Violence continues to surge in New York City under the leadership of Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, with 47 shootings reported last week, which contributed to the city’s 176 percent increase in shootings compared to last year, a report said.
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The New York Post reported that there have been a total of 14 murders in the city compared to five at the same time last year. De Blasio called the increase a “perfect storm” of circumstances, according to Patch.com. He said unemployment and the coronavirus have all contributed to the city’s problems.
One other issue that de Blasio identified was the fact that the court system is not open at full strength, which means suspects who would normally be behind bars are free.
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“If you don’t have a fully functioning court system then you can’t follow through the process like we normally do,” he said, according to AM NY.
Lucien Chalfen, the director of public information for the Office of Court Administration, told AM NY that the courts have been hard at work trying to get back up and running.
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“While New York City still does not allow indoor dining, the Mayor blithely asks us to call in thousands of people a week Citywide for jury duty. Clearly he has absolutely no understanding of how the criminal justice process works,” he said.
The courts have been operating – for the most part—remotely due to the coronavirus outbreak due to social-distancing restrictions in the city, the Staten Island Advance reported. Public defenders have reportedly been pushing back against calls to resume normal workloads.
The Advance reported that Police Commissioner Dermot Shea pointed out that there were about 2,100 open gun cases in the city and about half of them were “walking around next to you and me every day on the street.”
Critics of DeBlasio blame the mayor for siding with anti-police protesters and endorsing protests that have been erupting in the city. Eric Adams, the Brooklyn Borough president, recently told Fox News that the city was wrong to disband plainclothes police.
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“Policing operates off of two mechansims,” Adams, a former police officer in the city told the network. “One is the omnipresence of blue and white vehicles, and the other is the element of uncertainty, that bad guys can’t believe that policing is a predictable model. Not having plainclothes, in my belief, on the precinct level, where you can have good supervision … [means] you’re taking away the element of surprise. Policing cannot be predictable and right now it is predictable for those bad guys that carry guns.”