Holden Walter-Warner, Daily Mail, February 19, 2021
Cuomo spent time discussing crime in New York City during his COVID briefing on Friday morning, citing numbers in the context of the upcoming mayoral race.
‘Crime in New York City is a major problem,’ Cuomo said.
He then went on to cite alarming statistics about the crime rate in the city, pointing out that murders rose 47 percent from 2019 to 2020.
The NYPD reported 468 murders in 2020 after reporting just 319 murders in 2019, a rise of 46.7 percent.
The 468 murders in 2020 were the most in the city 515 murders were recorded back in 2011.
Cuomo also stated that more than 92 percent of shooting victims over the previous year are either black or Hispanic, another blow to communities reeling from the COVID-19 crisis.
Cuomo appeared to take aim at the NYPD as well, saying ’70 percent [of shootings] are unsolved.’
Additionally, Cuomo discussed dangers of the homeless population, including an anecdote of a colleague being hit in the head on the subway by a homeless person.
Recently, several people were stabbed and two were killed by a homeless man in the subways, leading to 644 officers being deployed underground in NYC.
The transit agency in charge of the subway, however, was hoping to see 1,500 officers deployed in the subways.
‘It is up to them, what they do,’ Cuomo said, putting the onus on the mayor and New York City to reduce crime, rather than the state.
In the wake of the unrest caused by George Floyd’s murder, Cuomo issued guidance calling for police reform across the state, with plans needed to be adopted by April 1 to receive state funding.
‘We have to address the tensions and lack of trust between our communities and the law enforcement that serves them,’ Cuomo said in June.
‘I understand it’s complicated. I understand it’s difficult. But people are dying. New Yorkers do not run from a crisis – this is a time for leadership and action. Local elected officials must work together with the community and their police forces, to develop and implement reforms for a safer, fairer policing standard.’
Cuomo was quick to remind in his briefing that April 1 is just 41 days away.
Not all of the news on the crime front in New York City was bad in 2020.
For the seventh straight year, major felony offenses in the city dropped, although the fall from 2019 was marginal, with just 13 less felony offenses recorded in 2020.
The new year started off auspiciously for crime in the city, as murders spiked by 125 percent over the first ten days of 2021 from a year ago.
Since then, however, the reports of major crimes such as murders has begun to taper off in the city.
Through Valentine’s Day, there have been 38 murders in New York City, an 11.6 percent decline from a year ago.
Rapes, robberies, felony assaults, burglaries, and cases of grand larceny have also declined from this time a year ago, all by double digits with the exception of burglaries (down 9.8 percent).
The only felony offense on the rise from a year ago so far is grand larceny auto, which is up 9.9 percent from last year.
Candidates for mayor are still clarifying their messages on crime, but with the Democratic primary just four months away, patterns are emerging.
The New York Times reports that many of the major candidates have been avoiding calls to defund the police, although city comptroller Scott Stringer used the expression before later changing his message to back off of that stance.