New York’s mayor paraded through the streets of Queens on Saturday proudly proclaiming the ‘Big Apple is back!’, ignoring the city’s major problems including levels of rising crime and homelessness which is at its highest for almost a century.
Eric Adams took part in the borough’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade having earlier said the city had become ‘boring’ during the pandemic and that it was now time to change that.
‘This parade was the first to stop during COVID, so it’s important that it’s the first to open – that we say our city is back — bigger, stronger and better than ever,’ Adams said at the start of the parade route in the Rockaways.
‘We are back to being this exciting place we call New York,’ he told The New York Post. ‘People want to be out. They want to enjoy their city.’
But the Mayor’s desire for everything to be peachy ignores the brutal reality of life on the nation’s biggest city where residents are having to endure homelessness in the wake of the pandemic and rising crime levels above and below ground in the city’s subway system.
New York Mayor Eric Adams led the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Queens, Saturday
Mayor Eric Adams marched in a St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Queens, where he insisted the Big Apple was ‘back’ — and no longer boring
During the month of February, the NYPD reported a 58.7 percent increase in total crime. The latest figures showed 9,138 incidents as opposed to 5,759 in 2021 – with double-digit surges in nearly every major category
Some of New York City’s younger residents took time out to enjoy the parade
Figures released this week detailed how New York City is reeling from a February crime wave that saw a nearly 60 percent spike in incidents over last year.
The city’s latest crime figures show there were 9,138 incidents last month, as opposed to 5,759 during the same period in 2021 — with double-digit surges in nearly every major category.
There were 32 murders in February — three more than the same month last year.
Multiple other categories saw shocking jumps, including car theft, which soared by nearly 105 percent; grand larceny, which jumped nearly 80 percent over the previous year; robberies, which surged 56 percent; a 44 percent bump in burglaries and a 22 percent spike in assaults. Rapes also saw a terrifying 35 percent rise in February.
The number of people experiencing homelessness in New York City is the highest since the Great Depression, with nearly 50,000 people counted last December according to the Coalition for the Homeless.
The number of people experiencing homelessness in New York City is the highest since the Great Depression
Nearly 50,000 people were counted last December according to Coalition for the Homeless
Mayor Adams, left, can be seen with New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Cousins, center, and Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Carl Heastie, right. Although he called the talks constructive, they were ultimately unsuccessful last month
Adams has said previously that he knows bail reform laws need to change, but he has also suggested white reporters and editors have misinterpreting stories about his fight to crack down such laws.
Last month, Adams, 61, met with Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to discuss removing the cash bail system as the city faces a 40 percent surge in crime this year.
Although Adams claimed that the meeting was constructive, his visit was described as unsuccessful by both New York City tabloids after Assembly members said they would ‘hold the line’ on the bail reforms and New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that revisiting the law would likely not be included in this year’s annual budget.
The Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post ran a Page 2 story headlined ‘Reform rollback hits Albany speed bump.’ The usually left-friendly Daily News devoted even more ink, spreading a story across Pages 4 and 5 headlined ‘Eric strikes out with Albany pols’ in all capital letters.
Christina Yuna Lee, 35, left was found dead last month after being stabbed in her own apartment. Michelle Go, 40, right, was at the Times Square subway platform when she was shoved onto the tracks
Gui Ying Ma, 62-year-old grandmother from Queens has died last month, weeks after she woke up from a coma after she was bashed in the head with a rock more than two months ago
The former cop, who was endorsed by both papers in his run for mayor, said: ‘I went to the Assembly conference. People raised the issues that they had and we talked. Black mayor, black Speaker, black majority leader, coming together and talking to each other.’
‘And if you would have turned on the news this morning, you would have said, ‘It was all hell up there.”
Adams suggested the negative coverage was due to a disconnect between the black mayor and white reporters and editors, even threatening to stop speaking to the press and no longer accept off-topic questions if the negative coverage persisted.
‘I’m not saying it out of hate, I’m saying it out of love,’ Adams said at the time. ‘I’m a black man that’s the mayor, but my story is being interpreted by people who don’t look like me. We gotta be honest about that.’
He went on to question the racial composition of newsrooms.
‘How many blacks are on editorial boards? How many blacks determine how these stories are being written?’ he said.
‘How many Asians? How many East Asians? How many South Asians? Everyone talks about my government being diversified, what’s the diversification in the newsrooms?’
He also called on media outlets to diversify their newsrooms and have more reporters and editors of color so they would better tell his version.
‘That’s why I am covered the way I am covered,’ he said. ‘We really need to stop distorting the news.’
Adams, pictured, has suggested that he receives negative coverage was due to a disconnect between the black mayor and majority white reporters and editors
On the streets, tesidents have also reacted with horror to a string of high-profile incidents, including the vicious battering of a woman with a hammer by a homeless man in Queens and the smearing of feces on another woman in the Bronx – after which the alleged perpetrator, a violent criminal with a history of 44 arrests, was released without bail.
These incidents were in addition to the murder of Asian woman Christina Yuna Lee, 25, who was tailed to her apartment by another homeless man, Assamad Nash, 35, and stabbed to death in her own apartment.
One month earlier, Michelle Go, 40, was waiting on the platform at the Times Square subway station was killed when she was shoved onto the tracks.
The New York subway has been ground zero for the latent crime wave after an alarming 73.3 percent increase in underground incidents – including 182 in February alone.
A revolting attack where a man smeared feces over the face of a 43-year-old woman was caught on camera, last month
Hate crimes have also doubled since last year — with anti-Asian attacks more than tripling and anti-Jewish complaints up by a whopping 54 percent over the same time last year, from 134 to 207 incidents.
One recent poll revealed that nearly 75 percent of all New York City voters consider crime to be a ‘very serious’ problem — the highest number since polling began in 1999.
The one small ray of light for New York is that shootings declined slightly in February, by 1.3 percent over the same period in 2021.
‘The men and women of the New York City Police Department are proactively addressing the deep-rooted causes of criminal behavior,’ Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said in a statement.
‘The NYPD will never relent, and the department has made far too much progress over the decades – and invested far too much in the communities it serves – to fall back by any measure. New Yorkers deserve better.’
Christopher Herrmann, a former Crime Analyst Supervisor with the NYPD and a Professor in the Department of Law & Police Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told DailyMail.com he finds the new numbers startling.
‘All of these numbers are bad, to be honest,’ Herrmann said Friday. ‘Generally, increases and decreases in crime would be in the single digits. These new numbers are not good.’
Herrmann says the increase can be traced back to lax bail laws, which mean perps often can walk out of jail quickly after being arrested – a situation that leads to more repeat offenses.
‘There are certainly enough cases of people being released from incarceration who should have stayed in jail,’ he said.
Herrmann added that the new numbers for February – typically a low-crime month due to weather and other factors – portend poorly for the rest of the year to come.
‘There is no easy solution – these are longer term problems,’ the crime analyst said. ‘This is a new crime rate … People should be worried.’
In addition, experts say the state government needs to address glaring issues, like homelessness and offenders’ mental health, if New York City has any hope of quelling the crime wave.
The crime wave comes during Mayor Eric Adams’ first few months in office. The former NYPD cop has vowed to crack down on the influx of incidents on the city’s streets and subway system – which has seen a rash of violent incidents in recent weeks. Former Mayor Bill De Blasio’s policies contributed to the current crime wave, experts said
Former NYPD officer and celebrity civil rights attorney Peter Gleason told DailyMail.com that the crime increase stems at least in part from policies implemented by Adams’ predecessor Bill De Blasio, including the failed $850 million Thrive NYC plan meant to assist New Yorkers with mental health issues.
‘New York’s subterranean transportation hub, or subways, was commonly referred to as sewer transport back in the dark days of the 1970s – 1980s,’ Gleason said.
‘Should Adams rebrand the DeBlasio failure of Thrive New York and other policies, then he alone will own the failure of the mental health crisis that infects New York City both above and below ground.’
Adams has said he wants to see changes in bail reform laws and other criminal justice measures, saying they will bring down crime rates in the city and reduce gun violence.
In his first visit to the Albany since becoming mayor, Adams said he knew what needed to be done.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced the new Subway Safety Plan initiative last month as a way to crackdown on crime and violence in the city’s transit system. So far, statistics show that it has been largely unsuccessful
‘We walked away saying we’re not going to fall into the trap of saying we can’t have justice and safety. We can have the justice we need and the safety we deserve. I’ve said this over and over again.’
Last week, Adams, who campaigned last year on getting people to get back to work amid the pandemic and cleaning up the crime-ridden subway system, outlined his plans for city bail laws, which can allow for suspects to roam the street often within hours of an arrest.
‘Let’s remove the cash bail system, because one should not be able to get out of jail just because you can pay bail. Let’s take that away. Judges should look at the case in front of them and say, ‘This person has two gun arrests, and he’s continually saying to the people of the city that I don’t care about the safety of you.” the mayor said.
‘That judge should have the right to make the discretion that this person just be held.’
Many of New York City’s most recent violent crimes have been perpetrated by repeat offenders – a development that comes after Manhattan’s District Attorney Alvin Bragg, 48, downgraded many crimes to misdemeanors.
Last month, the mayor announced that the NYPD would deploy 1,000 additional officers and separate teams of health workers to the city’s subway system to crack down on the influx of underground crime.
‘No more smoking. No more doing drugs. No more sleeping. No more doing barbecues on the subway system. Not more just doing whatever you want,’ Adam said at a press event announcing the plan, alongside New York Governor Kathy Hochul.
‘Those days are over. Swipe your MetroCard. Ride the system. Get off at your destination.’