Mayor Bloomberg Insists City Is Not Experiencing a 'Crime Wave'
CITY HALL — Mayor Michael Bloomberg insisted Tuesday that crime is under control, despite a series of deadly shootings over the past week.
"I do not think we are in the middle of a crime wave," Bloomberg said.
From July 2 through July 8, 77 people were shot in 62 violent incidents across the city, according to NYPD statistics compiled by the New York Post.
That's up from last year, when 60 people were shot in 47 incidents over the same time period — marking a 32-percent leap in shooting incidents alone. Citywide, 880 people have been shot so far this year — a bump of nearly 10 percent from 2011.
Bloomberg tried to brush off the numbers as part of an anticipated holiday spike.
"What is clear is that the week around [July] 4th, there tends to be higher crime," said Bloomberg, noting there were nearly as many crimes on Independence Day last year as there were last week.
He ran through various theories about why crime seems to change with the seasons.
"Nobody really knows. There's all sorts of park-bench wisdom: When it’s hot there's more, when it’s cold there's more, when it rains it’s more, when the sun's out is more," the mayor told reporters at an unrelated press conference in Corona, Queens.
"Maybe it’s the fireworks, drinking, people taking time off from work, maybe. Nobody really knows why."
He stressed that his administration has been doing everything it can to maintain New York's standing as the nation's safest big city.
"We have been doing the same things that we were doing yesterday. It's been working, bringing crime down. We will continue to bring crime down — period," he vowed. "New York is the safest."
Still, he said Congress should do more to crack down on illegal guns.
The city has experienced a sharp uptick in gun violence since Jan. 1. Seventeen people were shot on July 4 alone. An NYPD officer was shot in the chest and wounded early the next day, and a 3-year-old boy was shot in the leg in Brooklyn Sunday.
Three men were gunned down and killed Monday, including Dante Sanders, 19, who was shot and killed in Chelsea shortly after 2 a.m. A 30-year-old man was shot dead on a Crown Heights, Brooklyn street about 4 p.m., and Juan Acosta, 21, who was fatally shot in the head and torso in the University Heights section of the Bronx about 4:40 p.m.