Two days after this announcement was made, the WSJ detailed year-to-date crime statistics for four major cities, including New York. Startling numbers when explained by those closest to the scene. What follows is for New York City only.
“One feature of our current politics is how quickly bad events trigger a rush to bad policies.”
In New York City, shootings had increased 18%, burglaries 31% and car-jackings 64%. There were about 1,279 more burglaries, 1,078 more cars stolen and 57 more shooting victims during the first five months of this year than during the same period last year. Almost all of these were outside of Manhattan’s business district.
It’s impossible to prove cause and effect, but the line between liberal law enforcement policies and the crime spike is hard to ignore. Take New York City’s new bail law that gives nonviolent offenders a get-out-of-jail-free card. In January a man who stuck up six banks in two weeks was repeatedly released after each arrest. “I can’t believe they let me out,” he told a detective.
An arsonist who set a fire in front of the Columbia University Computer Music Center in March had 39 prior arrests dating to 1987. Democratic lawmakers gave judges more discretion to set cash bail for some offenders who present a public-safety risk. Yet Chief Terence Monahan said last week that, while police made 650 arrests, almost all will be released without bail.
“We had some arrests in Brooklyn where they had guns, [and] hopefully [Brooklyn district attorney] Eric Gonzalez will keep them in, [but] I can’t guarantee that’ll happen,” Mr. Monahan told the New York Post. “But when it comes to a burglary [at] a commercial store, which is looting, because of bail reform, you’re back out on the street the next day.”
My assessment, if what he has in mind ever materializes, we’re back to Dodge City.