Former NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton has warned American cities are in for a ‘very, long dangerous summer’ as murder rates skyrocket nationwide.
Bratton, who earned the nickname ‘supercop’ for helping clean up the streets of New York City and Los Angeles, issued his warning on Monday as NYPD data showed shootings and murders in the Big Apple have increased by almost 70 percent and 12 percent, respectively.
Nationwide, there have been 275 mass shootings in 2021, about 40 percent more than this time last year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
These surging crime numbers are compared to 2020, which was the deadliest year in terms of gun violence in the last two decades.
But there aren’t any short- or long-term answers, Bratton told CNBC‘s Shepard Smith.
‘Unlike the last crime epidemic that took decades to build up to the early ’90s, this one has occurred, literally, overnight,’ Bratton said.
‘It’s like the virus, it’s literally, out of nowhere, and so solutions are not immediately apparent.’
Bill Bratton, former NYC police commissioner under mayors Rudy Giuliani and Bill de Blasio, on Monday warned American cities are in for a ‘very, long dangerous summer’
NYPD data showed shootings and murders in the Big Apple have increased by almost 70 percent and 12 percent, respectively, compared to 2020
Dubbed ‘Supercop’ in the British media, Bratton is highly regarded in the policing world and known for curtailing violence in New York City in the 1990s and Los Angeles in the early 2000s by being tough on gangs.
In New York City he served as commissioner under then-mayor Rudy Giuliani from 1994 to 1996 and again under Bill de Blasio from 2014 to 2016.
He also served as Commissioner of the Boston Police Department from 1993 to 1994 and as chief of the LAPD from 2002 to 2009.
Bratton has also served as an advisor on policing in several roles, including advising the British government.
In his CNBC interview on Monday, Bratton said there isn’t one definitive reason for the surge but rather a host of factors that are like tinder for the fire.
The pandemic forced many cities to empty jails and shutter courts for nearly a year so there was almost no punishment for people arrested for violent crime, police officers left the force because they contracted the coronavirus or because of lack of morale, and criminal justice reforms have left the country in a state of ambivalence.
‘We are in a period of time where we want to let people out of jail. No one really wants to put more people back in jail, but the reality is there are violent people in our society that need to be in jail,’ Bratton said.
‘America has to figure out what it in fact wants because right now there’s a lot of confusion.’
Dubbed ‘Supercop’ in the British media, Bratton is highly regarded in the policing world and known for curtailing violence in New York City in the 1990s and Los Angeles in the early 2000s by being tough on gangs
New York City police officers with the Crime Scene Unit investigate the scene where a man was shot and killed in the Brooklyn on June 11
This is maps shows where people were fatally shot in the country in 2021
Nearly 9,000 have been fatally shot in 2021, according to Gun Violence Archive
Many hoped that a spike in US shootings and homicides last year was an aberration perhaps caused by pandemic-related stress amid a rise in gun ownership and debate over policing.
But those rates are still higher than they were in pre-pandemic times.
So far in 2021, nearly 9,000 people have been shot dead, according to Gun Violence Archive. And that was through June 13.
Tracking ups and downs in crime is always complicated, but violent crime commonly increases in the summer months, starting around Memorial Day weekend. Weekend evenings and early-morning hours also are common windows for shootings.
Just this weekend alone, there were four mass shootings.
One of 14 people shot in a mass shooting in Austin has since died of their injuries; one man was killed and seven injured in a drive-by shooting in Savannah; three men were killed in Cleveland; and a woman was gunned down in Chicago.
Murders are also currently up 60 percent in Atlanta compared to last year.
Police fear the explosion of shootings and violent crimes in recent months is a long term trend rather than just a blip.
In Austin, 25 year-old IT worker Douglas John Kantor died in hospital on Sunday after he was one of 14 people shot at random on a street packed with bars hours earlier.
Kantor, who was a tourist from New York, was shot through the abdomen when shots rang out at about 1.30am on Saturday in the Sixth Street area when two men opened fire on each other.
AUSTIN: Kantor, who was a tourist from New York, was shot through the abdomen when shots rang out at about 1.30am on Saturday in the Sixth Street area when two men opened fire on each other. Doug Kantor pictured with his high school sweetheart Adrianna Esposito