Mayor de Blasio’s recent press conference, chock full of happy talking points about the decline of crime in our city, was a bitter pill to swallow for me and many of my neighbors in Crown Heights.
Fueled by his presidential hopes, de Blasio sat with police commanders in front of giant letters saying SAFEST BIG CITY and crowed about how his NYPD had, remarkably, driven crime down in the month of May.
“We’re on an extraordinary pace now, five months in the year. We’ve never seen anything like this before in terms of NYPD driving down homicides to such a low level. Shootings — also down almost 21%, May 2019 compared to May 2018. This is extraordinary.”
I happen to live in one of those neighborhoods where something extraordinary — not the kind de Blasio likes to boast about at press conferences — is going on.
According to the NYPD’s own CompStat numbers, there were six murders in the 77th Precinct in the first five months of this year, compared with only one in the same period in 2018 — an eye-popping increase of 500%.
There were 10 shootings during the same period, compared with 7 last year, an increase of 43%. Robberies are up 30%.
Well into the mayor’s celebratory press conference, a reporter pointed out that crime is clearly rising in the 10 precincts of the Brooklyn North command. “Year to date, we are still up,” Chief Lori Pollack acknowledged. “I can give you the exact numbers if you want to stand by or at the end.”
That is typical. Politicians and the NYPD brass memorize the good numbers to a decimal point, but get fuzzy about where and why crime is spiking out of control.