So far this year, authorities have arrested 276 youths under the age of 18 for felony domestic assault. Arrests are up by 51 compared to last year, according to police records obtained by the New York Post.
Arrests for robbery were up by 80% compared to this time last year.
New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell told Fox 5 NY that the majority of shootings involving youths are centered around gang violence. He said those involved are typically repeat offenders.
“To kind of show you the explosion of youth violence, this year we’ve already had incidents where under the age of 18 victims have already been shot two separate times,” said Michael Lipetri, the NYPD Chief of Crime Control Strategies.
Before retiring as the NYPD Assistant Commissioner of Youth Services in January, Kevin O’Connor told CBS News the Raise the Age law is to be blamed for the rise in violence.
Enacted in 2018, the law raised the age of criminal adult charges from 16 to 18 with the exception for certain violent crimes, but not including an illegal possession of a firearm. Instead, the youth arrest will be sent to Family Court, where they are adjudicated as juvenile delinquents.
“So within 10 hours even if they’re remanded by a judge,” O’Connor told the New York Post, “they’re released because there’s nowhere to put them.”
A report by W. Dyer Halpern from the Manhattan Institute found:
RTA has drastically reduced the number of 16- and 17-year-olds in the adult court system. Virtually all misdemeanor arrests of 16- and 17-year-olds go directly to the family court system. As of September 15, 2022, approximately 83% of felonies ended up there, too. That includes roughly 75% of violent felony / Class A felony cases (except those involving drugs). Because family court proceedings are sealed, it is difficult to track what happens in these cases once they are removed.
Before the law was enacted in 2017, 30 identified shooters were under 18, and up until August 2022, there were already 85.
“It sends a clear message,” O’Connor said. “We know these kids know they’re not gonna get arrested. I have a young man that’s 16 years old, he has five gun arrests. How is that possible?” O’Connor told CBS News.
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