“Compassion” in Chinatown

The Story

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New Yorkers were horrified last weekend when four homeless men were brutally murdered while they slept on the sidewalks of lower Manhattan. Mayor de Blasio and other officials expressed their concern over housing solutions for the poor and the city’s mental health resources. But the real problem isn’t affordable housing: it’s that Randy Santos, the perpetrator, was roaming the streets despite a long history of violence, mental illness, and criminality.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Jail: New York City’s rush to close Rikers Island is contingent on dramatically lowering the number of people in jail. Read more.

  2. Drugs: Marijuana—which Santos was arrested for possessing—has been linked to higher rates of violence and aggression among users. Read more.

  3. Sick: The city is failing to make use of Kendra’s Law, which is proven to help seriously mentally ill people. Read more.

“Almost every time a seriously mentally ill person acts out violently, the person was known to the mental health system but left untreated.”

DJ Jaffe, Manhattan Institute adjunct fellow

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

More Humbug or Homelessness By Myron Magnet (Winter 2000)

“If the homeless want to keep colonizing public spaces and sleeping on the street, you might ask, what’s the harm to anyone but themselves?”

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