A very ‘hot’ summer ends in NYC: the murder rate increased by 50% in the midst of the pandemic

Summer 2020 in New York City will go down in history with a highlighter. First, the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic in all walks of life and second, the rise in criminal violence that left 50% more murderscompared to last year.

Between May and August, there were 180 kills on the streets of the Big Apple, double that of 2019.

The rise in shootings in the hottest months is an almost natural ingredient in the city, but these last four months have had other seasonings: high unemployment, protests against police brutality, looting and new laws that put controls to the action of the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

The official balance is very clear: since May, the city has registered more than 1,000 shootings, an increase of more than 140% over the same period in 2019.

“Much remains to be clarified”

John Pfaff, a Fordham University law professor who has been analyzing crime statistics, explained in an interview with The New York Times, that crime in the city had reached historically low levels, making this year’s increase, seems large in percentage terms.

The academic argues that the protests and the economic, social and emotional disruptions of the pandemic They could be having a lot of influence on the increase in crime, but there is still “much to be clarified.”

“How much of this violence is due to Covid-19? How much of that is social unrest? How much of that is the police response to that? At this point, it is too soon to be able to give a precise answer,” he told the New York outlet.

Puerto Rican Yvonne Ola assures that the violence ignited her having taken away “power” from the police. (Photo: F. Martinez)

Poor areas, the most affected

He Puerto Rican Luis Ocasio, a 65-year-old retiree and who lives in a public housing complex in Crotonia, The Bronx, He stressed that there came a time when he did not know what to take care of more, “if the bullets or the COVID-19.”

“Here there were many deaths from the disease between April and May. But when the heat started A lot of the kids known to be misbehaving, it hit them like hell, after being locked up for months. Those who used to work at something are now unemployed. And they’re out all day looking for problems,” said the Puerto Rican, who lives in Puerto Rico for 40 years. Sauce County.

Luis, who lived through the extreme violence of the 70s and 80s, calls himself a “survivor of crack shit” and admits that “now there are more controls, it cannot be compared”. But he urges the NYPD “not to let their guard down.”

the too Puerto Rican Yvonne Ola, 50 years old and a resident of Lower Manhattan, has witnessed the increase in violence, although he thinks differently. He assures that this bloody season it cannot be attributed “at all” to the pandemic.

“It is obvious that they have taken power and respect away from our police officers with the new laws. Criminals know that they are doing their misdeeds and nothing will happen to them. The heat was accompanied by an anti-police climate and the poorest neighborhoods are the ones who are paying the consequences,” said Ola.

According to NYPD statistics, the neighborhoods most affected by the shooting war were Harlem, The Bronx and North Brooklynalthough in 2020 there were also sources of violence in neighborhoods of the northeast Queens, where for many years the detonations had “calmed down”.

The events that the winemakers face range from assaults to violence in this summer that is ending. (Photo: Fernando Martinez)

Another spark to the violent wave

When the hot days go away, the Association of Winemakers of America (UBA) has revealed that they quantify a summer season that they would not want to remember.

This week they released a series of videos showing that they have been attacked, like never before, by the aggressiveness of people who refuse to wear the masks inside these shops.

“Watch the videos, warehouse owners and workers are being spat at, beaten, cursed at, robbed and assaulted. Warehouses are being vandalized, windows are broken and the City is doing nothing to stop these attacks from happening”, said Radhames Rodríguez, president of the UBA.

Meanwhile, Aneuri Castillo, a Hispanic worker at La Parada Latina in the Bronx recounts one of the many incidents that have occurred when employees of these popular New York stores ask some customers to wear masks.

“I didn’t expect to get hit in the face, this was shocking to me. I tried to do what the governor asked us to do. I told him that it was the Law to cover your nose and mouth, I’m afraid! Maybe he’ll come back and shoot me.”Castillo commented.

Fernando Mateo, UBA spokesman ensures that the last four months have been “hell” for winery owners and workers.

“We are reliving the 70s and 80s, criminals are not afraid of being arrested, policemen can no longer do their job well,” Mateo opined.

85% of the shootings were registered in the months of June, July and August. (Photo: AFP-Getty Images)

The worst year since 2015

Although alarming, the figures describing criminal actions in New York City still hold up. well below the peak levels of crime seen in the 1980s and 1990ssay NYPD spokesmen.

The decrease in the official statistics of crimes considered major such as rape, robbery, assault, grand theft and car theft, allow us to ponder in general a “controlled” photograph of crime, but there is no doubt that the shootings put the City on alert in the worst year for gun violence since 2015.

There are other reasonings. The ranks of the Uniformed have been thinned by recent budget cuts and a wave of retirements, leaving commanders scrambling to cover neighborhoods where violence is escalatingthey said effective to The newspaper.

Also, the Head of Department of the NYPD, Terence Monahan, acknowledged that in months like June, officials they were very busy with the protests all over the city, as a result, shootings began to escalate in sectors that were left unguarded.

“The pandemic has also played a role. Disputes have escalated in communities where rival gangs cannot escape each other’s presence, fueling a cycle of violence. And that’s when someone pulls out a gun and starts shooting. A shooting can generate another five or six ”concluded the police leader.

In figures: More gunpowder in the streets

  • 85% of shootings they were registered between June, July and August. July being the most violent.
  • 242 shootings have been quantified in New York City during August compared to 91 last year.
  • 53 murders only in August in contrast to 36 in this same month in 2019.
  • 1,000 shootings they had already been confirmed in NYC before the ‘Labor Day’ weekend.
  • 1,237 shooting victims this year compared to 631 wounded in 2019, this implies an increase of 96% of the bullet impacts in the city.
  • Shootings increased 176% between June and July of this year, if it is put in balance with 2019.
  • 12 shot They have been confirmed so far in September.