Violent crimes are up in New York City, yet under Mayor Eric Adams, a former New York City Police Department police officer for 20 years, there has been an increase in arrests for low-level crimes.
Low-level crimes include such violations as gambling, trespassing, and drinking in public.
The crime rate in the city climbed 31 percent in July compared to July 2021, with a spike in murders, shootings, thefts, and robberies, The New York Daily News reported.
Shootings and murders in July were behind the 31 percent increase, the NYPD said. Murders increased 34 percent in July 2022 compared to July 2021, the NYPD data shows. There were 47 murders in July 2022, compared to 35 committed in July 2021.
Shootings increased 13 percent in July 2022 to July 2021, with 178 shooting incidents this year, up from 157 in July 2021.
Misdemeanor arrests in NYC went up 25 percent in the first six months of Adams’ administration. This marks the first increase in nearly a decade. Low-level crimes are often considered quality-of-life crimes.
While some experts say that focusing on these quality-of-life crimes will also make New Yorker feel safe, others say the increase in such crimes will result in a disproportionate number of people of color included in those arrests, which in turn will result in a further “destabilization of already fragile lives and lead to a new era of mass incarceration,” Bloomberg reported. This means poor Black New Yorkers are impacted the most.
Black people are arrested at rates that exceed their share of the population.
Misdemeanors tend to carry a maximum penalty of one year of incarceration and/or fines. This class of crime accounts for the bulk of the cases in the criminal legal system in New York City as well as across the country.
The imprisonment for low-level crimes dramatically increases when there are more police have been out on the streets, which only happens when there is a police budget increase.
While Adams has had to contend with calls to defund the police, he actually increased the budget for the NYPD.
“We’re seeing arrests come through for things that we weren’t seeing for a long time,” said Eliza Orlins, a public defender with the Legal Aid Society who ran unsuccessfully for Manhattan District Attorney last year. “These are often cases that are minor violations — sleeping on a park bench, taking up two seats on the subway — it cycles people through the criminal justice system.”
Photo by Kindel Media: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-in-gray-t-shirt-being-searched-by-two-police-officers-7715199/