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Last week, New York City passed 2019’s full-year total of 319 murders. Now, for the fearsome curve of street violence to be bent, the city must solve a pressing puzzle.

First, some promising—yes, promising—news.

For months, Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea insisted a covid-created “perfect storm” was fueling mayhem: police resources were diverted to protests; bad actors were released from Rikers Island to prevent covid spread; and courts were shuttered. Meanwhile, gun arrests plunged right around the time that Shea disbanded the NYPD’s anti-crime unit.

Most of those factors are turning around. More arrests and more bail-setting means more gun-toting criminals being taken out of circulation.

So why did last week bring 42 shootings compared to 11 in the same week last year? Is that violence just a lagging indicator, with better work done by cops and courts yet to show results, or is there some unknown wildcard?

It’s a mystery with a body count. Solve it.

Print Headline: Mystery unsolved

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