The new mayor of New York, Eric Adams, promised Monday, January 24, to rid the megalopolis of firearms, in particular by deploying plainclothes police in the streets after a series of violence in recent days which claimed the life of a young agent.
“Gun violence is a public health crisis that continues to threaten every corner of the city”, launched this former African-American police officer during the announcement of a series of measures.
“Public safety is my administration’s top priority, and that’s why we’re going to get guns off our streets, protect our people, and create a safe, prosperous, and just city for all New Yorkers.”, said this elected representative of the right wing of the Democratic Party.
Arrived at the town hall on the 1is January on a program to fight against insecurity and socio-economic inequalities, Mr. Adams is confronted with an upsurge in violent miscellaneous events.
On Friday, a 22-year-old New York City Police (NYPD) officer was killed and another seriously injured in an exchange of gunfire at an apartment in Harlem, northern Manhattan.
A week earlier in the same neighborhood, a 19-year-old Puerto Rican was shot dead by a robber in a fast food restaurant. On January 15, another 40-year-old woman was killed by a mentally ill homeless man who pushed her onto a subway track as the train pulled into the Times Square station.
This murder, without a weapon, marked the spirits, as much as the injuries inflicted on an 11-month-old girl hit by a stray bullet in the Bronx, while she was in the car with her mother. “We are not going to abandon our city to the violence of a few”, thundered Mr. Adams.
One of the main measures of his plan is the re-establishment of plainclothes police patrols, “anti-crime units” renamed “anti-gun units” which had been deleted in 2020 after the death of the African-American George Floyd, killed by a police officer in Minneapolis.
These cops were feared when Michael Bloomberg was mayor (2002-2013) for their controversial searches of young blacks and Hispanics suspected of carrying firearms.
Firearm violence in New York, disproportionate to what it was thirty years ago, increased slightly in 2021 (+4.3% compared to 2020, itself up on 2019) in particular due to the Covid-19 pandemic.