Chris Lange, FISM News
New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) rolled out an ambitious plan to “curb gun violence” on Monday following a spate of violent crimes including a Friday ambush in Harlem that left an NYPD rookie cop dead and another officer fighting for his life.
This attack was in addition to several other high-profile violent incidents across NYC since Adams took office on Jan. 1. Two other officers were shot in separate altercations in other areas of the city, and an 11-month-old girl remains in critical condition after being shot in the face as she sat in a parked car with her mother in front of a Bronx grocery store.
In his “Blueprint to End Gun Violence,” the mayor calls gun-related crimes a “public health crisis” that will “require both intervention and prevention.”
The sea of gun violence in our city does not have one single point of origin. It flows from many rivers, each contributing to the problem.
A former police captain, Adams says his plan will deliver on his November election campaign promise to address the city’s out-of-control violent crime. The “blueprint” includes the deployment of additional cops to 30 of the city’s 77 precincts where the majority of violent crimes occur. Officers will be required to wear body cameras and undergo “enhanced” training and oversight.
The mayor also plans to reinstate controversial plainclothes police officer units, which were disbanded in 2020 by former Mayor Bill De Blasio (D). Individuals traveling to New York City can also expect to be screened for illegal guns through facial recognition technology at “spot checks” spread out over multiple entry points.
“We are turning our pain into purpose,” Adams said at the Monday news conference.
The plan also allows authorities to confiscate illicit firearms; however, Adams says new guns are entering the city at a faster rate than confiscations, which totaled 6,000 in 2021, calling NYC a weapons “dumping ground.”
Adams is also encouraging the city’s prosecutors to “triage gun cases” for priority in determining cases for trial and urged lawmakers to place a lower threshold on the number of guns trafficked before felony charges can be brought.
Gun violence has surged dramatically in the Big Apple over the past two years. The city counted 488 murders last year alone, a 5.6% increase over 2020, which itself marked a 47% jump from the prior year according to Reuters. Some experts blame the trend on the pandemic, which they say has reduced the number of police officers on duty. Others point to soft-on-crime policies and DAs in progressive-Democratic-led cities who refuse to prosecute criminals.
Newly-installed NYC District Attorney Alvin Bragg has come under heavy criticism for vowing to impose lighter sentences on criminals and reducing several felony crimes, including resisting arrest, to misdemeanor.
Several people responded to Adam’s announcement on Twitter, pointing out that his plan is doomed unless Bragg and other legislators don’t take a tougher stance against criminals:
It's criminal violence. Crack down on the criminals and pressure leftist DAs do prosecute.
— Make Burma Great Again! 🇺🇸 🇲🇲 🇹🇼 🇭🇰 (@Down_W_Tatmadaw) January 24, 2022
That’s a great plan but it can’t work unless the city council, state legislature and Governor make it easier for cops to do their job. And if ccrb stops thinking their mission is to destroy the dept. Once the dept says an officer acted properly ccrb shouldn’t be able to hurt them
— Thomas Crown914 (@Tomas_AAA) January 25, 2022
“This plan will not end our crisis of gun violence overnight. But it will represent the biggest action in years to protect New York City and our communities by marshalling [sic.] the collective action of all New Yorkers and bringing unprecedented resources to bear,” Adams said at the conclusion of his 15-page Blueprint, adding that his administration “will fight for to implement this plan relentlessly in the coming weeks and months… and will never stop fighting to protect New Yorkers.”