One of the most interesting parts of my day is reading the morning headlines. And, as of late, this due in part to the absolute irony I find among those.
Take a quick scan of the New York Daily News a few days ago, for example.
One article is titled, “Murders continue to surge in NYC with 38 killings in the last four weeks.” The piece goes on to talk about how crime has risen so drastically in the last few weeks, nearly doubling the number of homicides the city has seen during the same time the previous year.
“A bloody four-week stretch has helped to drive murders up by more than 25% across New York compared to a year ago according to NYPD statistics. The city saw 38 killings over the past four weeks compared to 19 over the same time frame last year. So far, there have been 32 more murders this year than in the same period in 2019, with 159 through Sunday. Shootings have also increased this year, with 394 as of Sunday compared to 317 in the same period last year.”
It was also noted that burglaries, with 4,480 happening last year, were also up by about 47%, coming in at 6,595 cases so far this year. Car theft has also risen by a whopping 60%.
To say that the city is on a serious crime spree is something of an understatement to be sure.
And yet the article directly next to this one talks about how the city has recently decided to disband one of it’s largest and most experienced plainclothes anti-crime units.
Makes a lot of sense, right?
But that’s precisely what is happening.
According to the New York Post, the Big Apple’s Police Commissioner announced on Monday that the city, while not bowing to the protestors’ demands of “abolishing the police,” they would be making a “seismic shift” in how policing is done.
And for the 600 or so members of the NYPD undercover anti-crime unit, this means being reassigned elsewhere.
“Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced the change Monday afternoon at police headquarters, describing ending the unit as ‘seismic’ shift culturally in the NYPD. The roughly 600 cops – spread out at precinct and public housing patrols across the city – will be reassigned into other posts, including the detective bureau and neighborhood policing efforts.”
It is believed that this move by the police commissioner is one to appease the progressive left of the City Council, as this unit and a few of its officers have been involved in civilian deaths in the past, such as the high- profile death of Eric Garner in 2014.
As the NY Post noted, “The NYPD is disbanding its undercover anti-crime unit – nearly six years after one of its plainclothes cops killed Eric Garner with a chokehold, sparking the rallying cry of ‘I can’t breathe’ for the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Maybe if this unit is disbanded, the masses calling for the same for the entire force will be quieted a bit.
But while a little compromise is usually a good thing, this move isn’t at all likely to help the city’s overabundance of crime. Not that the city has been in precisely good hands as far as keeping crime at bay as of late.
For the nation’s largest city, New York City already has the odds stacked against her. Then add in the novel coronavirus pandemic, which allowed leaders like Mayor Bill de Blasio to release hundreds of prisoners from the infamous Riker’s Island. And we can’t forget about the new “bail reform” laws that permit criminals to be almost immediately released back into the public after their crimes.
All these things added together, plus the civil unrest caused by George Floyd’s wrongful death in Minneapolis, have created the perfect storm of crime and mayhem.
And now, when the city is on the verge of coming undone and in serious need of strong hands of guidance, its most effective anti-crime unit is being abolished. I would be all for it if the decision were made with the best interest of New Yorkers in mind. However, this one is clearly and quite simply political.
As we all know, that’s never a good thing.