Staten Island Elected Officials Stand Against Gun Violence Amid Citywide Surge of Shootings

Law Enforcement

Staten Island DA, Staten Island Elected Officials, and NYPD Borough Commander Kenneth Corey are joined by Anti-Violence Community Leaders in Stand Against Gun Violence Amid Citywide Surge of Shootings

Staten Island, N.Y. —  Amid a Citywide surge in shootings, Staten Island District Attorney Michael E. McMahon last week hosted a series of community briefings on the State of Violent Crime, bringing together anti-violence community leaders, law enforcement officials, and local elected leaders to develop new initiatives aimed at preventing shootings and violent crime. The District Attorney is joined by Borough President James Oddo, Congressman Max Rose, Senator Andrew Lanza, Senator Diane Savino, Assemblyman Michael Cusick, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, Assemblyman Michael Reilly, Assemblyman Charles Fall, City Council Minority Leader Steve Matteo, Council Member Debi Rose, Council Member Joe Borelli, Staten Island NYPD Borough Commander Chief Kenneth Corey, and Staten Island anti-violence community leaders of Cure Violence/True 2 Life, Occupy the Block, New York Center for Interpersonal Development (NYCID), and Rev. Dr. Victor Brown of Mt. Sinai United Christian Church, in issuing the following joint statement:

"In recent weeks we have seen a terrible and disconcerting increase in shootings and deadly violence across our City at levels not seen in almost 25 years. Although here in Staten Island we are proud and fortunate to not have experienced the same dramatic spike as other boroughs, we have seen an uptick in July that has us concerned. Sadly, this past weekend saw two more shootings, in Port Richmond and West Brighton, and a shots fired incident in Stapleton. Innocent Staten Islanders are being victimized and the urgency of this crisis has brought us together, despite our differing perspectives, to send a clear and united message:

Every Staten Islander deserves to feel safe in their homes and on our streets. Violence, in particular gun violence, of any kind is simply unacceptable. Those who choose to pick up a gun and use it to endanger the lives of others will be held accountable by law enforcement and by our community. On this we all can and must agree, because lives literally hang in the balance.

Now is a time to look ahead, to work together in partnership and conviction to prevent any further senseless loss of life and to keep our neighborhoods safe. We are committed to working together to stop this tragic trend."

Citywide Index Crimes overall are down 3% compared to 2019, murder is up 27%, shooting incidents are up over 50% and shooting victims are up over 60%. In June, there were 205 shootings Citywide, the most of any month since 1996 (235). Year-to-date, homicides are up almost 30% compared to 2019.

On Staten Island, Index Crimes overall are down 5% compared to 2019, murder is down over 20%, and shootings are up 45% (16 v. 11). On Staten Island, there have been 6 fatal and 16 non-fatal shooting victims so far this year. This represents approximately 2% of the citywide total. In June, there were 4 shootings on Staten Island, or less than 2% of the citywide total for the month. There have been 6 shooting incidents (1 fatal, 4 nonfatal) thus far in July 2020.

It is worth noting that 2018 and 2019 were the lowest years on record for non-fatal shootings on Staten Island. In 2017, there had been 19 non-fatal shootings by this point in the year and 39 total non-fatal shootings by year-end. In 2016, there were 33 non-fatal shootings in the year.

The group of elected officials, law enforcement agencies, and community anti-violence stakeholders will be working together to implement a number of targeted strategies to prevent shooting incidents and other incidents of violence. To be certain, the initiatives listed below represent just the beginning of a community-driven process that is in its early stages, with the ultimate goal of saving lives and preventing gun violence in our neighborhoods.

These include:

• Identifying and deploying community organizations and stakeholders who can credibly engage with gangs, crews, and at-risk youth to prevent or resolve conflict in non-violent ways.

• Further engaging teenagers and young adults in meaningful and safe Summer activities.

• Identifying hotspots for violence and deploying community stakeholders and strategic resources to make those areas safer for everyone. This may include installing lighting, surveillance technology, increased community and public presence, etc.

• Building an anti-violence public awareness campaign.

• Hosting Gun Buy-Back Events and promote avenues to surrender weapons safely without enforcement consequences.