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.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Shooting on Rutland near Nostrand

Though some of the injuries were severe, it does not appear that anyone will die. 

Three people were shot, two women, one man, when a small get together went terribly wrong. Seems the original guys at the soiree left, then came back with a gun, so it would stand to reason they were upset about something, an offense or dis no doubt, involving matters of amour or lust or turf. These folks were familiar to the cops, and youngish, and while it would be comforting (somewhat) to make sense of all the violence, a gang war perhaps, it would appear that the guns themselves, and a willingness to use them, are the real problem here, no matter what you hear from guns rights activists or racists.

Arguments and resentments are inevitable. Shootings are not. There is an intractable reality, not just around here, but throughout America. that a dispute unchecked must be ultimately expressed with a lethal weapon. There would need to be intermediaries...brave friends, active leaders, "gang interventionists," and ADULTS...real adults - to stop the madness. When none are to be found, we're all treated to the gunfire, and young people are killed, or traumatized, or perhaps worse of all, not cared about at all. Occasionally someone will express concern for the players...mostly, it's just concern for our own safety, and understandably so I suppose.

It's no joke. The answers take courage, and involve engagement - direct engagement. Who are the brave souls to take up the cause? Among my peers, I've met no one. Some of us are meeting to work with the D.A., and that's promising. But what that involves is more enforcement, more toughness, not love or parenting or mentoring or reasoning.

No lessons learned. No warnings heeded. Nobody around, nothing but a "strategic"police tower just yards away, stopping nothing, solving nothing, meaning nothing.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local/new_york&id=9171419

Daniel said...

No surprise here. That whole area near Nostrand is as bad as they come. Whether this particular incident is a domestic dispute or not, it doesn't really matter. It's a high crime area.

Why do you think there is a police watchtower on Nostrand btw Fenimore and Rutland?


ElizabethC said...

OMG is that what that Giant thing is? I had no idea.

Daniel said...

Yup. That what it is.

I think it was placed there as a response to the shooting that took place last month on Lenox Rd. There was another watchtower on Bedford and Lenox after the shooting but that one is gone.





Anonymous said...

After the NYT reported that a known blood gang member lives in the building on that corner, I doubt the 71st precinct will be bringing that tower down anytime soon, b/c it would look bad to do so. However, I do not think it is manned constantly, so it's presence may be palliative.

Anonymous said...

I won't go near Nostrand after dark ... or very early in the morning.

amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clarkson FlatBed said...

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, Anon at 3:54. There are members of the crips and bloods all over the place. Or rather, that's how a lot of young people identify themselves these days. The authorities don't necessarily make such a big deal about whether someone associates themselves with one of those fear-baiting names, because they're generally not part of some national or international syndicate...just guys (and gals) who choose to wear on color over another to differentiate themselves from kids living on another block. That sort of thing has a long Brooklyn history, often along ethnic lines. Think West Side Story without the Bernstein score and Shakespearian story line. An old-timer just the other day described kids IB relatively tony block in the nabe who call themselves crips but have day jobs and are generally well behaved. This whole gang thing gets people riled up, but more significant is the relative ease of gun access. Perhaps my point was lost...disputes happen, shootings don't need to.

And to Anon at 4:03, I would say that this situation between a group of young men and women has little to do with "Nostrand Avenue" but plenty to do with the building they live in, the general attitude of fear of engaging the madness, and the lives those players have led. That building, and those lives, and that madness, exist all over, and as Amanda said well, this wasn't about you or anyone else who happens to live nearby. It's specific, not general, but the causes and conditions are endemic. Nostrand today, Rogers tomorrow, Church the next. But I guess I can only make that point so many times.

Plus I would hope that getting hit by a car is significantly more likely than getting shot! Pedestrians and cyclists get hit all the time; bystanders get shot quite rarely.

I get crime reports from all over Brooklyn through Spot Crime and newsfeeds. Trust me, there's nothing special about Nostrand Avenue. Though that particular stretch (Hawthorne on up I believe) has been frequently complained about by residents and businesses there - as have spots all over that have been the scenes of violence throughout the precinct and borough. Anyone living near there who wants to join the local D.A. task force should send me an email. We're starting to create (I hope) a real neighborhood watch, for members only, and we'd appreciate your input.

amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
turk73 said...

Yo Q -

Your eloquent lucidity is something to behold man. You are one my favorite writers around.



Amy Albert said...

Absolutely right. We need to step forward and be ready to put ourselves in a place to mediate conflicts,back up our young people and do more than simply be satisfied with cop towers on Nostrand. I'm willing to do that work. I know that many others are. Man-up has worked incredibly effectively to prevent violence in East New York. We need to do the same in our neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

So what are you planning on doing Amy?

cheryl on parkside ave said...

Amy, I am ready to work with you and others as well. Solving the problem includes; reaching out to our youth and making them more inclusive in any efforts to create a better quality of life in Flatbush and the many other communities in this city. Please contact Q with your ideas...and work with those of us who want to be proactive and not just reactive, when incidents occur.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

To Anon at 4:25 I assure you that Amy walks the walk. I'll let her tell you about her job and efforts on behalf of young people. She's all about giving at-risk kids a voice and a chance.

Anonymous said...

Arguments and resentments are inevitable. Shootings are not. There is an intractable reality, not just around here, but throughout America. that a dispute unchecked must be ultimately expressed with a lethal weapon.

No. Shootings are not a problem "throughout America."

After decades of attending countless barbeques, cook outs, dinner parties, beer parties, keg parties, nights in bars, and other gatherings where liquor and other substances have been consumed, in cities and towns and rural areas covering the country -- never has anyone pulled out a gun and started shooting.

But most of the attendees at those gatherings were like me, racially speaking. Meanwhile, I've been shot at and physically attacked, though not by people of my race.

Therefore, any analysis of the problem of gun violence has to examine the settings and the people most closely involved.

Meanwhile, though the three victims are expected to survive, that doesn't mean they can look forward to complete recoveries.

I don't know how seriously they were injured or the caliber and power of the pistol with which they were shot, but they may or may not suffer from some degree of permanent disability as a result of catching a bullet.

ceelledee said...

Shootings are not a problem throughout America? Tell that to Trayvon Martin's Family. Or the families of Sandy Hook. Or the students of Columbine or Virginia Tech. Or the movie-goers in Aurora. I could go on and on. However, in analyzing the problem of gun violence, including "the settings and the people most closely involved" in the examples I've cited, not one of those acts has involved urban Black youth killing anyone. In that respect, gun lunacy seems to be an equal opportunity crime all across the nation.

BTW, as a mature Black woman I can tell you that"after decades of attending countless barbeques, cook outs, dinner parties, beer parties, keg parties, nights in bars, and other gatherings where liquor and other substances have been consumed, in cities and towns and rural areas covering the country -- never has anyone pulled out a gun and started shooting. But most of the attendees at those gatherings were like me, racially speaking."

Anonymous said...

ceelledee,

Your recitation of fatal encounters makes my point. If you add up the toll for those you've mentioned, as well as few you've missed, the number is a very, very, very small percentage of the total number of homicides.

Our police commissioner, Ray Kelly, agrees and has confirmed this fact as well as the fact that the vast majority of shootings in this city are committed by one racial group. Unfortunately, there is cast-iron denial of this painfully obvious fact.

As for your claim that no one has ever fired a shot at any gathering you've attended, that's hardly the measure.

The appropriate question to you is whether anyone you've known or were acquainted with has been shot and/or killed?

Unfortunately, I've known a number of murder victims. But none were killed in the extraordinarily rare type of mass murder that you believe is some kind of defining category.

ceelledee said...

So the famous troll of the Q blog who lives to stir up racial animosity and divide by making ridiculous, stereotypical and inflammatory statements strikes again! Woo hoo!

As you well know, the point of my post was not about totaling up the number of fatalities that occur by way of mass shootings vs by way of gang banging. Most here realize that I was only pointing out that senseless killings by gunfire are out of control all across America. In other words, gun violence is a problem for everyone -- Black, White, Yellow, Brown, Red. You name it. You can encounter it by merely going to the movies in Colorado, or sitting in a classroom in Connecticut, or just by walking down the wrong street, at the wrong time in Brooklyn.

Look Jim (that's gonna be my own handle for you from now on -- it's short for Jim Crow), if you prefer to invest your time and energy on a keyboard campaign to depict Black folk as "the problem" racial group you think it to be, knock yourself out. (Who knows, maybe we'll get lucky and you'll succeed!) However, what you're spouting is the kind of old-fashioned racism, that I and countless others who read this blog and/or live in this community, have been hearing and experiencing our whole lives. Nothing new there.

Meanwhile, as long as you don't allow your racial profiling to rise to the level of a George Zimmerman type of wish fulfillment, I can live with it. (Yes, pun intended.)

Clarkson FlatBed said...


Anon (and on and on and on...)

Can't believe CeelLeDee and I are taking your bait again, but what the heck, the little one is napping...

We can finally see a bit of your psychology, given (if it's true) you've been shot at and physically attacked by black folk. Perhaps the seeds of your racism lie there. Or perhaps (as I suspect) you've lived for many years in a predominantly black neighborhood and have become increasingly angry and cynical, to the point of lurking on blogs and causing trouble.

You claim to have known a number of murder victims. Again, if true, you are living a life knowing lots of black folks. The white folks aren't getting shot and killed, according to your (and Ray Kelly's) analysis. I wonder what all these black people "you know" think of your reasoning. I suspect you're not very popular, further nursing your resentment.

The problem of guns in the urban setting is primarily about young black men killing young black men. This is well documented. There is, in fact, a bit of an arms race among inner-city men that's been persistent throughout the last couple decades' massive drop in crime. What has been happening, concurrently, is that young, poor black men have fared much worse than average in terms of economic and social mobility. Jobs are hard to find, and support among mainstream society is practically non-existent. Within this word, the perception is you need a gun for very much the same reason George Zimmerman thought he needed his - for protection. And like in the Martin case, the gun ended a life. Had it been skittle on skittle, I think it's fair to say there may have been a dust up, but no mortal wounds.

I really don't know where you can be going with all this harping on shootings among blacks, except to suggest that black men are more violent than whites. This myth, like the one about their sexuality, has been proven to be absurd and incredibly damaging. There is no justification for your conclusions. I dare you to find serious documentation of your assertion.

In fact, poor disenfranchised folks cause most of the violence in this country. Perhaps you could look at this cause rather than harping on skin color.

As a columnist said recently:

"If you ignore America's poor, you can make all kinds of problems disappear from view. Not counting the poor and minorities, the country does not have an obesity epidemic. Not counting the poor and minorities, the United States has perfectly adequate schools. Not counting the poor and minorities, America would have a higher average income."

disco princess said...

Hi, Q and ceelledee:

Re: Anonymous's comments-
"The appropriate question to you is whether anyone you've known or were acquainted with has been shot and/or killed?

Unfortunately, I've known a number of murder victims.
"

Anonymous stated in a previous post that one of the victims he had known was Josh Rubin. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/22/josh-rubin-missing-brookl_n_1165136.html This notorious murder still remains unsolved. Law enforcement in NYC or PA can't even figure out for sure where he was killed or identify viable suspects (as opposed to persons of interest). So, until we have more facts, we can't apply Anonymous's reasoning about who the alleged killer(s) was(were) or how Mr. Rubin's death could have been prevented.

Anonymous said...

ceelledee,

No, the problem of shootings is not evenly distributed among the races in this country. It's sad that so much effort is put into looking the other way when it comes to shootings.

It's not as though blacks commit shootings at a marginally higher rate than white. It's not 10 percent more often, which, in an analysis of any other social pathology would attract endless commentary.

The difference is 1,000 percent. The difference is so huge it's almost too much to wrap one's mind around.

You can safely state that almost all mass murders in the US are committed by whites. But the total number of victims is lost in the sauce of yearly homicide totals. The rarity and enormity of these horrifying crimes makes them front page news.

But like shark attacks, there aren't many.

Meanwhile, you didn't answer my question about knowing or being acquainted with any murder victims. I'm sure the answer is yes.



Anonymous said...

disco princess,

Two guys who had Rubin's credit card used it to buy some food near the site where his body was found. They were spotted on a security camera and they were not white.

Where he was killed is not exactly the issue. It appears he was supplementing his coffee shop business with some drug dealing.

He had fallen behind on his rent on the coffee shop. It's believed he had also been slow to pay his drug source. It's been suggested that he was about to pay his landlord with a pile of cash that probably came from drug sales when he was grabbed and killed.

Anonymous said...

You claim to have known a number of murder victims. Again, if true, you are living a life knowing lots of black folks. The white folks aren't getting shot and killed, according to your (and Ray Kelly's) analysis. I wonder what all these black people "you know" think of your reasoning. I suspect you're not very popular, further nursing your resentment.

Interesting that you assume that to have the experiences I've had that I've lived for a long time in predominantly black neighborhoods. That's another way of admitting you agree with what I've stated.

I've lived in many settings, Urban, suburban, and way out in the wide open spaces of the Rockies.

Moreover, my mother's family is from a town near Des Moines.

As for murder victims, the one I knew best was the father of one of my oldest friends. He lived in an all-white town in Connecticut and was murdered in his own home by a black burglar who almost took the old man's head off with a hatchet.

Others, such as a couple of my high school classmates, were shot.

Anonymous said...

Being quick to be over the top defensive or to use force to deal with a situation is not limited to one race or to any specific races. I myself have always attributed it to a culture of machismo, narcissism ("how dare you disrespect me???!!!" that kind of thing) and too much emphasis on the ego. That culture happens anywhere. Yes, you see it a lot in low income, urban populations which in NYC is largely populated by blacks. But don't sound so ignorant, it's not due to their race. I think the most effective intervention wouldn't be just giving teens something else to do, which seems the focus of most efforts, but rather getting community leaders, clergy, respected figures in entertainment to talk about how it's not only okay but more respectable and showing more strength to back down and walk away and not engage if somebody tries to provoke you. Boys and girls, men and women both are way too quick to react and engage and escalate that kind of thing. I'm from the Midwest and trust me, you see it in poor white populations too. Anyplace where kids don't have role models for restraint. Sadly their role models are reality TV, rife with fighting, and pop/rap music stars who are always fighting in nightclubs it seems.

disco princess said...

Re: " think the most effective intervention wouldn't be just giving teens something else to do, which seems the focus of most efforts, but rather getting community leaders, clergy, respected figures in entertainment to talk about how it's not only okay but more respectable and showing more strength to back down and walk away and not engage if somebody tries to provoke you."

Some community leaders, clergy, and some entertainers already try to get the "stop the violence" message out to members of the community. For example, Richard Green's been doing this with the Crown Heights Youth Collective for 30 years. (And re: clergy, these kids would have received the message that "violence is not cool/turn the other cheek" if they were to attend religious services.) I'm not sure what else can be done if people do not want to listen.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:12 says:

Being quick to be over the top defensive or to use force to deal with a situation is not limited to one race or to any specific races. I myself have always attributed it to a culture of machismo, narcissism ("how dare you disrespect me???!!!" that kind of thing) and too much emphasis on the ego. That culture happens anywhere. Yes, you see it a lot in low income, urban populations which in NYC is largely populated by blacks. But don't sound so ignorant, it's not due to their race.

Oh, the violence is clearly a function of the culture where it's most prevalent. No doubt about that. And the statistics for violent crime make it unmistakably clear which culture is the most violent in this country and quite a few others.

Interestingly, it's unlikely there'd be any raised hackles over statements about the extraordinary talent of black athletes.

Pick a sport. Take a formerly white sport like tennis. Who's the best today? Among women, the Williams sisters. Is anyone finding fault?

Basketball, football, boxing? The fans love the best players. And we know who they are. Is anyone troubled by the obvious dominance of blacks? No.

But when it comes to other aspects of American life, discussing the obvious is a problem.

Are whites complaining that 72% of the students at Stuyvesant High School are asian? No. Or Brooklyn Tech, where the asian student population is at least 50%? No. It's the asian culture.

Is there some reason to believe the asian students were given something during their grade school and middle school years that wasn't available to black students? No.

So, yeah, it's all about culture. However, culture happens to correlate closely with race.

disco princess said...

Re:
"Oh, the violence is clearly a function of the culture where it's most prevalent. No doubt about that. And the statistics for violent crime make it unmistakably clear which culture is the most violent in this country and quite a few others."
"So, yeah, it's all about culture. However, culture happens to correlate closely with race."

You are painting blacks and the associated culture here here with a broad brush. In this area, you have African-Americans (descended mostly from slaves in the American South), Caribbean-Americans, and Africans. There are significant cultural differences among the three groups, and lumping them into one category is doing a disservice.

The Snob said...

Princess, please don't feed the troll. Watch Gremlins if you need a refresher.

(and yes, that was about getting them wet, but whatever.)

Anonymous said...

But 12:40pm anon, come on, there MORE black people in this country who do not fit your profile than who do. A lot more. It's not logical what you are saying. I'm sorry if you've never left NYC in your life, that's too bad, but you need to realize you don't know everything there is about people everywhere by living in one place. Because you totally do see low income whites in rural parts of the country who exhibit the same behavior. And other countries too. Like the low income young white males in the UK who beat up people in the streets and tear apart soccer stadiums. I am not a sociologist but it seems it happens in places where there are the largest number of households without strong, responsible heads of households. It is not unusual for a nonworking mother in a very poor household to tell a male teen to drop out of school, be the man of the house and make money to provide the family. It's too easy for the kids to choose crime for that income. I'm not excusing anything. I'm tough on crime. But if you don't understand how it happens then you can't fix it. Not that your comments reveal any desire to fix or help anything. In your world the only solution is to buy your own island. Hope you're very rich.

Anonymous said...

I think that anon12:40 is trying to say that the Williams sisters are good at their sport because of the black tennis culture plaguing our cities.

disco princess said...

Hi, The Snob,

Re: "Princess, please don't feed the troll. Watch Gremlins if you need a refresher."

True confession: I grew up in the 80s but I never watched Gremlins. I never watched E.T. or several other landmark 80s films. Deprived childhood, I know.

In the interest of social justice, I am trying to educate "Gizmo" (that was the name of the Gremlin, right?) and others who read this blog.

Besides, I'm not even touching his argument about the demographics of students at NYC specialized public schools. That would require something the length of an academic paper (with APA citations which he can't refute); not worth the effort here. :)


Daniel said...

Q, Please moderate the comments from now on. I'm sick and tired of this neanderthal spewing his racist garbage on your site. We don't debate idiots like him. If he wants to spew his nonsensical ideas about race, sports, crime, and education, he can go find a brick wall to talk to.

Anon, who ever you are. Take a hike. We don't want you here.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

As much as it pains me to do so, until this dude takes a hike the moderation is on.

I wouldn't call it nonsensical. I think it's very clear what he's trying to say. He has yet to come right out and say what's really on his mind, but I think we can infer.

That he's passing this stuff on to another generation makes me shudder.

Anonymous said...

I think anon is a satirist, and blatantly derivative of Jonathan Swift. http://art-bin.com/art/omodest.html

But he has been building up to his point for too long. Not the best comedic writing skills.