WASHINGTON, DC, Apr 15 – Frank James’ shooting spree in a crowded subway car in New York City last Tuesday left as many as 29 men, women, and children injured. That same night, and into the next day, a series of unrelated shootings in the Bronx and Brooklyn left three victims dead and more than a dozen wounded.
Coincidentally, these tragic incidents underscored the results of two new surveys in which the majorities in each poll identified crime as their greatest concern.
Just days before the tragic incident, a survey conducted by the Rasmussen Reports group showed that 61% of their respondents believe that violent crime in America is getting worse. And polling by Gallup showed that violent crime is a concern among 80% of Americans, including 53% who worry a “great deal” and 27% who are concerned to a “fair” degree. The Rasmussen survey was released on April 8, the Gallup poll was made public on April 7, and the shootings in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and the Bronx happened on April 12 and 13.
The police quickly found the shooter in the subway attack in which ten commuters were shot. It was something of a miracle, according to eyewitnesses. The New York Post suggested that it was likely that many more passengers would have suffered from gunshot wounds and, perhaps, even killed if it wasn’t for the fact that James’ gun jammed soon after he started shooting. He also released a smoke bomb during his attack and many of those who were injured suffered from smoke inhalation; the others were hurt in the panic that ensued.
That same night through the early hours of the following day three people were killed and some 12 or more were wounded in unrelated outbreaks of violence. As reported by the New York Post, a cop in Brooklyn put it this way: “Another nice day. Everybody’s out in the street, and everybody’s getting shot. No one is safe.”
Eric Adams, a retired New York City police captain, and the city’s second Black mayor, unabashedly called out Black activists in an interview with the local NY1 television station. “Where are all those who stated, ‘Black Lives Matter’? Do an analysis of who was killed or shot last night. I was up all night speaking to my commanders in the Bronx, in Brooklyn. The victims were Black…The lives of these Black children that are dying every night matter. We can’t be hypocrites.”
The New York Daily News, in its coverage, suggested that the mayor’s “comments seemed targeted in part at progressives who have criticized his public safety policies.”
Some might be tempted to say that this type of violence is expected in big cities such as New York, but a little research reveals that the crime rate in the city does not come close to the top of the list. In fact, New York, with its population of some 8.5 million, didn’t even make the 2022 Top 100 Most Dangerous Cities in the U.S. survey conducted by the NeighborhoodScout real estate database. They ranked Monroe, LA, with a population just under 50,000, as the most dangerous city in America.
Meanwhile, not only did New York not make Forbes magazine’s recent Crime in America report on “unsafe cities,” but it did make the list of America’s “safest large cities.” The report was based on data provided by the statistical analytics firm, MoneyGeek. Doug Milnes, the firm’s marketing and communications chief explains that “There are a ton of reporters in NYC and at times, that concentration leads to more coverage of the same local problem, which can fuel a greater perception of increasing crime relative to other locations.”