The New York City Police Department (NYPD) recently released its yearend crime data. The numbers showed a surge in murders and shooting throughout New York City in 2020. According to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, the last time the city saw such a dramatic increase in violence was 14 years ago.
There was a nearly 45 percent uptick in murders and 97 percent rise in shootings across the five boroughs. The total number of murders and shooting incidents reported last year were 462 and 1,531 respectively. There were more shootings from May through September than all the months of 2019 combined. The NYPD also recorded a 29 percent rise in annual gun arrests for 2020, including more than 2,000 in the last quarter alone.
According to the NYPD data, detectives cleared more than half of homicides that took place during the calendar year. Despite increases in murders, shootings and burglaries, the department reported an all-time low in overall index crimes. The NYPD noted that 2020 had been a challenging year for the city due to COVID-19 and large-scale racial justice protests.
Some officials claimed the state’s bail reforms were responsible for the rise in shootings and murders when inmates were released early to reduce the spread of the coronavirus inside jails. However, criminal justice reform advocates argued there was no evidence that bail reform was to blame for the crime surge. A spokesman for Mayor de Blasio noted that shootings increased nationwide, indicating that the pandemic was a key factor rather than any reasons specific to New York City.
Murder and manslaughter charges carry some of the harshest penalties, including decades in prison. If you are facing murder charges, it is important to seek experienced legal representation that can protect your freedom. Contact the criminal defense lawyers at Brill Legal Group to learn more.