Rising urban violence is a major political liability for Biden, with a January study by the Council on Criminal Justice showing homicides in 22 cities increased five percent in 2021 — and a whopping 44 percent over 2019 levels.
Biden will meet next Thursday with Mayor Eric Adams, who took over the Big Apple at the start of the year and was immediately confronted with a spate of high-profile crimes. Two police officers have been killed and three others wounded just this month.
The city has been unsettled by a series of other violent crimes this month, including another shooting in which a 19-year-old Puerto Rican woman was killed at the fast-food restaurant where she worked.
They will "discuss the administration's comprehensive strategy to combat gun crime, which includes historic levels of funding for cities and states to put more cops on the beat and invest in community violence prevention and intervention programs, as well as stepped up federal law enforcement efforts against illegal gun traffickers," the White House said.
The crime wave — which still leaves US cities far safer than they were in the 1990s — has been connected by experts to a combination of social disruption linked to the Covid-19 pandemic and fallout for police departments in the aftermath of a spate of botched arrests in which Black people were killed or badly injured.