New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio is trying to spin the city’s spike in random slashings in the city as proof that the city’s extremely strict gun laws are working, forcing criminals to resort to carrying knives instead of firearms, according to this story from Fox News.
Earlier this month, he claimed that violent criminals are using knives, razor blades, and boxcutters to attack people because they can’t get their hands on firearms. Naturally, this raised some eyebrows among law-enforcement experts.
“I’m not a criminologist,” de Blasio said in the story. “But I can safely say that guns are being taken off the street in an unprecedented way. Some people, unfortunately, are turning to a different weapon.”
Former NYPD Detective Scott Predergast told Fox that it’s the elimination of the city’s controversial “stop-and-frisk” program, which allowed officers to frisk suspicious-looking persons on the street at their discretion, that is resulting in more criminals carrying blades.
Statistics that the NYPD gave to Fox reveal something else. The numbers say gun-related arrests in 2016 have actually risen to 559 from 476 during the same period last year. During that same span of time, police arrested more people for having guns, but shootings were down. However, crime, in general, is up.
There were 402 more felonious assaults so far this year compared to last year, a 14 percent increase. Through the first two months of the year, there were 567 slashing attacks, 20 percent above the pace set in early 2015.
And though shootings are down so far in 2016, the numbers are still higher than they were two years ago when de Blasio took office, the story says.
“I have lived and worked in New York City my whole life and it is definitely starting to remind me of the 1980s as far as unsavory characters being a lot more visible,” Predergast said.