NEW YORK CITY — The number of shootings in the Big Apple was down last week compared to the same period last year despite a bloody weekend that left four people dead and more than 20 wounded, including two children.
There were 26 shootings in the five boroughs between Monday, June 23, and Sunday, June 29, police sources said, compared to 37 during the same week in 2013. In all, there were 37 victims last week, compared to 39 over the same period last year.
"The weekend's numbers were obviously shocking, but shooting incidents were down overall and the number of victims were down as well last week," a law enforcement official explained.
Even so, the number of shootings so far this year is up.
As of June 22, there were 495 shootings this year, up 11.2 percent from 445 during the same period last year. Counting the gun violence last week, the total reached 521 compared to 482, an overall 8 percent jump.
But that number could jump in July and August, when shootings were at historically low levels last year.
“Last July and August was so low that it could be near impossible for the perception of a city losing its grip to subside,” a top law enforcement official told "On the Inside."
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton has announced the NYPD is conducting a study to determine if there is any correlation between the violence and the plummeting number of stop-and-frisks in the city, as some have suggested.
Before Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office, the number of stop-and-frisks in New York was about 100,000. During his administration, the controversial stops skyrocketed to a high of nearly 700,000 in 2012.
But “On The Inside” has reported that the huge number of stops had virtually no impact on shootings during Bloomberg’s 12-year stint at City Hall.
There were 14,000 stop-and-frisks during the first quarter of this year, which is a pace well below the pre-Bloomberg era, which has many observers saying the drop in stops is causing a spike in violence. And sources say the number of stops is expected to drop even lower in the second quarter.
Tom Reppetto, an NYPD expert and author of "American Police: Volume II, 1945-2012," said it's too early to tell if the plunging number of stops is emboldening illegal gun-toters because they no longer fear getting frisked.
“You can’t say at this point that there are more shootings because of [the stop-and-frisk plunge],” Reppetto said.
He said he's skeptical of what the NYPD's stop-and-frisk study will reveal.
“If someone already has opinions about stop-and-frisk, then that is the outcome they will find,” he said.
Reppetto points out that Mayor Bill de Blasio “ran on a platform that the NYPD was essentially out-of-control and now they may have to loosen the restrictions on them.” He added that taking such action will prove to be a political and public relations challenge for the progressive-minded mayor.