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Another War Of Words Erupts Between Mayor de Blasio, Police Unions After Night Of Shootings Across NYC

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - As New York City is hit with another surge of gun violence, another war of words erupted between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the police unions.

As CBS2's Marcia Kramer reports, an East New York, Brooklyn nail salon was the scene of the latest instance of gun violence plaguing the city. A 68-year-old woman, an innocent bystander, was hit in the ankle by a stray bullet as gunshots rang out. Official say three unidentified man are being sought.

That followed a night of bloodshed. According to the NYPD, at least 11 people were shot in six hours in New York City,  including three men who were shot at the corner of 179th St. in Clinton Avenue and the Crotona section of the Bronx. A 60-year-old man died.

"A whole clip," said Catherine Ortiz. "Had to be 10-12 at least, real loud."

LINK: Tracking Shootings In New York City

"After this pandemic and crisis, people are going crazy. For nothing, they want to shoot people," said Crotona resident Leonard Josh.

There is an ongoing and raging debate about what is causing the violence. One police expert told CBS2 the crime situation is complicated and it's not any one single factor: It's the pandemic. It's bail reform. It's disbanding of the Anti-Crime Unit. And, he said, it's the fact that many times police are reactive instead of proactive so they don't get in trouble.

Whatever the reason, gun violence is up. The latest crime stats for the week ending last Sunday show the number of shooting victims is up 160%: 75,  compared to 30 in 2019. Gun arrests are down 16.5%: 71 last week, compared to 85 in 2019.

The latest wave of violence coming as police and police unions staged staged a "Stop The Violence" march to show support for local law-enforcement.

It touched off another wave of fingerpointing.

"What's going on is that government officials, on the state and city level, have enacted laws in a panic of the police, and the police cannot do their job," said Paul DiGiacomo of the Detectives Endowment Association.

"I have 36 years on the job. There's never been more difficult time to be a police office than right now. We have leaders in the city who, quite frankly, I don't know who they're speaking for," said Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch.

The mayor returned fire.

"The union leadership... is trying to divide us. Pat Lynch endorsed Donald Trump this week. This is a right wing agenda that's trying to impose its ideology in New York City," de Blasio said.

And while some union leaders and police officials blame bail reform, the numbers don't necessarily support the argument. Of the 1,500 inmates let out of Rikers Island during the pandemic, only seven have been rearrested on weapons charges by mid-July.

It seems like this is a debate that will continue to rage until the NYPD is able to reduce gun violence.

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