Alternative Universe NYT: Spike In Shootings During The Racial Reckoning May Outlast The Riots
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From the New York Times news section:

The Spike in Shootings During the Pandemic May Outlast the Virus

About 505 people were shot in New York City through May 9, the highest year-to-date number in a decade.

A more accurately informative headline would be:

The Spike in Shootings During the Racial Reckoning May Outlast the Riots

Back to the NYT’s spin:

By Troy Closson
May 14, 2021

… The three were among 170 people shot over the last four full weeks, according to police data. The last time so many people were shot over the same four-week period in New York City was 1997.

The major rise in gun violence in the city began in 2020, after a period in which violent crime dropped to its lowest levels in more than six decades.

To be pedantic, 2018 was the best year for fewest homicides in New York City since Joe DiMaggio played for the Yankees. 2019 was slightly worse. Whether the 2018 to 2019 uptick was just random fluctuation or as an early premonition of the trend that exploded in June 2020 is probably unanswerable.

Now, even as New York City emerges from the pandemic, the spike that began as the virus spread last spring has shown no sign of receding: As of the second weekend in May, the city had recorded 505 shooting victims, the most through that point of any year in the last decade.

Experts say the economic and physical strain of the virus, which disproportionately took lives and jobs from neighborhoods that were already struggling with high levels of gun violence, most likely drove the rise in shootings.

Oddly, however, only a modest amount of evidence for the proposition that the pandemic drove the big increase in gunplay can be seen until after the media-declared the Racial Reckoning following the Memorial Day death of George Floyd.

As I pointed out seven months ago in Taki’s:

Similarly, here’s the NYPD’s graph of [cumulative] shooting victims in New York City with 2019 in red and 2020 in yellow:

Once again, 2020 was running strangely similar to 2019 despite the severe death toll NYC had absorbed in early April from the pandemic.

New York City, which has probably been the best policed big city in America in this century, did not see a rise in shootings as fast as Chicago did. But then in the first week of June 2020, gunplay ramped up and subsequently exploded in the second week of the month, the time of Floyd’s jaw-dropping funeral, with 72 victims versus 14 in the same week of 2019.

Through the end of May, 2020 shootings had been up 18 percent over 2019 in New York City. But in June through September, the number of killed or wounded has been an insane 156 percent higher than last year.

Back to the NYT:

Those factors are not likely to subside soon, criminologists warn, and the spike may persist even as virus cases plummet. That in turn has stoked fears that gun violence will slow the city’s ability to bounce back from its long lockdown.

Restaurants, stores, offices, theaters and many other businesses and cultural institutions will be allowed to open fully May 19. But the cycles of violent retaliation fueled by individual shootings in recent months will be hard to break, said Jeffrey Butts, the director of the research and evaluation center at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

“That kind of motivation does not go away suddenly because the lockdown is over and people are going back to work in their offices,” Dr. Butts said. “That’s my big concern. This could be a generation that we have screwed up for some time. And I don’t know how long it will take to reverse that.”

… Other large cities including Los Angeles and Philadelphia also reported jumps in gun violence during the pandemic. Chicago saw 865 shootings by the first weekend of this month with about a third of the population of New York, compared with about 550 in 2019 and 650 in 2020.

… Those who study crime statistics also caution that making direct comparisons between 2020 and this year can be misleading: Gun violence dropped last year as the city shut down early in the pandemic and did not begin to rise significantly until the second half of the year.

To be precise, the huge explosion in New York City mass shootings happened in the second weekend in June. Presumably, it took awhile for the lowlifes to notice that the long-fearsome NYPD had pulled back to avoid starring in a BLM video, so that they were finally free to carry their illegal handguns to block parties in case they needed to shoot somebody who dissed them (and several ladies twerking in the vicinity).

In contrast, in traditionally less well-policed Chicago, the mayhem exploded immediately, with the weekend following George Floyd’s death being the most murderous one in the annals of Chicago crime in the six decades such stats have been carefully recorded.

“Year-to-date comparisons right now are going to be quite fraught,” said John Pfaff, a law professor at Fordham University. “Naïve comparisons of a locked-down first quarter of 2020 to a non-locked-down first quarter of 2021 will almost surely make 2021 look worse.”

Uh, that’s just confusing. Only the last two weeks of Q1 2020 were locked down. I suspect what he’s trying to say without saying it is that the Racial Reckoning’s New Normal of roughly 50 murders per day nationally didn’t emerge until late in Q2 2020 after George Floyd, so that of course Q1 2021 is going to be worse than Q1 2020.

Michael LiPetri, the Police Department’s chief of crime control strategies, said in an interview this week that conflicts and retaliation between groups of teenagers and young men continued to fuel much of the gun violence. He estimated that about three-fourths of the shootings contained a nexus to crews, or youth gangs. Marcos Gonzalez Soler, who heads the mayor’s office of criminal justice, placed the total closer to 40 percent and added that unrelated interpersonal conflicts among people who had no prior convictions had contributed heavily.

In other words, most of the people pulling the triggers like to think of themselves as gangstas, but most of these murders aren’t as carefully considered as Michael Corleone slowly but remorselessly coming to the conclusion that his brother Fredo must be whacked.

… Experts say pointing out a single reason for their persistence is impossible, and they note that much of the discussions about factors responsible for the shooting spike remain conjecture. Dermot F. Shea, the police commissioner, often places blame on recent statewide criminal justice changes, which he says have made it harder to keep those charged with criminal offenses in jail.

But others emphasize the role of the pandemic in further disrupting life in many of the areas where shootings have risen. The volume of guns in New York and elsewhere, which data suggests rose significantly during the pandemic, has made the spillover of firearms into illegal hands more common, experts add.

… Ms. Ford attributed the ongoing rise to a combination of myriad challenges of the past year: joblessness and economic downturn; persistent school absences and challenges logging onto remote classes, along with an absence of after-school activities; and more disputes turning into shootings because of the proliferation of guns over the last year.

And in a city where the virus killed more than 30,000 people, many of them older, thousands of families lost stabilizing matriarchs and patriarchs. “There’s some drastic changes that took place in people’s houses,” Ms. Ford said.

Violent crime traditionally rises in the summer, but last year was particularly alarming as the city recorded 205 shootings in June — the highest for that month since 1996.

I seem to recall a criminal justice-related event in the news in late May 2020. But, I guess that couldn’t possibly have had an effect on criminal justice statistics in June 2020, or the NYT would tell us about it.

If that trend continues in coming months, the gun violence could result in a stark divide: As some areas return to vibrant summer life in a reopened city, neighborhoods where shootings are troublingly commonplace could continue to reel. The affected areas are largely home to people of color, who are disproportionately the victims of shootings. This year, about 96 percent of shooting victims have been Black or Latino, police data shows, similar to previous years. One percent, or seven victims, have been white.

What exemplifies White Privilege more than white people not getting shot in the Gun Violence that, for reasons, must be their fault?

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