As New York City exits another gunfire-marred weekend where 15 people were shot across the city and a plainclothes detective was fired upon, officials still have no answers.
Now a new scathing report was released last week by the NYPD supervisor union showing just how broken the criminal justice system is when it comes to the epidemic of gun violence in the city.
The report from the NYPD’s Lieutenants Benevolent Association showed that beginning in January 2021, city police have arrested 4,456 criminals on gun charges, which averages out to a dozen arrests per day.
Yet, of the 4,456 arrests, only 711 persons were convicted of a crime with 698 of those accepting plea bargains on lesser charges. That means 84% of criminals caught with an illegal gun were not prosecuted to any extent under the law.
Also, looking at these statistics, less than 2% of the known convictions were actually on gun-related charges, with the majority pleading down to lesser misdemeanor charges.
“In addition, there are currently 1,784 open criminal cases for those arrested for illegally possessing a firearm,” the report cites. “Even more disturbing is the fact that 1,243 of the 4,456 people arrested for illegally possessing a firearm had their cases dismissed.”
A case in point: The career criminal who shot an NYPD cop, Officer Dennis Vargas, during a Bronx shootout last Tuesday was free on the streets despite having an open gun case — because a judge let him go without bail, according to reports.
The alleged shooter, Rameek Smith, who was shot dead in the shootout, was also in a court-ordered mental health program as part of his sentence after pleading guilty to the 2020 felony gun charge in Brooklyn.
Prosecutors in October 2020 wanted Smith to be held on $50,000 bail due to his guilty plea. The unnamed city judge ruled against the Bronx district attorney’s office and released him.
Between lack of prosecution or judges’ turnstile justice, it is no wonder that New York City is under siege right now when it comes to shootings. Where is the penalty for carrying an illegal firearm?
Obviously taking a dozen guns a day on average off the streets is moving in the right direction, but the perps walk out hours later, only to procure a new weapon.
That sounds like an excellent supply and demand problem for illegal arms dealers.
The report concludes with this open-ended question: “Now, if this is how gun arrests are being addressed — with little to no criminal accountability and no real repercussions for the offender — how do you think the district attorneys and courts are processing those arrested for robbery, burglary, assault, turnstile jumping, etc.?”
Sadly, those in charge are acting as if they refuse to acknowledge the obvious answer.