The 2021 homicide rate is running about even with last year’s tally, but not for lack of trying on the part of aspiring murderers with bad aim: Shooting incidents and victims are way up and appear to be accelerating.
In response, Mayor Bill de Blasio has rolled out a series of unserious proposals and reforms that would be hilarious if the problem weren’t so horrible. He’s setting up 2021, his last year in office, as a monument to his failed tenure.
On Monday, he introduced a “way to reimagine policing” that he and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams cooked up. Called the “Advance Peace Model,” the new program will bring the unacknowledged “co-producers of public safety,” namely community organizations and “violence interrupters,” to confront shootings.
According to Williams — who live-streamed into the mayor’s daily briefing from his home safe inside US Army Garrison Fort Hamilton — New York City has already seen amazing success with programs that bring “credible messengers” to the streets to help young New Yorkers “at risk of engaging in gun violence.”
One might have thought their victims are the ones who are “at risk,” but according to Williams, the “Cure Violence” program, “based on a model we saw in Chicago,” produced a “marked decrease in gun violence.”
If Chicago — where shootings and murders were up 50 percent in 2020 — is the “model,” maybe we shouldn’t expect things will go too well in New York either.
De Blasio is yet again trotting out “violence interruption” as a solution to the problem of rampant gunfire. It was only last July — just eight months ago — that he told us about a stunning new proposal to end shootings by giving more support to local community groups, which would intervene with “at risk” youth, “addressing the root causes” of gun violence.
Now, when a city program shows no success, and the problem it is meant to address gets much worse, one would think the leaders would try something new. Not in de Blasio’s New York.
As part of his “Recovery for All of Us” program, de Blasio has outlined 36 reforms “to undo the legacy and harm of racialized policing,” though he is careful to note that this is just “the first step of a three-part process.”
In the midst of a stunning reversal of three decades of declining violent crime, it’s hard to understand why now is the moment “to acknowledge the NYPD’s historical role in the mistreatment of communities of color” and undo the very policing tactics (such as the NYPD anti-crime unit, dismantled last June) that have taken guns off the street and protected predominantly nonwhite neighborhoods. But that’s the plan.
Among the 36 reforms, the NYPD will impose “restorative-justice training” among brass to “repair relationships with communities.” This theme comes up a lot these days, especially in the mayoral candidate forums that have been going on practically nonstop. Questions about public safety are invariably turned to the problem of “trust” between the community and the NYPD.
But is trust in the police really the major problem, or would New Yorkers prefer to be able to go shopping without fear of being shot and take the subway without fear of being shoved?
The NYPD will also expand the “successful Brownsville pilot” of community-based intervention. Shooting victims in Brownsville are up 140 percent this year.
In response to the rising tide of racist attacks on Asian people, First Lady Chirlane McCray called for New Yorkers to “intervene when witnessing hateful violence.”
In a series of boneheaded tweets, McCray suggested we “just try interrupting it. Ignore the harasser and engage directly with the person who is being targeted by asking a question like, ‘What time is it?’” She concludes by encouraging us to “physically intervene . . . after assessing the situation.”
McCray’s advice to get between violent sociopaths and their victims is reminiscent of Brooklyn beep Eric Adams’ recommendation not to call 911 when people are lighting fireworks, but to talk it out instead; that idiotic counsel got Shatavia Walls killed.
Officials like Adams and McCray don’t want to tell us to call 911 because they’ll get slammed by the anti-cop left, which fantasizes that every NYPD officer is a Klan member.
New York City is facing a real disaster. But Mayor de Blasio is too busy counting the days until he can punch out to care.
Seth Barron is managing editor of The American Mind and author of the forthcoming book “The Last Days of New York.”