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NYC Crime Fears Rise After Two High-Profile Violent Incidents

New York City Mayor Eric Adams found himself in a tough situation in the aftermath of two deaths on Monday that seemed to confirm some people’s fears that the city was unsafe and out of control. A police officer died after being shot in Queens, and a subway rider was pushed in front of a train and killed in an unprovoked attack in Manhattan. Police arrested the 24-year-old man they said had shoved the passenger, and filed murder charges, saying that he appeared to have struggled with mental illness and had a history of violent acts. On Tuesday a 34-year-old man was in custody in the shooting in Queens and was being treated at a hospital. Adams lamented what he said were “bad people doing bad things to good people,” but he was adamant that the city had not spiraled out of control. Emma Fitzsimmons, who covers Adams for the New York Times, says he has talked a lot about how shootings are down and murders are down, but the killing of a police officer shows that gun violence is a persistent problem.

At the same time, Adams has been encouraging New Yorkers to get back on the subway and commute to work. He noted that there are only a handful of felonies every day on a system with four million riders. But when someone is fatally pushed on the tracks, that undermines his message. Adams complained that social media amplifies the relatively few incidents that have happened, making people even more afraid.

He acknowledged that it’s also his job to make people feel safe and that incidents like these have a chilling effect and play on the psyche of New Yorkers. He wants to remind people that these incidents are relatively rare. Adams said all along that there’s a small number of violent offenders who should be in jail and a group of people with severe mental health issues who should be getting treatment. There are different ways that people experience crime. And while he says, correctly, that murders are down from when he took office, murders are still higher than in 2019. New Yorkers are still understandably worried about crime.


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