The historic drop in crime rates in the United States is over. 2020 has been the country’s most violent year since the turn of the millennium. But it is only with the start of summer and the reopening of activities permitted by mass vaccination that we will have an idea of what will be the routine that cities like New York have not faced since. the 1990s.
As always, a success has several parents, while a failure is an orphan. The initial success in the fight against crime in New York City under Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor and now jester trumpeter under criminal investigation, was so studied that Giuliani sacked then police commander William Bratton, who was jealous because he was on the cover of Time magazine.
Explanations for the rise in violence vary by region, in a country that refuses to deal with the shooting epidemic as a public health problem and gun possession is regulated differently even by cities of the same state.
The summer of 2020 was marked by protests against the death of black George Floyd, suffocated by a white police officer. While aggressive policing and the high incarceration rate initiated under Bill Clinton have disproportionately affected minorities and the low-income population, they have also particularly benefited from improved public safety.
The summer that begins this month is accompanied by a predictable uneven distribution of violence, concentrated in the poorest and most segregated neighborhoods. The new wave of crime must be compounded by the strain on police relations with the communities they patrol. Part of the revenue from fighting crime in New York City over the past two decades, when the city became the nation’s safest metropolis, has been a big investment in community relations.
Near the street where I live, in the neighborhood that has the largest Latino population in New York City, it is common for police stations to promote special street events, in addition to monthly meetings with groups of people. ‘inhabitants.
The explosion of the revolt under the banner of the Black Lives Matter movement and the multiplication of notorious cases of police violence seem to have broken a cycle of trust that has never been high among the black and brown population. Much was made of a repeat of a New York police turtle operation when the protests began last June.
In addition to the lives lost, the rise in crime is already claiming victims in electoral politics. Public safety crises have been accompanied by a conservative hardening of the public, and the New York primary elections, which begin this week, reflect this shift in the position of Democratic mayoral candidates in the polls. There is no Republican candidate here with a chance of being elected mayor this year.
One of the favorites right now is former police officer Eric Adams, who advocates controversial practices like the return of plainclothes police patrols. Professor Maya Wiley, a high-profile progressive because she was a cable TV commentator, struggled to get her candidacy off the ground, with a social justice rhetoric and promises to tackle police violence.
But Wiley is entering the straight with more wind from behind, in the form of support from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic Party’s left-wing star.
The election remains elusive, but most New York voters have one certainty: crime will rise, with the weather.
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