As summer comes to close another violent weekend blankets the city, leaving activist yet again calling for a cease fire.
Last weekend, New York saw a reported 14 shootings and four stabbings. Three people died as a result. Most of the shootings took place in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx.
The three fatal shootings occurred in Brooklyn. The first happened in Canarsie, where a man was shot in the chest after leaving a party; the second occurred in Fort Greene, where a man was shot several times in the torso near his home; and the third occurred in Crown Heights; where a man was shot outside of his home.
One of the youngest victims over the weekend was a 16-year-old, who was shot in right hand in the Williamsbridge section of the Bronx.
The shootings come in the wake of one the summer’s most shocking shootings in Harlem, where 61-year-old grandmother Odessa Simms was hit by a stray bullet in the neck while playing cards. A $10,000 reward is being offered for the capture and conviction of the shooter.
With the West Indian Day Parade happening this weekend, NYPD officers are reportedly pleading with J’ouvert revelers to not shoot. Officers from the 71st Precinct in Crown Heights posted somewhat controversial fliers in the area to get their message across. It was also circulated on Twitter.
“This community will no longer tolerate this violence,” the fliers read. “Do not shoot anyone. Do not stab anyone. Four people have been indicted for those murders. Each of them may spend up to 20 years in prison.”
This year’s J’ouvert celebration received a permit from the city for the first time to hold festivities. Incoming NYPD Commissioner James O’Neil said that he plans on doubling the number of officers assigned to J’Ouvert celebrations. There will also be parked police cars with their lights on in the area.
News of violence is making headlines across the nation. While New York continued with its issues, all eyes were on Chicago this past weekend after the cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade was fatally shot in the Windy City.
Nykea Aldridge, 32, was killed while she pushed her baby’s stroller on her way to register her children for school. She was shot in the head and arm and pronounced dead at the hospital.
The shooting suspects, brothers Darwin Sorrells Jr., 26, and Derren Sorrells, 22, have each been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder. They reportedly shot at a man who “exchanged looks” with them.
Anti-violence advocates from New York traveled to Chicago to lend help to leaders in that city. Among those who went were Erica Ford, CEO of LIFE Camp, Inc., Tio Hardiman, executive director of Violence Interrupters and Phillip Banks, III, former NYPD chief of department
Speaking in Chicago, the group discussed ways to eradicate violence in all urban areas.
“Resources must be put on the ground to those brothers and sisters who have boots on the ground who work directly with taking guns out of people’s hands, giving young people jobs and transforming mindsets so they no longer use gun violence as a solution to their problems,” said Ford.
Banks suggested working with clergy and better family intervention as a way to reduce violence. He recalled his days serving as NYPD police chief.
“You have to get to the men and women in the community and say, ‘How would you police this yourself?’” he said. “You take that and incorporate into a plan and I’ve never seen law enforcement do that, that didn’t have success.”
Hardiman said the solution is to have better resources in the community to deal with people who are likely to commit crimes. His Violence Interrupter model presently exist in 32 cities nationwide, and in England, Iraq and South Africa and has been scientifically proved to reduce shootings and killings.
“Give me the shooters in Chicago, give me the guys who are prone to violence,” Hardiman said “Give me that list and give us the resources so we can work directly with them to reduce the killings.”