NEW YORK CITY, NY – Back in June, the New York Police Department disbanded their anti-crime unit consisting of plain clothes officers. Since then, the city is recording record numbers of violent crimes and shootings thought the neighborhoods.
Armani Hamilton is just one of the latest victims in the surge of gun violence across the city. The 22-year-old Crown Heights man was discovered by police around 5:55 pm with two gunshot wounds to his torso.
Emergency personnel rushed Hamilton to NYC Health and Hospitals/King County where life-saving efforts were unsuccessful. He was later pronounced dead.
My friend’s student is a recent victim of gun violence, and any support for his family would be appreciated.
In Loving Memory of Armani Hamilton https://t.co/uYIJprGqJj
— Kyra 🏳️🌈 Bee (@Kyrathion) July 24, 2020
The New York City Police Department currently have made no arrests in connection with the death of Armani Hamilton.
Hamilton’s grandmother told the Daily News, that her grandson had been employed as a pizza delivery driver and had only stepped outside his home to go purchase some glasses and ice for his family.
Armani Hamilton’s home was situated in the 77th Precinct. The latest crime stats show that murders are up 50% within the precinct, with nine people being killed within the 77th’s boundaries so far this year.
Statistics show that shootings and shooting-related deaths have almost doubled in 2020 as opposed to the same time frame last year. The data show from January 2019 to July 2020, there have been 15 shooting incidents, with 16 shooting-related deaths within the 77th Precinct, which covers Crown Heights and Prospect Heights.
— Bat Sheva (@BatShev55153323) July 19, 2020
A New York Post article reported that between the time period of June 15 and July 2, a staggering 205% increase in gunshot-related crime was reported across the city of New York.
Currently, the 77th Precinct has had 28 shootings which have resulted in the death of 31 people. Crunching the statistics even further, in a period of 28 days, which ended on July 19, there had been 11 shootings within the 77th Precinct which had produced 13 deaths.
The same time period in 2019 only produced just one.
A second victim was murdered by the city’s exploding gun violence a mere 24 hours prior to Hamilton’s murder. This time, Brandon Hendricks, 17, and an exceptional basketball player at Monroe High School, had just graduated from High School less than 48 hours before he was shot and killed.
Noel Ellison, Henrick’s uncle, told the New York Post:
“I think we spoke as late as 9:30 last night, and then two hours later, he was gone. We were talking about the things he needed to do in preparation to go to college.”
New York City Police told the media Brandon Hendricks had been shot in the neck just before midnight on Sunday, following an argument on Davidson close to 176th Street. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Mortally wounded in a hail of bullets, a man from Crown Heights in Brooklyn still wouldn’t tell police anything about how he was shot. An ambulance took him to the hospital, where he died. https://t.co/lDM3IFnYf4
— The Drug War (@The_Drug_War) July 19, 2020
Terence Monahan, the New York City Police Department Cheif, blames the huge surge in crime on a mixture of bail reform and the courts not operating at their full capacity during the COVID-19 shutdown as well as animosity towards police.
It appears that the NYPD admins are blaming the increase in crime on everything BUT the demobilization of the anti-crime unit.
Still another victim of the recent gun violence influx, Jomo Glasgow, was working s a DJ when he was gunned down just two days after the June 17th announcement from Police Commissioner Dermot Shea was disbanding the Anti-Crime Unit.
In an interview with the New York Post, Glasgow’s mother told a reporter:
“’I feel like we are giving the streets back to the criminals. They shouldn’t have disbanded it,’ she said referring to the Anti-Crime Unit. ‘Whatever problem they have, address it. But don’t disband the unit. Many lives would have been saved. Not just my son.’”
New York City Police Commissioner Dermont Shea told a PIX11 reporter:
“It’s bail reform, it’s Covid, it’s emptying out prisons. One of the most frustrating pieces right now is a criminal justice system that just is not working and I’m calling on Albany to fix it. Fix it now. People are dying on the streets of New York City.”
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Here are more examples of the black community dissatisfied with the disbanding of the anti-crime unit at the NYPD.
In the wake of continued weeks of gun violence, including the recent death of a one-year-old, members of the black community are calling on the NYPD to bring back their recently disbanded anti-crime unit to help get guns off the streets.
According to CBSNewYork, in a dramatic moment, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams held up a pair of baby shoes Monday, after a one-year-old became the latest victim of gun violence. The one-year-old was caught in the crossfire at a family barbecue.
“Babies are not supposed to be wearing these in a coffin.”
ICYMI, I spoke with @PIX11News‘ @DanMannarino about about the uptick in gun violence in our borough and across New York City, and what police and the community can do now to curb these deadly shootings. https://t.co/01fCBIK2M7
— Eric Adams (@BKBoroHall) July 14, 2020
Adams, a former police officer, became the second member of the African-American community to call on the NYPD to stop the violence by re-instituting the anti-crime unit. This unit has officers in plain clothes who are undercover and the bulk of their jobs is to get guns off the streets.
In June, the unit was disbanded during the calls for police to be defunded after protests and riots shook the city in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Adams said in a statement:
“I think that a total elimination is something we need to reevaluate. Right now, bad guys are saying if you don’t see a blue and white, you can do whatever you want.”
Community activist, Tony Herbert agrees:
“The guns keep going off and now we have a 1-year-old and the blood is on the hands of the mayor and the state legislature.”
— CBS New York (@CBSNewYork) July 14, 2020
Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated:
“This is not anything we can allow in our city. It is heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking for so many reason and begins with the fact that there are just so many guns out there and that is a New York tragedy.”
Unfortunately, the mayor’s words are as good as nothing without action, and action he is not taking. De Blasio did not offer any new solutions to ending the gun violence. Shootings for the week went up 277% with 49, compared to 13 in 2019.
The number of victims is up 253% with 60 compared to 17 in 2019. NYPD statistics also show a huge drop in gun arrests during the last week.
Black Leaders Call on NYPD to Bring Back Anti-Crime Unit as Shootings Spike https://t.co/EvnwOSmCvn
— What Happened??? (@eope2020) July 14, 2020
John Jay College professor, Joe Giaclone, also a former police officer, said the city has been eroding the ability of the cops to get guns off the streets for years. The latest of course, is the disbanding of the anti-crime unit.
“The gun police are no longer out there. The criminals are opportunists.”
According to PIX11, this year, 15 of the most violent precincts in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens had 870 gun arrests and 492 of those arrests were done by the anti-crime units. So, essentially, the anti-crime units were responsible for about 50% of gun arrests.
Retired NYPD Deputy Inspector Corey Pegues agreed that the anti-crime unit played a large role in getting guns off the street.
“Anti-crime is the preeminent gun catchers on the streets in the city of New York. The community can’t have cake and eat it, there was an uproar with stop, question, and frisk and now they dismantled the unit. Crime is on the uptick and everybody’s screaming to have them back.”
Dr. Rob Gonzalez, a criminal justice professor at St. John’s University, pointed to the June dissolution of the city’s anti-crime unit.
Dr. Gonzalez said:
“They’re still actually focusing on where the guns are coming from, particularly from the South, however, we have to focus on street level violence and it’s the anti-crime unit or lack of anti-crime unit that’s causing the uptick.”
In 1993, the NYPD estimated about 2 million guns circulated around the city. Police believe that about the same number of guns still come through the iron pipe line from the South were gun laws are lax.
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Author: Kara Barnes