De Blasio: NYPD Increasing Presence In Central Brooklyn To Combat Gun Violence

Adam Warner
July 15, 2020 - 12:21 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – As the city sees a spike in shootings, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new effort Wednesday to combat gun violence in Brooklyn by deploying more NYPD officers and mobilizing members of the community.

Hours before the mayor's press conference Wednesday morning, one man was killed and five people were wounded in a shooting in Crown Heights. The shooting was the latest in what has been a violent summer so far in the city.

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De Blasio said the Central Brooklyn Violence Prevention Plan goes into effect starting Friday.

The mayor said the plan includes an increased NYPD presence, as well as the mobilization of community members in the 77th and 79th precincts, which cover Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant.

“Yes, we need to have more officers in the right places. So you’ll see additional deployments in Brooklyn this weekend—in Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights—key areas where that additional deployment will help,” de Blasio said.

“You’re also going to see a community effort that’s going to make a huge impact called Occupy the Hot Spots,” the mayor added.

De Blasio said Occupy Hot Spots will be held at seven locations with leaders and members of the community this weekend. There will also be peace marches led by community and clergy, as well as Open Streets resource fairs that will have info on housing, jobs and youth services.

The new effort in Brooklyn comes about a week after de Blasio announced a similar plan for Harlem.

The effort will be led by Councilman Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. and Ife Charles, of the Center for Court Innovation.

“Where there is an uptick in crime, we’re going to have an uptick in services and really flood those areas with the necessary services,” Cornegy said. “Because what we understand is while there are depraved individuals who are pulling the trigger, society is responsible for the bullets that were loaded into that gun. And what we want to do is make sure that we can begin to dismantle these guns by providing services.”

Charles said the new plan in central Brooklyn is part of a continuing effort to rid communities of gun violence.

“There’s no reason for us to continue to have this violence,” she said. “And so as we continue moving—not only offering services to the community around mental health, around trauma, looking at job opportunities—our goal this weekend is to be out there on Friday and Saturday to saturate the community with the violence interrupters and the outreach workers and all the members of the Cure Violence team.”

Chief of Department Terence Monahan recently blamed the uptick in shootings this summer on the disbanding of the NYPD Anti-Crime Unit and the Defund the Police movement, saying officers are hesitant to make arrests.

De Blasio said he respectfully disagrees with Monahan and that he believes the coronavirus is largely to blame.

"I believe the truth here—I've said it before, I'll say it again—is we're dealing with a perfect storm that is more than any one factor. It's more than any recent decision. It is much more about the total impact of the coronavirus, the dislocation it has caused in people's lives," de Blasio said at Wednesday's briefing. "When people don't have jobs—over a million people lost their jobs in a course of weeks. No school, no activities and the court system's not functioning, the criminal justice system. Come on, that is the foundation of what we're going through here."

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