The New York Police Department made 492 gun-related arrests in March – up 66.8% from the 295 arrests made during the same period last year, according to department statistics released earlier this year. The department wrote in an early-April press release that combatting gun violence in the city “remains a central focus for the NYPD.”
Shootings and murders also increased in March 2021 compared to last year, statistics show. The NYPD reported a 36% jump in murders, from 25 to 34, and a 77% increase in shootings, from 56 in March 2020 to 99 last month.
And the gun violence has continued into April. Last week, a tourist visiting from Kansas was struck by a stray bullet just blocks from the city’s famous Times Square, police said.
He survived and later told local news station WABC-TV: “It was really bad. I’m just ready to go home. I was having such a great time until this happened.”
And murders are also on the rise in other parts of the country, such as Washington, D.C., Chicago and Miami, statistics obtained by Fox News show.
A report from the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice, titled, “Pandemic, Social Unrest, and Crime in U.S. Cities” and found that the “precipitous rise in homicide and assaults in the late spring of 2020 coincided with the emergence of mass protests after George Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis.”
The report was commissioned in November 2020 and prepared, in part, by Richard Rosenfeld, professor emeritus of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.
Speaking to Fox News for a segment that aired Friday morning, Rosenfeld said “the spike in homicide and gun assaults is associated in time with the emergence of mass protests over police violence that we saw in the last week of May.”
The report noted that the “connection, if any, between the social unrest and heightened violence remains uncertain.”
Fox News’ David Lee Miller and Maria Paronich contributed to this report.