NEW YORK CITY—This weekend the New York City Police Department reported 34 shootings, 15 of which occurred on Sunday, July 26.
Seven people were killed on the Sunday, two of the victims teenagers: Kleimer P. Mendez, 16 and Antonio Villa, 18. They were playing basketball in Brooklyn’s Cypress Hills when they were killed during a drive-by shooting. A third victim was also injured. The weekend follows a series of violence in the city not seen in decades.
The NYPD reported on July 26, shootings in the city have increased by 73 percent from the same time in 2019. There were 431 shootings recorded in 2019, compared to 745 in 2020. Homicides are also up by 29 percent, increasing from 176 in 2019 to 227 since January 2020.
Michael Gold of the New York Times reported, “Experts have said violence has been especially brutal this year as the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the socioeconomic problems that often contribute to gun violence.”
During a City Hall briefing on Monday, July 27, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio stated, “We’re dealing with an extraordinarily high bar here in terms of the hand we have been dealt.”
On July 17, De Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea put in place an End Gun Violence Plan. According to the mayor the plan “will combine the presence of police, particularly foot patrols…with all those grassroots efforts and community efforts.”
While discussing the progress of the End Gun Violence Plan on July 27, Shea noted, “when we have 15 shootings in New York City that is not a success, there is no other way to put that.” “It is a challenge but we will get our arms around it…There are a lot of resources out there. We are focused on keeping New Yorkers safe,” he added.
In addition to gun violence and fatalities skyrocketing in the past week, organized protesters took to the streets for another weekend of demonstrations.
On Saturday, July 25, marchers gathered at Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza in solidarity with activists in Portland. At Saturday’s rally, Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother said, “It’s deja vu all over again. It’s just a big know in my heart to see it’s not stopping.” Saturday’s protesters marched from the plaza across the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan.
In yellow shirts, the organization Street Riders NYC rode bikes alongside Saturday’s march as a wall of defense for those on their feet. On the organization’s Instagram page they posted on July 27, “Another massive one…..Justice Ride 8. Not slowing down anytime soon!! Thanks so much folks.”
On July 25, several NYPD cars were vandalized. Around 10 p.m., on Essex Street in Lower Manhattan, some car’s tires were slashed and windows were smashed.
On July 26, hundreds of protesters marched in support of Black Women’s Lives Matter. They headed north up FDR Drive, blocking traffic for nearly an hour.
People were seen jumping on the roof of one van holding an upside-down American Flag with the words “F*** NYPD” painted on it.
At least 14 people involved in the weekend’s protesting were arrested Saturday and Sunday, according to the NYPD. A damage estimate for the cars has yet to be made public.
In an interview on July 24 with Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, President Donald Trump said:
“We’re sending people into Chicago, we’re sending people into Portland, we’re sending people into New York to help out. It’s incredible but I love doing it.”
On July 21, while discussing the deployment of federal troops to Portland during a press conference, Mayor De Blasio stated:
“From my point of view, this would be yet another example of illegal and unconstitutional actions by the president. And we have often had to confront him in court. And we usually win.”