July was NYC’s safest ever, but gang violence up in northern Brooklyn
Brooklyn Gang Members Committed a Quarter of All July Murders
New York City has been unusually safe this summer. Crime was down across the city last month, making July 2018 the safest on record.
This trend was not true in northern Brooklyn, however, where young gang members committed a quarter of all the murders in the city in July.
The city has made “remarkable gains … even against already record lows,” Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill told reporters during Thursday’s monthly briefing. O’Neill said the gains were made possible by a “precise focus on the real drivers of crime.”
NYPD’s chief of Crime Control Strategies Lori Pollock said the department targeted northern Brooklyn precincts when the crime pattern became apparent.
“We began observing a concentration of murders in northern Brooklyn which had six, or 25 percent of July’s total, and focused our deployment and other responses there,” she said.
Four of the six victims were 16 years old or younger and were shot and killed by teen gang members their same age.
And while shooting incidents were down across the city this past July, shootings increased in parts of Brooklyn, Pollock said. The borough overall experienced an increase in July to 43 shooting incidents versus 25 last year.
Pollock said that 40 percent of the murders and shootings across the city are gang-related, adding, “We do have pockets of gang violence; right now it’s occurring in Brooklyn.”
For the hot months, roughly 300 “Summer All Out” officers have been put in place across the city to bolster NYPD’s efforts. Some of these officers have been deployed to the 73rd (East New York) and 75th (Crown Heights) Precincts in northern Brooklyn.
Seeking Tougher Prosecutions
After a reporter pointed out the disparities between the boroughs in gun persecutions, Commissioner O’Neill said that the NYPD was working with Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez to increase prosecutions here.
O’Neill didn’t dispute figures showing that while about 61 percent of people arrested in Manhattan with a loaded gun are prosecuted on the top count, just 25 percent are in Brooklyn. In Queens, 36 percent are prosecuted on the top count; in the Bronx, 34 percent.
“While there are disparities, we continue to work with all of the DA’s offices and the U.S. attorneys to make sure that if you’re carrying a gun in New York City there are severe consequences,” O’Neill said.
De Blasio said the city has been having conversations with the DAs for more effective prosecutions.
“You know, we have a great deal of respect for the DAs but we would like to see more prosecutions, there’s no question. And there has to be a culture of consequence. There has to be a realization that anyone who thinks that they can get away with having an illegal gun in New York City, that that’s not going to work and that they’ll do a lot of time,” de Blasio said.
O’Neill said the NYPD had to do a better job helping out the prosecution as well.
“Some of that is Eric’s office, and some of it’s the work we do, quite frankly. We have to make sure we do our jobs correctly so we present them with good cases,” O’Neill said.
NYPD Patrol Borough Brooklyn North covers 10 precincts including the 83rd in Bushwick, the 73rd in East New York, the 77th in Crown Heights, the 83rd in Bushwick, the 84th in Downtown Brooklyn, the 90th in Williamsburg and the 94th in Greenpoint.
July Crime Highlights:
* Year to date, overall index crimes are down nearly 2 percent.
* There were 24 murders in NYC in July, tied for the lowest number on record since 2013 and down from 38 in 2017.
* Northern Brooklyn had six murders, or 25 percent of July’s total.
* The city experienced the lowest July numbers on record for robberies.
* There were 90 shooting incidents this month, the second lowest number on record. But shootings are up in northern Brooklyn in July, to 28 incidents, double last July’s figure of 14.
* Grand larceny auto was up in Brooklyn North 30 percent in July
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