New York state law states that possessing heroin and injecting drugs are non-bailable offenses
The Garment District is Gotham’s newest shooting gallery, a hotbed of heroin haunted by addicts in broad daylight.
The outgoing de Blasio administration appears unwilling or unable to address the crisis, as the quality of life disaster is just steps away from high-profile Midtown landmarks such as Macy’s, Madison Square Garden and the sparkling New Moynihan Train Hall.
The block, bounded by 35th and 36th Streets, and Seventh and Eighth Avenues, “is littered with used needles, broken glass crack pipes, garbage, urine and feces” as addicts shoot and dealers brazenly sell drugs , mourn a neighbor on social media. “I’ve personally seen dozens of deals fall. I’ve seen one person OD and almost die.”
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While walking around the block last week, The Post saw three different people injecting needles into their wrists or fingers in the middle of the afternoon. Each addict sat on the sidewalk or in front of empty shops. Dozens of other abusers sat or nearly fainted on the same block, many of the men shirtless.
“We are shocked and disappointed by the drug use and other illegal behavior on our sidewalks in Midtown Manhattan and throughout New York City,” Barbara Blair, president of the Garment District Alliance, told The Post. “We are fighting to end this crisis, although our city officials have unfortunately failed to address the problem and have allowed this public disorder to continue.”
The drug dealers are seen working fearlessly at the block. A group of men, one of them seated on a blue Citibike, gathered outside the ACE Metro entrance on the northeast corner of Eighth and 35th, exchanging cash and other items as they walked up and down stairs. A race was held.
After two men exchange cash and small plastic bags on 36th Street, another deal goes down.
The NYPD appears to have only a symbolic presence. Two policemen stood on Eighth Avenue, between 35 and 36, leaning against a police van while staring at their phones as illegal activities swirled around them.
But police have been “effectively ordered” by city and state leaders to let the junkies roam free, said Manny Gomez, a former NYPD sergeant and FBI special agent who now heads MG Security Services.
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Under state law, possessing a needle or a small amount of heroin, or injecting drugs, are non-bailable offenses. So even when arrested, addicts are usually back on the street and are unlikely to face prosecution.
Gomez says police also face unnecessary personal risks without the support of political leaders. These risks include the emotionally disturbed, the danger of being stabbed by needle-wielding addicts, possibly infected with HIV, and the fact that NYC this year became the first municipality in the country to eliminate eligible immunity for police.
If an arrest goes poorly with a violent drug-addicted person, Gomez said, the police could “lose their pension, their job, their home or even their freedom. It’s not worth it.”
As a result, “New York City has become the city of The Walking Dead,” said Michael Alcazar, an assistant professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and former NYPD detective.
“This is the worst block ever,” the neighbor wrote in his social media post. “People live here, and despite reporting and requests to the NYPD to patrol more down this block, they are doing nothing to try to nab these dealers.”
In the Midtown South Precinct, which covers a drug-ravaged area, crime is up 42 percent this year since September 12, compared with the same period in 2020, NYPD data show. The crime wave includes a startling increase in gun violence. Ten people have been shot so far this year, compared to just one at the same point last year.
The grim scorecard also shows that robberies are skyrocketing, with 268 this year compared to 95 in 2020; and felony attacks increasing from 124 to 326 in the same period. There have been two murders compared to last year.
Camelot executive director Luke Nastas said rampant use of hard drugs comes at the heart of Midtown as New York City is in the midst of a deadly opioid crisis that has been “very neglected” by the de Blasio administration and other leaders. Counseling, a longtime substance abuse treatment center on Staten Island.
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He says that leaders here and around the country are “coddling people who find themselves dependent on drugs and making more drugs (like methadone) widely available,” combined with an effort by law enforcement, only Has served to “open the door to the floodgates of substance abuse, which is why overdose deaths are on the rise and we see what we see on the streets.”
Nastya opened Camelot Consulting in 1976 and said that the drug crisis “was never as widespread or visible as it is now.”
a “tidal wave“Synthetic methamphetamine and lethal fentanyl manufactured in Mexican laboratories and shipped to New York City have only exacerbated the opioid crisis, the Drug Enforcement Administration reported earlier this year.
The city suffered 1,446 overdose deaths in the first three quarters of 2020, the last period for which data is available, according to a report From the city’s health department, a 38 percent increase from the 2019 OD death rate.
“It’s a city problem. How has the city been destroyed so quickly?” asked Alcazar. “With a lack of treatment and open drug use … the city has lost its focus.”
Meanwhile, a neighborhood filled with buzz of tourists from around the world passing between Penn Station and Times Square is the latest symbol of New York City’s fall and disrepair.
Blair said, “It is absolutely critical that our elected officials take immediate action to get these individuals off the streets and ensure the safety of all residents, employees and visitors as we work to rebuild New York City after the pandemic.” ” “This change is long overdue.”