Back to the pre-Giuliani era: Serious crime up 31% in NYC’s Central Park this year

· December 27, 2019  
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Police call box in Central Park, New York
AlbertPego | Getty Images

It was “beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” as all around the country, everyone did their Christmas shopping. But thanks to weak-on-crime policies metastasizing throughout big cities like New York, if you are walking in Central Park or taking a New York subway, you might find yourself singing, “It’s beginning to look a lot like the eighties.” The era of former NYC Mayor David Dinkins is back in the nation’s largest city, and it has reared its ugly head due to the jailbreak policies of Mayor Bill de Blasio and other New York state politicians.

NYPD crime stats recently reported by the New York Post show that violent crime incidents in Central Park, Manhattan, have spiked 31 percent in 2018.

There were 20 robberies, 36 grand larcenies and the murder of 36-year-old Oscar Calle whose body was found near Lasker pool in August — the first such crime in the park in 17 years. A 19-year-old was charged in the case.

Reported rapes declined from three to one, but other sex crimes rose from four to 10.

Crimes were also up in and around Morningside Park where Barnard College freshman Tessa Majors was murdered Dec. 11. A 13-year-old has been charged in the case and two other teen suspects have yet to be arrested.

The cleanup of Central Park was one of the milestones of the era of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani in New York that jump-started a two-decade decline in crime throughout the city. Those gains are now being reduced due to the abolishing of pretrial bail, reduced sentencing, early release, and almost no deterrent against juvenile criminals.

The subways have already returned to pre-Giuliani-era crime levels. According to NYPD data, there were 1,185 transit misdemeanor assaults citywide from Jan. 1 to Nov. 17, which reflects a 10.9 percent increase from the same time last year. As a harbinger of the return of crime, New York’s MTA reports that the amount of graffiti on subways has increased greatly over the past few years.

On top of the regular assaults on the streets of New York, this year saw a growing epidemic of anti-Semitic attacks on Jews. NYPD is investigating five potential hate crimes from just Hanukkah week, where Jews were assaulted on the streets with indications that they were targeted. In one incident, Steven Jorge, 28, was arrested for allegedly punching a 65-year-old man in the face in an unprovoked attack after yelling, “F–k you Jew bastard.” Through the first eight months of the year, anti-Semitic attacks were up 63 percent over 2018, according to the NYPD. Jews were the target of 53 percent of hate crimes this year, even though they account for just 13 percent of the city’s population. But there is no aggressive media and political focus on it because most of the attackers are either black or Hispanic.

Despite the return of the crime wave, rather than reassessing all of the recent policy changes that have reversed two decades of gains against crime, city officials are promising even more jailbreak policies. Melinda Katz, the district attorney-elect in Queens who narrowly beat a Soros challenger by just a few votes, is now jumping on the criminal justice deform bandwagon. She’s promising fewer referrals to grand juries beginning in January. This coincides with a new state law that essentially guts the grand jury process and enables defendants to know everything said about them by witnesses and victims even before the trial. Meanwhile, thanks to the other provision of the law, most of those criminals will be out on the streets without bond to intimidate witnesses. Also, they will be allowed to return to the scene of the crime, which, in the case of a home invasion or rape, could mean the victim’s own home.

New York politicians might still brag that their murder rate is historically low. The city has not yet returned to Baltimore levels of homicide. But the assaults and breakdown of public order are a harbinger of what is to come. If this is how bad it is before implementation of New York’s Christmas gift of laws for criminals, one can only imagine what will happen in 2020.

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Author: Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.