By Petr Svab

Rudy Giuliani was still the mayor the last time New York City saw so many people shot. By mid-August, 1,163 were shot in the Big Apple. That’s the most recorded by this time of the year since 2000, according to NYPD data.

The wave of violence started in May last year coinciding with the mass protests and rioting initiated after the killing of George Floyd, a black man, during an arrest in Minneapolis. High incidence of shootings has been plaguing the city ever since.

Last weekend alone, 35 people were shot, all non-fatally, The New York Post reported.

While the total number of more serious crimes has slightly declined compared to last year, shooting incidents are up nearly 11 percent. The data indicates more people are surviving the shootings as murder is up only 0.7 percent.

In 2020, more than 1,850 were shot, fatally and non-fatally. That’s more than double the year before.

Meanwhile, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) is down about 1,500 officers since 2019 due to a wave of retirements and resignations. Some officers and experts previously told The Epoch Times that people are leaving the department because of anti-police sentiments in the city as well as obstacles to the profession created by the city and state governments.

Last year, the state outlawed officers from using a knee on a suspect’s back or chest as a restraint technique during an arrest. Police officers and experts have criticized the law for criminalizing martial arts techniques used by police to safely subdue resisting subjects.

The city implemented new laws regarding bail that banned judges from requiring cash bail for most nonviolent and some lower-level violent crimes, resulting in criminals returning to the street after an arrest. Some officers called the policy demoralizing.

Less than two weeks ago, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared “a disaster emergency on gun violence,” calling for the targeting of crime hotspots, curbing the sale of illegal firearms, rebuilding trust between communities and local law enforcement, and other initiatives. Cuomo has since resigned.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, the frontrunner in the November mayoral election, is a former NYPD officer running partly on public safety platform.

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New York City used to be notorious for high levels of violence and street crime, particularly during the crack epidemic in the 1980s. Shooting numbers dropped precipitously during the 1990s and continued a gradual decline, reaching historic lows of less than 1,000 people shot a year in 2017-2019.

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