NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City has seen a surge in gun violence over the past year, but new numbers show the violence may be slowing down.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city is turning the corner when it comes to public safety as a massive uptick in gun arrests and cooperation with communities, he says, has resulted in less crime.

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“In the month of August 2021, compared to August 2020, so, the month-to-month comparison, shootings down almost 31%; shooting victims, almost 30%; and murder down almost 9%. That’s a really big step in the right direction,” de Blasio said.

But violence still grips both the Bronx and Brooklyn, with the Bronx recording 427 shooting victims so far this year versus Brooklyn with 432.

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Both the mayor and NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea agree there’s still work to be done, but they shift blame on the court system as a continuing problem.

“We need the whole thing to function. Everything in the criminal justice system is interrelated,” de Blasio said.

“Right now, the trial piece is missing. And that’s kind of that, to me, it’s the last piece that’s missing,” Shea said. “Time to have fully functioning courts, period.”

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Lucian Chalfen, director of public information for the Office of Court Administration, fired back, calling their comments outright deceit, releasing the following statement:

“The de Blasio administration, in its continuing campaign to shift blame for their inability blunt the surge in shootings, has now gone from gaslighting to outright deceit.

“The Court’s Gun Prioritization Initiative, that commenced three weeks ago and developed in conjunction with the City’s District Attorneys and defender organizations, is something that both the Mayor and Police Commissioner are fully aware exists.

“In fact, the Police Commissioner was fully and personally briefed by the Administrative Judge supervising the initiative and he endorsed the program.

“So, today, to say that they are doing their part and we are not, is both the definition of the de Blasio administration and mendacity.”


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CBS2’s Thalia Perez contributed to this report.

CBSNewYork Team