For the first time in living memory, New York City has spent a day entirely without violent crime.
NYPD’s chief spokesman said that Monday was the most bloodshed-free 24-hour period in recent history.
Not a single murder, shooting, stabbing or other incident of violent crime was reported for a whole day.
Despite a July spike in homicides, the city’s murder rate is on target to hit its lowest point since 1960.
Just a few months ago, residents were living through what one tabloid newspaper called the “summer of blood”.
Despite the fall in homicides, statistics point to a 3% overall rise in crime.
For the first time in living memory, New York City has spent a day entirely without violent crime
There has also been a 9% increase in larceny, which police blame on a surge in smartphone thefts.
But killings are now down 23% compared with last year, which represents a 50-year low.
There have been 366 murders so far this year in New York City, compared with 472 at this time last year.
Experts say such a low number of homicides is highly unusual for a US city of eight million people.
Gang-plagued Chicago, Illinois, has chalked up 462 murders this year, despite having a population of about 2.7 million people.
There have been 301 murders in 2012 in the city of Philadelphia, which has 1.5 million people.
Some experts are praising the New York police department’s aggressive crime-prevention tactics, notably the so-called Stop And Frisk policy, which has rooted out dozens of illegal guns.
But critics argue that it has led to hundreds of thousands of young blacks and Latinos being stopped without cause.
New York’s police chief has confirmed today that all nine people injured in Friday’s Empire State Building shooting were hurt as a result of police fire.
During the incident, which was captured by surveillance cameras, police officers shot dead a gunman who had just killed a former work colleague.
Commissioner Ray Kelly said bystanders had been hit by bullets or fragments of bullets striking objects.
They suffered minor injuries and all are expected to survive.
New York's police chief has confirmed today that all nine people injured in Friday's Empire State Building shooting were hurt as a result of police fire
Detectives are still trying to establish what drove the gunman, t-shirt designer Jeffrey Johnson, to ambush Steven Ercolino, vice-president of a clothing firm.
According to police, Jeffrey Johnson hid behind a car and killed Steven Ercolino with five shots as he arrived for work in Manhattan soon after 09:00 a.m.
“It appears that all nine of the victims were struck either by fragments or by bullets fired by police,” said Commissioner Ray Kelly.
Video released by police shows the moment when officers challenge Jeffrey Johnson and open fire as he appears to draw a gun in a busy street.
“We have on tape the perpetrator pulled his gun out and tried to shoot at the cops,” NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg said earlier.
“Whether he got off any bullets or not [is] to be determined.”
Jeffrey Johnson lost his job last year and is believed to have held a grudge against Steven Ercolino.
New York police cleared Zuccotti Park where the Occupy Wall Street movement was born six months ago and made several arrests after hundreds of protesters returned in an anniversary observance and defiantly resisted calls to clear out.
Some of Occupy protesters locked arms and sat down in the middle of Zuccotti Park near Wall Street after police announced on a bullhorn at around 11:30 p.m. Saturday that the park was closed. Officers then poured into the park, forcing most of the crowd out and surrounding a small group that stayed behind. Police formed a human ring around the park to keep protesters out.
Several people were arrested, police said. An unused public transit bus was brought in to cart away about a dozen protesters in plastic handcuffs. One female under arrest had difficulty breathing and was taken away in an ambulance to be treated.
For hours, the demonstrators had been chanting and holding impromptu meetings in the park to celebrate the anniversary of the movement that has brought attention to economic inequality, as police mainly kept their distance.
But New York Police Det. Brian Sessa said the tipping point came when the protesters started breaking the park rules.
“They set up tents. They had sleeping bags,” he said. Electrical boxes also were tampered with and there was evidence of graffiti.
Brian Sessa said Brookfield Properties, the park owner, sent in security to advise the protesters to stop pitching tents and to leave the park. The protesters, in turn, became agitated with them. The company then asked the police to help them clear out the park, the detective said.
“Most of the people, they left the park,” Brian Sessa said.
“People who refused to leave and were staying were arrested.”
New York police cleared Zuccotti Park where the Occupy Wall Street movement was born six months ago and made several arrests
Earlier in the day, with the city’s attention focused on the huge St. Patrick’s Day parade many blocks uptown, the Occupy rally at Zuccotti Park drew hundreds of people.
Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, who had given a speech at a nearby university, also made an appearance at the park, milling around with protesters.
With the barricades that once blocked them from Wall Street now removed, the protesters streamed down the sidewalk and covered the steps of the Federal Hall National Memorial. There, steps from the New York Stock Exchange and standing at the feet of a statue of George Washington, they danced and chanted, “We are unstoppable.”
Police say arrests were made, but they didn’t have a full count yet.
Protesters have questioned whether the group can regain its momentum. This month, the finance accounting group in New York City reported that just about $119,000 remained in Occupy’s bank account – the equivalent of about two weeks’ worth of expenses.