From underground attacks to shootings, violent crime is rising in New York City – a surprising turnaround after many years of record declines.
On Thursday, a 40-year-old woman was pushed onto the subway tracks at Manhattan’s Union Square station just before a train pulled in. She fell between the rails and a row of bed, police said, escaping with minor injuries. A suspect was immediately arrested.
Hours earlier Wednesday night, a man was pushed on the tracks at 42nd Street-Bryant Park station by a pan dealer after refusing to give him money, authorities said. The victim was able to get back on the platform and was not seriously injured. A suspect was arrested.
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“It is not fair to the people who use this system,” Sarah Feinberg, interim president of transit transportation in NYC, said of the attacks during a news conference Thursday. “It is not fair to the woman who experienced this today. We have a crisis in this city and it must be resolved. ”
Mayor Bill de Blasio has partially blamed the recent rise in crime on closures of business and school in connection with the coronavirus pandemic.
“Many things we depend on to keep people safe and stable were not there,” he said Tuesday.
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The rise in violence has given rise to fears that the city could return to darker times decades ago, when residents feared for their safety in a crack epidemic. The new crime wave is coming as the city is also struggling with a shaky economy and pressure to pass police reforms advocated by racial justice advocates.
“It’s almost like a perfect storm,” Alfred Titus Jr., an assistant professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former NYPD homicide detective, told Fox News. “We had a bail reform and then abolished the police, which cut the number of officers on the street and the overtime that could be done, and now we have COVID-19.”
Nationwide, the shooting has almost doubled – from 698 last year to 1,359 this year per. November 15, according to NYPD figures.
Shooting casualties have more than doubled from 828 throughout 2019 to 1,667 this year through November 15th. There have been 405 homicide victims so far this year against 295 last year.
The NYPD declined to answer questions posted by Fox News or give a representative an interview.
To help combat gun violence, the NYPD eliminated its homeless outreach unit and protection unit – the team dedicated to helping homeless New Yorkers – over the summer and reassigned officers.
Police union officials place the blame entirely on elected officials. The Police Benevolent Association, which represents senior officers, and the Sergeant Benevolent Association have threatened local leaders and their progressive policies for disabled officers on the streets and encouraging criminals.
Union leaders cite police budget cuts, bail reform laws that sometimes force judges to release suspected criminals on the streets, and most recently a program that requires social workers and EMTs to respond to 911 mental health calls instead of police.
“The city council largely removed the NYPD’s ability to make arrests,” SBA President Ed Mullins told Fox News. “We have officers out there right now who are hesitant to grab anyone out of fear that if things go badly, we could get arrested.”
Mullins cited the “membrane” law, an anti-chokehold measure that prohibits officers from sitting or kneeling on a suspect’s back in a way that could narrow the membrane. The measure was made legal after the death of George Floyd by George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Some of the recent crimes that grab headlines seem to be more cheeky and bizarre.
On Wednesday, a Brooklyn rapper surrendered to police after a video of him blowing a flamethrower into the night sky while on top of a city bus went viral. The incident took place Nov. 8 in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.
No one was injured, but 25 passengers on board were transferred to another bus.
In another incident, a 70-year-old woman was hit in the face by a stray bullet Tuesday afternoon while driving a bus in Brooklyn. Two suspects are wanted.
A couple of parolees with multiple arrests allegedly broke into a home in Queens on Tuesday and held a family hostage during an hour-long standoff with police.
Earlier this month, a 64-year-old woman was robbed at knife points in Queens. The suspect grabbed her violently as she walked, putting a knife in her throat. He appeared to be fleeing empty-handed, according to the New York Post.
Actor Rick Moranis was injured by a homeless man last month while walking near Central Park, according to police. The man accused of the attack has been suspected in several others over the past several months.
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Some residents had enough of crime and coronavirus and have left the Big Apple.
More than 300,000 New Yorkers have moved out of the city in the past eight months, the Post Office reported, citing data from the U.S. Postal Service.
In a video released this week to announce his candidacy for mayor, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former state senator and NYPD officer, said the city is “in a dark place right now.”
“Whether it’s a pandemic or violence in our streets, we do not feel safe,” he said.
During the summer, as nationwide protests raged over Floyd’s death and a series of police shootings, the NYPD disbanded its anti-crime units – teams of commonly dressed officers targeted at violent crime in some of the most criminal neighborhoods.
Crime increased rapidly and shooting increased.
In a tweet thanking a man for stopping an attempt to kidnap a baby, City Councilman Robert Holden also rejected the city’s “membrane” ban.
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The Good Samaritan, Brian Kemsley, 33, detained the man with a chokehold.
“Many thanks to Mr. Kemsley to step up and stop an alleged kidnapping, “Holden tweeted on Wednesday. “Note that if Mr. Kemsley were a police officer, he would be prosecuted because of our city’s ruthless ‘membrane ban’ law instead of rightly being hailed as a hero.”