Drop in Gang Violence Drove New York City Shootings Below 1,000 in 2016 the New York Times headline proclaims. For those who are looking for a “solution” to Chiraq’s huge spike in firearms-related injuries and homicides, well, there you go. OK, sure, the NYT’s headline sits atop of picture of a gun (as above) rather than a gang. And it doesn’t make it clear why gang violence dropped last year, which would tell Chicago how to repeat the feat. But the body text is clear enough, even if the crucial info is relegated to paragraph six:
Scores of gang takedowns this year, resulting in about 900 arrests, took violent people off the streets and made it more costly to engage in gang-related crimes, police officials said.
“Precision policing targets those people who are responsible for the violence, which in a significant amount of cases are gangs,” said Stephen P. Davis, the department’s chief spokesman. “By going after the gang members, arresting them, we recognize the resultant reduction in violence.”
Perhaps a word or two about New York City’s incarceration rate would be valuable here? Arresting gang bangers is one thing. Allowing them to return to the streets quite another. No? Oh well. How about some irrelevant data, then?
Murders and shootings on the street, in public housing and in commercial locations all dropped last year through Dec. 28. Murders on playgrounds climbed to 12, from three the year before, and also rose in dwellings and in vehicles. More broadly, murders indoors ticked up by 19, while outdoor murders fell by 49 . . .
The biggest share of murders were motivated by what the police call a “dispute.” Of those, the largest share had to do with words that were exchanged, followed by disputes over a man or woman, over money, and over a previous history. Five murders in 2016 were deemed to be motivated by a stare or a disrespectful act, two by gambling and two by road rage.
Just under a third of the shooting cases last year were closed with an arrest, and 22 percent of the cases were closed because the police had exhausted all leads. Forty percent of the murder cases were closed with an arrest, and eight others were termed an exceptional clearance, a category that would include cases in which the person suspected of being the killer was murdered before an arrest was made.
Exceptional clearance indeed. Now, if the media and politicians would just clear up any misconceptions about “easy access to guns” being responsible for the vast majority of The Big Apple’s firearms-related murders — as opposed to the existence of free range gang bangers — our work here would be done. And the judicial system’s just beginning. Again.