Wave of shootings in New York: the most violent June in almost a quarter of a century

The Big Apple recorded more than 200 shootings in June; it is the worst record in the last 25 years for that month Source: AFP


A wave of shootings shakes New York

. The city that in recent months has been traversed by the gloom of the pandemic of the

coronavirus and exacerbated by the hundreds of protests ignited by the murder of

George Floyd


now it succumbs to concern over the rise in gun violence.

According to information released by the New York Departmental Police (NYPD), June was the most violent in the last 23 years. On the weekend of July 4 alone, 64 people were shot in the Big Apple. Ten did not live to tell the tale. The alarms have already gone off in the authorities.

“We must double the police presence”said Mayor Bill de Blasio at a news conference this week. The head of the Big Apple promised to strengthen surveillance in the neighborhoods most affected by armed violence, and attributed the wave of shootings to the lack of employment caused by the pandemic.

Until now, the most affected areas are those located north of Manhattan and in the Bronx district, according to the mayor. “We are not going to go back to the old days when there was so much violence in the city,” stressed De Blasio, adding: “We are not going to go back to the bad old days when the police were wrong either.”

During the first weeks of June, the number of shootings in the city doubled from the same period last year, as revealed by the NYPD figures. In the sixth month of the year, the total citywide shootings rose to 205, with 270 victims.

Over the past ten weeks, each passing day saw an increase in the number of incidents and victims of gun violence. Just last Sunday, thirty shootings killed 48 people, including Anthony Robinson. The 29-year-old was walking through the Bronx holding his daughter’s hand in the afternoon when he was shot from a car. Homicides have increased by 30 percent from year to year, according to statistics.

“It is a combination of elements”explained Terence Monahen, Head of the NYPD. According to the representative of the uniformed, bail reform, the releases of Rikers Island and animosity towards the police have been the factors that served to trigger this context.

The bail reform is an initiative passed this year that allows bail on a broader spectrum of crimes. In addition, among other aspects, it limits the ability of judges to keep people in jail before the trial if they had been arrested on certain charges such as non-violent robbery, among others.

As New York City returns to normal, shootings increase Source: Places – Credit: PAULA TELLER

Veterans of the local security force linked the increase in gun violence to this reform. Michael LiPetri, NYPD Crime Control chief, noted that the 17 percent of shootings in the Big Apple involved people on probation or on bail.

“I’ve studied this for a long time. I’ve never seen such a huge increase,” Christopher Herrmann, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told the New York Times. The expert explained that the increase in shooting is due to a mixture of warmer weather, Covid-19 and “the traditional armed violence that is seen in June, July and August.”

The arrival of the boreal summer seems to be a determining factor in the increase in violence in cities, and is part of a theory that has accompanied crime experts in the United States for decades.

In 1984, criminologist and co-founder of the National Homicide Research Center Carolyn Rebecca Block published A study in which it was asked: Is the crime seasonal?

“The seasons exert a very marked influence: during the summer the highest number of crimes are committed against people and the least against property; the opposite occurs during the winter,” says the letter dating from the 1980s. The theory was not new either: it accompanied an idea that came from a previous discussion. Today, experts hold the same theories in numerous manuscripts accompanied by statistics.

The city of New York is not the only one that registers a growth in acts of violence. Chicago and Minneapolis also see a wave of shootings that torment their neighbors and set off alerts on local authorities.

Official statistics show a record of a hundred people shot in chicago just last weekend. In Minneapolis, local police announced that more than a hundred people were shot in the weeks after George Floyd’s death.

Background that they want to be in the past

New York was able to defeat the violent crime that for decades tormented neighbors and put it on the front page of newspapers as a focus of horror. “The largest and safest city in the country” has been a title that officials in the Big Apple have used after banish murder rates that averaged more than two thousand deaths per year in the 1990s.

The significant increase in murders in a wave of shootings in the city raises alarms in the authorities: last year there were 300 murders in the city, 8 percent more than 2018. So far, the accumulated deaths in the Big Apple add up to 169 in so far this year.

“We are not going to allow armed violence to continue to grow,” De Blasio said. The alarms of authorities, officials and neighbors have already been turned on. It remains to know whether the year will end with a new positive or negative record for New York.

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