was killed while walking his dog.
Police say the majority of the shootings have happened in four precincts in Brooklyn so far this year. So what is the city doing to get guns off the streets?
The signs at the press conference claim New York is the “safest big city,” but with the recent epidemic of stray-bullet shootings, including 11-year-old Jaden Grant, who may never walk again, not everyone feels that way.
“I am concerned with the amount of shootings that have been occurring in this city,” NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said.
Web Extra: NYPD Monthly Crime Stats Briefing:
Monahan said that while the city is setting record lows for all types of crimes, shootings are definitely not one of them. They were up 27 percent last month, from 70 in 2018 to 89 in 2019. Shootings are also up so far this year, with 337 at this point in 2018 compared to 361 this year.
So CBS2’s Marcia Kramer asked NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill if there are any new strategies that the department is trying to get guns off the street.
Monahan answered, blaming district attorneys for going easy on people arrested on gun charges.
“We’re getting guns off the street. We’re upping gun arrests. What we need is that after that gun arrest is made that that person stays in jail,” Monahan said, adding when asked what specifically should be done, “I believe that not as many people should be put … I don’t think that 30 percent of every gun arrest, where a cop puts his life on the line to take a gun off the street, should have a case sealed.”
Monahan singled out Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, saying in 30 percent of the 158 Brooklyn gun cases this year the charges were dismissed or sealed because of the defendants going into so-called “diversion” programs. The rest got an average sentence of 10 months, he said.
“Within the last month we have four different instances where someone was recently put into a diversion program. Two of those individuals were rearrested with guns. One was rearrested with ammunition in the apartment and one was arrested for throwing a bottle at a police officer,” Monahan said.
“Our police officers are out there taking guns off the streets and we just have to make sure there are consequences for those arrested,” Commissioner O’Neill added.
Even Mayor Bill de Blasio, a big fan of diversion programs, agrees.
“When a gun is in the equation, Marcia, it’s a whole different ball game. When there’s a gun there should be follow-through by prosecutors and depending on how serious the incident is there should be serious consequences,” de Blasio said.
The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office fired back at Monahan, saying that the diversion programs provide a second chance for certain young offenders. Gonzalez claimed the NYPD is to blame because in the four Brooklyn North precincts singled out 67 percent of the shootings and homicides remain unsolved, leaving violent individuals on the streets.