The Washington Times:
‘Conditions are deteriorating’
Stray bullets in Times Square and widespread violence in the city are evoking New York’s bleakest days, forcing leaders to fine-tune recent changes to policing and rethink revolving-door policies that send prisoners back to the ZIP codes where they committed crimes.
The debate is playing out amid a mayoral race that could pit a retired police captain against a GOP nominee who’s been a public safety advocate for decades.
The New York Police Benevolent Association and other lobbies say anti-police rhetoric is driving cops and detectives to quit or seek early retirement, weakening their ability to fight the crime wave. But a reversal of New York bail reforms tops their wish list.
They say the bail reforms, enacted at the state level in January 2020 to help defendants who cannot afford release pending trial, are handcuffing judges who want to keep dangerous suspects locked up.
“No one is being held in jail and there’s a tremendous amount of guns on the street,” said Paul DiGiacomo, president of the New York City Detectives’ Endowment Association. “They’ve enacted laws and now they’re not man enough to change them back [to] the way they should be. They made a mistake.”
Brooklyn resident Carmen Lane said she thinks the courts need to get tough again so dangerous people aren’t released onto the streets.
“I think the courts should go back to being the strict people they’re supposed to be. There are too many people dying on the streets,” Ms. Lane told The Washington Times while strolling along Seventh Avenue in Chelsea on a recent weekday.
She said too many felons are being let out on technicalities, citing a convict who was released three times and ended up killing his mother.
“Hold them accountable,” she said.
There have been 826 shooting victims in 718 shooting incidents in New York City since the start of the year, a 36% rise in victims over the same time last year, according to NYPD statistics. Burglary is down 24%, making it a bit of an anomaly, but grand larceny of automobiles is up 25%.
The statistics aren’t as bad as the dark days that spanned the 1970s to 1990s. For example, the 212 murders to date are worse than the 189 recorded in the same period last year, but nowhere near the pace that led to 2,260 murders in 1990 or the nearly 650 in 2001.
Still, police and residents say conditions are deteriorating.