NYC violent crime spikes as coronavirus protocols stymie enforcement
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New York City’s violent crime numbers are surging as the New York Police Department says it’s dealing with people who are being arrested and immediately released as a result of changes brought on to curb the novel coronavirus pandemic, NYPD brass said Tuesday.
“We need to get back to normal. We need to get that machine running again.”
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told NY1 the department is used to crime spikes in areas of the city, and is typically used to handling them, but with some processes within the criminal justice system, such as grand juries, still suspended, a recent increase in violent citywide is cause for concern.
“What we need is, we need that whole criminal justice system to get back online. We’re out there, the cops are out there making, whether it’s gun arrests or any other types of arrests, but we can’t have people put right back on the street,” Shea said Tuesday morning. “A part of that is just, no one’s fault, it is where we are with this pandemic, where we don’t have grand juries sitting.”
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Shea noted the changes that have since been made within the criminal justice system to curb COVID-19 transmission, such as following social distancing guidelines, checking detainees' temperatures and wearing masks, but said he hoped the different parties involved could reach “a happy medium.”
“We gotta get to a happy medium here where violent people, carrying guns, shooting at people in New York City – and that’s what we’re seeing in some parts of the city, unfortunately,” he said.