January 25, 2022
New York City will use face detection technology to nab suspected gun traffickers and will amend laws to allow prosecutors move gun-related cases faster through the courts to combat the city’s gun violence epidemic, Mayor Eric Adams said.
“We will follow up on leads and collect evidence from facial recognition technology and new tools that can spot those carrying weapons,” Adams said in a livestreamed announcement on Monday.
“We will use every available method to keep our people [safe].”
Adams’ engagement comes after Jason Rivera, a 22-year New York City police officer, was shot dead while responding to an incident on Friday. Another officer, Wilbert Mora, 27, was also shot and remained in critical condition as of Sunday, the New York Police Department said via Twitter.
The mayor, who previously served as a captain at the New York Police Department, unveiled what he called a wide-ranging blueprint to combat gun violence that would put more officers on patrol and give wider powers to prosecutors.
Adams lamented that the broader New York was the only one of the 50 US states that did not allow detention of suspects who pose an immediate threat to the community.
“We must allow judges to take dangerousness into account. Forty nine other states, as well as the federal government, allow judges to consider a defendant’s dangerousness. New York must catch up. Judges must be able to evaluate defenders’ criminal history and the circumstances of the alleged crime.”
He also said the city was looking at raising the age legislation for gun crimes, which he said was being used as a loophole for gang members to demand young people under 18 take the fall for gun crimes that were not theirs.
“My administration is not seeking to punish young people, but when it comes to guns, we must make sure there are consequences,” he said. “Far too many men above the age of 18 are victimizing children by forcing them to carry weapons.”
New York City has seen a sharp rise in crime, including in shootings and homicides since the spring of 2020, according to media reports that cited 488 murders in 2021 – nearly 200 more than in 2017.