The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Woman Killed On Clarkson

It's a sickening feeling. Coming home because your wife called to say a shooting happened right across the street. Arriving at 9:30, the cops wouldn't let me or any others onto the block, for an hour and half while they investigated. One thing was clear - that a friend, a co-conspirator with us on the block parties, a 30-year veteran of the block, had become very, very upset to find the slain woman. Turned out it was her niece. We're devastated for her. J is a big-hearted, generous woman, a legend on the block for better and worse, a "miracle" had recently come into her life as she just two weeks ago inherited, with her daughter, a brand new preemie girl, only 1 lb and 5 1/2 months at birth, from a close relative who simply can't take care of her. Life was good, J said just Tuesday night. Now she's lost a close loved one. And did I mention the victim was a mom? I don't know Fatima personally, but at 29 her life was taken. It's unlikely she was the intended target.

Others were shot. Three others. The commander called two "innocents." The wife says they're all innocents. So true. Nobody needed to be shot tonight. Even the bad kids should get their day in court, not a death sentence over some stupid dispute. And you know that's what it was - a girl, some money, drugs, possession of a few yards of concrete. The killer ran away, but he won't get far. They will catch him (I hope), they will do what they do with kids like him. He'll be forgotten by most, but the gang to which he was attached will become wary, and better armed. Retaliation is inevitable. There are no adults to act as peacemakers in the sick games these kids play.

A Samaritan neighbor we just met at last Saturday's block party was among the first on the scene. Rumors were everywhere. It took the Daily News to piece it together, because even my correspondence with the 71st Precinct Commander, while comforting, didn't give me much to go on. He said call back tomorrow for the details.

I've been writing here, and telling everyone I can - elected officials, block association presidents, the precincts (Clarkson is in two, the 71st and 70th), PLGNA, C.O.P., anyone who will listen, that it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.

Tonight is when. And I feel sick about it.



Those pics are from the Daily News' Ken Murray. I can't bear to post the other of our grieving friend. R.I.P. Fatima Jones. May your children find their way without you.

25 comments:

MJMcBee said...

You're right. Tonight IS when. Horrified and saddened as a fellow Clarksonite to see J have to go through this suffering, at the public level to boot. Thoughts and prayers to her and her family, and shudders at the realization that this could be and IS "any one of us."

GirlwithPitties said...

walking home tonight and I happened upon this scene. down the block from us as well. many stories of speculation flying amongst those gathered on the corner, but one truth among them all: senseless violence, again. i fall asleep with a heavy heart for the neighborhood tonight

ElizabethC said...

All I can think is how often that corner of Flatbush has been brought up as a location with drug activity at various meetings and the police told us they were "on it".

Anonymous said...

All our sympathies to this woman's family. Horrible. And I'm really ticked off. To the people who shouted down recent efforts to force the 71st precinct to do more about these drug corners and the gang/drug element in the neighborhood in general -- here's proof that innocent bystanders do get shot. And killed. This could have been ANY of us walking by. The people who opposed crime efforts believe these shootings only happen between those who engage in drugs and gangs. In fact, you'll see that between the lines if not said outright by the 71st in meetings and in their reports. They need to do something now or we're getting media attention on this. In fact if anybody is stopped by reporters out covering this shooting today please please tell them this was a corner the neighborhood had been complaining to the NYPD about.

BouncerBlogs said...

This is VERY sad news indeed. I echo ElizabethC's sentiments. Innocent families are suffering as the police continue room allow the drug dealers and gang members to openly conduct their dealings. I just posted a report about this very sort if issue on the SeeClickFix app, which Ian supposedly monitored by CB14 and I would encourage you all do the same.

It'as time to take back our community.

Tim, please pass my condolences on to the family. I don't know them, but let's show them that their community cares about them.

--Duane

BouncerBlogs said...

I must say this, the 71st precinct has been doing its part. It's the "other" precinct, the 70th, that's dropping the ball.

I live on Woodruff Ave, just across Flatbush, and a lot of this stems from activity there.

Anonymous said...

Also worth noting, a 13 year old boy was grazed by a bullet. A child. The idea people would resist efforts to combat DRUG DEALING by GANGS because of some notion it's only something "gentrifiers" care about, seriously? Also, Q, don't assume they'll catch the shooter. The shooters are often protected because of the ridiculous concept that being a "rat" is a bad thing and/or if the shooter is in a gang there are repercussions to turning them in. They have not yet caught the shooter who killed the in-line skater kid on Parkside. And lots of people saw him.

MadMommaCarmen said...

This is maddening. Let's have a community meeting. Can someone suggest a location? I'd like to do this outside of Adam's office because he hasn't been helpful. Its time to take back our community people!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Woodruff is usually pretty heavy, and Clarkson has been pretty relaxed this summer, comparatively. I'm not trying to rain on anyone's literal parade, but Juvee and the West Indian Day Parade always seem to bring shootings. This year it seems to have happened a day early.

Anonymous said...

Enough is enough!! Its time the citizens of this neighborhood root out drug dealing and gangs. Im so sick of this!! Its as if we have turned into Kabul. Tim i really think you should spearhead the COP program. Im sorry but Ben Edwards has been ineffective at starting this up. I think you would do a much better leading this initiative. I mean come on, this shooting happened right outside where your family goes to sleep. Its time we take action against these low-life degenerate thugs that have no right to be in our wonderful neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

This is heartbreaking. Is it acceptable to bring flowers & candles to place at the site?
-Paul

Anonymous said...

How many killings need to happen before people admit that stop and frisk works. The cops are losing an important tool that keeps our streets safe.

ElizabethC said...

Completely agree that IMHO it's the 70th precinct dropping the ball. I wrote a complaint recently to the 70th about their non-response to a number of 911 calls, and heard nothing. I have spoken on several occasions at community meetings to reps from the 70th and my impression was that they feel gang violence only hurts other gang members; example, the guy who was stabbed in the Parade grounds. When that was brought up at the block association meeting the officer explained that he was "in the life" and the whole topic was immediately dismissed. Well, here we see SO clearly that that issn't true. And to be specific, Ed Powell and Rhoda Jacobs were both at that meeting and all they talked about was how much the neighborhood has "improved", so think about THAT when it's voting time. Woodruff has gotten really intolerable over the last few weeks. And the police aren't very responsive at all.

I'm burnt out on calling 311/911. The last 311 call (car double parked blasting music in front of building, fighting) was called in at 4:00 pm and responded to at 12:30AM. yup, 8 hours later...I have no idea how that is supposed to be helpful at all.

sorry for the rant.

Anonymous said...

Fatima, lived write across the hall from me, she had beautiful long hair, n a pretty face. She always complimented me ever since I was born (12 yrs old) And she was real, and she listened to people's prpblems and feelings in conversations. My family and her family are great friends and we send love to them. Its sad, so sad that my family cried and was shaking & quiet as we have a moment of silence for an innocent young lady who birthday is Sept.4 (like my bro) had died in 1 gunshot. I say #StopGunViolence. She will forever be in my childhood. And yes you can put flowers in front of 80 Clarkson Ave. But there are police...

Anonymous said...

I am truly grieving today for the senseless loss of life. And a 13 year old who was out at 9 pm....not 4 am.

At the same time I am angry very angry.

You all talk about the Parkside Prize and redesigning the entrance to the Park. That is totally useless unless and until the gangs are cleaned out and the drug dealing cleaned out PERMANENTLY.

Anonymous said...

So Anon 12:13, sounds like you have a plan. We look forward to your cleaning out the gangs and drugs. When you're finished, please give us a call. Then we'll go to work on other projects, in the order that you deem fit.

Anonymous said...

I went over there this afternoon. There is still an enormous amount of blood all over the street and sidewalk. It's grim, but it's an important reminder that the violence in this community is a plague, and the culture of silence that surrounds it allows it to fester. The only way this will change is for people to report what they see to the police, and to demand, loudly and incessantly, that the police do something about it. I could count on one hand the number of foot patrols I've seen in this neighborhood in the past five years.
It does not need to be like this, but the community has to demand, collectively and forcefully, that things change.

And if nothing is done, then it's just going to be another bloody summer in Flatbush, just like always. When does a community decide enough is enough?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget another notorious drug corner on Flatbush Ave in PLG had had gunfire recently. Last year there was a shootout at the corner of Maple and Flatbush at this same time, about 8 or 9pm in the evening. Not that late. Definitely a time commuters and families are out on the sidewalks. They blew out a window at the sneaker store. Luckily nobody was hit. Well not that we know because for whatever reason all news of the incident was completely suppressed and the 71st precinct didn't release any information on it. Did anything happen after that gunfire to stop the drug dealing on that corner? Nope. It continued unabated.

shelley said...

My sympathies go out the Fatima's family and friends. The thing that I find the most frustrating about this senseless death is that it COULD have been prevented. As ElizabethC had stated, the police and government officials were aware of the activity in this area. We constantly hear people say after tragedies such as this that no one says anything when they see illicit actions...in this case the community had spoken up, our good intentions came upon deaf ears. Below is a bit from yesterdays local NBC news, I love that NOW (after a young women/mother lost her life) Mathieu Eugene is calling upon church officials and community leaders. http://www.nbcnewyork.com/video/#!/on-air/as-seen-on/1-Dead--3-Wounded-in-Brooklyn-Shooting/168206336

Anonymous said...

Cameras, politicians, and a large presence from the NYPD will be in the neighborhood this weekend for the festivities......Can that convergence & media presence be used somehow to expose the lack of consideration given to this community by officials and the tragic
repercussions?

Anonymous said...

The scary part of it all is it really could have been ANYONE. I visit my friends on that block all the time, I normally take comfort that I'm not over there too late at night. Yesterday I visited and was so anxious to leave even with all the police presence. I have never felt that way before on the block. Smh. Life is so precious. R.I.P. To Fatima, even though I don't personally know her and I hope the gunman is caught.

Anonymous said...

We need to push them out. The criminals, how are we going to improve the name of PLG if this keeps going on? Mind you, PLG has not been the only victim of gun violence this Summer. Do you know how many incidents of gun violence have surged across the city THIS SUMMER alone? A lot (yes, that was anti-climatic, sorry).

This neighborhood is seemingly not improving, and I am tired of it. PLG has relatively low crime rates. I know, gun violence can happen anywhere, from the Upper West Side to the worst of neighborhoods like East New York, it still has to stop. I'm infuriated that this has happened. I thought PLG was changing for the best.

I can't believe I'm saying this but—I hope the whole entire street of Clarkson and 99% of PLG gets twice as gentrified. These people will never learn, they can stay huddled in East Brooklyn. PLG is in the midst of it all. Connected with good neighborhoods on one side, and bad ones on the other.

I'm shocked. The shooting at the Parkside Deli a few years back reverberates in my mind. What will every New Yorker think? "Oh, stay away from PLG it's just another bad neighborhood!" oh no sir, that will not happen here. I know, I know. NYC is a city, and it's bound to have crime EVERYWHERE. But seriously, that doesn't justify why these atrocities happen.

Condolences to the family. PLG has some cleaning up to do. Gentrification at all costs if it has to come down to that.

MadMommaCarmen said...

HERE'S THE PLAN:

We're taking back out 'hood. In order for this to be successful, we need a long-term and wide scale approach that involves all of us working together.

First and foremost, need community leaders to represent their block and motivate their neighbors to get out, occupy their block, and help make change happen. If this is you, then please e-mail me at Carmen19b@gmail.com I'd like to get a group of block representatives together for a meeting in which the next steps will be discussed in more detail.

In the meantime, please help spread the word that on Tuesday, September 4th at 9pm, there will be a community-wide candlelight vigil at 80 Clarkson starting at 9pm. We will stand in solidarity against the violence that is plaguing our wonderful community.

Anonymous said...

I was so shocked when I found out who it was that died. I could hear (as you write it here) J screaming from my apartment. I couldn't sleep as this was something that didn't have to happen. She was a nice young lady and I've known her since I was born, she's always been pleasant to us and my family and hers have been friendly. I am so sorry to hear that her son had to have witnessed that too. all of this was dumb, it didn't have to happen like that. She didn't deserve to be killed/die like that.

Anonymous said...

Soo sad to see another innocent bystander go. And yet these PUNKS keep walking! Is there nothing else for you to do? Or are you all just not man enough to do something more constructive. Fatima... My heart goes out to your family, and may you RIP. AG, KA, JJ, VA. WE'LL MISS YOUR WONDERFUL PRESENCE