New York City is not doing well. You’d think I was talking about the coronavirus given the tens of thousands dead there from the virus, far more than any other place in the United States. But no, they’ve got other issues as well. Namely, that in the wake of massive protests, rioting and looting, the formally “safest big city in America” is seeing a huge uptick in crime and murder.
The Washington Examiner has a report on what the Police Commissioner is saying about all this and it’s not good.
New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said that the city’s criminal justice system is falling apart for a combination of reasons.
“We cannot keep people safe without keeping bad, dangerous, people off the streets,” Shea said this week. “You have a criminal justice system that’s imploding. That’s the kindest way to put it.”
Shea’s remarks come as New York City’s homicide rate hit a five-year high. The number of people shot in the city has also increased by 42% from last year, according to NBC New York. Shea pointed to a number of reasons why he believes the system is breaking down, including shutdowns in the judicial system over COVID-19, bail reform laws, lack of social safety nets for released prisoners, and case deferments.
While Shea tries to soften his criticism by mentioning social safety nets, that has nothing to do with any recent spike. We all know the real problem here. Namely that cash bail reform is continually putting criminals back onto the streets, sometimes after hundreds of arrests. Many of those people go right back to committing crimes, often violent ones. Releasing prisoners during COVID-19 was also a blunder. If you wanted to stop the spread of the virus, why would you let people out of a tightly controlled situation where people can be held separately? Dumping those people onto the streets not only raised crime, it likely exacerbated NYC’s coronavirus issue.
There was a recently released video in which a black man committed what appeared to be a hate crime by shoving down an elderly white woman. She was severly wounded, hitting her head on a fire hydrant. That man had been arrested dozens of times, but cash bail reform kept putting him back onto the street.
Shea is not blameless in this though. In an effort to appease protestors and rioters, he disbanded NYC’s anti-crime unit, which used undercover officers to help stop violent crimes. He then reassigned 600 officers to different, likely far less effective roles. In short, he’s helped make the bed his department now has to lay in.
In the end, who suffers here? It’s not the rich white liberals waxing poetic in The New York Times, nor the pampered leaders of Black Lives Matter. Rather, it’s the older black woman living in Harlem who’s terrified about what’s going on around her. Or the black man trying to take care of his family who’s now at a greater risk of being shot due to rising gang violence in his neighborhood. Those will be the victims of this movement and we will never know their names.
Meanwhile, NYC’s mayor and officials are fully onboard with BLM and all they stand for. Afterall, Bill de Blasio doesn’t hide the fact that he’s a communist. If you live in a major urban area right now, it’s probably a good time to come up with an exit plan. There’s very little evidence any of this is going to get better.