WNYC's Bob Hennelly is an award-winning investigative journalist. While at WNYC he has reported on a wide gamut of major public policy questions ranging from immigration and homeland security to power outages and utility mergers.
After nearly ten years of dramatic decline, New York City's murder rate is on the rise. As of last Sunday, the Police Department says 386 people have been murdered this year. That's a 13.2 percent jump from the 341 murders at the same period last year. The number of people shot has increased too, by 4.5 percent.
WNYC's Bob Hennelly discusses the details. Bob, put these latest statistics in perspective. Which boroughs are experiencing this uptick in murders the most?
First of all, it's very important to say that in 1990, we had 2,245 homicides a year. Last year, there were some 466. We are on a path to get around 530. Last year was the lowest number since we had reliable figures in the early 1960s. We see an uptick, 25 percent, in Queens. But here is the thing of concern, is consistently, young black men, who are exponentially more likely to be the victims of gun violence. And Commissioner Kelly convened today a coalition of very influential ministers from central Brooklyn, who are now going to directly engage young African-American men because gang gun-violence and the do-not-snitch culture, to a large degree, is part of it. Also, the tremendous number of tens of thousands of grandparents who are now caring for children, because it's a missing generation of these children's parents who are either AIDS-infected, or HIV-infected, incarcerated, or dead, related to drugs and to drug violence. So, this is something that the community's getting a hold of it .