NEW YORK - Shootings in New York City have nearly doubled in 2020 and the mayor is pointing his finger at the pandemic.
The city has reported 1,359 shootings since the start of the year. That's up about 95% from the same period in 2019.
In an interview on 1010 WINS on Tuesday, Commissioner Dermot Shea said, "We’re really seeing what we’ve been seeing since May. We see north of 35% on homicides, and we're close to a 100% increase on shootings."
Mayor Bill de Blasio blames the coronavirus pandemic for the increase in shootings.
"This was a horrible time. It was a perfect storm, we talked about it. Everything happened simultaneously. People were out of work, kids weren't going to school, houses of worship shut down, a lot of things that we depend on to keep people safe and stable weren’t there," de Blasio said. "And NYPD went through so much including the number of officers who were sick with the coronavirus for months. We went through so many things."
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The mayor says gun arrests have gone up "greatly" since the start of the summer and claims they are seeing improvement with every passing month.
Critics say the administration is not doing enough.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who announced on Good Day New York on Wednesday that he is running for mayor, said, "Amid an incredibly difficult year, the rise in certain crime categories is a real cause for concern. Unfortunately, we are still not seeing the same level of urgency from law enforcement when these shootings and murders occur in certain parts of the city."