Some 36 hours after 10 people were gunned down in an allegedly gang-related Queens mass shooting, Mayor Bill de Blasio called on Monday for greater NYPD crackdowns to stop street violence.
De Blasio said at his Aug. 2 press briefing he’s dispatched mobile trauma units and translators to Corona, where 10 were shot in the area of 99th Street and 37th Avenue on July 31. While police reported that three victims were connected to street gangs, the other seven victims were mere bystanders who were caught in the hail of gunfire.
“Ten people shot in the 115th Precinct in Queens, now that is very troubling,” said de Blasio, referencing the NYPD command in charge of protecting that particular area of Corona. “What the detectives are telling us already is that it’s gang related and we know so much of the problem is gangs. We need more gang takedowns, more gun arrests, more cooperation with the community. Gangs are the problem, and this is where the focus is going to be.”
De Blasio said that he expects further efforts to crack down on gangs like a sting operation that took place in the Bronx last week.
He added that the city would be working with community-based leaders and activists “to change the reality on the ground,” along with violence interrupters who work “to stop the retaliation, ending the cycle of violence.”
“They’ll be out there in a big way in that precinct to help move things forward,” de Blasio added.
Before the mayor’s remarks, Governor Andrew Cuomo seemed to take another dig at his long-time rival de Blasio during his Aug. 2 briefing in Midtown Manhattan.
Cuomo claimed that gun violence and crime are “out of control in New York City,” believing that the city is “in a state of political paralysis when it comes to the police issue.”
“It is a fact that gun violence, crime is out of control in New York City,” the governor said. “That is a fact; that is not to be debated. It’s not a political statement. Ask anyone in New York City, they will tell you. New Yorkers are smart, they get it, and we have to act.”
But Cuomo didn’t offer any specifics regarding any action he could take to address the city’s gun violence issues. Instead, he trumpeted the candidacy of Democratic mayoral nominee and former police officer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, whom Cuomo described as “the man who will be and should be the next mayor.”
“I think he gets this, and I think he’s frank and blunt about it, and I applaud him for it,” Cuomo said.
Apparently, de Blasio shares the same opinion as the governor; the incumbent mayor endorsed Adams at a rally Monday.
Hours after the Corona mass shooting, Adams appeared near the crime scene and called for the formation of a new guns and gang task force designed to address both problems affecting the city. He also advocated for “precision policing supported by intelligence gathering and access to information” to help reduce crime.
Before Saturday’s outburst of gun violence — which also included a shootout in Washington Heights that left four bystanders injured — the NYPD reported a 34.1% decrease in shooting incidents and a 36.1% drop in shooting victims, year over year, over a 28-day period that ended July 25. Murders also dropped by 66.7% in the same period, from 45 homicides in 2020 to 25 this year.
However, those same CompStat figures note that overall crime has risen in the 28-day period by about 4.8%, with robberies, felony assaults, grand larceny and auto theft driving the numbers higher.