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NYC sees 75% jump in February shootings; de Blasio insists: 'We are the safest big city in America'

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New York City saw a 75% jump in shootings this February compared to last, despite a slowdown in reported murders and felony assaultd, as the city’s and state’s top officials seem at odds over Big Apple crime and safety.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) recorded 77 shootings in February compared to the 44 reported during the same month last year, police officials announced Thursday. Meanwhile, February saw one less murder this year, with 21, and a decrease in felonious murders by just under 8%, the department said.

As of Tuesday, there were 160 shootings reported this year, with 173 victims, compared to the 115 shootings and 131 victims reported during the same timeframe in 2020, police said. Ten of the shooting victims so far this year have been between the ages of 10 and 17, up from the six reported year-over-year.

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Police patrol the A line subway train bound to Inwood, after NYPD deployed an additional 500 officers into the subway system following deadly attacks, Saturday Feb. 13, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Police patrol the A line subway train bound to Inwood, after NYPD deployed an additional 500 officers into the subway system following deadly attacks, Saturday Feb. 13, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

“The prevalence of gun violence in New York City remains a central focus for the NYPD,” the department said. The NYPD made 400 gun arrests in February, up 63.9% from those made during the same month in 2020.  

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Despite the fact that statistics show a 26.5% decrease in overall crime in February, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo described the Big Apple as being in a “very precarious situation,” with residents fleeing.

“It’s teetering, to use a word. Crime is way up. Homelessness is way up. Many people have left New York City,” he said during a news conference Wednesday. “We have to get New York City functional again and safe again. And viable again. And we have to do that quickly.”  

Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo stands with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at a news conference at the Time Warner Center  on October 24, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo stands with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at a news conference at the Time Warner Center  on October 24, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, on the other hand, had a different view of the city’s well-being.

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“It’s important to set a foundation here that even though we experienced some real challenges in 2020, particularly with gun violence, in fact, if you look at all of the numbers, overall crime decreased in 2020,” he said during a news conference Thursday. He outlined not only how overall crime had decreased, but also how police responses are now about “deepening the tie between police and community, deepening neighborhood policing.”

“We are the safest big city in America,” he added. “We will continue to be.”

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