Hundreds of people arrested for looting and rioting across the Big Apple last year in the wake of George Floyd’s police-involved death have had their charges dropped, according to an analysis of NYPD data — figures ripped as “disgusting” by local business owners.
Along with 73 out of the 118 arrested getting charges completely dropped, another 19 were convicted on lesser counts like trespassing, which carries no jail time, the report said.
Some 18 cases are still open, with the station not accounting for the other 8 arrests.
In Manhattan — where looters ran rampant across Soho and midtown, even invading Macy’s — some 222 of those arrested had their cases completely dropped, while 73 got lesser counts.
Of the 485 arrested at the time in the borough, just 128 cases remain open, with another 40 involving juveniles and cases sent to family court, the outlet said.
“Those numbers, to be honest with you, is disgusting,” Jessica Betancourt, who owns a Bronx eyeglass store that was looted and is vice president of a local merchants association, told NBC.
“I was in total shock that everything is being brushed off to the side,” she said.
“They could do it again because they know they won’t get the right punishment,” she said of the looters and rioters who once again left the Bronx burning.
Former NYPD Chief of Patrol Wilbur Chapman said that the district attorneys’ offices and the courts had “allowed people who committed crimes to go scot-free.”
“If they are so overworked that they can’t handle the mission that they’re hired for, then maybe they should find another line of work,” Chapman told NBC.
Sources in the DA’s offices insisted that in many cases, the evidence was not strong enough for proof beyond a reasonable doubt. There was also a backlog of cases to handle sparked by the courts being closed for months due to the pandemic, the report said.