NEW YORK (PIX11) – Following a violent Fourth of July weekend in New York City, more deadly gun violence hit the city overnight. The violence continues to be a major concern for New Yorkers, and it has come to a boiling point for Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell.
“I have stood with this staff and with the mayor at podiums, on street corners, in hospitals and in front of homes to give updates, requesting us to work together and come together to make the city safer,” Sewell said.
Sewell admits the police department can’t fight gun violence alone. It’s happening almost every day in New York City. On Wednesday night in South Jamaica, Queens, a man was shot to death just sitting in the back seat of his car.
There was another fatal shooting at the intersection of Classon and Atlantic avenues in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The driver and passenger of a black Jeep stopped at a light. That’s when a gunman on a bike shot into the jeep and hit the passenger who died at a hospital, police said.
Minutes later, a shooting happened at a playground in Brownsville, Brooklyn, hitting two people including a 14-year-old. Both were expected to survive.
The bloodshed also has local clergy members and community leaders fed up, so they took to the streets on Thursday to speak out against gun violence. Dozens of local clergy members, community leaders and members of the NYPD marched from Cadman Plaza over the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall. Many of those who marched are first responders who have consoled victims of gun violence and their families.
“It hurts our hearts when babies are being funeralized. Bishop Jamison’s church just held a funeral for a 1-year-old, 3-year-old, 8-year-old,” said Bishop Gerald Seabrooks with the United Clergy Coalition.
Despite the recent flurry of shooting deaths, NYPD officials say crime trends in 2022 show their strategies are working. The number of shootings in June 2022 decreased by 24.2% (125 vs. 165) compared to June 2021, according to NYPD statistics. The number of murders in June 2022 also decreased by 8% (59 vs. 64) compared to June 2021. Shootings also decreased this past April and May compared to the same months last year.
“The NYPD’s work to drive down gun violence in New York City is taking hold – with the number of shootings decreasing across all five boroughs,” Sewell said in a statement. “We have taken thousands of guns off the streets – both traditional firearms and ghost guns – and made significant illegal-weapon interdictions along with our law enforcement partners. We are encouraged by this downward trend in gun violence as summer gets underway, but realize that we must remain focused on our critical public-safety mission – the lives of New Yorkers depend on it.”