The New York Post’s Nicole Gelinas reports that after decades of Big Apple violent crime declining and staying flat, it’s going the wrong way fast.
Over the month until June 7 — including the crucial Memorial Day weekend — New York’s murder rate more than doubled, to 42 murders, from 18 the year before — a jolt of 133 percent. Shooting victims, including wounded, are up 45 percent. Stabbings are up, too.
To be clear: Going back to the early ’90s, New York has never seen a sustained increase of this magnitude. Nothing close: The nearest spike in the early summer month was a short-lived 63 percent hike in 2006, just half today’s increase. And that increase did portend an 11 percent murder hike for all of 2006, the second-highest in three decades.
This isn’t an aberration coming off a good spring. For the year, murder is up 25 percent. If these rates hold, New York would end 2020 with an increase in murders twice as high as we’ve seen since 1990.
1990 is an important year in crime. There were 23,440 murders in the United States that year. New York suffered 2,262 of those, making it the nation’s bloodiest city. That same year, Chicago had 849 murders. Violent crime had been rising for decades up to the 1990s, to the point that it was an important part of the national conversation. (That was a time when national conversations were still possible and did not devolve into shouting matches or cancel swarms.)
Violent crime continued to escalate. Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton ran for the presidency in 1992 as a “new Democrat,” and part of the shiny and new with him was an emphasis on stopping crime. His party led all the nation’s bloodiest cities, judges from his party had weakened sentencing for offenders and repeat offenders, and at the same time had sought to disarm law-abiding Americans through gun control legislation. Democrats and their policies were very much to blame. The young lip-biting governor recognized this and ran against his own party on key issues for much of the campaign. Crime was one of those issues.
One of Clinton’s major turning points, rhetorically and in image, was the moment in June 1992 when he went to Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition and denounced rapper Sister Souljah.
Clinton delivered this speech on June 13, 1992, within a few weeks of the bloody LA riots. He glided through the gears in this address at a time when the incumbent president, George H. W. Bush, had been seen as ineffective for his handling of the riots.
With “defund the police” in the air, can you imagine another Democrat stepping up and addressing the nation in such a way now? Biden has neither the skill, the coherence, nor the ability to read the moment. Who on the left will step up and denounce antifa for its evident role in hijacking the George Floyd protests and turning them violent? Who could?
As Gelinas points out, New York’s 2020 June murder spike isn’t aberrant. It’s not due to the protests that spun out into riots and looting. Homicides have been tracking upward all year.
New York’s crime increase cannot be blamed on increasing population. The city has been noticeably losing residents for close to a year. In the halcyon pre-plague days of Sept. 2019, New Yorkers were leaving because they’d voted in very expensive public policy and then decided to leave without paying the tab. Plus crime was already starting to creep up.
They also elected Rep. AOC, who happily killed 10,000 jobs. That sent a pretty strong signal to corporations that were in many cases already eyeing leaving New York: Now’s as good a time as any.
In March 2020, New Yorkers who could afford to started leaving because they did not want to live in the global coronavirus pandemic epicenter.
Now they’ll leave because they don’t want to get murdered or mugged on the street by career criminals, or other reasons such as New York’s disastrous handling of COVID, at both the city and state level.
David Dinkins’ New York was a crime-ridden hole in need of a Batman to clean it up. That’s when New York suffered six murders a day. Rudy Guiliani’s New York was clean, prosperous, and safe. Policing “broken windows,” and the context of a nation fed up with worsening crime, brought violent crime in New York and across the country under greater control. The FBI says violent crime declined 51% between 1993 and 2018. That decline was no accident. It took a nation stirred to fight it, and the Democrats essentially pushing aside their chaotic left fringe. Such an action today invites cancelation.
“Defund the police” is not popular anywhere but the inflexible minds of people like New York’s current mayor.