Over the past few weeks, many large cities including New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Philadelphia have experienced a massive crime wave. The spike in crime included a large rise in fatal shootings, including one in Atlanta that killed an 8-year-old girl.
In New York City, after the police department disbanded its plainclothes anti-crime unit in the middle of June, the city has seen a 205% increase in shootings compared to last year. Between June 15 and July 2 this year, the city has had 116 shootings compared to just 38 during the same time period last year.
Ceding to the calls of some leftist activists to defund the police, the New York City Council proposed last month to cut its 2021 fiscal year budget by $1 billion. Some council members, however, have blamed the proposed budget cuts for the recent spike in shootings.
Robert Holden, a Democrat council member from Queens, took to Twitter to express his outrage.
“Last night was a prime example of the damage defunding the police and all the other anti-police legislation, that @NYCCouncil passed, has done to this city,” Holden tweeted on July 5. “Ten shootings last night, and the uncontrollable fireworks gave the impression of a war-torn city. This is what happens when elected officials don’t look past their own self-interests and appease a vocal minority of people who want complete lawlessness and anarchy.”
In Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp, R, declared a state of emergency on Monday following a rise in deadly shootings. He also called up 1,000 National Guard members to help protect the state Capitol, the Governor’s Mansion, and the Department of Public Safety’s headquarters.
Over Independence Day weekend, at least 24 people were shot around Atlanta according to local news reports, with five people dying as a result.
Tragically, one of the five people who died in Atlanta over the weekend was an 8-year-old girl. According to police, Secoriea Turner was driving on the interstate and took the exit close to the Wendy’s where Officer Garrett Rolfe recently shot Rayshard Brooks.
Shortly thereafter, an armed group surrounded the car and proceeded to fire into the vehicle, striking Turner’s daughter. The 8-year-old was taken to the hospital and later pronounced dead.
The police have issued a $10,000 reward for anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the criminals.
In Chicago, so far this year 254 people have been killed in over 1,000 shootings across the city. This is 16 more than were killed at this point in 2019. Over Independence Day weekend alone, 87 people were shot leaving 17 fatalities including 7-year-old Natalia Wallace. 10 children have been killed in fatal shootings in Chicago alone since June 20, 2020.
To combat the spike in crime, Chicago Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, called for more gun control at a press conference on Monday. It’s unclear how many guns involved in the shootings in Chicago were legally purchased, and whether additional gun control would help reduce the city’s gun violence.
In Los Angeles, police saw a 250% increase in shootings during the first week in June compared to the previous week.
Ironically, the Los Angeles City Council voted on July 2 to cut $150 million from the Los Angeles Police Department’s 2021 fiscal year budget, which was proposed to be $1.86 billion before the cut. The measure passed in a vote of 12-2.
Baltimore has also seen a spike in homicides, with 134 fatal shootings in the city, six more than at the same point in 2019. Yet, the Baltimore City Council recently sent a budget proposal with a $22 million cut to the Baltimore Police Department to the mayor’s desk.
In Philadelphia, on July 5, 23 people were shot across the city which is the highest single-day total since 2013. One of the victims was a 15-year-old boy who was fatally shot in the head.
Following the June riots, the defund the police movement and the prosecution of Officer Garrett Rolfe in the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks, some have speculated that there will be new crime wave due to this convergence of factors.
It seems the new crime wave may already be here. It remains to be seen whether the spike will be here to stay.
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