The Q at Parkside
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, June 26, 2015
And In This Corner...
DNA Info on Shooting Stats
Despite the frank talk of community policing, mediation and lesser police presence, the fact remains that shootings in the 70th Precinct are up more than 60% over last year. That's deep in the heart of Flatbush, object of the preposition Equality Of. The number of shootings remains relatively low historically, and the double-digit numbers are not big enough to count out percent gains as mere aberrations, both geographical and numerical. But if you're living in Flatbush, particularly central Flatbush and Ditmas Park, and you pay attention to each incident as it comes, you could be forgiven for thinking things have taken a major turn for the worse. And yeah, for the record, though I don't find it particularly germane, it's mostly people of color shooting people of color. It would be pretty hard (as I heard one commentator say on Crap TV) that America is heading into a race war. From my 48 year old 27-year resident of Brooklyn brain, I'd say business has not changed a great deal in recent years. The races are no more at armed war than they have ever been. But if the word "war" could be changed to "calamitous crisis," I wouldn't hesitate to agree.
The 70th is hot right now. But...and this is a big butt (in keeping with the Q's favorite ass-obsessed gadfly), you've got other nearby precincts experiencing big drops, like in East Flatbush and Brownsville. Can't neglect to mention the 70th has an increase though. Might look like I'd lost my objectivity had I skipped it. (that's a joke; there's no such thing as objectivity, and I can prove it, beyond a shadow of a doubt. that's a joke too.)
I note, if only for my own benefit, four distinct solutions that were presented in detail at the meeting on Wednesday. Some combination might even prove effective.
1: More cops on the streets
2: Less cops and "broken windows," better policing, sensitivity, cultural awareness, fairness
3: More mediation, restorative justice, compassion for the emotional and social support needs of young people, translated into on-the-ground programs
4: Jobs, training, community centers, playgrounds and constructive stuff for folks to do as they mature.
But you know, the cynic in me sees some missed points. Like, it's not all young people committing crimes. Sometimes it's not even drug or gang or youth related. Fancy that! Drug abuse and drug dealing is a big part of the local economy - can't imagine it's MORE so than usual, or even particularly more than the average suburb, per capita. And also, it's not like you can just try "less cops" in a neighborhood and expect crime to drop. Or can you? Certainly decriminalizing narcotics could take some of the cowboy-mentality out of drug dealing. Who knows? I have a feeling we're going to have to try it at some point. Because business-as-usual is basically Jim Crow for the modern age.
I do know we'll never entirely end senseless violence. There's definitely a number below which crime can't really go. It's too much part of human nature. It is a certain kind of crime - particularly shootings in broad daylight - that will never go down easy. Access to guns, boiling over immature resentments, racial policing and policies, pathologizing blackness, poverty, lack of employment, poor schools, broken families, bad parenting, young parenting..haven't we heard enough reasons to believe they're all right to some degree and in some instances, but the overriding fact is that the country hasn't gotten nearly as far on race as it has on gay rights?