Mayor Eric Adams announced Thursday the nation’s first-ever DNA gun crime lab unit to tackle New York shooters.
“Call me Doctor Adams,” the mayor joked as he suited up in latex gloves and a gown in preparation to tour the state-of-the-art facility inside the Chief Medical Examiner’s office at 421 East 26th Street. The inquisitive mayor excitedly observed scientists at work on June 30 looming over test tubes and other equipment. Guided by Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jason Graham, Adams was shown the full scope of the controlled workshop.
According to the mayor, this new formation will cut the time to identify trigger-happy gunmen from their DNA in half. A process previously reported to take 60 days is now being touted to take 30 days.
“This is the best lab on the planet, bar none. It is not even a discussion; the discussion is who is two and three? Everyone knows we have the best lab on the planet and today that lab is becoming even better,” the mayor said, “The lab analyzed nearly 50,000 pieces of crime scene evidence every year. In 2001, the lab processed over 2687-gun cases. A 59% increase compared to 2020.”
The mayor cited the laboratory as being a central piece of the puzzle in taking dangerous guns and gunmen off the street. This announcement also comes less than 24-hours after a 20-year-old mother was shot and killed on the Upper East Side and exactly one week since the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision to strike down a century-old, concealed carry gun law in New York State.
“This is how we strengthen public safety and how we fight gun violence. We’re saying to those committed to gun crimes, science is coming for you and we’re going to use this science to get you off our street,” Adams warned.
Calling it the largest crime lab in North America, Medical Examiner Dr. Jason Graham agreed with the mayor on his sentiments while also stating that thanks to a new unit that will only deal with gun crimes, the office will be able to solve crimes at a rapid rate unseen anywhere else.
“Accelerated results will help the criminal justice system resolve cases as quickly as possible. These proceedings can result in the exoneration of someone who’s innocent or the conviction of someone who’s guilty with faster turnaround times. Also speed answers for victims, families and our communities which are affected by the gun violence epidemic. Our DNA gun crimes unit is setting a new standard. And that standard is meeting the urgency of this moment,” Dr. Graham said.