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.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Murder on Linden Near Flatbush

From the Daily News.

to comments from below:

Anon 10:14. I posted the story because it's very much in my neighborhood. I don't know where you live, and I don't know what your definition of neighborhood is, but I know my definition is about walking distance, and a sense of place, not what the map or some historic guidebook says. My post office is on Church at Bedford. I have friends who I like to visit on Bedford at Lenox. Linden is the street we turn down to go the airport. I like strolling down Flatbush because there are so many great, crazy shops down that way. The original "church" is down there, and Erasmus Hall, and some beautiful "terrace" blocks behind it. The name of this blog is The Q at Parkside, and were it to be solely about Lefferts I would have called it that I suppose. Really anything within a mile or so of the train is fair game. This incident was about a half mile from the train, in the 70th Precinct, but then the 70th is also the south side of Clarkson, and if I had two heads and two 24-hours a day I would spend more time getting to know them too.

To the question of safety, I can't answer. None of these most recent shootings, nor most shootings here or anywhere, involve thugs randomly going after honest Joes and Janes or god forbid children. The targets, if the multiple close-range shots are any indication, are clearly intended to kill specific people. This is more like a gang war. I'll be speaking with everyone I can in the next few days to find out more. Given what I've heard in the past, this is likely people who know each other killing each other, over "respect" and "turf" or "retribution." It's gruesome; it must be stopped. It's dangerous for all involved. But as I've said before, I don't think I or anyone reading this blog is an actual target, nor do I think anyone should hesitate to call the cops with anything they know about anything, even minor details.

I suspect there will be an attempt to formalize what has been pretty piecemeal to date: an Impact Zone, perhaps inter-precinct using the larger Brooklyn South Task Force (which is already VERY MUCH on the scene - check the BSTF on a lot of the cars around here), to identify who's got a beef with whom and why folks are resorting to violence to settle their disputes.

Finally, and I'm being honest about my own experience now, there are many options to create the illusion of safety, but (and I understand you may disagree) I don't believe there is such a thing as a "safe" place, or a "safe" way to live or eat or be. Accidents happen all the time. I don't own a car for instance; statistically, this makes me safer. I ride a bike; statistically, this makes me less safe. I could go on with my sick little safety calculations that I make it my head, but again, I think this is entirely personal. If you don't want to think about crime, don't think about it. I for one wouldn't blame you. But I won't stop talking about it, because I still think it's better to have information and organize than to lock ourselves in or just move.


But one should still be safe and aware at all times. One suggestion? Don't get lost in your headphones or cellphones. At the very least, you're less likely to get them stolen! Here's hoping they get to the bottom of this madness, and soon...

36 comments:

Sean said...

What is going on? I'm new to the neighborhood. Been hear almost two years now. My wife and I have been talking about sticking around, maybe trying to buy a house or a condo. We really like it here.

But we have a baby less than two years old. I don't know if I want him growing up here if its gonna be this bad.

This all seems new to me. Has it always been like this and I never noticed? Is it just going to keep getting worse?

Anonymous said...

what the hell is going on??

Anonymous said...

R u serious? Is this blog going to become a weekly murder status update site. This is ridiculous.

I moved here less than a year ago and I'm ready to move back to the other side of the park immediately. I don't even know how you can feel safe raising young children here when you have shootings happening on a near daily occurrence from your house. This neighborhood is worse than the favelas in Rio de Janeiro. At least in the favelas there are cops stationed at every corner. Maybe having our hood turn into a police state will give us some sense of security. So sad.

Bob Marvin said...

I don't know Anonymous [the anon. who started with "R u serious"]; when I moved here from "the other side of the park" I was immediately struck by how much SAFER it was here. Of course this was in 1974 and, I hear, that area west of Prospect Park has improved somewhat, but this has never really been a dangerous neighborhood and ( with the exception of a few years in the late '70s, when all of NYC seemed to be going to hell) I've not felt unsafe.

Anonymous said...

Yea, this is an unusual uptick. Based on what Tim has shared, it sounds like law enforcement is responding.

Also, not for anything, but Linden is pretty far away. It's a stretch to call it in our neighborhood or even in our vicinity.

theoldspeakjournal said...

Agreed Bob, Yes, there is occasional violent crime, as is the case in most places, but this neighborhood is pretty safe. I Grew up in East Flatbush, moved back to the hood after college, & I've never felt unsafe here. I don't know what favelas anon@9:08 has been to, but Flatbush is the Upper East Side in comparison! Gimmie a break! LOL. All you need to do to feel safe is... feel safe. :-D Whatever sense of security you'd get via cops on every corner would likely be illusory.

Anonymous said...

i overheard the whole thing from inside my apartment (i live at this cross street). scary stuff.

diak said...

This morning on NPR, a psychologist, speaking about the Boston Marathon bombing, was talking about the mental manipulations we all make to tell ourselves why "it won't happen to me." You can calculate your odds or draw arbitrary geographic boundaries to explain why tragedy is unlikely to touch you. I know I do it. Probably wouldn't ever leave the house if I didn't...

And re who is shooting who and why, I cannot recommend highly enough the documentary "The Interrupters" which is about ex-gang members (I guess we should call them "survivors") who are organized to try to stop lethal violence in Chicago. This movie made me extremely angry and also had me in tears. It was made by Steve James who also did "Hoop Dreams." Big input from one of the best writers anywhere on life in urban America, Alex Kotlowitz.
For those of you with Netflix:
http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/The-Interrupters/70167110?strkid=1463112841_0_0&strackid=4c7ed4e5d179e68e_0_srl&trkid=222336

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Diak: The Interrupters is must viewing. You're aware too, I'm sure, that we have our own version right next-door-nabe at the Crown Heights Mediation Center.

http://www.soscrownheights.org/

What would it take to get some of that going on down here? A lot of work. Sadly, I don't see the leadership anywhere. And believe me, I've looked for it.

diak said...

No, I did not know about the Crown Heights group. From their website, it looks like they are doing good work.

I agree with you about our general lack of leadership but in this case I don't think that's the problem. This isn't the type of program that can be created top-down by a Councilman or a Community Board or the precinct. To be effective, it has to come from the people most affected by the violence. That's something that comes through clearly in "The Interrupters."
So maybe what it will take is a couple of gang leaders with the real balls to say "enough." I won't be holding my breath...

Anonymous said...

But Q, we've had TWO shootings where innocent bystanders were either targeted (as in the case on the Lincoln Rd shooting outside LPT) or were hit accidentally like in the case of the woman shot in the head several months ago. When I think "recent" I think the last several months to a year. Not just the last week. As for the other shootings it's pure chance innocent bystanders weren't hit too. No shooting on residential or busy commercial streets especially in broad daylight like many shootings have been, make me feel safe. This is a huge uptick and if we downplay it too much as some neighborhood boosters traditionally do we won't get the proper police attention.

Anonymous said...

The LPT shooting was not a targeted shooting, so let's not lump it in with the others. The reality is that there have been crimes committed against random people and, of course, lets not ignore the fact that bullets don't give a good god damn who the "intended target" is.

BrooklynBornNRaised said...

Anon 4-17-2013. Then go back. Go back to your bourgeois enclave where stroller moms are the pedestrian version of those dollar vans. After all, shootings here are a daily occurrence(your words, not mine).

Worst than the favelas in Rio? GIMME A F****NG BREAK MAN! You don't what you are f*ck you're talking about.

You move here less than a year, 1 or 2 shootings occur and all of a sudden, it's the 1980's all over again. WHERE'S CHARLES BRONSON WHERE YOU NEED HIM???

JDB said...

I have lived here for just under a couple of years and the rise in shootings is extremely concerning. I understand that the vast majority of violence is between gang members and usually very late at night but that is not a reason to downplay it.

The violence is simply unacceptable and has been ignored or downplayed by the police for too long. (We can have a entire separate discussion about why that is the case.) But as Q makes clear there has been a level of increased awareness among the police and they are responding. We need to absolutely keep up the pressure.

I can't blame anyone for considering moving out. I have sure considered it myself. But in the end there are too many good people here and we have made so many wonderful friends that we have decided to stay. There are many really wonderful aspects of this community and sometimes we forget about those when stories like this come out.

Anonymous said...

Leadership? It won't be coming from the worst City Councilman on the planet.

Anonymous said...

Rio de Janeiro, which is spending billions in pacification and security projects in the runup to the World Cup and Olympics, still has at least four times the murder rate of New York City, and over 60,000 unsolved murders in the last decade. It is an absurd and ignorant comparison. And unless you want to have pacification units of armed police literally moving in to live in the middle of peoples' neighborhoods, we're going to have to deal with the police we have, and maintain pressure on them as much as possible to be on top of things. Fleeing back to Park Slope is not an option for the vast majority of people in the neighborhood, and it's much better for us all to try and work together to improve things.

Also, this notion that a shooting on Linden (or for that matter the serial rapist in East Flatbush/Wingate) are not relevant because they're beyond the arbitrary PLG boundaries is also absurd.

As a community, if we want things to improve for everyone we have to start thinking across a lot of different boundaries: geographic, economic, social, racial.

Anonymous said...

Rio de Janeiro, which is spending billions in pacification and security projects in the runup to the World Cup and Olympics, still has at least four times the murder rate of New York City, and over 60,000 unsolved murders in the last decade. It is an absurd and ignorant comparison. And unless you want to have pacification units of armed police literally moving in to live in the middle of peoples' neighborhoods, we're going to have to deal with the police we have, and maintain pressure on them as much as possible to be on top of things. Fleeing back to Park Slope is not an option for the vast majority of people in the neighborhood, and it's much better for us all to try and work together to improve things.

Also, this notion that a shooting on Linden (or for that matter the serial rapist in East Flatbush/Wingate) are not relevant because they're beyond the arbitrary PLG boundaries is also absurd.

As a community, if we want things to improve for everyone we have to start thinking across a lot of different boundaries: geographic, economic, social, racial.

Anonymous said...

sorry for the double post.

Anonymous said...

double post or not, i think it needed saying. thanks.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 9:08am:

Then leave. You have obviously been spoiled by living in Park Slope and your pseudo-NYC experience. You're acting as if this place is East New York or something. I hate people who complain rather than to help make a difference. Also, you're quick to jump to assumptions and having less than one year of experience you need to educate yourself. If you knew anything, you'd know that Linden is technically not a part of this nabe, but rather, of East Flatbush.

Anonymous said...

Should we make posters and plaster them around that say, "STOP KILLING EACH OTHER OVER 'TURF' YOU WILL NEVER ACTUALLY OWN."

Anonymous said...

So BrooklynBornNRaised, expressing my anxiety and worries are not allowed on this site? I'm sorry for not understanding that. Please forgive me.

However, the language you used in the post above is hostile and rude. You are the type of person that perpetuates the stereotype of most of the young men in the neighborhood who curse in the middle of the street, in front of young children. So sad you want to continue that type of street behavior on this blog.

ElizabethC said...

"bourgeois enclave" = the name of my next band.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Lotsa chatter out there! I don't know how anyone could get the impression that I'm downplaying the rise in violent crime. I've been squawking about it for two years now in one post after another. I'm not lumping anything in with anything. I would call the Lincoln Road shooting, from all I've learned, more a sick combination of alcohol and access to a firearm, plus gang bravado, and that certainly shocked me more than any of the other shootings, including the one across from my house, which was essentially a "hit" that missed, to tragic ends.

My point was about the illusion of safety and nothing more. Farmers get mangled in heavy machinery - that's the place I go when I consider moving "back" to the country. No one but me ever plays these sick scenarios out in their heads? I love too that in NYC, a place where 3,000 innocents were killed in twin skyscrapers coming down in the heart of probably the "safest" neighborhood around, we would even have to have absurd discussions of whether you're safer one block or one mile away from a single shooting, or even 10. We're all one bad day away from the morgue, so maybe it's better to focus on things we CAN do than things we can't. But yeah, if I could afford my life in a part of town where the word "murder" is hardly recognized, that would be nice thank you. And so would a couple extra million in cash in my checking account to boot.

And what can we do at this point? I say give the cops and D.A. every piece of evidence you have of guns, gangs and drugs, and hold nothing back. I was called just today and thanked profusely by community affairs in the 70th for info I've provided that led to an arrest. I'm telling you, it works. We've got the NYPD's attention, probably for a limited time only, so let's make the best use of it.

I can understand if people want to remain anonymous, and I've found that cops will go out of their way to respect that, but I really don't understand letting fear keep us from helping put behind bars people responsible for luring wayward kids into the "lifestyle," hiding guns all over the place, and creating ticking time bombs on nearly every street corner.



Clarkson FlatBed said...

Regarding BrooklynBornNRaised: First, if you're born and raised in Brooklyn pre-1980 or so, the word f*ck is actually not a curse word, rather a mild intensifier, like the way Minnesotans will use the word "super" or sometimes exclamations like "dang" or "heck." And as for "bourgeois enclave..."

Let's hear it for those Kings County public schools!

BrooklynBornNRaised said...

To Anon - April 17, 2013 at 9:19 PM

"expressing my anxiety and worries are not allowed on this site? I'm sorry for not understanding that. Please forgive me. "

"This neighborhood is worse than the favelas in Rio de Janeiro". That statement alone should have disqualified you from this discussion.

"However, the language you used in the post above is hostile and rude. You are the type of person that perpetuates the stereotype of most of the young men in the neighborhood who curse in the middle of the street, in front of young children. So sad you want to continue that type of street behavior on this blog."

QUICK! Hide the kids!

Anonymous said...

Lets all curl up in a fetal position and wait for the police state. It will come.

Anonymous said...

So Q you are okay with all the language that is used on the street similiar to BrooklynBornNRaised? May I start using the N word on this blog because I sure hear that word used out on the street and I believe it was used pre-1980. It actually dates back to the mid-1800's.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Did I say I was okay with it? I'm just saying it's a pretty common term these days, and I don't actually take offense. I think it reflects poorly on the writer, but I don't consider it reason to pull down a comment.

As to the "N" word, you sure decided to bring up a big topic didn't you? FYI, there is a huge well-documented difference between the current street-usage of the word n-i-g-g-a and the word you're referring to, whose context and intent was incredibly different hurtful, hateful and offensive. And yes, if you started using that word I would delete your comment faster than I can say Nat Turner.

The history of the word in its current modified form is incredibly fascinating. And while many young people don't even think of the word from which it came, there are plenty of people too who consider it a real sorry state of ignorance to use it at all. Though I suspect there's a bit of generational "punk rock attitude" going on in the usage too, since the elders hate it so much.

Frankly, after living here for a decade, I don't get my panties in a bunch when I hear it anymore. Annoyed, but not freaked out.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

fyi, to be super clear, in the first paragraph I'm talking about BrooklynBornNRaised's use of the f-bomb. From then on, I think it's clear I'm talking about the second half of Anon at 6:57's beef. Which as far as I'm concerned was as designed to ignite passion as anything BBNR said. Neither of you deserve gold star's for etiquette, but I'm happy to let you duke it out if you keep it civil.

Anonymous said...

It looks like the man who was shot got involved with the wrong crowd.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

I would agree that getting involved with people who would shoot you multiple times in order to kill you could be described as the wrong crowd.

sorry. a bit of dark humor there.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I'm in the neighborhood just two years, with a baby, and I am still planning on buying a house here, and raising my child here. There is a strong sense of community here and this stuff will get better in a matter of time. (larger changes have happened in neighborhoods that didn't start out with this baseline of a great sense of community and history of working together on community projects.) Plus, this seems to be a blip. Also, there have been gang wars escalating for months, and it is in Manhattan, Bronx, allover, etc. A large number of teens were just arrested in the Bronx in an effort to stem it, apparently. It may be bleeding into this neighborhood, especially if, as someone here mentioned, there may be a couple of involved families living here. Anyway -- stay here, live your life, organize, build a sense of community, don't stand for it, and be a part of fixing problems that you see - that's how they get solved, after all, right?...

Anonymous said...

This rise in crime has not only been happening in PLG, but nationwide.

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Clarkson FlatBed said...

Scott Davidson: Thanks for your thoughtful comment! I'll be sure not to choose the ORIGINAL Matisse. It would throw my whole home decorating budget out of whack!!