NYC: MURDER & RAPE SURGE

March 12, 2019 at 4:30 am

A rise in homicides and rapes in the city have police working overtime to determine why.

Aired on March 11, 2019. 

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>>> GOOD EVENINGED ON WELCOME TO
"METROFOCUS."
I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.
NEW YORK VERY WELL MAY BE THE
COUNTRY'S SAFEST BIG CITY AS THE
MAYOR LIKES TO SAY, BUT THERE IS
A TROUBLING SPIKE IN VIOLENT
CRIME THAT HAS SOME CITY LEADERS
WORRIED.
IN RESPONSE, THE PD HAS DEPLOYED
MORE OFFICERS TO PRECINCTS
SPREAD ACROSS THE BRONX,
BROOKLYN, MANHATTAN AND THE
QUEENS FOLLOWING A NEARLY 40%
SURGE IN MURDERS THIS YEAR, FROM
38 KILLINGS IN JANUARY AND
FEBRUARY OF LAST YEAR TO 52 SO
FAR THIS YEAR.
RAPE IS ALSO UP ALMOST 20%, THE
INCREASE IN CRIMES COMES AS
OTHER BURGLARIES AND ROBBERIES
PLUMMETED TO RECORD LOWS.
>> WE'RE TALKING VERY LOW.
THESE ARE THE LOWEST HOMICIDE
NUMBERS WE'VE HAD SINCE THE
1950s.
SO THERE ARE GOING TO BE
PERIODIC FLUCTUATIONS.
>> WHAT THE TREND SHOWS US IS
WHAT IS SO STRIKING.
THE OVERALL CRIME NUMBERS IS
DOWN 11%.
WE HAVE TO SEE THAT IN
PERSPECTIVE.
I THINK IF WE SAW SOMETHING
WHERE A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT
CATEGORIES WERE ALL GOING IN THE
SAME NEGATIVE DIRECTION, WE
WOULD BE VERY, VERY DEEPLY
CONCERNED.
>> FOR A CLOSER LOOK AT THE
NUMBERS AND THE CITY'S RESPONSE,
WE'RE JOINED NOW BY NEWS DAY NEW
YORK CITY CRIME REPORTER ANTHONY
STEPHANO.
WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.
>> THANK YOU.
>> THE PRESS CONFERENCE YOU
ATTENDED, THE MAYOR AND NYPD
WERE EMPHASIZING DECREASE IN
CRIMES.
BUT YOU HEARD THE NUMBERS I
GAVE.
YOU KNOW THE NUMBERS, THE SPIKE
IN VIOLENT CRIMES, THE ONE THAT
MATTERS MOST TO NEW YORKERS,
LET'S FACE IT.
WHAT ARE CITY OFFICIALS SAYING
IS CAUSING THESE SPIKES?
>> WELL, THEY'RE -- THEY TEND TO
THINK THAT CERTAINLY IN TERMS OF
THE HOMICIDES, THAT THE PROBLEM
HAS BEEN IN THE AREA OF GANG
VIOLENCE AND DOMESTIC HOMICIDES.
THOSE ARE THE ONES THAT PROBABLY
ACCOUNT FOR HALF OF WHAT WE'VE
SEEN SO FAR THIS YEAR.
IT PRESENTS PROBLEMS.
ONE IS A LOT OF THE DOMESTIC
HOMICIDES ARE BEHIND CLOSED
DOORS.
COPS AREN'T GOING TO BE ON THE
STREET SEEING SITUATIONS THAT
DEVELOP SO THEY CAN'T INTERCEDE
NECESSARILY.
SO IT'S TWO THINGS.
IT'S THE GANG VIOLENCE AND THE
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SITUATIONS
THAT ARE FUELING THE SPIKE IN
HOMICIDES.
>> WHAT ABOUT THE SPIKE IN
RAPES?
>> THE RAPES, THE RAPES ARE
INCREASED, HAVE BEEN INCREASING
OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS, BUT
THIS IS DRIVEN IN PART BY THE
OUTLIER OFFENSES, THE OFFENSES
THAT HAPPEN IN PREVIOUS YEARS
WHICH PEOPLE, VICTIMS NOW BECOME
MORE EMBOLDENED TO REPORT THIS
YEAR.
SO THAT'S DRIVING THAT INCREASE.
THAT'S BEEN TRUE FOR THE LAST
TWO OR THREE YEARS.
>> I SEE.
I KNOW YOU TALK TO COPS ON THE
STREETS.
WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?
IS THERE IS A DISCREPANCY
BETWEEN WHAT THEY'RE SAYING AND
THE TOP BRASS IS SAYING?
>> IT'S A SENSE OF FRUSTRATION
FROM SOME OF THE PEOPLE ON THE
STREET, THE OFFICERS THAT THE
NEIGHBORHOOD POLICING DRIVE IS
SUCKING A LOT OF RESOURCES.
THERE IS NEIGHBORHOOD
COORDINATION OFFICERS.
THERE ARE SUPPOSEDLY SECTOR
COPS.
SO THESE ARE DEDICATED COPS FOR
THIS PARTICULAR FUNCTION.
BUT THESE ARE COPS THAT HAVE
BEEN TRADITIONALLY DOING OTHER
KINDS OF WORK.
SO THERE IS A FEELING WE'RE
BEING PULLED IN A LOT OF
DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS.
>> YOU MEAN THERE IS A FEELING
THEY HAVE BEEN PULLED AWAY FROM
REAL CRIMES.
>> EXACTLY TURKEY, THE
INDUSTRIES.
>> KEEPING IN MIND OF COURSE
THAT CRIME IS DOWN.
SO WHAT ARE WE DEALING WITH?
>> AND DIPLOMACY ON THE STREETS
PACE OFF SOMETIMES.
>> IT DOES.
>> NOW THE NYPD HAS PUT IN
EFFECT, WHAT IS IT, A FIVE-POINT
PROGRAM AS A RESULT IN ORDER TO
DEAL WITH THIS SPIKE.
TELL US ABOUT THAT.
>> THAT'S CORRECT.
AFTER THE SPIKE WAS EVIDENT IN
BROOKLYN, MAINLY IN BROOKLYN,
THEY INITIATED A FIVE-POINT
PROGRAM WHICH BASICALLY INVOLVED
PUTTING MORE COPS, ABOUT UP TO
EIGHT COPS IN PARTICULAR
PRECINCTS.
ENFORCING THE CEASEFIRE PROGRAM,
WHICH IS AN ANTI-GANG
INITIATIVE.
>> WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
TALKING TO GANG MEMBERS?
>> YES.
WHAT HAPPENS IS GANG MEMBERS ON
PAROLE ARE PULLED IN AND TALKED
TO, GIVEN SORT OF CONVERSATIONS
ABOUT, YOU KNOW, YOU REALLY
SHOULD BEHAVE.
WE HAVE ALL THESE SERVICES FOR
YOU.
IF YOU DON'T, WE'RE GOING TO
RATCHET THIS UP.
>> YOU MENTIONED BROOKLYN.
THAT'S WHERE MOST OF THE SPIKE
IS OCCUR, AT LEAST IN HOMICIDES.
>> THAT'S RIGHT.
THAT'S RIGHT.
>> I SAW A FIGURE THAT THE
BROOKLYN D.A. SAID IT IN THE
PRESS CONFERENCE THAT THEY
CONVICT -- CORRECT ME IF I'M
WRONG.
THEY CONVICT 50% OF CASES OF GUN
VIOLENCE.
THAT RIGHT?
>> THAT'S TRUE.
IN BROOKLYN, D.A. GONZALEZ SAID
THAT AFTER TRIAL, THEY GET A 50%
CONVICTION RATE.
THE OVERALL CONVICTION RATE FOR
CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A WEAPON
CASES, CRIMINAL POSSESSION 2 IS
ABOUT 50, 55%.
THAT'S HISTORICALLY THE WAY IT'S
BEEN.
>> IT SEEMS LOW TO ME.
>> IT DOES SEEM LOW.
BUT YOU KEEP IN MIND A LOT OF
THESE CASES GET DISMISSED
BECAUSE YOU GET A CAR STOP.
COPS GO INTO A CAR.
THERE IS ONE GUN IN THE CAR WITH
FOUR PEOPLE.
FOUR OF THEM ARE CHARMGED
CONSTRUCTIVELY WITH POSSESSION
OF A GUN.
ULTIMATELY ONE PERSON IS GOING
TO OWN UP TO THE GUN.
THE OTHER THREE CASES ARE
DISMISSED.
THERE ARE ALL SORT OVS THINGS
THAT ARE GOING ON HERE.
>> AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE, THE
MAYOR TALKED ABOUT HOW WE NEED
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM IN
ALBANY IN ORDER TO HELP COMBAT
CRIME IN THE CITY.
WHAT CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORMS IS
HE TALKING ABOUT THAT THAT WOULD
HELP THE REDUCTION?
>> HE WASN'T VERY SPECIFIC AS I
RECALL FROM THE PRESS
CONFERENCE.
I KNOW THAT THEY'RE TRYING TO
GET NO CASH BAIL ON A LOT OF
SITUATIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH
NONVIOLENT OFFENSES.
HE HASN'T REALLY IN MY MIND
FLUSHED THAT OUT VERY WELL.
>> AND HE THINKS THAT THAT WOULD
HELP REDUCE THE CRIME RATE?
SOME ARE SAYING -- SOME OFFICERS
ARE SAYING THAT BECAUSE THERE
ARE DEFENDANTS WHO DON'T HAVE TO
PAY ANY BAIL NOW, THEY'RE BACK
ON THE STREETS ON THE SAME DAY,
AND THAT THAT'S ONE OF THE
PROBLEMS.
>> WELL, BEAR IN MIND IF YOU'RE
A NONVIOLENT OFFENDER, IF YOU
CAN'T PUT A DOLLAR CASH BAIL UP
FOR A LOW LEVEL OFFENSE OF SOME
SORT LIKE A PETTY LARCENY, I
DON'T SEE WHERE THAT'S A GREAT
PUBLIC SAFETY ISSUE.
OF COURSE BAIL IS NOT GOING TO
BE DONE AWAY WITH FOR PEOPLE WHO
ARE VIOLENT OFFENDERS.
SO IT DEPENDS ON HOW THIS IS
STRUCTURED.
>> IN FACT, WE'VE DONE MANY
SEGMENTS HERE ABOUT DEFENDANTS
LANGUISHING IN RIKERS ISLAND
AWAITING TRIAL BECAUSE THEY
CAN'T PUT UP THE BAIL, BECAUSE
THE BAIL IS SO HEAVY FOR THEM.
>> I REMEMBER YEARS AGO SEEING
STATISTICS WHERE THERE ARE
PEOPLE WHO COULD NOT POST A
DOLLAR BAIL, AND THEY HAD TO
LANGUISH IN RIKERS.
>> SO THIS FIVE-POINT PROGRAM,
SHOULD THAT ASSURE NEW YORKERS
THAT THE STREETS ARE SAFE?
OR IS THERE MORE TO DO?
>> I THINK IT SHOULD TELL NEW
YORKERS THAT THE PD IS TRYING TO
DO SOMETHING QUICKLY TO REACT.
BUT WHAT THEY'RE DOING IS USING
OLDER METHODS AND SORT OF
FOCUSING THEM IN ON THESE
PARTICULAR TROUBLES AND
PRECINCTS.
>> SO YOU'RE AN EXPERT IN THIS.
YOU KNOW BETTER THAN ANYBODY.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN ANY SENSE THAT
THESE SPIKE IN VIOLENT CRIME IS
THE BEGINNING OF A TREND?
>> MY PERSONAL OPINION RIGHT NOW
IS THAT, YOU KNOW, CRIME IS ON
LIKE A SAW BLADE.
IT'S CONTINUING DOWNWARD TREND,
BUT YOU'RE GOING GET THE TOOTH
OF SPIKES.
AND THAT IS REALITY.
WE'VE SEEN THIS FOR DECADES.
>> ALL RIGHT.
WELL, TONY, THANK YOU SO MUCH
FOR JOINING US TODAY TO TALK
ABOUT THIS.
>> THANK YOU.
I'M HAPPY TO BE HERE.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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