The answer to shootings isn’t to ‘defund’ the NYPD

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Two more dead Sunday in bloody weekend of gun violence in NYC

Justin Wallace, age 10: gunned down Saturday inside the door of his Far Rockaway home in a parking dispute. Amir James, 15, shot dead Thursday while picking up food with his family in Harlem.

There were no protests or rallies against the gun violence that took these innocent kids’ lives and wounded others like a 12-year-old girl shot in the ankle in Mount Eden and an 18-year-old hit in the calf in Castle Hill (both Saturday). But let one of these gunmen be hit in a shootout with police and a mob will descend on the local precinct demanding “justice” for the thug.

New York’s soaring shootings (and not just in the city) are not the result of the pandemic, but of the politicians’ turn against law enforcement. (Otherwise, cities like London would’ve seen similar increases in violence this last year.) Indeed, the violence is likely to grow worse as reopening continues and the summer heats up.

But Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to downplay the spike in violent crime across the city, while Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as ever speaks for progressives in saying the answer is to stop building jails. (When did Fantasy Island get added to her district?)

Murder in the city is up 9 percent. Shooting incidents were up 86 percent in May. The number of shooting victims is up almost 72 percent. And crime on public transit rose 93 percent from May 2020.

AOC is right that jail is a rotten place to put those suffering from untreated mental illness, but they’re not the people driving the surge in gun crime. Too many regular New Yorkers are carrying these days, and far too many gangbangers and hardened recidivists are walking the streets because the crime lobby has prevailed on the Legislature, City Council and City Hall to kneecap cops and prosecutors.

And, sadly, most of the folks running for office these days want to keep it up — though, tellingly, none of the candidates at the top of the polls in the mayoral race.

Elected officials need to take their heads out of the sand, and voters must flock to candidates who demand an end to the madness. Empower the NYPD and the district attorneys to target street gangs and known repeat offenders — and to lock them up.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo needs to regrow his spine and veto the next wave of badly written criminal-justice reforms that would further degrade public safety and start pushing hard to fix the horrific holes in past “reforms.” City lawmakers need to do the same.

Take the “Get out of jail free” cards out of the deck; let cops go back to getting guns off the streets. Get the system working again, and let the thugs and goons know it.

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