The number of shooting victims and incidents in New York City has nearly doubled this year compared with 2019, according to the latest NYPD crime data.
There have been 1,482 shooting victims in the city so far this year—a 98.8 percent year-to-date increase from the 745 people who were shot from January to October in 2019. Just over 1,200 shooting incidents have occurred in 2020, compared with 633 in the same time frame in 2019.
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Some major cities such as New York City have experienced a crime uptick this summer as anti-police and racial-justice protests erupted nationwide. The Washington Free Beacon reported that arrest rates in New York City plummeted following the death of George Floyd in May—and the resulting protests and riots—while shooting and homicide rates skyrocketed. Crime rates in the city reached historic lows during the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns, just before Floyd’s death.
Despite the rise in shootings, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio (D.) in June announced a $1 billion NYPD funding cut and the disbanding of a plainclothes anti-crime unit tasked with removing illegal guns from the streets. Some lawmakers in the city spoke out against the cut, saying it adversely affects the communities where crime has increased the most.
While de Blasio has attributed the city’s crime spike to "a combination of crises," including the coronavirus pandemic, other city officials have blamed the mayor’s hasty police reform push for the violence. New York City police commissioner Dermot Shea said earlier this year that de Blasio’s police reform legislation "handcuffed" his police force. And a spokesman for the state’s office of court administration told the New York Daily News that the mayor tried to "shift the blame" on other officials "for his inability" to address violence in the city.