NYC police shooting prompts Mayor Eric Adams to focus on anti-crime policies
New York Mayor Eric Adams proposed new policing initiatives and asked state lawmakers to change bail laws on Monday after a series of high-profile shootings dominated his first weeks in power.
Five police officers have been shot since the start of the year, including a rookie officer who was killed Friday while responding to a domestic disturbance call in Harlem. Another officer who responded to the incident was shot dead and remains hospitalized, police said.
Mr. Adams, a Democrat, focused his Monday speech on illegal firearms and said the police department would deploy more officers on patrol over the next three weeks to focus on the problem. He also said police would implement new tactics such as spot checks for weapons at entry points like the city’s bus station and new units of plainclothes officers to replace crime patrols that have been disbanded. in 2020.
“New Yorkers feel like a sea of violence is engulfing our city,” said Adams, who took office Jan. 1. “We will not go back to the bad old days. We are going to take the trigger pullers off the streets and the guns out of their hands. »
The mayor’s plan also included job placement programs, mental health support services and homelessness services.
Mr. Adams, a former police captain, campaigned on his ability to increase public safety. The new initiatives come as the mayor attempts to encourage white-collar office workers to return to Manhattan after many began working from home during the pandemic.
“For people who have now lived in America’s safest city for 18 years, they are going to be shaken by any increase in crime,” said Richard Aborn, chairman of the nonprofit Citizens Crime Commission. who advocates for better criminal justice policies. “It’s a very important moment fundamentally, and it’s clearly the political test for him.”
The number of major crimes in the city over the past 28 days is up 40% from the same time a year ago, according to the most recent NYPD data. This includes a 30.5% increase in robberies, a 10.5% increase in felony assaults and a 14.5% increase in shootings. Incidents remain considerably lower than in the early 1990s when the department began its modern statistical tracking.
Crime increased in 2020 and 2021 in major cities across the United States, including New York. Homicides rose 4% in 22 major U.S. cities in the third quarter of 2021, compared with the same period a year earlier, according to a study by the Council on Criminal Justice, a think tank focused on crime policy and research. criminal justice
There were 461 felony assaults on the New York City subway in 2021, up from 361 in 2020 and the highest figure since 1997, according to NYPD data. On January 15, a 40-year-old senior executive at Deloitte, Michelle Go, died after being pushed in front of a train in the Times Square subway station, police said. Officers have charged a homeless man with murder in connection with the incident.
Mr Adams called on state lawmakers to amend a 2019 bail law that banned cash bail for most felonies and non-violent offenders. The mayor said judges should be allowed to consider a defendant’s dangerousness when considering releasing a defendant pending trial; Mr. Adams also called on the justice system to increase its capacity to allow for more and faster trials.
A justice system spokesman said he agrees with the mayor’s call and that court administrators are talking with health officials about reducing the required social distancing to 3ft from 6ft, which which would facilitate the conduct of trials and hearings.
Changing bail laws will be more difficult in Albany, where Democrats who control the state Assembly and Senate say they are not eager to reverse measures they passed in 2019. Assembly Speaker spokesman Carl Heastie, a Democrat from the Bronx, said there was a lot of misinformation about bail laws.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat from Yonkers, said last week that bail laws have historically had a disproportionate impact on people of color. She said any changes, including adding dangerousness, should be data-driven.
Corrections & Amplifications
New York State lawmakers changed bail laws in 2019. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that they enacted the new law in 2018. (Corrected Jan. 24 )
Write to Jimmy Vielkind at [email protected]
Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8