The Brooklyn DA’s office presented historic low numbers of homicides and shootings and announced the launch of a new criminal justice reform agenda in early 2018
2017 was the safest year in Brooklyn history, according to the office of the Brooklyn district attorney. Statistics compiled by the NYPD show that the borough saw the lowest number of homicides, shootings and shooting victims since the beginning of record-keeping.
“The historic declines in crime that we are experiencing in Brooklyn can be described as nothing short of a miracle,” said District Attorney Gonzalez. “But they were not achieved by chance – they are a testament to the dedicated work and smart-on-crime strategies of the NYPD, my prosecutors and our other partners in law enforcement and in the community.”
According to the NYPD data, the percent decreases regarding homicides, shooting incidents and shooting victims in Brooklyn even surpass the already impressive citywide declines during 2017. In the past year, a total of 110 murders were recorded in Brooklyn which marks a 14.1 percent decline compared to 2016. There were 118 fewer shooting incidents compared to the same period in 2016 (a total of 287, down 29 percent) and 149 fewer shooting victims (a total of 341, down 30.4 percent).
While decreases in murders and shootings took place in most Brooklyn neighborhoods, certain precincts experienced particularly noteworthy declines: The number of homicides in East New York dropped from 23 to 11 with a 35.7 percent decrease in shootings; and in Crown Heights murders were cut from 10 to 6 with a 57 percent decline in shootings; in Brownsville homicides were down 35.7 percent and shootings were down 32.6 percent.
In an effort to enhance the community’s trust in the justice system, and to create fairer, safer outcomes, Gonzalez spearheaded various reforms last year. The DA’s office launched initiatives such as an immigration policy to protect non-citizen defendants charged with low-level offenses from unintended immigration consequences; a new bail policy which requires prosecutors to consent to release in most misdemeanor cases which lead to a 90 percent release rate at arraignment in 2017; the dismissal of 650,000 summons warrants 10 years or older which stemmed from unpaid fines; and the Brooklyn’s Young Adult Court which provides alternatives to incarceration to misdemeanor defendants ages 16 to 24.
Building on this trend, the DA’s Office plans to announce a reform-focused agenda in 2018 with a focus on driving down violent crime while finding new opportunities for diversion, transparency and efficiency and continuing efforts that were put in place already in 2017.