N.Y.C. Is Getting Safer, but Hate Crimes Are Up


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It’s Wednesday. The primary election for Queens district attorney is 20 days away.

Weather: Be on the watch for thundershowers, mostly after 3 p.m. Winds could feel brisk, and temperatures could reach the low 80s.

Alternate-side parking: Suspended today and Thursday for Eid al-Fitr.

The number of reported murders, rapes and robberies in New York is lower now than it was a year ago, city officials announced yesterday.

These recent figures show that the drop in crime that began in the mid-1990s has largely continued.

But amid the good news, there was an outlier: Reported hate crimes are up 64 percent compared with this time a year ago. A majority of those incidents were targeted at Jews, officials said.

Referring to hate crimes, Mayor de Blasio said at a news conference, “Now that’s an unacceptable reality, and we’re going to fight it with everything we got.”

Over all, are crimes down in New York City?

For most violent crimes, yes.

Through May, there were 15 fewer murders, seven fewer rapes and 453 fewer robberies reported in New York than at the same time in 2018, according to the Police Department. Those numbers represent drops of 12 percent, 1 percent and 8 percent.

Reported felony assaults, grand larcenies and car thefts were also down.

One notable exception was reported shootings. There have been six more this year than at this point a year ago.

My colleague Ali Watkins recently wrote about a spike in shootings in North Brooklyn, which showed that the police have struggled to contain pockets of violence, often driven by gangs.

Who are the victims of the increase in hate crimes?

There have been 184 hate crimes reported in the city this year, according to the Police Department. That is a 64 percent increase from this point a year ago, when 112 hate crimes had been reported.

Of the hate crimes reported this year, 60 percent were anti-Semitic, 10 percent were anti-black and 10 percent were anti-gay, according to the figures.

What is the city doing to stop hate crimes?

The mayor announced yesterday that he would accelerate the opening of an office dedicated to preventing hate crimes. It was slated to open in November but will now open this summer.

Sean Piccoli reports:

Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, who ran the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under President Barack Obama, pleaded guilty yesterday in Brooklyn to disorderly conduct for groping a woman in his apartment in 2017.

After reaching a deal with prosecutors, Dr. Frieden, 58, received no jail time and will have no criminal record, with his case file sealed, if he abides by an order prohibiting him from any contact with the woman for a year.

Dr. Frieden was arrested in August on charges of forcible touching, third-degree sexual abuse and harassment after the woman, who was 55 at the time, told the police that he had squeezed her buttocks against her will at a gathering at his Brooklyn Heights home.

The woman, who had been a vocal #MeToo activist, could not be reached for comment yesterday. The Times does not name victims of sex crimes without their consent.

Standing with his lawyer yesterday, Dr. Frieden was asked by Judge Edwin Novillo if he wanted to address the court. He declined to speak.

Dr. Frieden served as New York City’s health commissioner from 2002 to 2009 under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

Cats have won a major victory as New York lawmakers have banned declawing. The measure awaits Governor Cuomo’s signature.

Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, will be sent to the Rikers Island jail complex, where he will probably be held in isolation.

Dozens were arrested at the State Capitol in Albany as the rent debate escalated.

Developers built a 30-story high-rise in Manhattan. They might have to chop off five floors.

Eight people were charged with using fake parking placards to have tickets dismissed.

[Want more news from New York and around the region? Check out our full coverage.]

The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

A Netflix series brought renewed attention to the wrongful convictions of the Central Park Five. Now the lead prosecutor from the case is facing a public backlash. [amNew York]

The Lucchese crime family conducted initiation rituals in a home on Staten Island, an F.B.I. informant said in court. [SIlive]

A bat somehow got onto the F train. [Gothamist]

Want to eat $1 oysters? Here’s a map for you. [Eater]

Hear about the process of covering the 11-week trial of the Mexican drug kingpin El Chapo from the Times reporter Alan Feuer at the Brooklyn Historical Society in Brooklyn Heights. 6:30 p.m. [$10]

— Vivian Ewing

Events are subject to change, so double-check before heading out. For more events, see the going-out guides from The Times’s culture pages.

From The New York Times Magazine’s New York Issue:

Nearly all comedians talk about their personal lives. But Bonnie McFarlane multitasks — braiding her family into her work routines.

She met her husband on a comedy TV show. They held their wedding party at Carolines on Broadway. For a time, they went on the road as co-headliners.

After their daughter, Rayna, was born in 2007, they took her along to comedy clubs in the city; one would watch her while the other did a set, and then they would switch.

Raised on a self-sustaining farm in Canada in a house her father built, Ms. McFarlane made her way in the decades before female comics were a proven commodity. To survive in the extremely competitive world of stand-up, you try just about anything that comes your way.

She’s had comedy specials and development deals, written for TV shows and starred in a failed pilot. These days she writes jokes for other comedians, does commercial work and M.C.s events. Amazon bought her 2014 documentary, “Women Aren’t Funny.”

There is also a never-ending circuit of unpaid guest spots on all the podcasts, webcasts, live-streaming radio shows and filmed sketches created by other comedians to keep their careers alive.

And, through it all, stand-up.

Her husband tours Thursdays through Sundays. Ms. McFarlane usually brings Rayna, 11, along on weekends wherever she’s performing. “You can’t take too much time off stand-up,” she says. “You have to keep grinding.”

That means five to eight sets most weeks. For veteran comics like Ms. McFarlane, the clubs pay $20 to $25 on weekdays and $75 or more on weekends — the money covers transportation.

It’s the audiences in New York City that stand-ups value; they are considered the most challenging, in part because they are used to seeing the best of the best.

Read Ms. McFarlane’s whole story — and see her perform. And click here to watch a dozen artists, from a Broadway star to a sword swallower, show off what it takes to make it in New York.

It’s Wednesday — keep grinding.

Dear Diary:

I hustled onto a crowded subway car at Times Square just as the doors were closing. I reached for the pole in the middle.

The car jerked ahead, throwing me off balance and causing me to back into a woman who was already holding on to the pole. I heard her mutter something I couldn’t understand over the noise of the train.

Thinking it might be an amusing remark about the hazards of subway travel in the big city, I turned toward her.

“Excuse me, madam,” I said. “I didn’t hear what you said.”

“I said, ‘Lummox!’”

— Robert Schwarz

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