FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 30, 2022
Homicides and Shootings Continued to Drop in Brooklyn in 2022,
Driving Citywide Decline in Gun Violence During Past Two Years
Shootings in Brooklyn Decreased by 31% and Homicides Went Down by 21%,
Since the 2020 Peak, Accounting for About 88% of the Decline in Murders and 83% of the Declines in
Shootings and Shooting Victims Across New York City Over that Time Period
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that Brooklyn continued to make gains in public safety during 2022, with homicides declining by 8% and shootings decreasing by 13% compared to 2021. These encouraging trends amount to a reversal of the spike in gun violence during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 – shootings in Brooklyn dropped by 31% over the past two years, representing over 83% of the citywide decline during that period. Similarly, the number of shooting victims declined by 33%, accounting for over 83% of the citywide decrease, and murders went down by 21%, making up a whopping 88% of the citywide decline in the past two years. However, index crimes in Brooklyn rose by about 21% in 2022. The Brooklyn DA’s Office continued to focus on reducing gun violence by targeting violent street gangs, partnering with community-based organizations to prevent at-risk youth from becoming either perpetrators or victims of gun violence, and enhancing efforts to better prosecute gun crimes and to take firearms off the streets.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “I am happy to report that public safety in Brooklyn continued to improve over the past year, as we rebound from the spike in violence that we experienced during 2020. The significant declines in murders and shootings in our borough are driving the citywide gains against gun violence and are a testament to the hard work and focused approach by my Office, the NYPD and all of our partners. We still have work to do as we pledge to drive down gun crimes even further and contend with upticks in other crime categories, but I am confident that we are on the right track. I remain committed to targeting the most violent individuals and to growing our partnerships with community-based groups, violence interrupters and others who are engaged in preventative strategies.”
The District Attorney said that 138 homicides (nine of which were reclassified from incidents that happened in previous years) were recorded in Brooklyn during 2022 – 12 fewer or down 8% compared to the previous year. Shooting incidents dipped by 67 (13%) for a total of 448, and shooting victims decreased by 76 (12%) for a total of 543. These numbers are comparable to statistics from the mid-2010s.
Taking a two-year view to analyze the long-term recovery from the spike in gun violence during 2020 – which was likely caused by a global pandemic, social and economic upheavals, and other factors – shows that Brooklyn is the driving force behind public safety improvements in New York City. Murders went down by over 21% with the 37 fewer homicides making up about 88% of the citywide decline (from 468 in 2020 to 426 to 2022 citywide). Shootings in Brooklyn dropped by 31% during that timeframe and the 204 fewer shootings represent 83% of the citywide decline. Similarly, the number of shooting victims declined by 265, or 33%, accounting for 83% of the citywide decline.
The most notable drops in homicide in Brooklyn over the past year took place in Coney Island, East Flatbush, Midwood, Bushwick and Fort Greene, with all of those neighborhoods experiencing a 50% decrease or more. Some of the more historically violent precincts saw homicides numbers remain the same as in 2021 but shootings declined in most of them: by 42% in Bedford-Stuyvesant, 18% in Brownsville and 14% in Crown Heights, while East New York had a 12% increase.
The seven major index crimes (murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and grand theft auto) increased in Brooklyn by 20.5% last year compared to 2021. But in that aspect too, Brooklyn has seen better trends that New York City as a whole: while the most populous borough, it wasn’t the leading contributor in any of those crime categories when compared to the four other boroughs, and the percentage increase was the second smallest among the five boroughs. It also had the smallest percentage increase than any other borough when compared to 2020.
[All stats are based on the New York City Police Department’s preliminary CompStat reports as of December 30, 2022.]
The District Attorney said that his Office, together with the NYPD, continued to target the most violent individuals in our communities who are responsible for the majority of gun violence. In November, 32 alleged members of two rival Brownsville gangs were indicted in connection with 19 shootings, two of them fatal, which wounded several innocent bystanders, including a 3-year-old girl. Another component of DA Gonzalez’s multi-pronged strategy to reduce violence involves community participation, such as Gun Buyback events. A total of 315 firearms were surrendered during three events in 2022: a record 206 weapons this month in Bed-Stuy, 69 in Clinton Hill, as reported by the New Yorker and 40 in Flatbush. The DA’s Office also hosted a number of preventative educational programs, including youth summits and workshops, and issued a Stop Violence report that summarized its comprehensive approach to driving down shootings, which includes a $2 million investment in a new Digital Evidence Lab, a new Ghost Gun Unit and an executive position focusing on gun violence reduction.
In other groundbreaking moves, DA Gonzalez announced a restructuring of his Office in October with the creation of a new Gender-Based Violence Division that placed the Domestic Violence and Sex Crimes Bureaus, the Human Trafficking, Crimes Against Children and Victim Services Units, Family Justice Center operations and the U-Visa practice under a single umbrella. In September, the DA moved to dismiss 378 convictions that relied on 13 police officers who were later convicted of misconduct – one of the largest mass exonerations in U.S. history.
Over the past year, the Brooklyn DA’s Office also extended and expanded its engagement efforts across Brooklyn communities – an important part of the District Attorney’s goal of strengthening community trust in the legal system. Some highlights of these wide-ranging efforts included a deed fraud prevention forum, a resource fair for newly-arrived asylum seekers, an immigration clinic for people from the Ukraine, a successful back-to-school Summerfest in Coney Island, and much more.