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COMMUNITY TURN OUT FOR ANTI-VIOLENCE RALLY

Amsterdam News Editor | 4/12/2011, 5:32 p.m.
Danny Goodine photo

Disgusted and ticked off community members joined politicians and pastors Tuesday, August 24 at a rally at St. Andrews playground, to send out the word that violence against women will not be tolerated. Following the daytime rape of a Parks Department worker, even a "man of the cloth" warned that taking it back to the old school was a distinct possibility.

On Thursday, August 19, approximately 9:30 a.m. at the St. Andrews playground, a female NYC Parks Department employee was brutally assaulted and raped. The park is located on Kingston Avenue between Atlantic Avenue and Herkimer Street in Brooklyn, New York.

The police have produced and circulated a sketch of the suspect from a description provided by the victim, but the suspect has not been apprehended. "As of today, there has been no arrest in this case," said Detective Cheryl Crispin from the police press department. "The investigation is ongoing."

No witnesses have come forward, a fact that disturbs Min. Taharka Robinson, a co-organizer of the rally. "There is a problem in our community when a woman can be violated in broad daylight. It did not happen in Bensonhurst. It did not happen in Bay Ridge. It did not happen in Borough Park. It happened in Bedford Stuyvesant. The men in Bedford Stuyvesant must stand up and be accountable in protecting the women and children in our community. We are going to organize a community patrol that will come out in the streets, letting everyone know we are not going to allow violence against women in our community."

The community rally was attended by elected officials, including Assemblywoman Annette M. Robinson and Councilwoman Leticia James, Father. Caleb Buchanan and Rev. Conrad Tillard, and community activists such as Jeffrey Davies, Ali Lamont and Abubaka Miller, as well as the team from Truck Out SUV.

"I am deeply saddened about the occurrence that took place in St. Andrews Playground," said Assemblywoman Robinson. "Everyone should be able to live in an environment that is free of crime and violence."

Councilwoman James agreed, noting, "Rape is a crime of violence; as elected officials, we take it very personally. We are standing for this young woman. We are taking back our streets from those who would violate and disrespect women in our community."

Senator Velmanette Montgomery added, "I urge everyone to remember that this terrible incident is not an everyday matter for our community. We will not take this lightly, but we must also not allow it to irrationally frighten us."

Those with information are invited to contact the Brooklyn Anti Violence Coalition at (347) 210-8954; Assemblywoman Annette M. Robinson at (718) 399-7630; Councilwoman Leticia James at (718) 260-9191; or Senator Velmanette Montgomery at (718) 643-6140.