Where's the police? New York has seen 777 shootings so far in 2020 surpassing previous year's total tally!

The current situation in NYC has seriously dented the pride of officials who have called it the 'safest big city in the country' over the years

                            Where's the police? New York has seen 777 shootings so far in 2020 surpassing previous year's total tally!
FDNY Firefighters work to put out fires on NYPD vehicles caused by protesters near Union Square who are protesting the recent killing of George Floyd on May 30, 2020 in New York City. Demonstrations are being held across the US after George Floyd died in

New York City has been in the headlines of late over the growing instances of shooting and President Donald Trump’s recent suggestion to deploy federal forces in his hometown to bring the violence under control has faced criticism. But local police reports in the Big Apple have shown that the city has witnessed more shootings so far in 2020 compared to the entire 2019. NYC witnessed one of its worst weekends as August set in with several instances of shooting between Saturday night and Sunday morning. 

As per the New York Police Department (NYPD) data, the number of shootings reported in the city till August 1 stood at 777, one more than the number recorded in the entire 2019. These shootings saw 942 victims (dead or alive), which is again 20 more than those last year. The rate of homicide this year has also been alarming. Altogether 237 records have been reported through August 1, which is 46 more than 181 reported in the same period last year. Homicide includes fatal shootings, stabbings and other acts of murder. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (Getty Images)

America’s cities, including NYC, have been witnessing violent protests and countermeasures in the wake of the brutal death of George Floyd at the hands of the police in Minneapolis on May 25. Police and elected officials, however, have cited other reasons for the spike in the shooting instances. They include: closing down of courts during the Covid-19 pandemic, criminal justice reforms, rise in firearms being smuggled in from other parts of the US, etc., AM New York Metro reported. While Trump has tried to deploy federal forces to quell the protests, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently said that the president promised him he would do so only after having a word with him. City Mayor Bill de Blasio also threatened to drag Trump to the court if the latter went ahead with his plan to send federal forces to the US's most populous city.

'It will get no better'

Joseph Giacalone, a former NYPD sergeant and an adjunct professor at the local John Jay College of Criminal Justice, feared it would only get worse. Speaking to the New York Post, he said: “As the shootings continue, so will retaliation. It's a vicious cycle that the NYPD worked hard to mitigate, but that they are no longer able and in some cases willing to do.” Giacalone found support in a neighbor of the 24-year-old man who was injured in the 777th instance of shooting this year. The victim, who walked bleeding into Lincoln Hospital in The Bronx, told the police that he heard gunfire at the Mitchel Houses project in Mott Haven and only realized he had been hit when he felt pain, according to the Post. His neighbor said he hasn’t seen such a deterioration of the situation and didn’t expect things to get better.

The past week has seen 32 shootings in NYC, leaving 36 victims, which is 17 more than the number recorded in the same week in 2019. Former NY Governor George Pataki recently expressed deep concern over the state of affairs in NYC, saying it is a “regression to those dark days when criminals ruled the streets”. The current situation in NYC has seriously dented the pride of officials who have called it the “safest big city in the country” over the years. Crime in NY has gone down drastically since 1990 when the city witnessed more than 2.2k killings.

Crime in New York has fallen drastically since 1990 when there were 2,245 killings in the city. Of late, things are showing signs of a terrible deterioration again. In 2019, the city saw 300 murders, eight up more than those seen in 2018 and the highest in three years. Every borough in the city has been affected by the rise in gun crime in 2020, with the victims also including children. The recent moves to slash the budget of the NYPD by a big margin and dissolution of the plainclothes anti-crime unit in June could now face renewed questions since the crime rate is surging alarmingly.