This unbeatable heat may have put the city on an intense Do the Right Thing–style edge, as shootings jumped 46 percent last week compared to the same period last year. Sixty people were the victims of gunfire across the five boroughs, bringing the annual total to 802 — 7.9 percent higher than last year’s 743 up to this point, the New York Post reports. “It’s always difficult to say why one week may spike and another doesn’t because of separate incidents in different boroughs,” explained an NYPD spokesperson, favoring the statistical anomaly explanation to anything weather-related. “We see crime peaks and valleys throughout the year tend to flatten over time.” But the Post, once again, is way too eager to blame critics of stop-and-frisk.
Last month, the law-and-order tabloid chalked up this year’s crime-rate increase, first and foremost, to the “recent slowdown” of stop-and-frisks, all but skipping over other potential factors like the NYPD’s alleged history of juking the stats. The campaign continues today with anonymous law-enforcement sources telling the paper “the people know that police are doing less stop-and-frisks, so more people carry guns.”
Although Mayor Bloomberg and Ray Kelly have called for the search policy to be “mended,” so as not to violate the constitutional rights of minority men, it’s far-fetched that incremental departmental changes could have already resulted in an uptick in shootings. And besides, correlating the frequency of stop-and-frisks and the number of shootings is arguably bogus to begin with: In 2002, only 97,296 people were frisked and there were 1,892 shooting victims; in 2011, a record 685,724 were frisked and there were still 1,821 victims of gunfire. The Post is not only getting ahead of themselves, but it’s ignoring the historical numbers.
On the bright side for everyone, no matter where you stand on stop-and-frisk, the murder rate is down so far in 2012.