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.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Shootout at the Not O.K. Corral

Ironically, I had just finished telling an inquisitor who was interested in moving to my block that things were real quiet down my way lately. This was the kind of rival group shooting (you could call it gang if you like, though I don't like using that term unless it's confirmed that it was ABOUT a gang dispute). This is just the kind of violence that gives you pause. Bedford and Clarkson. Busy intersection. Reading the description in the Daily News, you can't help but wonder what these guys were thinking.

Two men were wounded in a shootout between rival groups on a Brooklyn street Monday, police said.

The victims, ages 22 and 29, were hit during an exchange of gunfire between the two groups, who were standing across the street from each other at Clarkson and Bedford Aves. in Flatbush shortly after 5 p.m., police and witnesses said.

"They were arguing. I see them arguing and arguing. When they started shooting, everyone started running," said Natasha Renaud, 25, who was doing laundry on the block.

The older man was hit once in the lower right leg, the younger one twice in the torso, according to police sources.
Witnesses said the men opened fire despite innocent passersby being on the street.

The groups started shooting despite the presence of passersby, according to witnesses.  

The groups started shooting despite the presence of passersby, according to witnesses.

"There was a lady with a little girl, and they shoot and they don't care," said witness Elias Osorio, 32.

Both men were taken to Kings County Hospital in stable condition.
Cops recovered both .9-mm and .45-caliber shell casings on both sides of Clarkson Ave., police sources said.

Cops were searching for the shooters Monday night, but had made no arrests, according to police.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the 71st is actively doing to address these gang/rival group issues? Now that the weather is warming up, these problems are only going to get worse.

Anonymous said...

This makes me really mad. But who do I direct my rage against? The shooters? Their parents or lack thereof?

Unknown said...

We live on the the corder of Hawthorne and Bedford, and there has been a TON of undercover cop activity lately stationed right in front of our house. They seem to be heavily monitoring of some kind of "gang" or group activity from the interactions we've been able to eavesdrop on. Which makes yesterday's shooting even more jarring and upsetting.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

We're going to set up a meeting with the D.A. The cops probably will say they're doing all they can.

Stacey. Do they seem focused on a building in particular?

Anonymous said...

I'm pissed too. Not OK to be shooting up the area at 5pm - kids are coming home from school, or heading out to enjoy the early evening. Save your disputes for late night! I'm just so sick of this BS!

Anonymous said...

Lots of police at 85 Clarkson last night, I wonder if they found anyone?

Anonymous said...

Ugh. This makes me feel so guilty and selfish to raise my child here. Sometimes I think it's time to leave Brooklyn and move to a safe burb. I cannot afford to live in safe NYC neighborhoods.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

I have plenty of rationalization about living here, but the fact is when the gunfire gets this close it shocks. I can't tell you how many horrible stories I can read about tragedies elsewhere and feel only a little saddened. Put it within a block and my heart sinks.

Rationalization 1: I don't drive. My kid is less likely to get in a car wreck.
Rationalization 2: It's just the density that makes us THINK we're less safe. Actually, middle class and up folks have almost zero chance of getting hit by a bullet ANYwhere in the City.
Rationalization 3: It's all chance. So it happened down the block? I'm not outside at THAT exact spot very often.
Rationalization 4: You could go any number of ways. More people got killed on 9/11 than years of murders, and they NEVER could've seen that coming.
Rationalization 5: Both my wife and I would be horribly depressed living in the suburbs. How is THAT good for my kids?
Rationalization 6: They're not after me. Or my kids. It's sick luck to be caught in the crossfire.

Yes. I think about it a lot, but mostly just at moments like these.

Oh, and thank the good friggin' lord no one was killed.

Anonymous said...

A cop stationed here and there isn't enough. If this is going to be norm for this spring/summer, then I'm afraid this area will be a designated impact zone very soon. If it gets out of control, we might start seeing some variation of S&F used to some capacity. Remember, S&F isn't dead, it's just on the shelves. BDB and BB have not done away with it.

And to think Flatbush and PLG have seen more shootings this year and last year than Brownsville and Bed-Stuy. All other major crimes are down city wide with the exception of shootings. Most of it stems from crews getting into beefs and then shots are fired. The average age of these crew members ranges from 14 to 20.

That's the short term solution. For a much longer solution, that requires a more organized effort from the community, parental guidance, parental involvement, cultural shifts, behavioral changes and a competent councilman who will allocate funds to help fund projects that will help get most of these teens off the streets after school. I had to put that last one in there because it's a big part of what helps a community grow and because I loathe the man that cares very little about the people he is tasked to serve.

Anonymous said...

Since you care more about this neighborhood than anyone else, you should be spearheading this cause.

Anonymous said...

There is a noticeable amount of new graffiti in the past few weeks along bedford but especially on the building on the corner of Winthrop. Wondering if it's gang related...

Anonymous said...

Also, in my rage after watching the news last night, I printed off a bunch of fliers today that say "stop the shooting, love the neighborhood." In comic sans no less! It might be a useless effort and I'll get laughed at, but I'm posting a bunch tomorrow. Let me know if you want some.

Unknown said...

The most common place the undercovers seem to be hanging out is in a car in front of the church on the corner of Hawthorne/Bedford. I doubt there is anything dodgy going on with gang activity in the church, they are our landlords! Though nothing surprises me anymore. : ) They might be monitoring that corner, maybe? We witnessed a really weird exchange this past weekend where 2 undercovers escorted a dude to his car, and heavily surrounded him as he took a big envelope of money out of the dashboard and then took off racing down the street while the cops just stood there and watched him run away. It was so bizarre.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Say what you will about the neighborhood. It is never, EVER boring.

Anonymous said...

Of Q's list of justifications for putting up with NYC which is similar to ours and to all, the driving thing is the only one remaining on my own list. Now it is starting to get outweighed by my terror of us and/or our son getting mowed down by a car in a crosswalk or on the sidewalk because there's no traffic enforcement here.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

This is actually a fascinating conversation to me, because I've been hearing it my whole time in NYC, even as it's gotten safer and safer. It's really a parent thing, wondering if you've made a terrible choice. I think that stuff all the time about any manner of things, but in the end I know the kids have been brought along to accompany me, not the other way around. It's my job to wean them, not to shield them from every bad thing in the world. I still need to live my life.

No need to stupidly put them at risk though. I don't let them ride without seatbelts or helmets for instance (though kids used to all the time). I keep them away from bodies of water til they can swim. I don't let them run around unattended on the roof. I keep the poisons out of reach.

The thing with shootings though is fascinating, precisely since it's so beyond our control. Someone else has the gun, and it's not "God" as might be the case of a terrible illness. Freak accidents happen too. A kid was killed sledding in my neighborhood in Iowa when he hit a tree. Another drown in a raft going down a river. A few car accidents. Early life cancers. Etc Etc.

The real statistic that would be fascinating is what's the chance of a kid dying in an accident (shootings being accidents, as it's pretty rare someone actually MEANS to shoot a kid). As in, when you move to the suburbs, assuming it's the same cost of living (which you must do, because why else would people gravitate to higher crime areas with shittier schools when they have young kids?)

In other words, freak accidents are just that. Like the boy who ran out into traffic to get a ball on Prospect Park West, or over in Ft. Greene. I think the scariest thing for me as a parent are all the unknowns, the things I can't control, or THINK I can control.

This sort of shooting plays into that.

AlexVee said...

Today cops were stopping all cars on Bedford and Clarkson for hours in both directions. They were asking to see at least ID. This led to even more incessant honking than usual, and people turning around in the middle of Bedford to go the other direction as to avoid the cops / slowdown.

I guess this is a show of force / enforcement? I just wish it was a little more consistent with presence, and basic traffic enforcement.

Daniel said...

what needs to happen is they should divert most of their manpower to areas with highest number of shootings. Maybe do another operation crew cut or something like that. Are they even doing that? I don't think a "show" of force does anything.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

We're working on a meeting with D.A. Thompson's office, the 71st and 70th, and Brooklyn Patrol South. Look for info here soon...

Anonymous said...

And yet a 1 bedroom in this area is $1500 and climbing and for what I have no idea. As a born and bred NY'er I can't stand being here more and more if only moving were that simple.