NEW YORK - According to a new report by the NYPD, the city has recorded 777 shootings, surpassing the total of 776 shootings from the entire year of 2019.
The shootings are part of an escalating cycle of violence, says retired NYPD Sergeant Joseph Giacalone.
“The cycle of violence actually goes by the fact that if police don’t make arrests right away in some of these cases, the retaliation becomes apparently clear and then it leads to more shootings, and then you end up with little kids caught in the crossfire,” Giacalone said.
Little kids like 1-year-old Davell Gardner, Jr., who was shot and killed in his stroller at a barbecue on July 12.
In many of this summer’s shootings, teens and young adults have allegedly been the ones pulling the trigger. With the loss of thousands of summer youth employment jobs, recreation, and sports programs, the violence is no surprise to some community leaders.
“I’m very concerned for the rest of the summer,” said Iesha Sekou, the founder, and CEO of Street Corner Resources. “I’m hopeful because I always try to remain hopeful, because no matter how many shootings, you have to still see the possibility of ending that violence.”
Police officials deny any kind of a slow-down on the part of officers and point to jail and prison releases and a lack of bail on many gun cases as partial explanations. Others say that with so many former offenders on the street, payback is the order of the day, fueling the cycle of violence.
Law enforcement experts add that when you mix in hastily-passed legislation and widespread anti-police sentiment, it is a confusing and dangerous climate for everyone.
‘You cannot do policing in New York anymore,” Giacalone said. “That’s basically what it comes down to.”
As for solutions, Mayor Bill de Blasio is proposing more community policing initiatives, which the NYPD already has underway.
He is also calling for reopening the court system so that the more than 2,100 open gun cases can be prosecuted, but critics say these measures would take many months to see any results on the streets.