Murder still on the rise in Bed-Stuy, despite increased police presence

The 79th Precinct has seen more murders than any other precinct in the city

April 1, 2019 Noah Goldberg
NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill addresses reporters at a press conference at police headquarters Monday. Eagle photo by Noah Goldberg
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Murder rates continue to rise in one Brooklyn precinct this year, despite increased police presence in the neighborhood.

Two more people were shot and killed in Bedford-Stuyvesant’s 79th Precinct in March, with murders now up 200 percent this year.

At the beginning of March, the NYPD deployed eight additional cops to four precincts each — including the 79th — that had seen spikes in violent crime. The other three precincts are the 34th in Manhattan, 43rd in the Bronx and 113th in Queens.

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“The 79 is continuing to see a bit of an uptick. Five shootings on the month, two homicides,” said Chief of Department for the NYPD Terence Monahan at a press conference at police headquarters Monday. “There are issues out in Brooklyn that we’re seeing. But it’s worked fairly well in the other three commands. The 79 and all of Brooklyn still has some issues going on.”

On March 6, a restaurant manager at Home Frite was shot to death as he waited for an Uber outside the bustling Bed-Stuy restaurant. Less than two weeks later, another man was shot and killed outside NYCHA’s Marcy Houses.

Monahan said the NYPD would have more updates Tuesday on plans to curb homicide rates.

With six homicides so far this year, the 79th Precinct has seen more murders than any other precinct in the city.

“Like all neighborhood residents, I’m concerned when we confront an increase in crime as compared to last year. I believe that engaged Neighborhood Coordination Officers, policing that centers neighborhood concerns, and an ongoing focus on apprehending those who commit these crimes will lead to increased safety,” said Councilmember Robert Cornegy, whose district includes Bed-Stuy.

Some advocates say increased police presence is not the answer to drive down violent crime.

“There’s no evidence that simply putting more cops on the street effectively curbs serious crimes like homicide,” said Robert Gangi, the executive director of the Police Reform Organizing Project.

“For the NYPD, the strategy for advancing public safety all too often falls under the heading of: To a hammer, everything is a nail.”

Throughout the city, murder rates are up 14 percent in 2019. Sixty-five people have been killed this year, as opposed to 53 during the same span last year.

Citywide, most crime is down in 2019. Rape is up nearly seven percent, but police attributed the rise to increased reporting by victims. Robbery, assault and burglary are all down throughout the city.

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