As gun violence and mass shootings become an increasingly tragic yet polarizing issue for Americans, an interactive map has been released showing how many people have been shot in a particular area over the past year.
The map shows the entire United States and, as Brooklynites would expect, reveals that mass shootings are freakish outliers in American gun violence overall, even though they have attracted the majority of media attention in recent months.
A glance at the map shows that, in numbers alone, large cities are easily the biggest hubs of gun violence. It also reveals startling contrasts between various Brooklyn neighborhoods.
The map was created by Slate and The Trace using data compiled by the nonprofit group Gun Violence Archive. It charts “gun violence incidents collected from over 1,200 media, government and commercial sources daily,” according to the Gun Violence Archive.
The map includes all shootings, including homicides, suicides and nonfatal shootings. Incidents such as pistol whippings are not included. It includes 30,284 incidents recorded from December 5, 2014 to December 5, 2015.
In Brooklyn, this data most likely comes from CompStat, the data compiled weekly by the NYPD, Brownstoner presumes. While yearly and weekly crime statistics are available online, maps are not.
Each precinct compiles weekly reports with a map of incidents, but not all allow the public to see them. Also, the statistics available online show murders and assaults, but not shootings per se.
If you type in your zip code, The Trace’s map will zoom in on your area. Statistics for your location will pop up in a window.
“There have been 37 shootings within a 1-mile radius of this point in the past year, 12 fatal and 25 non-fatal. The closest shooting was 0.21 miles away,” said the map when Brownstoner typed in 11233, the area code for Ocean Hill.
The contrast between various neighborhoods in Brooklyn is illuminating and startling. A look at Park Slope and surrounding areas reveals only one incident of gun violence in Park Slope proper, but many in nearby Prospect Heights, Crown Heights and Prospect Lefferts Gardens.
The demarcation line along Flatbush Avenue is so stark, it looks as if criminals are paying close attention to neighborhood boundaries, although surely that is not the case.
In Brooklyn this past year the shootings have numbered in the hundreds, with clear trends obvious in the clustering of deaths and nonfatal incidents. The central and eastern portions of the borough — Bed Stuy, Bushwick, Crown Heights, Brownsville, and East New York — proved by far the most violent sections of the borough based on the map, the teardrop markers proliferating the neighborhoods to a disturbing degree.
Downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene, Williamsburg, and Coney Island accrued a smattering of nonfatal and a few fatal shootings as well, but not nearly to the same degree. Meanwhile, Park Slope, Midwood, Sunset Park, and Bay Ridge were nearly untouched by gun violence.
As for whether shootings in Brooklyn are on the rise in the last year — because of de Blasio’s policies, new Stop and Frisk policies or other factors — the map does not reveal, since it goes back only to 2014.
There have been many tragic or unusual incidents of gun violence in Brooklyn in the last year or so, including a shooting inside the Utica A/C subway station last month, the death of Cuomo administration attorney Carey Gabay at the J’ouvert celebration in September and a shooting at Clinton Hill hotspot Grand Avenue and Clifton Place in July.
Others include a daytime shooting in Boerum Hill last month, a shooting at Fulton Ferry Landing on the border of Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights, a shooting in Brooklyn Bridge Park and, of course, two policeman shot dead in their squad car in Bed Stuy in December 2014 (pictured at top).