How much crime will New Yorkers accept before they actually demand that criminals do jail time and laws are enforced in their city again? We may be about to find out. Eight years of rule under a social justice uber alles mayor whose default presumption is that the criminal justice system is irredeemably racist and every accused criminal is a failure of a white supremacist society has finally had its inevitable effect.
Like so many other large urban areas, New York has been conducting an experiment in anti-policing over the last year and a half. Since the beginning of Covid, and particularly since the killing of George Floyd, jail doors have opened, bail has been eliminated, prosecutors have backed off, and the police budget and the number of cops on the streets have been slashed. All in the name of “equity” or something.
The result has been as predictable to everyone watching as the sun coming up in the east. Everyone except, of course, the politicians who are responsible for implementing these utopian policies and the media that report on them.
Crime and shootings in the city have naturally skyrocketed. According to the New York Post . . .
Through Sunday, the five boroughs had seen 602 shooting incidents in 2021, wounding or killing 687 victims, the CompStat figures show.
By comparison, the city logged 358 shootings striking 409 people through the same point in 2020 — a year that saw New York surpass its 2019 shooting total by early August.
One such shooting resulted in the death of 34-year-old Eric Velasquez this week. He was murdered by someone who had been arrested for gun crimes — and released — three separate times.
The Velasquez killing is Ramirez’s the fourth gun related collar since the fall.
On Oct. 21, just 16 days after his 16th birthday, Ramirez was arrested for possession of a loaded firearm. Police sources said he fired a shot through a wall an apartment wall and a search turned up three guns. Detectives think Ramirez may have dropped the gun and it went off.
That case was referred to Family Court because of Ramirez’s age.
Then, on Dec. 12, he was busted with a loaded and defaced .25-caliber pistol and charged again with gun possession.Once again, a judge transferred the case to Family Court.
According to the Bronx DA’s office,
Prosecutors asked for Ramirez to be held on $25,000 – $75,000 bail on Dec. 13, the Bronx District Attorney’s office said. Judge Ashlee Crawford set bail at $2,000.
The case was transferred to Family Court and Judge Denis Boyle ordered him released on his own recognizance over an objection from prosecutors.
Ramirez’s third arrest on Feb. 23, was for reckless endangerment. He allegedly shot himself in the foot on Feb. 8 while on his was to “spin the block” in Slattery territory.
Police sources said he lied about his injury and said someone else shot him. Security video debunked his claim.
His case was once again sent to Family Court, over the strong objections of the Bronx DA’s office, the sources said. He was released from a juvenile facility on March 31, authorities said.
Prosecutors in the Bronx said they asked for $50,000 to $150,000 bail to be set at Ramirez’s Feb. 23 arraignment and it was set for $75,000.
On March 2 after Ramirez’s lawyer asked for a reduction in bail and Judge Boyle lowered the amount to $10,000-$25,000.
The family was able to post bail a few weeks later. Ramirez was ordered to check in regularly.
The Bronx DA’s office claims prosecutors wanted the case to stay in criminal court, but Boyle denied that.
But the problem — according to hizzoner and the sages at the New York Times — isn’t really the soft-on-crime “social justice” policies or the criminals themselves…it’s the guns. The city is doing everything right according to Mayor de Blasio, the problem is there just aren’t enough restrictions on gun ownership at the state (!) and federal levels.
“For the rest of the year, we’re going to be dealing with a major challenge,” he told reporters at his daily press briefing.
“We are doing everything we can here in this city, but we need help,” Hizzoner insisted, virtually throwing up his hands at the crisis.
“We need help from the federal government, we need help from the state government,’’ the mayor said, referring to proposals calling for more gun control and additional services for parolees.
The good news for New Yorkers is they won’t have to suffer under the erstwhile Warren Wilhelm much longer. Voting begins today in the race to replace His Fecklessness and according to the Associated Press, crime is very much an issue in this election.
“No one is coming to New York, in our multibillion-dollar tourism industry, if you have 3-year-old children shot in Times Square,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said at a recent debate, referring to a May 8 shooting in which a 4-year-old girl and two adult women were wounded by stray bullets.
Adams, a former police captain who also co-founded a leadership group for Black officers, has risen to the top of most polls as issues of crime and policing have dominated recent mayoral debates.
The race remains tight, though, with 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang, former city sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia, city Comptroller Scott Stringer and civil rights attorney Maya Wiley the top contenders in a field of 13 candidates on the Democratic ballot.
The final day of voting is June 22, with the top Democrat in overwhelmingly Democratic New York City highly likely to win the November general election and succeed the term-limited Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The Republican primary features Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels anti-crime group, versus Fernando Mateo, a restaurant owner and advocate for taxi drivers.
The Times Square shooting and other high-profile crimes like last weekend’s fatal shooting of a 10-year-old boy in Queens have sparked fears of a city under siege. “Stop the Bloodshed,” screamed a recent front page of the New York Post, which warned of surrendering streets “to homelessness, filth, crime and guns” in an editorial endorsing Adams.
Whether that voter concern translates at the polls to a mayor who can and will undo the damage that eight years of de Blasio’s cop-hating, soft-on-crime policies remains to be seen. It took a lot of effort under the Giuliani and (yes) Bloomberg administrations to make New York one of the safest big cities in the world after the crime and chaos of the “gorgeous mosaic” years of the early 1990s and prior.
Re-learning old lessons is labor-intensive, time-consuming, and expensive. The Big Apple has a long, steep hill to climb — again — no matter who is elected.