In response to a “disproportionate” number of black citizens shot by police, the NYPD completely disbanded its Anti-Crime Unit. However, just weeks later, black community leaders came forward to reveal the horrific consequences and voice a new demand.
If you listen to the media, police officers have declared an open season on minorities for decades, law enforcement is systemically racist, and America has taken virtually no steps toward leaving its Jim Crow-era inequality behind. The daily headlines promulgate the claim that black people are dying in the streets at the hands of white supremacist cops hellbent on eradicating the African-American population.
Predictably, this narrative has given rise to the call for the abolition of the police, which is already underway in several major cities across the country. Of course, the nation’s most recognizable police department, the NYPD, is no exception, as anti-cop groups push to disband the depleted force once and for all.
The demand has been partially successful. After cutting more than $1 billion from the NYPD’s budget, pressure from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio prompted the department to officially disband its Anti-Crime Unit in order to combat the “disproportionate” number of police shootings targeting black suspects, the New York Post reports. The unit, which consisted of around 600 officers, utilized undercover police officers whose initiative was to get illegal guns off the streets. What ensued was far worse than the community could have predicted.
According to CBS New York, when the unit was disbanded, a major decrease in gun arrests followed, leaving innocent citizens to fend for themselves against emboldened criminals. Now, black community leaders are denouncing de Blasio’s efforts and calling for the NYPD to reimplement the Anti-Crime Unit to save innocent black lives.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and community activist Tony Herbert blasted the initiative to defund and ultimately abolish the police, which has caused the spike in violent crime. Following the disbandment, shootings for the week skyrocketed 277 percent and the number of victims was up 253 percent.
“I think that a total elimination is something we need to reevaluate,” said Adams. “Right now, bad guys are saying if you don’t see a blue and white you can do whatever you want.”
“The guns keep going off and now we have a 1-year-old and the blood is on the hands of the mayor and the state Legislature,” said Herbert.
De Blasio condemned the recent murders but offered no solution, despite police officials confirming that nearly all the murder victims in the past month have been minorities.
“This is not anything we can allow in our city. It is heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking for so many reasons and begins with the fact that there are just so many guns out there and that is a New York tragedy,” de Blasio said.
John Jay College professor and former police officer Joe Giaclone said that the dismantling of the Anti-Crime Unit was the final straw in a years-long series of decisions to cripple the department. In short, the effort has done exactly the opposite of what its promoters claimed it would accomplish.
“The gun police are no longer out there,” said Giaclone. “The criminals are opportunists. You know that.”
The breakdown was met with some concern from Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, who called the change a “seismic shift” in the NYPD and “one of the last chapters on stop, question, and frisk.” However, he explained that the department had no choice but to give the people what they want.
“When you look at the number of anti-crime officers that operate within New York City, and you look at a disproportionate, quite frankly, percentage of complaints and shootings — and they are doing exactly what was asked of them,” Shea said.
Having fewer officers on patrol means more black bodies on the streets. What began as an effort to stop the shooting of black people has only created more death and destruction in the black community. Despite the media’s narrative, it’s not the police who are the biggest threat to black lives.