NYPD Struggling With Violent Crime Involving The Homeless

Marla Diamond
October 15, 2019 - 8:36 am

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – The NYPD’s caseload involving the homeless and violent crime is growing.

A day after the horrific Oct. 5 beating deaths of four homeless men in Chinatown, the NYPD says a homeless man was punched by another homeless man on a Queens sidewalk causing a fatal fall and a woman was murdered by a man on Oct. 2 in a Bronx homeless shelter.

An NYPD spokeswoman tells the Wall Street Journal they’re trying to determine the motives in all six deaths.

The Chinatown murders were allegedly committed by another homeless ex-con and Police Commissioner James O'Neill says they are working with prosecutors in an effort to keep dangerous criminals behind bars. 

"There are people in New York City and I think most New Yorkers realize that whether due to their criminal background or mental health history that they need to not be on the street to keep all New Yorkers safe," said O'Neill. "It's a difficult thing to do. You know, what's the threshold?"

Homelessness has increased in recent years with nearly 60,000 people living in New York City shelters and another 4,000 living in the street or on the subways.

Following the spate of violence, the NYPD has deployed more officers to Chinatown and the city is reviewing its emergency outreach efforts for the homeless and mentally ill.

According to the Journal, the city's Department of Homeless Services will spend $126 million this year on homeless outreach.