- The number of shooting victims has gone up 51 per cent to 616 this year in NYC
- In June, there were 250 shootings compared to 97 in the same month in 2019
- Many blame New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, who has slashed police funding
- New York state has suffered the highest coronavirus death toll in America
Two bullet-ridden bodies lay sprawled on bloodstained concrete steps. Alongside, relatives of the victims are wailing and collapse to the ground. In another part of the city, a gang of youths use spray paint to disable security cameras before robbing a corner store. Later, video footage captures police officers sitting helplessly in their patrol car as a baying crowd hurls glass bottles at them.
This is lawless New York – a city that was once America’s glittering crown jewel but which risks descending into mob rule.
Murder figures have skyrocketed and a combination of the coronavirus pandemic, Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests and weak political leadership is in danger of achieving what Osama Bin Laden never could: bringing the Big Apple to its knees.
The scenes described above took place last weekend. Chioke Thompson, 23, and his friend Stephanie Perkins, 39, had been gunned down on the steps of Chioke’s Brooklyn home. His schoolteacher mum Sophia wept as she said: ‘Even as he died, he was trying to shield her with his body. It makes no sense. Neither of them did anything wrong.’
With the gunman still on the loose and their families insisting neither victim had any links to drugs or gangs, the pair appear to be the latest grim statistics in a crimewave sweeping the city.