When shots were fired not far from Taylor Swift’s home in the trendy Tribeca neighborhood of New York City recently, it made national news. Shootings have increased across the city, and gunshots fired near the home of a celebrity was too juicy a story for the entertainment media to ignore.
Tribeca’s still a pretty safe neighborhood, though, and most of the press is staying far away from the real crime hot spots in New York City; the housing projects run by the New York City Housing Authority.
As the New York Daily News reports, the overall homicide rate in NYC at the moment is about 4 per 100,000. In the housing projects, however, the murder rate is almost four times higher, at 15.5 per 100,000.
“It’s public housing at its worst,” a veteran NYPD Housing Bureau officer said of the Howard Houses.
“There are remnants of drug use in the hallways and stairwells — blood splatter, needles, broken glass,” said the officer, who asked that his name not be used.
Howard Houses is thick with members of the Bloods gang, the veteran cop said.
It’s not easy for the officers to keep up with the shootings. “Every day, it seems like the FIOs (Field Intelligence Officers) are handing out wanted posters for new shootings to cops who are demoralized and burnt out, and expecting them to run out and catch these guys,” said the officer.
Howard Houses’ four homicides lead NYCHA projects in the city, NYPD data shows. The project had no homicides in same period of 2019.
As of October 18th, 59 of the city’s 371 homicides have taken place on NYCHA property, an increase of 41% over 2019’s figures.
Of course it’s illegal to possess a firearm in your home in New York City unless you have a premises license, and those are rare in the city’s housing projects, so it’s not legal gun owners who are driving the violence. In fact, the law-abiding residents in complexes like Howard Houses aren’t likely to be legal gun owners thanks in part to the exorbitant fees that the city charges simply for processing the application to keep a gun in the home.
Clearly the city can’t keep the peace in its housing projects, but thanks to its draconian gun licensing law, many residents in some of the most dangerous parts of the city can’t keep a gun for self-defense either. The result is a recipe for disaster and criminality, with good folks in bad neighborhoods left defenseless inside their homes while violent criminals brazenly rule the stairwells of their buildings and the nearby city streets as well.