Two bodies interspersed with bullets lay stretched out on bloodstained concrete steps. In addition, relatives of the victims howl and fall to the ground. In another part of the city, a gang of teenagers with spray paint disables surveillance cameras before robbing a corner shop. Later, video clips of police officers sitting helplessly in their patrol car while a barking amount of glass bottles hurled at them.
This is lawless New York – a city that was once America's glittering crown jewel but is in danger of being relegated to mob rule.
Murder rates have skyrocketed and a combination of a coronavirus pandemic, protests against Black Lives Matter (BLM) and weak political leadership threatens to achieve what Osama Bin Laden could never achieve: bring the Big Apple to its knees.
The scenes described above took place last weekend. Chioke Thompson, 23, and his girlfriend Stephanie Perkins, 39, were gunned down on the steps of Chioke's Brooklyn home. His schoolteacher mother Sophia cried when she said: “Even when he died, he tried to protect her with his body. That makes no sense. None of them did anything wrong. "
Since the shooter is still at large and his families insist that no victim has links to drugs or gangs, the couple seems to be the latest grim statistics in a Crimean wave that is sweeping the city.
Figures released by the NYPD showed that there were 176 murders in the first six months of 2020, an increase of 23 percent over the same period last year. Above in Manhattan, protests continue to raid against George Floyd's death
According to the New York City Police Department, there were 176 murders in the first six months of this year, an increase of 23 percent over the 143 killed in the same period last year.
The number of victims of shootings rose 51 percent this year to 616. In June alone, there were 250 shootings compared to 97 in the same month last year. Every month, burglaries increased by 119 percent and car thefts by 48 percent.
Many accuse Liberal Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, who cut police funding by $ 1 billion (£ 800m), and ended the NYPD's controversial "stop-and-frisk" policy (the police's allowed everyone to stop and search only on the basis of & # 39; reasonable suspicion & # 39;) and last week vowed to paint a huge sign that said Black Lives Matter in front of President Trump's flagship Trump Tower.
De Blasio has also introduced reforms in the criminal justice system, including changing bail for dozens of crimes, which has resulted in violent criminals being released on the streets.
Many accuse Liberal Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, who cut police funding by $ 1 billion (£ 800 million), among other things, and ended NYPD's controversial "stop-and-frisk" policy. The police are on the top during a protest against Black Lives Matter
An angry Trump tweeted, "NYC cuts off the police by a billion dollars, and yet the Mayor of NYC will paint a large, expensive, yellow sign that reads" Black Lives Matter "on Fifth Avenue that slanders this luxury street."
Regarding the police, the president added, "This will further antagonize New York's best, who LOVE New York, and vividly remember the terrible BLM song" Pigs in a blanket, roast them like bacon. "Maybe our BIG one leaves Police, who have been neutralized and despised by a mayor who hates them and does not respect them, do not put this symbol of hatred on New York's main street. Instead, spend this money on crime fighting! "
Parts of Manhattan, known as the "city that never sleeps", have been a ghost town since the escape of 500,000 mostly wealthy and bourgeois residents when Covid-19 struck in March.
The State of New York has the highest death toll in America, with more than 24,000 deaths, nearly 10,000 more than the second most affected state in New Jersey and eight times as many as killed on September 11 by terrorists.
The streets full of tourists are practically empty. Shops and restaurants are boarded up to protect them from looters. Hotels are closed. According to one resident: "New York has become a place where the soup kitchens are full and the skyscrapers are empty."
The Broadway theater district is in the dark and is unlikely to open until next year. The subway, which once transported 750,000 commuters a day, is largely deserted. In Times Square, a handful of street vendors offer hand sanitizers and face masks instead of fake designer sunglasses and bags.
With more than 24,000 deaths, the state of New York suffered the highest number of coronavirus deaths in America, almost 10,000 more than the second most affected state. Protesters above are blocking their weapons when the police arrive in an area known as the "City Hall Autonomous Zone", which was set up in protest against the NYPD and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement
Joel Kotkin, a leading urban trend expert and New York native who now lives in California, told The Mail on Sunday: “This is an unprecedented crisis that New York has never faced. When September 11th happened, it was a major disruption, but the country and the world gathered to support and there was a great sense of solidarity. "
At that time, Rudy Giuliani was mayor and was considered a strong leader. The city was shaken, but in weeks it was back on its feet.
But Covid scored when New York was already in decline. Kotkin says: “Under Mayor de Blasio, the conditions were perfect for the pandemic to flourish. The subway was dirty. The prosperity was very different. The rich immediately fled to houses in the country or on the beach.
City where the soup kitchens are full and the skyscrapers are empty
Millennials went home to their parents. Poor people and immigrants lived in incredibly crowded conditions with high levels of poverty and several generations in one household. On top of that, the (BLM) riots and protests and New York were a perfect storm of everything that could go wrong – and did. "
Significantly, Kotkin believes that people who can work from home will dramatically change the nature of life in New York forever. When the Twin Towers were hit in 2001, the Internet was still at an early stage. Now it is easy for people to work remotely.
"A city that is perceived as dangerous and dirty has no appeal. It makes sense to settle in suburbs and smaller towns that are generally safer, cleaner and cheaper."
Around 500,000 mostly wealthy New Yorkers fled the city when Covid-19 hit the city, leaving behind parts of Manhattan, the famous "city that never sleeps" that resembles a ghost town. A NYPD police car is set on fire when demonstrators clash with the police
In fact, thousands of New Yorkers have already traveled to “safer” cities such as Austin in Texas and Tulsa in Oklahoma, where newcomers to the technology industry are offered a $ 10,000 welcome fee. It doesn't help that NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea admitted last week: “You have an imploding criminal justice system. Implode. This is the nicest way to put it. "
Siege police unions have accused de Blasio of being “anti-cop”. Last month, 272 civil servants applied for retirement, 49 percent more than 183 in the same period last year.
"We have a mayor who is more concerned with the look (how things look) than with the policing locally," said a police officer. "The NYPD is completely demoralized."
Patrick Lynch, President of the Police Benevolent Association, said: “How can we continue our work in this environment? Of course, a castrated police force is exactly what the anti-cop crowd wants. If we don't have police officers because nobody wants to become a police officer, they have achieved their ultimate goal. "
The daily protests illustrated above against the death of George Floyd, the unarmed black man killed by a Minneapolis police officer, have conflicted with many residents
A real estate crisis is also looming. While the rapid rents had already forced people into the cheaper outskirts of New York, the corona virus has caused thousands not to pay their landlord.
A nationwide eviction moratorium that has been in effect since March expires on August 20 when the tenants have to repay the rent owed. A restaurant owner who refused to be named said, "I will definitely close and move to a cheaper part of the country."
Daily protests against the death of George Floyd, the unarmed black man killed by a Minneapolis police officer, have conflicted with many residents.
"I understand the majority of the peaceful demonstrators," said one woman. "But there is a small minority who use protests as a shield against riots and looting. I went into my business, but I'm afraid that they will break in. The insurance does not cover looting. I am in a constant state of stress and anxiety. "
After September 11th the theaters closed for two days. Now we're losing $ 35 million a week
Lenci Licona, a construction worker, is one of the minorities who travel to work in public transport. He says: "People are so stressed. We are all afraid, but I have to go to work, otherwise I cannot support my family. "
Without a reliable forecast of when tourists could return, up to a third of the city's small businesses – including 186,000 businesses – could fail. Gregg Bishop, commissioner for the city's Small Business Agency, said, "I don't know if the New York we left will ever return."
More than 1.2 million people have lost their jobs, mostly poorly paid roles in restaurants and in retail. It is true that the city has suffered from an accident earlier. Not only September 11, but also the financial crisis of the 1970s, with mass unemployment, dirty streets full of garbage, and areas like Times Square full of grubby strip clubs.
Back then, more than 800,000 people fled the city.
Kathryn Wylde, president of Partnership for New York City, a group of companies, said: “In the late 1970s, it took four or five years for the city to be empty. And then it took three or four decades for the city to be back. "
Huge anger is directed against Mayor de Blasio, who has initiated a series of reforms that critics have said have injured the poor minorities that he claims to want to help. Demonstrators gather at the top of New York City City Hall
Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin, who represents theater owners, told the newspaper: "It's devastating. After September 11th, theaters went dark for two days.
“Now we're losing $ 35 million in ticket sales every week. In the meantime, 40 percent of the 130 apartments in my building are empty.
"Everything we love about New York – the hustle and bustle of restaurants, the strangeness and the madness – everything that's gone."
Huge anger is directed against Mayor de Blasio, who has initiated a series of reforms that critics have said have injured the poor minorities that he claims to want to help.
But not all predictions for the future of the Big Apple are bleak.
To monitor New York's recovery, de Blasio appointed urban planning expert Carl Weisbrod, who says: "As long as New York can hold onto its talent, I have no doubt that it will recover economically."
Other optimists believe that the city will experience a painful "reset" that will result in cheaper rents that could make New York more accessible to a new generation.
Norman Radow, a developer who moved to the city in 1978 at the height of a financial crisis, said: “Everyone thought it was the end of New York at the time. But look what happened. "
More than 1.2 million people have lost their jobs, mostly poorly paid roles in restaurants and in retail. Demonstrators walk across a New York bridge
And an executive at a major Wall Street bank said, “Nobody should write off New York. After the 2008 financial crisis broke out, we reinvented ourselves and attracted technology companies like Facebook. We need an advanced leader who can restore trust in law and order and give hope to people. "
Obviously, he is not talking about de Blasio, who will stand for re-election next year, although his popularity in dealing with the current crises and allegations of hypocrisy is lower than ever.
He disregarded his own reputation that people shouldn't make unnecessary trips by driving the chauffeur to his gym.
The Wall Street manager added: “New York has always been a beacon for people from all over the world who come here and believe in the American dream.
"This dream may have turned into a nightmare, but there is tenacity and resilience in New York that people shouldn't underestimate."
“New York is definitely down. But you should never count us. "
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) News (t) Black Lives Matter (t) Coronavirus