Yesterday, the F.B.I released its annual Uniform Crime Report (UCR), which showed a sharp increase in homicides last year across the country. New Yorkers United for Justice (NYUJ) Executive Director Alexander Horwitz released the following statement in response:
“The new UCR report highlights the complex realities that we are living in, and reiterates largely what we already know to be true: 2020 was an unprecedented year fraught with stressful lockdowns, economic insecurity, tensions between communities and law enforcement, and social unrest. The data that we glean from this report should be thoughtfully examined, but one thing must be made clear—opponents of progress who use this data to blame commonsense criminal justice reforms for these unusual trends are fearmongering, plain and simple.
“New York’s recent criminal justice reforms prioritize community safety, and as the FBI’s data shows, homicides increased last year in both communities that did enact reforms and those that did not. Those who try to use this data to roll back reforms are acting in bad faith to unnecessarily increase incarceration and economic hardship, while undermining the communities they claim to support.
“Everyone who uses this data must do so with the circumstances of the past year in mind and the knowledge that criminal justice reforms are carefully constructed to push New York forward, as they have and continue to do.”