NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea is calling it a crisis – teenagers gunned down on city streets.
Just this week, three 16-year-old were shot and killed in separate incidents, CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported Thursday.READ MORE: FDNY Planning Big Anti-COVID Vaccine Mandate Demonstration For Thursday Morning Outside Gracie Mansion
Police said Cahlil Pennington was shot and killed in East New York, Brooklyn around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. That shooting is being investigated as gang-related.
The next night, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, cops say Jaden Turnage died from a gunshot to his chest. That shooting is being investigated as possibly gang-related.
Just a few hours earlier, Nisayah Sanchez was shot and killed in the Belmont section of the Bronx.
The three boys died in three unrelated shootings this week.
“It don’t make sense that our young kids is dying unnecessarily,” one person said.
Sanchez was killed just steps away from where a 13-year-old boy was shot and killed in June. Investigators believe this latest shooting is possibly gang-related, adding the victim never should’ve been out on the streets to begin with.READ MORE: New York State Attorney General Letitia James Reportedly Planning To Announce Run For Governor
“How do you have a kid, a 16-year-old, arrested, in months, for three separate times with guns? And I’m not talking about the times he was arrested for slashing people or with the machete or with the dagger, because those are all facts, too,” said Shea.
The NYPD has worked this summer to stop an increase in violence among city teens, but Commissioner Shea says laws like bail reform need to change.
“Sixteen-year-old kids gunned down and killed. That is the real crisis in New York City and it’s directly tied to laws that have been passed in the last two years,” said Shea.
Those beliefs were echoed at a pro-police prayer vigil against violence Thursday morning in the Bronx.
Bail reform supporters vehemently disagree that the law is to blame for what’s been an increase in violence across the country. Many said there needs to be even more investment in initiatives like Cure Violence, which aims to prevent violence in target areas using civilians from the community.
“If gun violence do occur, we go into another mode where we try to prevent retaliations from happened,” said Tim Washington of Man Up! Inc. Cure Violence. “We canvas all the areas, what we consider hot areas… We just want you to put the guns down, stop shootings, stop killings, and if you need resources, if you need some type of resourceful things, come to the office and we’ll try to provide it for you.”MORE NEWS: New York City Announces $111 Million Project To Improve Appearance Of NYCHA Buildings
Commissioner Shea said he’s not calling for mass incarceration. He’s calling for common sense changes he believes will make the streets safer, especially for young people in the city.