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.

Monday, June 3, 2013


You're Right. Everyone's entitled to their reaction. I ditched that last silly post.

But no, it's not everyday a maniac shoots people at 50 Lenox. Though truthfully, the block's got a couple problem spots. Ask anyone who lives there. As with so many blocks around here, vast majority great people...few rough spots holding the block hostage. Same story over and over.

And lest we think we're alone, it was a particularly bloody weekend:

25 people shot in 48 hours.

I hope that residents of the block will join the community effort to help rid the neighborhood of those chronic hot spots.

Please join us June 12 at 40 Clarkson, 7:30, basement community room. The D.A.'s office will layout the plan that's worked again and again elsewhere. Come share your thoughts.

As for cops "on the take" that I've heard mentioned on a previous thread, it's a heavy accusation. If you have credible info, I hope you're prepared to share it with the D.A. It's not "the only explanation" for why the drug trade persists. Most of the drug dealing around here is pretty low level for a cop to risk his career over. But yeah, it could happen. I recall they got some dirty cops not too long ago not far away. But come learn about why it's hard to keep low level dealers off the street, and why despite the fact people say the cops have known about the drug trade for years and "do nothing about it," that's often not the case. Hear their side, and share yours, and let the d.a. know. And please call 911.

Lighthearted story to start your day. A guy from the Wall Street Journal called me yesterday when it was going down. He said he got my number from someone who said I was an activist and wanted some information. I said no, I'm not an activist, I'm a blogger. He said "oh, o.k." and hung up.


Anonymous said...

A conundrum: How can we develop a useful conversation with the police in conjunction with unfounded accusations of dirty cops? It sounds feasible that there ARE dirty cops because what others have said is absolutely correct - it is baffling that some of this crap could continue without the blessing/inclusion of dirty cops. That alone isn't evidence, though, and it seems like it would be quite tumultuous to bring that to the table just as a guess. I feel like it doesn't really present the image of the neighborhood being supportive of working with the police.

THAT SAID - I do think it's important to bring it up since many of us seem to have seen things to suggest it exists.

Does anyone have an idea of the best way to do this without coming across as inherently negative toward the police? Because even if we have all lost a bit of faith based on our years living here, it obviously isn't useful to enter into this negatively.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe at all the cops are dirty but I absolutely believe they are rigging their statistics. To shut down the drug corners they'd have to make a lot of arrests, arresting the same people over and over and we know for a fact they don't want to do that. They've SAID it. The Q reported it. So we have to ask ourselves why. Why don't they want to make a lot of arrests when the end result would be driving the dealers and gangs away because it makes this a hostile environment for them. Why? Can they just answer that? Because otherwise yes we will be making assumptions.

Anonymous said...

I think that the key at present is to stop speculating and get involved with the new initiative with the DA. I think that DA involvement will make a huge difference.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a sad that your information was completely dismissed by that WSJ reporter because you said you were a blogger. If he bothered to read you blog before he called he'd have seen that you report on local happenings that corporate media rarely report on. IMO you're totally an activist Q. You're actively engaged in your community. That's enough to qualify as an activist.

I have no doubt there are cops on the take. They like many other public servants are getting shit pay for risking their lives every day. And the hiring standards have been dropped to accommodate that.

We're sending people with low morals, criminals, mentally unstable people over to fight our wars in foreign lands; I don't see why things would be any different among some of the people we charge with "fighting" America's "War On Drugs". It's much like the "War On Terror". It's not meant to be won, it's meant to go on forever. Stats, arrests, "activity" justify funding and resources. Stats also determine punishment If you don't get the stats you get punished as a cop. New cops get slave wages while those higher up in the food chain get fat. This is pretty much status quo.

Anonymous said...

A quote from a witness in this article says the cops the perp on Lenox fired at were beat cops who just happened across the scene as the shots were fired. That's significant. If they hadn't walked up would this winner, Kevon Brown kept firing? One has to think so. I do.

Bob Treuber said...

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Nice Bob. I believe the centre WILL hold this time though.

Anon at 7:33 speculates the guy was on a wild shooting spree. Always possible, but those are extremely rare. Lewis said the guy had a long, long rap sheet, meaning a likely score to settle. Another possibility - the cops were scared to shoot the perp for fear of overreacting a la Kimani Gray, thus missing a chance to take him out. That would be quite a twist to the current narrative.

But all useless speculation for now. And alas, another murder this afternoon over at Wingate park's workout area. This time a "clear motive" - long-running dispute. Whatever happened to fisticuffs?

MadMommaCarmen said...


I'm reaching a point where I just don't know what to say, and I don't know what else to do.

I will do my best to be at the meeting with the DA, but then what? Where do we start helping these young men value their lives more, to see a future for themselves beyond the immediate tomorrow?

Anonymous said...


Nice try. That link from the Daily News is from 2001, a point that marked another significant down-leg in NY City crime.

Moreover, the article stated that more recruits were FAILING final exams -- not passing. But leave it to a reporter to totally misunderstand statistics.

If everyone who was accepted at the police academy passed the curriculum and graduated, I'd be worried.

There's been a long-standing effort to bring "diversity" to the NYPD. Part of that effort means enrolling more students likely to FAIL the curriculum at the police academy as the department tries to find a greater number of qualified blacks and hispanics.

They qualify by passing the curriculum. The police academy isn't Harvard, though at least one Harvard grad went through the academy in the 1990s -- Ed Conlon, the writer of Blue Blood, which inspired the TV show of the same name.

That aside, starting pay for cops is about the same as it is for teachers, firemen and sanitation workers, about $45,000. But it goes up rapidly during the first three years.

As for the dangerousness of the job, well, applicants are aware and that's something of interest to most. Moreover, few cops end up in gunfights or getting hurt.

As for military enlistment standards -- try enlisting in the Marine Corps these days. Standards are high and the Corps has no trouble meeting its recruiting goals.

The Army has been a little looser, but it always was. So what? Meanwhile you seem to have maligned everyone in every branch by citing the fact that a few problematic recruits get in.

Meanwhile, if you think the War on Drugs is misguided, then you don't understand what would happen if we legalized drugs. Decriminalizing may be part of the answer, not legalization.

However, if all taboos against drugs are removed and if there were no more police effort to stifle the drug trade, then drug use would skyrocket in the neighborhoods where it's now already a big problem.

Drugs would not necessarily be cheaper, and violence would not necessarily go away. Obviously it isn't the cops shooting drug dealers. So the same forces that have been motivating the violence would be magnified and the same neighborhoods would see big increases in shootings.

Anonymous said...

You all make valid points and raise genuine questions of concern. I think there are some dirty cops in the area but I don't know how much we can effect change in changing the NYPD. Carmen I think we need young men and women to have more programs that keep adolescents and teens alike off of the streets also our public schools, especially this district leave a lot to be desired. Parents need support systems and people need options. Without money much of the PLG community is living with poverty with very little options for a better future.

Anonymous said...

It's time the NYPD aggressively go after these street crews, gangs, corner boys and take back the streets in the neighborhood. Get rid of these parasites once and for all. I don't care how they do it, just that they DO IT. The violence is getting out of hand. And it's time for some of these activists and some of these politicians on the city council to get their freaking heads out of their giant asses and wake up to what's around them. Kids shouldn't have to live in a neighborhood where a man shoots 2 people and one random person in broad day light. No one should.

ElizabethC said...

what's with all these "anonymous" postings? c'mon, can't people just pick a nickname you feel comfortable with, and stick with it?

Anonymous said...

More and better schools and programs is needed certainly, always is, but that's a totally separate and different issue from enforcement of the law and creating safe streets for everybody else. There are plenty families and kids, a majority actually, who do manage to find a way to stay out of gangs even as they live in poverty.

Anonymous said...

P.S. In fact, the West Indies community is a very successful immigrant community. The criminals are the exceptions and should be called out as such.

Anonymous said...

More programs for young people?
Please go to the Prospect Park website and check. The first Saturday of every month the Brooklyn Museum is open for FREE until 11 pm. Celebrate Brooklyn is about to start with free performances and not all of the programs are centered on adults and young adults. The Botanical Garden is open for free during some hours of the week. The Grand Army Branch of the Library has all kinds of tutoring and cultural events. All of them are free.

PLG is not in the middle of Kansas with 'nothing' for young people to do. There are LOADS OF PROGRAMS available right now.

Then you can add the Prospect Park Track Youth organization into the mix.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, 9:45am. Really tired of hearing that old claim there's nothing for young people of poverty to do. In the middle of New York City. There are more free programs here than anywhere else in the country and probably the world. One thing kids in poverty need though are free MTA cards to get everywhere. Are those given to school age kids?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

fyi there's a guy who comments here sometimes who likes to turn everything back to a racist diatribe about stop-and-frisk. I usually delete his comments after the fact, but if you see his stuff crop up and get pissed, try not to. he's disturbed and his fox news and rush limbaugh don't provide him with enough solace, he has to come here and rant. the stop and frisk issue, or rather the "policing method" is very important, and if I bring it up here please feel free to comment away. A shooting does not necessarily imply that we need to break off into discussions of racial profiling though, in my view. That some think it does shows how much people see crime and race as pretty much the same thing.

I do wish you all would choose a screen name though. Pretty please?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Anon at 9:45: I think you miss the point. Sure there are programs for kids. Sure there people that will help. Sure they could be playing on the beach out at Rockaway too. But when you start your list of activities with:

"Please go to the Prospect Park website"

I ask you this. Which of these kids is going to go to the a website? On what computer? Knowing what to look for? And who's going to take them? And who are they going to go with? And who's going to explain to them what they're there to see? Who's going to organize it and handle the transportation?

Anon, a lot of the poorest families on my block, some in the "homeless shelter" building at 60 Clarkson don't even go to the Park. The Park, need I remind you, is three short blocks away.

The problem goes WAY deeper than a few free programs at the public library.

Anonymous said...

Well, and no disrespect, but if you're a youth without strong parental involvement, who is going to convince you to go to the park instead of hang with the same folks you've been hanging with for years? Or your older siblings hung out with? Etc etc etc. It's not as simple as saying "Google stuff to do".

Anonymous said...

clarkson says:

A shooting does not necessarily imply that we need to break off into discussions of racial profiling though, in my view. That some think it does shows how much people see crime and race as pretty much the same thing.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says violent crime and race are nearly synonymous. Maybe you should debate him.

I know. You're from Iowa and you haven't quite come to an understanding of how it is, or why it is. You wanna believe what you wanna believe. Your call.

A while ago I was in the Kips Bay section of Manhattan standing outside the door of an apartment buidling waiting for someone when I noticed a young black guy, maybe 25, making his way down the sidewalk -- proceeding in a suspicious way, looking in windows of parked cars.

But when women walking in the opposite direction he moved into their paths and put out a hand as though he was about to grab them. Then he'd say something. I could see his jaw moving when he turned his head as they passed.

The black women he menaced seemed used to the treatment, put nasty looks on their faces and steamed on. The looks on the faces of the white women, however, showed considerable fear.

He saw me watching him, at which point he casually turned around and gave me the finger. After that he sauntered on, went a few yards, turned to look at me again and repeated the gesture.

While he was looking at me and giving me the finger the second time, I pulled out my cell phone, pointed to it, nodded my head and dialed 911. For a moment he hesitated, not quite sure if he should come back and confront me, or leave the area. He decided on leaving.

The 911 operator was efficient and responsive when I told her a possibly unstable thug seemingly likely to commit a sexual assault was scaring women on 29th St. She and said she'd said a squad car around to look for the guy.

Did the cops swing by and stop him? Who knows? But the brazenness of this clown was too much to ignore. His behavior was threatening and sociopathic, and sooner or later this clown will attack an unfortunate woman.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

By the way, dear readers, that guy, Anon at 3:08, is the one I was talking about, the semi-coherent racist who dogs my blog. I usually just delete his comments when I notice them, but this latest one I'm leaving just to show how bizarre the comments get. I'm filing this one under WTF. I have no idea what prompted that anecdote. The white guy at my junior high school who taught sex ed was arrested one town over for exposing himself to women. Does that prove anything? Yes! That men with hairplugs should never constantly tuck and retuck their Izod shirts into their Hagar slacks. Because all those things were true in that man's case.

Dude, just go away. I know the pros say I should ignore you, but you should go bother someone else now.

Anonymous said...

You really do need a like icon - Tucking in and out of Hagar slacks......just awesome. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

The shooter is in custody.

Anonymous said...

Join Our Third Annual March, Resource and Health Fair to Combat Youth Violence
When I was elected to the City Council, I made it my mission to make the 45th District a safe place for all children to learn and grow. Unfortunately, gun violence in our city has threatened this goal by snuffing out the lives of too many of our youth. We have made progress in recent years, including the formation of the Council's Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, which I am proud to co-chair, and the funding of millions of dollars in anti-violence programming.

Unfortunately, shootings are still far too prevalent in our community and it is essential for us to once again take a stand. If you're interested in promoting non-violence and keeping our children safe, then you will want to join me and East Flatbush Village, Inc. for my third annual "Not in My Hood" March, Resource and Health Fair on Saturday, June 8th, beginning at 10:00 AM. This two-mile march will begin at Glenwood Playground (Farragut Road and Ralph Avenue) and will culminate with our Health and Resource Fair. Not only will we be making a statement about protecting our young people, but we will be marching them to a variety of opportunities to better their futures. A copy of the flyer is below and available for download here.

Our Health and Resource Fair will take place from 12:00 PM until 3:00 PM at Flatbush Gardens, located on Foster Avenue between New York Avenue and Brooklyn Avenue. This educational and entertaining event for all ages is an important opportunity to have free access to basic preventative medicine and health screenings, as well as to take advantage of educational, employment and after-school/summer activity resources for our youth. In addition, my office is partnering with Rooftop Films to screen Soul Food Junkies at 1:00 PM, the award-winning documentary on our relationship with what we eat. A flyer for the fair is below and available for download here.

This event is an important opportunity to promote positivity and speak out against the senseless violence that occurs in Brooklyn neighborhoods, particularly among our at-risk youth. Please come out to support this effort and say to those that use violence against our youth, "Not In My Hood!"

Share this with your family and neighbors so we can make a strong statement for the future of our community! See you all on Saturday!

Clarkson FlatBed said...

My name is Jumaane Williams, and I approve that blog comment.

Seriously, while I doubt Mr. Williams wrote that note off the top of his keyboard, it's well worth remembering that council people can lead on issues like violence.

Anonymous said...

My name is Jumaane Williams, and I approve that blog comment.

Seriously, while I doubt Mr. Williams wrote that note off the top of his keyboard, it's well worth remembering that council people can lead on issues like violence.

Jumaane has made it evident to all that he'd rather handcuff cops than criminals.