After another violent weekend in New York City, and during a Monday that saw at least another three shootings across the five boroughs, some local leaders have begun to wonder if the NYPD is actively engaging is some sort of slowdown.
Monday's gun violence started around sunrise in Times Square, where a man was involved in an argument with a group of others around 6 a.m. near 46th Street and Broadway, according to a senior law enforcement official. At some point, one of the men pulled out a gun and shot the victim in the leg, but he is expected to survive.
The shooter fled the scene. The senior law enforcement official says the victim is not cooperating with police. One shell casing was recovered from the scene, along with surveillance video.
Later Monday, a 62-year-old man believed to be a church caretaker, was shot in the back outside the place of worship in Bed-Stuy. The man died from his injuries. That followed a double shooting outside a day care in the Bronx, in which two men were injured. Both were expected to survive.
These shootings add to the city's rapidly expanding police blotter. Year to date, there have been nearly 500 more shootings across the five boroughs in 2020 as compared to 2019, and nearly double the number of victims.
For many New Yorkers, the crime isn't new, and the aftermath is becoming all-too common.
"I've witnessed a lot of funerals happen this summer, to be honest, it's really bad out there," said Chantal Tejeda. "I haven't seen much police action to be honest, and you would think with all the violence coming, but no."
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is similarly disturbed by the uptick in crime — and by what he believes is a deliberate slow down in NYPD response time to 911 calls as a reaction to recent criticism of police.
"When a police officer does a slow down, he's not only endangering the public, he's endangering lives of his colleagues," Adams said.
Chief of Department Terence Monahan, the highest ranking uniformed officer, disputes the slowdown accusations. Instead, he attributes the rise in violence to other factors such as 2,000 fewer officers patrolling the streets every week, and pointed to the rise in gun arrests over the last month as a sign that no slowdown has been taking place.
"When you take that many cops off the street, it's natural there's going to be more violence," Monahan exclusively told NBC New York.
He also said there have been thousands of NYPD retirements this year, keeping overall numbers low, and said there are less cops to go around due to the higher number of crime scenes this summer.
"We have 125 addition shooting crime scenes over the last 28 days. When my cops have to sit there, it takes time. They're not on patrol," Monahan said, and added cuts to police overtime severely hampered policing. That is about to change, however.
"The defunding of police happened in July 1 of this year, when we got cut to zero. Just this week...we have been refunded to start overtime tours, so we are putting cops back out on the street en masse," said Monahan.
In response to the shootings, the NYPD said residents can expect more to see more cops in their neighborhoods after the move by the department and the city. Starting Tuesday through at least Labor Day, the NYPD will have overtime available to increase shifts — resulting in hundreds of more officers on the streets across the city. It was not immediately clear how long the overtime would be allowed, and it may not be extended past the holiday weekend.
Monahan also pointed to the rise in gun arrests over the last month as a sign that no slowdown has been taking place.