Former New York Gov. George Pataki slammed the surge in shootings breaking out in the Big Apple, saying the violence is a ‘regression to those dark days when criminals ruled the streets.’
The Republican said he’s shocked by the staggering rise in shootings, even amid the coronavirus pandemic.
‘We’re going backwards. It’s tragic. We’ve got to change it,’ he said.
In New York there were 634 shootings through July 12, compared with only 396 in the same period last year, according to police data.
Police have made arrests in 23 percent of shootings thus far in 2020, which is below the typical rate of 30 percent.
‘When I took office, New York was the most dangerous state in America. People got used to safety over the last 20 years,’ Pataki said during a radio interview with John Catsimatidis on 770 AM on Sunday.
‘They don’t remember the time back when we were so dangerous. What we are seeing now is a regression to those dark days when criminals ruled the streets.
‘When parents were afraid to send their kids to school. And when tourists knew better than to come to New York. I’m worried about the future of New York,’ he added.
While shootings have risen in New York City all year, the week of July 13 was particularly deadly with at least 63 incidents – up from 20 reported over the same period last year, as per the New York Post.
President Donald Trump has also voiced his concern over the rise of violence in New York and threatened to send in federal officers if local leaders couldn’t buckle down on the shootings.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed back against Trump and the president agreed to not send in troops.
Mayor Bill De Blasio introduced an ‘End Gun Violence Plan’ earlier this month to combat the violence, which will roll out increased foot patrols, shift deployments and host more gun buy-back events in areas that have a high number of shootings.
Pataki cast eviscerated the state’s leaders for allowing ‘radicals’ to plant anti-police sentiment in the city.
‘In a short period of time, the radicals have taken over,’ Pataki said.
‘Name one politician in the State of New York or the City of New York that’s standing up and defending our police,’ he said.
Pataki also pointed towards bail reform for a rise in shooting and said Democrats treat the ‘criminal [as] the victim.’
Earlier in June Police Commissioner Dermot F. Shea said in an interview with CNN that the rise in shootings was tied to the release of thousands of people from Rikers Island under a new bail law and the release of inmates due to coronavirus.
‘When you put those two factors together and now you add in an anti-police sentiment and new laws that do not help the police, it is a toxic, toxic environment,’ he said.
But New York City isn’t the only metropolis seeing a surge in gun violence. Similar surges have been reported in Chicago and Philadelphia.
By July 19, the United States had already suffered 305 shootings in 2020, including 60 in May and 95 in June, according to the Washington Post.
Across the country the pandemic has only deepened problems behind gun violence including poverty, unemployment, housing instability and hunger, crime experts said to the New York Times.
In the coronavirus crisis unemployment in New York City has soared above 20 percent.
In New York on July 14 there were 14 shootings in the city overnight with 18 victims including a 17-year-old who was shot and killed in East Harlem. Days earlier two gunmen opened fire at a cookout in Bed-Stuy killing a one-year-old boy.
That same week arrests noticably plummeted. Cops made 1,481 arrests.
While there’a spike in shootings the number of arrests in New York City have only decreased, in part because officers are pulled onto social distancing and protest patrols.