As NYC Gun Violence Soars, Black Leaders Call for Restoration of NYPD Anti-Crime Unit


A number of black community leaders in New York City are calling for the city’s plainclothes anti-crime unit to be restored amid escalating violent crime.

Mayor Bill de Blasio disbanded the unit last month amid calls to “defund the police” in the wake of the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

After a weekend that saw an infant shot to death in Brooklyn, the borough’s president, Eric Adams, spoke to WCBS-TV about the city’s issues with violent crime.

“Babies are not supposed to be wearing these in a coffin,” Adams said of a small pair of shoes.

Adams, a former police officer, told WCBS the city must bring back the anti-crime unit to stop the escalating violence.

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“I think that a total elimination is something we need to re-evaluate,” he said. “Right now, bad guys are saying if you don’t see a blue and white, you can do whatever you want.”

Another activist in the community partially blamed de Blasio for the death of the child.

“The guns keep going off and now we have a 1-year-old and the blood is on the hands of the mayor and the state Legislature,” community activist Tony Herbert told the outlet.

The NYPD broke up the anti-crime unit in June.

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The department reassigned the unit’s 600 members and said the style of policing they practiced was a relic of the past.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said at the time that the department would no longer use “brute force” to combat violent crime, NPR reported.

The decision to break up the anti-crime operation was criticized by Police Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch, who said city leaders would have to “reckon with the consequences.”

De Blasio criticized Lynch and defended the decision.

“The history of American is policing very troubled and that history has to be overcome. It’s not going to be overcome by sticking to traditions that didn’t work,” he said, according to NPR.

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“This new approach will keep us safe but take a major step away from the division that was caused by overly aggressive policing in the past,” de Blasio added.

Since the unit was disbanded, reported shootings and homicides in the city have skyrocketed. The New York Post reported earlier this month that shootings had increased 205 percent.

Over the weekend, 35 people were shot in 28 separate incidents in New York, according to Fox News.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.