New York City has already had more shootings this year than in all of 2019, with the city’s 777th shooting this weekend.
Last year's total of 776 shootings was eclipsed Saturday night as a wave of gun violence continues to hit New York City. By Sunday night, the city’s total shooting incidents for the year rose to 784. Shootings have increased by 72.9 percent this year, and the number of shooting victims has increased by 81.4 percent, according to NYPD crime statistics. Murders have gone up 29 percent this year.
Local lawmakers responded to this summer's wave of anti-police protests with sweeping police reform. So far, this has included disbanding the NYPD’s anti-crime unit—a plainclothes unit tasked with removing illegal guns from the city’s streets and curbing violent crime—and cutting NYPD funding by $1 billion.
City officials have cited a variety of reasons for the uptick in crime, from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic to releasing prisoners from Rikers Island, the city's main prison. Though New York mayor Bill de Blasio (D.) tried to blame the crime spike on the court system, local court officials said his claims were "factually incorrect" and blamed the mayor for his inability to properly handle the problem.
"[De Blasio's comments were] at best, factually incorrect and at worst a continuing attempt to shift the blame for his inability to manage the increase in New York’s street violence," Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the state's office of court administration, told the New York Daily News last month.