Huffpost New York

New York City Shootings Jump 154 Percent; NYPD Morale Very Low

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As of October 16th, 1,484 people have been shot in New York City this year, The New York Post reports, already exceeding last year's tally of 1,451 on the same date.

The number of people shot jumped 154 percent two weeks ago, to 56 from 22 over the same week last year.

In one "night of mayhem" two Fridays ago, two people died and a dozen were injured as a result of violence.

A week later, a Brooklyn mom died while protecting children from a rooftop shooting outside a school.

And according to The Post (who, it should be noted, doesn't give Occupy Wall Street the most sympathetic of coverage), at least four high-ranking officers in the NYPD are blaming the demonstrators in Zucotti Park for the uptick in violent crime, saying the anti-corporate rallies pull units away from rough neighborhoods like South Bronx, Jamaica and Brownsville.

"The city is going crazy with demonstrations and protests, and I’m lucky if I can get four cars out there," said Deputy Inspector Ted Berntsen, commander of the 13th precinct in Chelsea.

Gothamist wonders if "Perhaps the flimsy excuse for an uptick in shootings stems from the NYPD suffering from a lack of esprit de corps."

A veteran Bronx cop told The New York Daily News, "The morale in the whole department is in the crapper," adding, "You can't be a police officer no more. You're a robot. You're under the microscope. You're under video surveillance. We feel like the perpetrators now, the way we're being displayed."

Of course, the public may have good reason to be wary of NYPD brass. There were the rape cops, another rape cop, the ticket-fixing scandal, the pepper-spray incident, stop-and-frisk racism, planting drugs on innocent people, dog-slapping, and cops giving junkies crack for blow-jobs.

Mayor Bloomberg has yet to react to the recent shootings in New York, but back in August, after a particularly bloody Labor Day weekend in which 67 people were shot, hizzoner called on Washington to make tougher gun laws.

New York has the toughest gun laws in the country but Bloomberg insisted the city can't do it alone.

"This is a national problem requiring national leadership," Bloomberg said, "but at the moment neither end of Pennsylvania Avenue has had the courage to take basic steps that would save lives."