Police reforms: an increase in shootings in New York fuels controversy

130% increase in shootings in June, 11 dead this weekend alone: ​​New York police deplored an increase in crime on Monday, which they partially attributed to the climate created by anti-racist protests, fueling controversy on the police reforms initiated after the death of George Floyd.

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Among the reasons for this increase, New York police officials cited the premature release of inmates for fear of coronavirus infection in prisons, the closure of courts or, according to Chief Terence Monahan, “enormous animosity Against the police in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, which “brought down morale” among officers.

The increase in shootings – + 130% in June 2020 compared to June 2019 – had already been pointed out by the New York police in recent weeks. The bank holiday weekend of July 4 confirmed the trend: 45 shootings and 11 deaths listed over three days, according to the police, against 16 shootings over this period in 2019.

Mr. Monahan also denounced a new “crazy” municipal law, which he said now allows to indict any police officer who would keep a suspect on the ground by pressing on his chest.

George Floyd was killed on May 25 by a white policeman who kept his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes, as the black man kept saying he couldn’t breathe.

New York Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio has called the rise in shootings – when crime has been steadily declining in New York since the 1990s – a “very serious situation”.

But he who publicly supported the protesters mostly cited the pandemic as an explanation.

“We are feeling the effects of people locked up for months, of economic activity that has not yet fully resumed,” he said at a press briefing, also calling the closure of the courts a “central problem. “.

This upsurge in shootings risks fueling the controversy over the police reforms – and in particular the fall in police budgets – undertaken in several cities run by Democrats, such as New York, Chicago or Seattle, to respond to these anti-racist demonstrations. unprecedented since the 1960s.

President Donald Trump recently multiplied the tweets to denounce these reforms and the Democratic mayors of these cities, again Monday believing that New York and Chicago “protect criminals”.

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