Three white men were shot in a Bed-Stuy apartment building in the morning of April 15.
The perpetrators were reportedly Black men.
A story in itself, but another one would be that the story was not reported in the news, while the police department released the most basic of information, but it was like pulling teeth.
“I find it interesting that three white guys got shot in our gentrified neighborhood–and it’s allegedly drug-related–and it’s not plastered all over the media,” said City Councilman Charles Barron, “and yet when Blacks get involved in wilding according to the mayor and the media, they’re animals, they’re thugs. And yet three whites are shot in an alleged drug-related incident and we hear nothing about it. All we’re saying is, let’s play the game by the same set of rules. Where was the outcry?”
Of course, the streets are always talking, and shortly after the mid-morning shooting, details filtered through to the AmNews newsroom.
According to several sources, three white drug dealers came from out of state, attempted to set up shop in an apartment on Putnam Avenue, between Marcy and Nostrand avenues, and were shot by at least one Black man.
An AmNews reader called the paper to ask about what happened. The paper strove to find out.
Days after an e-mail was sent to them, the NYPD press office responded to a request for information. The press department issued the following: “On 04/15/10 at 1152 hrs, police responded to 303 Putnam Avenue, in the confines of the 79 Pct, to investigate three (3) males shot. Three M/W [male white] victims (victim No. 1 is a M/W/35, shot in the back, victim No. 2 is a M/W/24 shot in the chest and victim No. 3 is a M/W/30 that was shot in the back) were removed to Kings County Hospital with apparent gunshot wounds. The suspects are described as M/B.”
Classified as “unlikelies [to expire],” the department refused to comment further.
On Tuesday of this week, Police Officer Otero called the paper in response to another AmNews e-mail.
“There have been no arrests,” said Otero, confirming that three male whites were shot.
The AmNews asked, does the NYPD have any comment regarding the story that these men came from Rhode Island to sell drugs from the apartment?
“No. It is an ongoing investigation,” said Otero.
The paper then asked, have there been any arrests made in this case?
While one law enforcement officer asked why the paper was even doing the story and was told that the paper received numerous queries, he insisted that a Black male and two white males lived in the apartment building and were shot trying to buy marijuana and then were robbed.
But rumors hit the street immediately, from it being a “cop-on-cop shooting,” to the white boys coming down from Boston to sell Ecstasy in Bed-Stuy.
While the police department refused to confirm the report, Albert Vann, a former assemblyman and the current City Councilman for Bedford-Stuyvesant, said that the three white men came from Rhode Island.
Vann is affronted by the entire notion of out-of-towners having the gall to think they could walk into the neighborhood and bring in drugs.
“I’m really upset that the perception of Bed-Stuy is that there is such a need for drugs that white boys from Rhode Island can roll up and just start selling drugs here,” said Vann. “I don’t want people from our community selling drugs, and I am insulted and troubled that they would think they can do this.”
“The NYPD is in panic mode over the reported rise in crime,” determined retired detective Marq Claxton. “Along with their usual manipulation of crime statistics, they will increase targeted enforcement, which will result in increased summonsing, quality of life arrests and stop and frisks. The NYPD will use the increased enforcement numbers to give the appearance that they won’t let the city go back to the ’80s.”
Claxton, the founder of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance, concluded, “It is classic smoke and mirrors, along with the classic Giuliani move of selective release of actual crime in the city.”
“It’s interesting that when three white guys get shot allegedly dealing with drugs, you don’t see it any where in the major media,” said Barron. “What about these three wilding white kids trying to come into our community trying to sell drugs? How come we don’t hear about this? How come we don’t hear from the police commissioner, Ray Kelly? If it were Black kids, they’d be plastered all over the news, paraded in handcuffs in a perp walk, with Mayor Bloomberg calling them wilding, drug-dealing animals. He was quick to talk about ‘wilding’ and those Black youth in Times Square recently. Where is he on this?”
Bloomberg’s office did not respond to an AmNews request for comment on the case.
“I still can’t believe that the story didn’t get more coverage,” said Vann. “It’s kind of weird. I don’t know what kind of conspiracy that could be.”
Vann said that he had commanders in his office from the 77th, 79th and 81st precincts and he recently hosted a jam-packed public meeting, where Bed-Stuy residents voiced concerns about crime, among other hot button issues.
The Putnam Avenue shooting was hot news on the street for a hot minute, but now “people have moved on. Regrettably, it takes a lot to get people involved and organized,” noted Vann. “That’s our challenge. Basically, that’s what we are going to try to do–get more block associations involved on the issues.”