New York City has a shooting problem.
“We brought down crime across the board,” the New York Post quoted Mayor Bill de Blasio as saying on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” Tuesday night. “We do have a shooting problem. A shooting problem last year, we have a shooting problem this year.”
There were 439 shootings during the first five months of the year, a 7.7 percent increase from the 403 shootings during the same timeframe in 2014, the New York Post reported. Nearly all 135 homicides in New York City so far in 2015 involved a gun, the Staten Island Advance reported.
“There has been obviously an uptick in homicides and shootings,” de Blasio said at a Tuesday press conference. “It is something we take very, very seriously. It’s something we’re addressing right now. There is no more important priority for me than public safety. And every day I review the numbers, and every day we’re working with the NYPD to make sure our strategies and our deployments are having the maximum impact.
“There’s no question that everyone at the NYPD takes it seriously, as does everyone here at City Hall,” de Blasio added. “That begin said, we know for sure that the increase in both murders and shootings has occurred in a small number of precincts, and has been primarily because of gang and crew-related activities. That does not make it any more acceptable. It says that we can fight it because we have the knowledge of where the problem is, and who the perpetrators are, and what kind of patterns we are dealing with here. It’s quite distinct. It’s quite clear.”
But, will the mayor consider re-implementing a form of stop and frisk? Not likely, especially since a federal judge in August 2013 ruled the policy is unconstitutional, saying it is “indirect racial profiling.”
“Stop and frisk was applied with such a broad brush as to be unconstitutional. That’s what federal court found,” de Blasio said.