Many black leaders have called for the return of the NYPD Anti-Crime Unit as violent crime soars following its disbandment in an effort to reimagine police.
The New York Post reported that in the fortnight following the dissolution of the crime unit, shootings rose “to 116 incidents from 38 between June 15 and July 2, a 205 percent increase.”
As a result, leaders of the community have urged for the unit to be reformed in an effort to lower the skyrocketing crime rates.
The plain clothes undercover unit, of roughly 600 members, traditionally deployed to assimilate into each precinct and certain neighborhoods, were reassigned to detective work and policing by NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, in a snap move following the nationwide protests after the in-custody killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The Anti-Crime Unit would generally target the sales of illegal guns, cutting off crime at the source, as well as working to reduce other form of crime sprees such as burglaries.
Commissioner Shea praised the unit, saying “They have done an exceptional job, but I think it’s time to move forward and change how we police in this city. We can move away from brute force.”
And while The Legal Aid Society was critical of the Anti-Crime Unit, local community leaders have come out in support of the police department.
Former cop and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams held up a pair of baby shoes after a 1-year-old was shot dead in crossfire at a family cookout, according to CBS New York.
Adams said, “Babies are not supposed to be wearing these in a coffin.”
“I think that a total elimination is something we need to reevaluate,” Adams added. “Right now, bad guys are saying if you don’t see a blue and white you can do whatever you want.”
Tony Herbert, a community activist, agreed with the sentiment following the death of the baby. He said: “The guns keep going off and now we have a 1-year-old and the blood is on the hands of the mayor and the state Legislature.”