In 2013, the number of murders throughout New York City was 335. In 2014, that number dropped slightly to 328. The community leaders in every New York City borough all agree that the trend towards violence needs to be curbed. The problem is becoming especially bad in the borough of Queens. Gun violence and violent crime are becoming harder to control throughout the entire city, but it seems as though Queens residents are living under a thicker cloud of potential violence.
The State Of Gun Violence In Queens
In 2015, the borough of Queens was home to 65 of the total number of murders in the city. This means that approximately 20 percent of all violent crime in New York City takes place in Queens. With a population of 2,333,086, this puts the violent crime rate per 1,000 people at 0.03 for Queens. That number is low when compared to the rest of the country, but it is right on par with the rest of New York City.
In general, crime in Queens is well above the New York City average. In New York City, there are 41 crimes committed on average for every square mile. In Queens, that number skyrockets to 390 crimes every square mile. With crime so prominent in Queens, it is not hard to see why gun violence is out of control.
Putting The Spotlight On Shootings In Queens
In May 2015, rising entertainment star Chinx was shot and killed in Queens. Aside from being the murder of a celebrity, the case of Chinx’ murder highlights many of the aspects of gun violence in Queens that trouble investigators. Even though Chinx had a reputation for being part of the Queens underworld, he was simply driving around in his car when he was shot. The idea of bullets ripping through an otherwise calm scene in the middle of populated areas is one of the hallmarks of shootings in Queens.
The other issue with the murder of Chinx is that the police have been unable to find the assailant. Quick hit type shootings and gang violence that prevents witnesses from talking help to keep active shooters in the community, even after they have committed a murder in front of a group of people.
A Night In Queens
The severity of gun violence in Queens was put on display on July 2, 2016, when six people were shot in five different incidents throughout the borough. In the first incident, a man was shot while attending a cookout in a Queens neighborhood. While the police were able to take two people into custody, it is unknown if the people the police arrested were directly linked to the shooting.
The second shooting took place a few minutes later when a man in a different part of the borough was shot in the leg. Soon after that shooting, two more men were shot as they mingled with other people outside a Queens apartment building. Approximately an hour later, a woman was shot in the face, and then 90 minutes later the final shooting took place on Beach Channel Drive.
All of the victims were taken to hospitals and five of the six are expected to recover fully. The first victim was taken to intensive care where his condition was being watched. In every incident, the police were unable to say with confidence that they had arrested the shooters and brought the violent criminals to justice.
How To Lessen The Violence
The Queens residents caught in the cross-fire of these incidents hope that the shooters are arrested and justice is served. But direct and indirect victims of gun violence do have a way to punish shooters that might help to bring down the rate of gun violence, even in a place like Queens.
By bringing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court against shooters, families of victims and those who survive shootings can make it difficult for shooters to commit these crimes again. The family of a person who was killed in gun violence can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the shooter and get an award that would financially cripple the shooter for life.
Many families and victims of gun violence forget that they can use the civil courts to get justice. Even if the shooter who is arrested for the crime is not convicted, a personal injury lawsuit in civil court can still find the shooter responsible for the injuries or deaths they committed. It is important for victims and their families to remember that the civil court can help them find justice when they have come face to face with gun violence.