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Black Leaders Call For NYPD To Bring Back Recently-Disbanded Anti-Crime Unit As Murder Rate Soars

New York, NY – Black community leaders are calling for the New York Police Department (NYPD)’s Anti-Crime Unit to be re-established due to the massive increase in murders and shootings throughout the city.

New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced on June 15 that he was eliminating the unit and reassigning the approximately 600 plainclothes officers that had been working in the Anti-Crime division to a variety of other roles, WNBC reported.

Commissioner Shea said that the NYPD would instead rely more heavily on intelligence, data, video and ShotSpotter technology in order to get guns off the streets.

“This is 21st century policing,” he declared at the time. “I think it’s time to move forward and change how we police in this city. We can do it with brains, we can do it with guile, we can move away from brute force.”

Just days later, 28 shootings took place in a span of 72 hours, leaving 38 people wounded, WCBS reported.

In fact, the total number of people shot in New York City during a single week in June was up a staggering 414 percent compared to the same time last year.

On Sunday night, one-year-old Davell Gardner was fatally shot in the abdomen by a gunman who opened fire on him and three men near a playground, CNN reported.

The little boy was pronounced dead upon his arrival at Interfaith Medical Center.

A search for his killer remained ongoing as of Tuesday.

The horrific attack seemed to be a tipping point for Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who discussed the surge in gun violence in a video on Monday, WCBS reported.

“Babies are not supposed to be wearing these in a coffin,” said Adams, as he held up a pair of toddler shoes.

Adams said that the NYPD’s plainclothes Anti-Crime Unit may need to be reinstated, WCBS reported.

“I think that a total elimination is something we need to reevaluate,” the borough president said. “Right now, bad guys are saying if you don’t see a blue and white you can do whatever you want.”

But during a press conference on Monday, Adams also blamed the NYPD for allegedly allowing the crime surge to occur in the first place.

“I don’t wanna hear a conversation about a slowdown in policing because your egos are hurt,” the former cop declared. “I want the same level of intention and dedication, ‘cause you are sworn to serve and protect this city, not to get into political issues!”

“Nine people shot and we haven’t made one arrest,” he continued. “Why does it take this long? We want the apprehension of the person involved…He can’t be saved merely now through a street ministry. He must be saved through a prison ministry. He must be inside for taking the life of this baby.”

Adams complained that society doesn’t seem to care about violence in the “black and brown” communities.

“I cannot help but to believe – 101 shootings, all black and brown, 101 victims, all black and brown – I can’t help but to believe that if any other ethnicity would have experienced this level of violence, we would have witnessed a national call of action,” Adams added. “The complacency and normality of the belief that we believe deaths in our community is normal…No we do not.”

Adams said that the community wants the city “to bring the resources” because they “don’t want to be burying our children.”

“We’re moving too slow on the federal, state, and city level to come up with a real cure for this disease of violence and gun violence,” he said.

Adams said that the “flow” of guns in the community must be stopped, which was precisely the task of the now-disbanded Anti-Crime Unit.

“We must demand our police department kick into gear!” he ranted.

Community activist Tony Herbert told WCBS that he also believes the Anti-Crime Unit is needed.

“Young people are getting shot because they don’t feel that there’s any authority that they need to respect out here,” Herbert told WPIX.

“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,” he added, according to WCBS.

United Clearly Coalition Bishop Gerald Seabrooks also blamed New York Mayor Bill de Blasio for the violence.

“I’m asking the mayor that he would please let the police come back into the street and do their job,” Seabrooks told WPIX. “The African American community has never asked that you take police off of the street. We’re asking that you stop police brutality.”

New York City Public Advocate Juumane Williams said that law enforcement officers are needed in order to help protect citizens, but that they are only part of the solution, AM New York Metro reported.

“If you think law enforcement and police have no part to play, you are wrong,” Williams said. “They have a part to play and many of us are going to do our part to make sure that part is done with equity and justice.”

“If you are out here saying that the only thing that these communities need are police, or that the biggest thing that they need are police, that is also wrong,” he added. “The same people that you keep seeing asking for more police…are they asking for more resources for their hospital, are they asking for more resources for their schools, are they asking for healthy food around them, are they asking for things for their young people to do?”

John Jay College professor and former law enforcement officer Joe Giaclone said that the city is now experiencing the effects caused by years of stripping police of their ability to combat gun violence, WCBS reported.

Disbanding the Anti-Crime Unit compounded the problems even further, he said.

“The gun police are no longer out there,” Giaclone told WCBS. “The criminals are opportunists. You know that.”

New York Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Pat Lynch said that the crime surge that followed the disbandment of the plainclothes unit has played out exactly as law enforcement officers warned it would.

“Anti-Crime’s mission was to protect New Yorkers by proactively preventing crime, especially gun violence,” Lynch said in a statement to the National Review. “Shooting and murders are both climbing steadily upward, but our city leaders have decided that proactive policing isn’t a priority anymore. They chose this strategy. They will have to reckon with the consequences.”

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called the surge in violent crime “heartbreaking,” but did not offer any solutions for helping to combat the problem, WCBS reported.

Shootings were up 277 percent over the past week in comparison to the same time last year, according to WCBS.

The number of people shot was 253 percent higher compared to 2019.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin

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