NEW YORK CITY — As the NYPD works to reform its police department in unprecedented ways, some violent crime, including murder, is on the rise.
Jomo Glasgow, a 35-year-old DJ with a promising future, is just one of the latest homicide victims in the city.
He was gunned down on East 49th Street in East Flatbush, Brooklyn early Wednesday morning, just one of seven people shot in the overnight hours.
“He was loved,” said Kevin Smith, a friend who showed up at a makeshift memorial. “Nothing more, nothing less. Never gave nobody a problem. Everybody loved him.”
His killer is still on the loose.
This homicide just the latest in a string of murders across New York City.
The dramatic spike is taking place despite the coronavirus lockdown.
Murders are up 25% year to date — 159 compared to 127 last year.
“There is potential for a perfect storm when it comes to crime,” said Brian Higgins, adjunct professor at John Jay College.
Higgins was the former chief of Bergen County Police.
Some law enforcement experts are now sounding the alarm over some of the police reforms being implemented.
“The NYPD [is] going to have a significant challenge to handle the crime rate that appears to be rising while changing at the same time,” Higgins said.
Of particular concern is the disbanding of the anti-crime unit, plainclothes officers whose mission it was to stop crime before it happens.
They tended to be more aggressive and have more complaints lodged against them.
“It’s unfortunate some people believe in order to be safe, you have to have disgrace,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
Adams, a former NYPD lieutenant, said he believes recent changes will actually help prevent crime.
“The city can’t slip back to the days of 2,000 homicides a year,” he said.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said there are storm clouds ahead.
“We are trending in a very difficult direction in the shootings which is leading to homicides,” Shea said.
While shootings are up 24% year to date, there is some crime that is down.
Rapes are down 29% and grand larcenies are down 18%.
But some city residents just want the growing violence to come to an end.
“Innocent people dying for nonsense has to stop,” said Glasgow’s friend Smith.
Some of the crimes that are down, like grand larcenies, can be attributed to the coronavirus lockdown, law enforcement experts said.
Burglaries, though, are up nearly 50% amid the pandemic.