Tears for a toddler

Nayaba Arinde | 9/5/2013, 11:05 a.m. | Updated on 9/5/2013, 11:05 a.m.
Antiq Hennis is dead. The beautiful 1-year-old boy was shot in the head in Brownsville on Sept. 1. His family ...
Antiq Hennis

Councilman Barron agreed saying, “The family and community is devastated and they are in shock. When you see babies, those who do the shooting—not that they should be any shooting at all—but at that point, you have to call it off.

“This little baby didn’t even get a chance to get his life started, and they snatched everything from him. This madness must stop, and all of us in the community should play our part in ridding our communities of this insane gun violence, so that our babies and our elders especially, but all of us too, can be safe.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the murder “a tragedy for his parents and family, for the entire community and for this entire city.”

Touting the alleged decreasing numbers, Bloomberg noted, “Murders are at an all-time low in this city, but we know that is cold comfort to any grieving parent or friends.”

The mayor slammed “the constant flow of illegal guns into our city and into the hands of criminals … caused by broken federal gun laws that Washington refuses to fix and broken gun laws in many states, which allow weapons to easily pass into the hands of criminals.” Adding, “Unfortunately, during the last month, we’ve seen two actions that will make it more difficult for our police officers to continue to reduce the number of tragedies like the one we saw last night.

“A misguided ruling from a federal judge and two bills passed by the City Council will make it harder for the NYPD to continue to reduce shootings and violent crimes, which primarily occur in minority communities, as we saw once again [Sunday] night.”

Charles Barron took issue with Bloomberg and Kelly’s immediate claim that stop-and-frisk would have prevent this tragedy, reacting as they have been to the federal court ruling the procedure unconstitutional and the City Council overriding the mayor’s veto of the Community Safety Act.

“No unconstitutional racial profiling would have stopped this shooting, so lets not play politics with our babies’ lives,” he charged. “Some people are politicking with the life of a 1-year-old.”

Brownsville native the Rev. Al Sharpton and National Action Network (NAN) announced Tuesday that they are adding to the reward fund established by the city of New York to find Antiq’s killer. NAN has pledged to add $1,000 to the reward fund established by the city, along with Sharpton, who has personally pledged $1,000. In total, $24,000 has been pledged.

On the other hand though, Goodine said, “If I live in a precinct that has no respect for that community, how do you deal with them in a crisis? I am speaking to young men who are connected to the family, who have lawsuits against officers and those in command at the 73rd Precinct. If you say that you have suffered harassment ... how can you then trust them in this crisis?”

Goodine said that a source of so much of the inner-city conflict simply lies in economics, a lack of resources and a lack of focus on resolving the burgeoning problems plaguing so many urban communities.

“We are trying to pull some men together to be a stronger force in the community and hold down our own neighborhoods,” Goodine reflected. “I have to go on record and praise the work of Charles and Inez Barron—they only have a part of Brownsville in their district, yet they have been involved and done some great work already. Some electeds or candidates who are running for office haven’t been anywhere around.

Comptroller John Liu is the only one who spoke about the shooting at the West Indian Day Carnival breakfast. Darlene Mealey hasn’t been through.”

Daughtry concluded, “I learned from Bishop Desmond Tutu to be addicted to hope. Our challenge is not to become incapacitated with despair or destructive revenge, but to find ways to translate pain into power, which would enable us to eradicate the negatives in ourselves and in the community.”