NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After another tragic weekend of gun violence, including the death of a 1-year-old, two members of the Black community called on the NYPD to bring back the recently disbanded Anti-Crime Unit to help get guns off the street.
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It was a dramatic moment — Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams holding up a pair of baby shoes Monday after a 1-year-old became the latest victim of gun violence, caught in the crossfire at a family barbecue just hours before.
“Babies are not supposed to be wearing these in a coffin,” Adams said.
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Adams, a former cop, became the second member of the African-American community to call on the NYPD to stop the violence by re-instituting the Anti-Crime Unit — undercover cops whose job was to get guns off the street. The unit was disbanded during the anti-cop protest that shook the city.
“I think that a total elimination is something we need to reevaluate,” said Adams. “Right now, bad guys are saying if you don’t see a blue and white you can do whatever you want.”
Community activist Tony Herbert agrees.READ MORE: Join Us For Our Candidate Conversation With Jack Ciattarelli Tonight At 7 p.m. On CBSN New York
“The guns keep going off and now we have a 1-year-old and the blood is on the hands of the mayor and the state Legislature,” said Herbert.
Mayor Bill de Blasio decried the shootings.
“This is not anything we can allow in our city. It is heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking for so many reasons and begins with the fact that there are just so many guns out there and that is a New York tragedy,” de Blasio said.
But the mayor did not propose any new solutions to ending the gun violence. This, as shootings for the week went up 277%, 49 compared to 13 in 2019. The number of victims is up 253%, 60 compared to 17 in 2019.
John Jay College professor Joe Giaclone, a former cop, said the city has been eroding the ability of the cops to get guns off the street for years. The latest, the disbanding of the Anti-Crime Unit.
“The gun police are no longer out there,” said Giaclone. “The criminals are opportunists. You know that.”MORE NEWS: Parents Demand Action After 5 Guns Confiscated At NYC Schools In 2 Days
All this comes as the latest NYPD statistics show a huge drop in gun arrests during the last week.