The New York Post:
Thirty years ago, The Post called on Mayor David Dinkins to do something about soaring violent crime. He did. How about you, Mayor de Blasio?
Today’s crime numbers are nothing like as bad as back on Sept. 7, 1990, but the direction is the same. And New Yorkers learned in the years that followed that it is entirely possible to “do something” and make a world of difference.
De Blasio was around then, indeed was a junior Dinkins staffer (meeting his future wife on the job). So he, too, knows a turnaround is eminently possible — with sufficient leadership and political will.
That summer, the city saw a rash of drive-by shootings and high-profile robberies — including the fatal mugging of young Brian Watkins, in town from Utah with his family to attend the US Open.
Dinkins’ one-year delay in launching Safe Streets, Safe City likely cost him re-election in 1993. (The 1991 Crown Heights riots, when the NYPD for days seemed impotent, didn’t help.) But new Mayor Rudy Giuliani made Bratton his commish, the NYPD adopted CompStat to focus resources and leadership on crime hot spots — and what’s now a decades-long victory over violence was fully under way.
That victory, incidentally, didn’t just reduce crime: Incarceration rates soon fell just as steadily — because no one goes to jail or prison for a crime that doesn’t happen.
Yet these tremendous gains are now at risk: Shootings in June hit the highest monthly total since 1996, while the Fourth of July weekend brought several dozen more, plus nearly a dozen homicides.
And the mayor is throwing up his hands: On Monday, he basically blamed the coronavirus lockdowns for creating a “cabin fever” crime wave and also citing the perps walking the streets because courts are largely closed.