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NYC tactical gear shop owner: Body armor sales up 80% since last year, customers frightened over city's spike in violence

'People are scared'

Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images

The owner of a New York City tactical shop the told the New York Post that body armor sales are up 80% over 2019 due to the spike in violence this year.

"You wouldn't believe the people who call up and say, 'I'm scared,'" Brad Pedell — who runs 221B Tactical in midtown Manhattan — told the paper, adding that most buyers are from the Bronx and Brooklyn where shootings have skyrocketed.

What are the details?

Pedell told the paper that customers tell him they need the protection because their "neighborhood is getting dangerous."

Official New York City Police Department crime stats indicate that 49 shootings took place in the city between July 7 and July 12, nearly a 277% increase compared to the 13 incidents that occurred over the same period in 2019. According to the NYPD, this past June was the deadliest and most violent June in 24 years, totaling 205 shooting incidents.

Earlier this month, a group of teens reportedly carried out a brutal assault on an off-duty NYPD officer while he was on his way to work.

Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, told the Post that "people are scared" and "guns are flying off the shelves and now bullet-resistant vests."

While 221B Tactical primarily provides protective gear for police officers, first responders, and the military, others frequent the shop — and the Post said Pedell's customers tend to keep their purchases and motivations for buying to themselves.

A Manhattan woman who bought a vest declined to discuss the reason behind her purchase, the paper said, adding that she said in a text, "I am a private citizen and I keep a low profile."

A Queens customer, who purchased a vest for a family member who works in a crime-ridden Bronx neighborhood, declined to discuss the matter when questioned by a reporter, the Post noted.

Anything else?

There are numerous other examples of the NYPD under attack by leftists in the wake of George Floyd's death in the custody of Minneapolis police in late May, which led to nationwide unrest:

  • A frequent participant in Occupy City Hall protests in New York City was caught on surveillance video in July allegedly trying to cut the brake lines of a police van in Brooklyn.
  • NYPD officers were physically attacked on the Brooklyn Bridge by Occupy City Hall protesters in July, leaving one officer with multiple fractures of his orbital bones and cuts needing 12 stitches. And when NYPD Chief of Department Terrance Monahan intervened, the department's highest-ranking uniformed officer was punched in the face, too, court documents said.
  • And cellphone video caught the moment an NYPD cop fought a gang member who apparently was interfering in an arrest. The gang member allegedly put the officer in a headlock — and then the taunting began: "You just got smoked, p***y!"
One last thing…
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