In late May and early June 2020, looters smashed storefronts in the Bronx and Manhattan boroughs of New York City.
Many were caught on tape, some with their faces visible. Others even posted their own videos of their actions those nights on social media. Hundreds were arrested.
But a review of NYPD data by the investigative team at WNBC, the NBC owned station in New York, shows that a large percentage of the cases — particularly in the Bronx — were dismissed, and that many convictions were for counts like trespassing that carry no jail time.
“I was in total shock that everything is being brushed off to the side,” said Jessica Betancourt, who owns an eyeglass shop that was looted and destroyed along Burnside Avenue in the Bronx last June.
According to the data, 118 arrests were made in the Bronx during the worst of the looting in early June.
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Since then, the NYPD says the Bronx district attorney and the courts have dismissed most of those cases — 73 in all. Eighteen cases remain open and there have been 19 convictions for mostly lesser counts like trespassing, counts which carry no jail time.
Betancourt, who is also vice president of a local merchants ‘association, called the numbers “disgusting.” She said local business leaders are upset few are being held accountable for the destruction they caused.
In Manhattan, much of the looting occurred in the upscale neighborhood of Soho. Amid the Covid pandemic, mobs and organized criminals were taking advantage of huge protests in the city after the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. Read more…