Cities are known to be plagued by crimes of both violent and nonviolent natures. New York City, New York is no exception to this. The current mayor of New York City is Eric Adams who, through active efforts, has been working tirelessly to reduce the crime that is terrorizing residents of the city. One example of his plan to reduce crime in the city is the Summer Violence Reduction Plan which was enacted in May of 2023. This plan increased the amount of officers patrolling areas that have statistically been known to have high rates of crime.
There has been a noticeable reduction in crime rates since the enactment of this plan. The city has seen a decrease in five of seven crime categories tracked within its database known as Compstat. Compstat is a website that the New York Police Department updates with collected crime data in the city for public viewing. The five categories that have decreased because of the plan Adams created were homicides, rape, robbery, burglary, and nonviolent crimes of $1000 or less. As crime rates have dropped, arrests have increased, and Adams can be quoted saying that New York City is “the safest big city in America.”
The confidence in this statement is reassuring to the city’s residents, but how could a statement compare to the headlines that are spreading regarding the violent crime unfolding right before our eyes? There have been multiple instances of crime in relation to the conflicts that have arisen in the Middle East. Recently, protestors stopped traffic in Brooklyn for their Flood Brooklyn for Palestine movement. Thousands of people stopped traffic on 72nd and 5th Avenue to show their support for Palestine. The anti-Israeli rally participants stood their ground against the NYPD. They went as far as throwing eggs at the officers, holding screaming matches, and lighting small fires in the road in protest of the department’s attempt to clear the road.
Two brothers were arrested for pummeling and screaming profanities at protestors during Flood Brooklyn for Palestine. They were charged with assault as a hate crime, aggravated assault as a hate crime, and menacing as a hate crime. Nonviolent demonstrations of hate crimes have been noticed throughout the city. Bystanders have reported people tearing down missing posters of Israeli hostages as they walk along their daily commute. Notably a New York University student was demonstrating this hateful act on his walk through the city to the university.
In addition to hate crimes regarding the current conflict in the Middle East, there have been multiple shootings reported in various areas of the city. Very publicly, two individuals in their mid-30s lost their lives in Queens during a violent murder-suicide by firearm. Likewise, a man in his 40s was shot in the leg during an argument outside of a bar in Long Island. These public crimes are terrifying for those in the city; however, it gets more personal when the crime terrorizes your own home and well-being. Drug use is rampant and out of control in many neighborhoods. Complexes have gone as far as banning loitering on the front steps of buildings and limiting the number of nonresidents that can be allowed in the facility. Residents of these buildings have come forward expressing their discomfort in their own homes due to the drug use occurring just beneath their windows.
Mayor Adams has deemed New York City the safest big city in America. This is a great statement to make, however, actions speak louder than words. There had been a noticeable decrease in the majority of the reported crime categories from September 2022 to September 2023. While this is impressive, statistics do not keep residents safe. The action that was taken this summer to decrease crime needs to be expanded to continue to see those rates drop. To provide perspective on the crime that is still occurring, all the events discussed in this article occurred on the same night, Saturday, October 21st, 2023. These have all been reported in separate articles across different sources. The separation of articles allows the reader to have a tunnel vision in regard to each event, imagining them all as separate occurrences that do not coincide. This is one day’s worth of events for the residents of the city, they are not just headlines to scroll past. Adams is creating a better environment; however, it is far from flawless, and awareness of this is key to taking the next steps toward peace for the people of New York City.
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