The NYPD is blaming a spike in shootings to gang-related activity. The department is working towards dismantling the gangs that are mostly responsible for the murders and shootings in the city.
According to MyFoxNY, while overall crime is down nearly 7 percent, shootings are up 7.1 percent thus far this year. However, even with a murder increase of 15.3 percent, total numbers are considerably lower than the 80’s and 90’s.
“For those of us who were here in the bad old days, when we had 2,000 or more murders a year, a lot of ordinary citizens were getting caught in those crossfires. It was a horrible, horrible time,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“This is a violent, violent bunch of guys, they’re all G Stone Crips,” said Deputy Chief Kevin Catalina of the NYPD Gang Unit. “We took down associates of theirs a couple of weeks back. During that takedown, we pulled 11 guns off these guys.”
MyFoxNY reported that the majority of those involved in gang or crew shootings are under 21, with many in their teens.
That is why former gang member Shanduke McPhatter, now a community activist, established G.M.A.C.C. Teens at risk have new Apple computers to do their homework and that keeps them off the streets.
They have access to a weight room to get them focused on health and to work out frustrations instead of doing it through violence.
“When you talk about what’s happening in our communities, we’re really predominantly dealing with cliques and crews,” McPhatter said. “These are young organizations who really have no leadership, who really have no goals, no history of what they’re doing.”
Dr. Darrin Porcher, a former NYPD lieutenant, said there is cause for concern.
“Whenever there is violence in the community, it always creates a hazard for the common citizen,” he said. “So when we think in terms of this violence, bullets have no names. They land anywhere.”
McPhatter admits he doesn’t have all the answers. He only hopes his program can at least save some lives over the summer.