Top NYPD brass discussed summer crime statistics Wednesday afternoon while once again taking the criminal justice system to task for allowing repeat offenders back on the street.
NYPD officials used a recently arrested 18-year-old man, with a staggering 78 prior arrests thus far, as a symbol of the department’s plea for action to be taken regarding criminal recidivism.
“We continue these conversations. Obviously, we’ve had these discussions many times. We sat here with press conferences and interviews and radio. We know what we see every single day on the street,” Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell told amNewYork Metro. “I think we do ourselves a little bit of a disservice when we just say bail reform. Criminal justice reform is the total package, and these laws were meant to address disproportionality in the criminal justice system. But a disproportionate number of our victims are people of color as well. So, we’ll continue to push for these changes.”
This harsh rebuke of the criminal justice system came as police lauded the dramatic decrease in shootings over the summer but saw the rise of other crimes such as robbery patterns. Shootings fell in 14 out of the 18 summer weeks, reducing by 19% when compared to last year Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael Lipetri explained, adding that it is down 49% when compared to summer 2020. Lipetri also added that they have made over a hundred-gun arrests during the hot season.
Police officials attribute this success to what was called the summer violence reduction plan, a citywide, multi-agency that deployed more officers in crime heavy neighborhoods as well as community outreach and youth engagement in hopes of quelling the tide of gun violence.
“When we looked at what violence and what drives violence in New York City, typically in the summer months, we see that 80% of shooting incidents in New York City occur in less than half of the precincts, so less than half of our 77 precincts account for more than 80% of the shootings that happen. And then we drill down a little further and we found that 42% of those shooting incidents actually occurred between 9pm and 2am,” Chief of Department Kenneth Corey said. “In every borough, there was an individual in the rank of inspector who was designated the violence reduction coordinator, except the Bronx, the Bronx actually got two violence reduction coordinators, and it was their job to move these additional resources that we were shifting around in real time as conditions dictated.”
Despite the success in keeping summer shootings low when compared to previous years, the number of teen trigger pullers increased by 13%—between the ages of 10 to 17—making a 183% increase from 2017. Police also detailed that unlawful consumption of alcohol shot up by 12,000 as well as public urination by 1,500 from last year. Police attribute the rise in armed robberies to extensive recidivism, stating that 80% of those arrested with guns are already back on the street.
“You know when Chief [of Detectives James] Essig is talking about a guy who was 18 years old, involved in a large robbery pattern, and has been arrested 78 times prior–he’s 18 years old! He’s been arrested 78 times and how many hundreds of New Yorkers has he victimized? And yet, he keeps being released, only to go back and victimize others,” Chief of Department Corey said.