“Shootings overnight and Sunday in NYC kill at least 9, wound 41,” announced a New York Daily News headline. “Sunday alone, there were 30 shooting incidents with 48 victims — nine of whom were killed, the sources said” to New York Post.
By all accounts, it was a violent weekend, and June has been a violent month in NYC.
“Between June 1 and June 30, there was a 130% increase in the number of shooting incidents across the city (205 v. 89) as the number of shootings rose in every borough of New York. The number of people murdered citywide increased to 39 v. 30, (+ 30%) for the month, while the number of burglaries increased to 1,783 v. 817 (+118%) and the number of auto thefts increased to 696 v. 462 (+51%) citywide,” NYPD informed this afternoon.
Brooklyn was no exception.
Four men were killed in Brooklyn just this Sunday, three of their names are not yet released:
- Jose Cepeda, 20, of 207 Atkins Avenue in Cypress Hills was shot in the chest in front of his home at quarter to 1 am on Sunday, July 5. He died at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center. There are no arrests at this time and the investigation is ongoing.
A 911 call came in at 04:22 am of a man shot in front of 680 E. 39 Street in East Flatbush. Cops found a 19-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the chest and a 27-year-old man whit a gunshot wound to the left shoulder. They were both taken to Health+Hospitals/ Kings County where the 19-year-old died from the injuries and the 27-year-old is in stable condition. There are no arrests at this time and the investigation is ongoing.
Minutes after 5 am, a 40-year-old man was reported shot in the rear of 335 Sutter Avenue in Brownsville. The victim died at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center.
At a quarter to 6 pm a 21-year-old man was shot in the chest in front of 109 Christopher Avenue, by Powell playground. He also died at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center.
There are no arrests at this time and the investigations are ongoing in all of the murders above, as well as most of the murders below.
Last week, on Thursday, July 2, at 6:45 pm police responded to a 911 call of a person shot in front of 41 New Lots Avenue and discovered two people were shot. A 20-year-old man had been shot in the head died at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center, while a 36-year-old woman was shot in the arm and in the torso and was at Brookdale Hospital in stable condition. Identities have not been released yet.
Earlier that same day, July 2, shortly before 1 am, Terrence Bazile, 22, of East 91st Street, showed up at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the hip suffered in front of 623 East 96 Street (across from the hospital). Bazile died at the hospital from the injuries.
On Wednesday, July 1, at 10:20 pm a 911 call came in of a person stabbed inside of 324 Bradford Street. Raymond Bermudez, 39, had multiple stab wounds to the body and died at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center. Michael Brabham, 28, was arrested and charged with murder a day later. They both resided at the address.
And on Monday, June 29, shortly after 6 pm police responded to a 911 call of a man shot in front of 1615 Dean Street in Crown Heights. The 21-year-old man they found had been shot multiple times in the torso and died at Health+Hospitals Kings County.
That’s 8 neighbors dead in the last 7 days. All the killings took place in 4 precincts – 67, 73, 75 and 77.
Brooklyn North has seen a 36% increase in murders (44, up from 35), and a 33% increase in the number of shooting victims, compared to last year – 156 vs 117. Of those 156, 64 took place in June. Shooting incidents also more than doubled from May to June, and most of them took place in two precincts – 75 and 73.
In Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, there has been a 92% increase in murders, albeit from a much lower base. This year so far 23 people have been killed, compared to 12 this time last year. Shooting victim numbers are up 102% at 87 versus 43 this time last year, 31 of them from within 67th Precinct which covers East Flatbush. Just under half of them, 39 of the 87, took place in June, up from 18 in May.
Police and Mayor Bill de Blasio blame the justice system.
“The challenges are great for an NYPD facing the strain of deep budget cuts, changes to the criminal justice system that are impacting the courts and the continuing international health pandemic,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a statement released today.
“From my point of view, the most central issue of what’s happening over this last weekend is the fact that the court system is not functioning, that when our police effectuate an arrest, they don’t have the same follow through they’re used to seeing from the court system,” de Blasio said at his daily press conference this morning. “We’ve got to get the court system up and running. We’ve got to get the DAs doing their work so that we can address folks who are violent in communities and are causing harm to their neighbors. I think that’s the most central issue here on top of everything else, all the other dislocations that have occurred with the coronavirus.”
“It’s a combination of things – bail reform, COVID releases from prison, court shut down. Rikers at a half of where they were last year with a population,” NYPD Chief of Department, Terence Monahan said at the press conference. “You know, I’ve said this before, the animosity towards police out there is tremendous. You know, just about everyone we deal with is looking to fight a police officer when we go to make an arrest. It is so vital that we get our communities coming together, supporting our cops, speaking off for the police officers that are out there. Their morale is low. You’re looking at a lot of the rhetoric that’s going out there, which is being done by a small minority of people, when the vast majority do support our police. And it’s important that we reach out to our communities, through neighborhood policing, and get them on our side, let them know how they want their neighborhoods policed.”
“We have heavy quality of life issues throughout the city,” Monahan continued. “We need to deal with our communities and see how they want us to deal with it. A lot of these quality life issues are what led us to be able to reduce crime by addressing these quality of life issues. So, we need to know from the communities how they want their neighborhoods, please. And, again, we’ve mentioned this insane diaphragm law that the City Council passed. It has our cops hesitant to enforce some of these quality of life issues. They are afraid, if they’re making an arrest, that if their knee goes on the back of someone, that they are fighting their life or that they could be prosecuted – that’s a problem. It makes our cops take that step back. It’s only effective to New York City police officers and peace officers. It doesn’t affect any other law enforcement agency within the city. It is something that really has to be dealt with if we want to be able to move past this. So, it’s a big issue to our cops. It’s something that has to be dealt with. It’s unacceptable the amount of violence that we had this weekend. It is something that we have to deal with, the guns that are on the street, and figure out new ways to get them, get them as they’re walking out on the streets and make those arrests.”
Jumaane Williams was not buying it. “This past weekend New York City saw a devastating increase in gun violence, lives lost and lives forever changed, and this phenomena repeats across the nation. [..] But now, we hear unhelpful and unconfirmed accusations and reasonings for this violence – whether civilian to officer, civilian to civilian, officer to civilian. To blame budget reallocations, bail reforms, or banning chokeholds is a false narrative excluding the many factors leading to this moment, including a pandemic and economic crisis which have disproportionately affected these same communities.”
“We cannot accept any of these as excuses. If we are going to make meaningful change, if we are going to take steps to stop violence and save lives, it needs to come from an honest conversation toward real solutions, with everyone playing their part. What I have seen and heard is not honest or helpful,” Williams said. “Protecting public safety means redefining it, reimagining what we can do when police are not the entirety of our public safety strategy. It also means acknowledging that all of these issues are inextricably interconnected. What brings violence interrupters into the streets is connected to what leads protesters to occupy City Hall. And what unites all of these calls for change is that only when united, when working together, will we achieve that transformational change.”