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Shootings down, major crime up, cops say

Mayor Eric Adams credited the anti-gun crime unit he brought back earlier this year for a downturn in gun crime at a press conference in Brooklyn on Monday.

Recent NYPD stats show that shootings across the city were down 6.5 percent compared to this time last year. However, NYPD data also shows that major crimes—a category that includes seven different kinds of felonies including rape and grand larceny—-were up a whopping 38 percent from last year. Murder was the only individual major crime category that showed a citywide decrease of nine percent.

The anti-gun crime unit, dubbed the “Neighborhood Safety Team”, is a revamped version of the city’s plainclothes unit, which was disbanded due in 2020 to its involvement in shootings across the city. According to a 2018 report from the investigative journalism outlet, The Intercept, while plainclothes officers represented only six percent of the force they were responsible for 31 percent of all fatal shooting incidents.

Mayor Adams made good on his campaign promise of reinstating the unit back in January.

Adams stated that the teams will avoid previous mistakes by requiring officers to turn on their body cameras when interacting with the public and wearing windbreakers that make officers more identifiable as cops.

The Neighborhood Safety Teams have seized 105 firearms and effected 115 gun arrests since their start in March, according to NYPD.

“If we do the work to get it to the grand jury, to get that indictment, to make that arrest — then the other team must do their part,” Adams said at the press conference. “If we do the work to get it to the grand jury, to get that indictment, to make that arrest — then the other team must do their part.”

Mayor Adams placed blame on Albany lawmakers for not passing stronger restriction to bail reform.

“We would have liked to receive more, like the dangerousness standard. That’s so important. You have one of these guys that come in front of you or someone is arrested nine times. I think the judge should make the determination, this person presents an imminent threat to the city,” Adams said.

However, a report from progressive comptroller Brad Lander published last March, found that bail reform was not responsible for the increase in crime.

Adams noted that he will be pushing for the dangerous standard to be included in the next legislative session.

Officer-Involved Shooting in Astoria

A domestic dispute led to police shooting a 27-year-old Astoria man who was reportedly wielding a machete.

Officers from the 114th precinct responded to a 911 call at 9:48 a.m. at 31-63 33rd Street on the report of an emotionally-disturbed person armed with a weapon.

The 911 caller, later identified as Brianna Cortez, relayed to officers that the man had taken “a lot of pills” and was saying that he “wanted to die.”

Police say that the 27-year-old suspect, Eduardo Andrade, confronted officers in the apartment hallway while holding the 911 caller’s mother. Together, Cortez and Andrade have a three-year-old child, who reportedly witnessed the scene.

Chief of Department Kenneth Corey briefed the media later Monday morning, where he described the confrontation officers had with the suspect and preliminary information about the case.

“After getting the mother out of the apartment, the officers deployed a taser,” Corey said. “The taser had no effect.”

That’s when, police say, one officer discharged “approximately three rounds,” striking the man in his groin.

The 27-year-old suspect was transported to Elmhurst Medical Center, where he underwent surgery and is expected to recover.

Two of the four responding officers underwent medical evaluations, but did not sustain any serious injuries.

Corey went on to say that there is a “rather extensive domestic history” between Cortez and Andrade, which includes multiple allegations of domestic assault, harassment and violations of protection orders.

In a video circulating on social media, Cortez is at the scene yelling that she called the police over an argument.

“They didn’t ask questions,” Cortez can be heard saying. “They dragged my 53-year-old mother to the floor, ripped her shirt off, and then shot my son’s father twice in front of him.”

She continued, “This is why you don’t call the NYPD for help. They will shoot you and blame your family.”

Police relayed that the responding officers had body cameras on their person and they were activated at the scene. Those videos are currently being reviewed by the police department.

Video:
https://twitter.com/SamiLiebman/status/1513552253910765572?s=20&t=R3Rf4w7k7KHIlxqBwDUqXA

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