Brooklynites call on neighbors to end gun violence in the epicenter of shootings

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A march for peace was held at the entrance to Prospect Park south east after passing by areas where shootings had occurred. Elected officials joined the march, including Assemblywoman Diana Richardson. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

With 12 shootings in just ten days — including two deadly shootings on Sunday morning — Brooklyn civic leaders have had enough, and are calling for the violence to stop.

At the corner of Ocean and Parkside Avenues, where one man was shot and another was killed while visiting the vigil site earlier this summer, many were asking why while others knew why gun violence is exploding — citing a lack of anti-violence groups, and gunrunners having free reign over city.

The intersection and its surrounding areas are complicated in a law enforcement sense, Assemblywoman Diana Richardson said, with the borders of the 70th, 71st and 67th Precincts converging together at that point. This reflects in the crime stats as precincts with low crime, when the bordering sections actually have a more serious problem.

“We need a Cure Violence program… In order for us to receive a program we’re being told [by the de Blasio administration] that there aren’t enough shootings. It’s a reactive – instead of proactive – program,” Richardson said. “There missing it totally because you’re standing at a junction, the side of the street we’re on is the 71st Precinct, across the street diagonally is the 70th Precinct… So if you’re aggregating these shootings by precincts, you’ll never get the correct aggregate of what’s going on here.”

A march for peace was held at the entrance to Prospect Park south east after passing by areas where shootings had occurred. Elected officials joined the march. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

The issue runs even deeper with Congresswoman Yvette Clarke. She stated that the spate in violence is not an entirely local problem, but that the federal government has a role dismantling gun trafficking rings from out of Brooklyn and possibly out of state.

“First of all, we know that guns are not manufactured in Brooklyn, so there is a criminal enterprise afoot that is trafficking these guns into the community. I can’t say what types of disputes that are manufactured whether it’s on social media or amongst gang members that would create the environment where people would take to the streets to kill one another,” Clarke said. “If there isn’t a way for there to be a market for illicit gun trafficking then the access to guns becomes a lot smaller. The federal government has a role here… We expect that the federal government, the ATF the FBI will get to the bottom of where this trafficking is happening.”

John Williams, a minister with the 67th Precinct Clergy Council, says policing is not the issue with 70th Precinct having “come a long way” and making themselves more involved in the community they serve. According to Williams, speaking out against what some would describe as black-on-black crime was just as important as fighting against police brutality.

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