Racial Justice in New York City

In a recent story the New York Times reported that while homicides fell in New York City last year, major crimes were up by 22% compared to 2021.  The increases included burglary up 23%, robbery up 25.8%, grand larceny up 26%, auto theft up 23% (over 23,000 more cars stolen), assault up 14% and rape up 8.4%.  The city has been hemorrhaging police officers, with NYPD currently short 1,700, but arrests have increased especially in high crime boroughs.  One explanation in the drop of homicides and shootings has been the department’s emphasis on criminals with guns, with the arrests of 4,627 last year.  John Jay Criminologist John Herman told the Times that this drop has not been felt in many of the city’s minority neighborhoods.   But even with targeted policing and more officers, until the state abandons its zero bail law and short sentences for repeat offenders, crime will continue to rise.

Last year the NYPD released a list of the 10 “worst of the worst.” The person at the top of the list has 101 career arrests — 88 since bail reform was enacted — and 15 convictions, including three felonies and two violent felonies. He has failed to appear in court at least 14 times.  Proponents of the sentencing and bail reforms enacted by the Legislature in Albany continue to insist that reducing the consequences for criminals will help to address the disproportionate number of blacks convicted and incarcerated by the systemically racist criminal justice system.  They call this racial justice.

If these reforms were actually effective one might expect to see a drop in the arrest rate for black offenders and fewer black victims.  There has not been a drop.  Let’s look at homicides from 2017 to 2021.  Current data indicate that Blacks make up 23.82% of the people living in NYC.  Over that five year period blacks made up over 50% of the homicide victims in 2017. This increased to 73% of the victims by 2021.  While police are not always able to locate the murderer, 50% of the murder suspects arrested over the five years were blacks, increasing from 148 in 2017 to 241 in 2021.   Somebody needs to explain to the progressives in Albany that more dead black people is not racial justice.