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.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Shooting at Ali's Roti

D. Iudici for Daily News

A passer-by just noted a murder at Ali's, the Hookah bar and roti shoppe. Any word? Glass shattered, tons of cops and dudes in suits.

Here's the Daily News on it. Four wounded, one dead. Ugh.

From Vinnie at the 71st:

Today at approximately 3AM shots were fired inside of 589 Flatbush Ave. Three victims were shot. One male was shot numerous times in his head and body and was pronounced DOA at the scene. A second male was grazed. The other victim was female and was shot in her stomach. Both these victims are in stable condition. Anyone with information please call the 71 Precinct Detective Unit at 718-735-0501.

And further from the Daily News:

A dispute turned deadly when a man opened fire at a Brooklyn bar early Friday, killing his adversary and wounding three partygoers with stray bullets, officials said. The shooter was sitting calmly inside the Buda Hookah Lounge, a bar on Flatbush Ave. in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, before getting into an argument with his 27-year-old victim, cops said.

The killer whipped out a gun and shot the victim, whose name was not immediately released, in the head and midsection about 2:55 a.m., cops said.
The gunman fell to the ground as he fired, leaped back to his feet and fired wildly as he scrambled out of the lounge, packed with some 70 people for “Ladies Thursday.”

“I was standing outside letting people in and I heard one of the shots fly by my head,” said bar security guard James Cruz. “Everyone just started running. They were trying to get out any way they could, running out the front, back, side — however they could get out.” As customers fled, the victim lay dying. “I saw a guy lying between two tables,” said worker Sean Johnson. “His friend was standing over him saying, ‘Please don't die. Hang on. Don't die. Don't die!’”
The victim was rushed to Kings County Hospital, where he died 35 minutes later. He was a regular at the bar, employees said.

"I saw him when they wheeled him out,” Cruz said. “He was wearing all white, a white shirt and pants, but he was covered in blood. His eyes were open and rolled back into his beard. You could hear some breathing, like those very last gasps of air coming out his body.” Three other people hit by stray bullets were taken to Kings County Hospital, police said.


ben_of_oz said...

NYPD says 5 people were shot.

Anonymous said...

I walked past the place a week ago Monday at 6 am morning, and the remnants of an all night party were still going on. Two men (one a bouncer?) were drunkenly arguing about something outside and it seemed like the place was a bit out-of-control. I walked back past a the place a 10 minutes later, and the bouncer stumbled out to the curbed and began to piss on a parked dollar van. Great way to start the week - I thought about calling 311 but decided against it...and now this.

Enough already!

Anonymous said...

Terrible news... I've walked past that place early in the morning and seen superwasted people stumbling around, too. They do not seem to be a responsible establishment, and this seems like the start of something bad.

Anonymous said...

LPT a few years ago Splash a few weeks back and now this today, this neighborhood is not ready for late night bars/ alcohol at least not past 12am

Anonymous said...

Forget about this stuff, we need to lock down and concentrate on boycotting new development in the neighborhood. Who cares about the drug and crime ridden streets when THE VIEWS OF THE PARK ARE BEING HINDERED!!!!!

Abbie Jones Hornburg said...

This is so sad and scary too

Andersen said...

Meanwhile, across the street, the sneaker joint's gate has "don't shoot" graffitied large and loud.

Alex said...

Even though the owners of this place seem like great, well intended people, I think they got in over their heads, and combined with a lackadaisical police precinct, it was a recipe for disaster. And disaster ensued. They did a poor job of managing spillover onto the street, and I think they stayed open beyond their permitted hours (aren't bars with newly granted licenses supposed to close at 1am or something?).

What happened to the noise patrol unit or whatever that the precinct keeps promising? A first heard about it 2 years ago. Shouldn't they have responded to fights on the street due to spillover from this place? Does the unit exist? I'm guessing it doesn't - more lip service from the 71st. At least they're consistent!

Poor, disingenuous precinct, a mayor in denial, a community plagued by violence - I guess unfortunately we should prepare ourselves for more of the same.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Alex. Even though the owners were obviously not responsible for pulling the trigger, I keep coming back to the fact that they've been essentially looking the other way all year as problematic elements festered at their late night parties. I wonder if the short term profits were worth it to them now that violent death and injuries have happened on their watch, and the NYPD & bureaucratic agencies will surely be keeping a close eye on Buda Lounge.

Anonymous said...

How are there not cameras in a place like that to nab the shooter. This whole thing stinks. I used to buy roti from this place. But now I'm boycotting. Any suggestions of where else to go?

Anonymous said...

@ 2:46
Da Hot Pot on Flatbush near Lincoln

Anonymous said...

Fuck the 71st. I don't know how I am expected to respect them personally or as an entity when almost every experience I have with them they prove to be bullies. Por exemplo:
I visited the 71st precinct this week to pick up a simple Civilian Accident Report form as advised by the Officer who answered the phone there. This is a standard form for vehicle damage that happens when there are no witnesses (like an overnight hit and run). Its basically a police report for the insurance company to complete a claim. In other words, a pretty basic form that every precinct has on hand. When I arrived I was directed into an office with three female, black officers. When I asked for the form it took a half second for the "We ain't got that" response. Nothing was said for a few seconds and then the same thing was repeated in a more annoyed tone. "Good bye" one said.
When you get to the detective level, like with this murder, maybe you see some professionalism. I don't know. As far as the majority of experiences I've had with officers that interact with the public, I am unimpressed with their candor or their ability to affect positive change in this neighborhood.

cali said...

Wow its funny how some of you complain without any mention of the victims. Well my condolences to the victim and the others who were injured. I hope that they recover fully.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

I hear you Cali. Lot of tough talk from folks who weren't there, don't know the crowd, haven't hung at the bar, know what they know from the paper. Still, Alex is right. They were in over their heads. 70 people? In that tiny place? That alone would have been a reason to shut it down. I'll bet fire code wouldn't allow more than 40. So yes, I think there's definitely an element of naivete. The first rule of running a bar is to know your patrons, and the problem with running these party-nights, usually with an outside promoter, is that you don't know who's in the bar. You're making money, the place is hopping...don't think for a minute violence like this didn't happen on a regular basis in the East Village and dance clubs back in my partying days, drugs included of course. Not a white or black thing, or even a rich poor thing; it's a drunk-drug-revelry-become-rage thing. Though guns are definitely the go-to weapon for even minor disputes in certain quarters. It's amazing more people weren't hurt.

As someone who looks at liquor licenses at the Community Board, I don't recall this one ever getting a thumbs up. Maybe I missed it. Unless they make some radical alterations to their biz plan, we'll have to do what we can to force them to comply or take away the booze altogether. I'll bet the owners are feeling a lot of remorse right now, because yes, you ARE responsible for what goes on inside your club.

Anonymous said...

Tim, that bullshit you're spewing about how gun violence and murder used to happen in East Village dance clubs with the similar regularity as it seems to be happening on our short stretch of Flatbush Ave is outrageous! It's just not true. Were you packing heat back in the day? I sure as fuck wasn't and I didn't know anyone who was. Making this kind of shit up to make yourself feel better will do nothing to help solve the problem. High crime areas like PLG should have mandatory closing times for commercial entities. Nobody needs to be getting jerk chicken or partying in "sports bars" or "hooka lounges" at 3 in the fucking morning especially when they can't seem to keep their guns in their pants after midnight.

Anonymous said...

Looks like another call for Bar Rescue.

I'm being serious. I think the owners need to understand that running a bar that serves alcohol late a night in a neighborhood that is plagued with gun violence is a bit more challenging than running said bar in Chelsea. There are some bad dudes out there and if you don't have a security detail to handle the riffraff and other nuisances, then you shouldn't have a bar in the first place. I hope they make the necessary changes guaranteeing the safety of the patrons or forfeit their liquor license.

Alex said...

I was not able to find a liquor license on file online for any business at 589 Flatbush. I am not an expert searcher, though.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

7:37 Anon. Whoa. First off, I didn't say "gun" violence, I said violence. Stabbings. Strangulations. And yeah, shootings outside of clubs. There was often heavy security getting in, which helped I'm sure. Not to mention frequent overdoses and rapes. Where were you going out, anyway? Windows on the World?

So...shut the fuck up. You were there? I was too. Violence was SO much worse back then. The kind of violence you seem to be referring - guns IN clubs - may be a reflection of the current culture, and perhaps central Brooklyn culture. But you had your head in the sand if you didn't hear gunshots, get mugged, see some serious shit go down in the East Village/LES during the late '80s and early '90s. Before then, so I hear, it was even worse. Remember the Palladium? Tons of violence. Even Limelight. Further downtown it was worse. A kid got stabbed to death outside the Pyramid club. Another was beaten to death at Downtown Beirut. Gay kids got beat up all the time during the height of AIDS. Good golly, dude, you were wearing your Walkman headphones too tight.

It's BLACK crime that you're speaking so ignorantly about. Maybe you're afraid of blacks generally. Probably. But let me tell you this...the dozens of decent folks who were in that club the other night are being painted with the same brush as the shooter. You should see some of the comments I haven't published because they're just shy of hate speech. And that IS making the problem worse.

The kid who got his brains blown out right outside El Sombrero while I was drinking inside ('92 I think) would love to hear your nonsense about a lack of gun violence. Actually, now that I think of that, I can recount a few more. I was there all the time. I suspect you, sir, were not.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Alex: I'm looking into the liquor license thing. At the very least, Ali's should have come before CB9 with their Hookah plan. I think I remember it being on an agenda, but maybe they never showed up? More later...

Anonymous said...

Tim, thank you for enlightening me! I love when you take on the role of "King of Downtown" circa 1990. Dude, I have seen urban violence up close that would give you bad dreams for a very long time. So...shut the fuck up. I'm not telling you that there was no downtown violence in NYC in the bad old days. But to compare apples to apples, how do you think the Palladium compared to Flatbush during that same period? Complete this sentance: The Palladium was to Epcot as Flatbush was to ______. The answer we were looking for was Kabul but we would have accepted Damascus, Bagdad or Mogadishu as well. Who do you think fired that gun outside El Sombrero back in '92? A nice young Iowa farmboy like yourself? You've got your head up your ass if you can't see that we have a massive problem of under-educated,un-empowered, poor, black men with too few positive role models reigning terror on their fellow african-americans (and anyone else caught in the crossfire). And one more thing, Windows on the World was a very nice place!

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Okay, hotshot. What exactly IS the problem in your perspective? We are getting no more gunplay than anywhere else in Central Brooklyn. If these crimes were related, yeah, maybe we could talk about a solution. But the issue of gun violence in black neighborhoods is not something you or I are going to solve over a blog dispute.

I've written extensively about crime in this neighborhood, and all the issues you mentioned. I'm not getting into it with someone insistent on hyperbole. And yeah, Windows of the World was a gas. Um, speaking of violence...

Unless you're saying that the guy who shot people was under-educated, unempowered, poor, or hell even black for that matter (did we get the race of this guy? if he was black was he Caribbean? African? South American?) then you are doing EXACTLY what people have been doing on this issue for ages. Generalizing and Stereotyping.

It's like the phrase "gang related." It's pretty much meaningless when spoken by the media or law enforcement. What gang? Was it a dispute over territory or just some dude catching a resentment?

Here's my point, then we'll have to take the dispute over coffee cuz I'm trying to work here. My point is that:

Violence around drinking and drugging establishments and parties is a long-running problem. It didn't just materialize on Flatbush Avenue, and if you zoom out, you'll see it's not even particularly high on Flatbush Avenue. This year, shootings have been happening all over, within three miles in any direction. (Use Spotcrime for this if you like).

The solution? Better security and smart biz-owners at places people get fucked up. Period. At least then the violence will happen where fewer bystanders are likely to get hurt.

To the big social issues, good luck. But we seem to agree on what they are. I've gone on at length about what I think needs to happen, and it all comes back to employment. Because there's dignity in work, and dignity breeds dignity. Home ownership helps too.

But that has almost nothing to do with this shooting, unless you know something I don't.

Anonymous said...

I DO get the Spotcrime updates which is why I know that the shootings have NOT been happening for 3 miles in any direction. Park Slope is not ringing with gunfire every weekend! I may be generalizing but I know my black friends from grad school and my current colleagues do not carry weapons into bars at 3am so I think it is not a huge leap. Do you

cali said...

Thanks Tim for not tolerating racist bigots!

Clarkson FlatBed said...

I wasn't referring to Park Slope numskull. Park Slope is safer than most suburbs. It's amazing. You could leave your fine crystal out on your stoop for days without getting it swiped.

Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Bed-Stuy, Flatbush, the Parade Ground...refresh your browser man.

I think you're digging your hold deeper by bringing in the class thing. what? This farmboy may not have carried a loaded pitchfork, but there's more murders per capita in Des Moines than Brooklyn. A lot (get this!) white on white crime! Can you believe it? Whites killing whites. It's unthinkable! Why would they DO such a thing?

I created a petition a couple years ago to have beat cops patrol Flatbush. Commander Lewis said he'd look into it. Lewis got canned. We started a C.O.P. neighborhood patrol, and they took away our clearances. I try to advertise positive cop/community events, even organized one. I encourage people to give money to the groups doing the good work. Crown Heights Youth Collective. S.O.S. PLGNA. Come out to the Youth meetings for CB9. We can all do a better job of reaching out to the young people in our community, with jobs and support.

Would any of that stopped a drunk guy with a grudge from shooting a guy in a packed bar? Probably not. A bouncer who'd checked for weapons, maybe. A club that knew its customers, maybe.

A few less Absoluts? Absolutely.

Alex said...

I kinda hate to be the dude who brings this up but...

Remember when there was a controversy about someone complaining about the noise from this place because someone posted a flyer that was construed as, at best, un-neighborly, and at worst, racist?

As it turns out, the owners WERE doing a terrible job of managing their business. Though we haven't confirmed that they did not have a liquor license, it's possible that their business was completely illegal, noise being just one of the problems.

Time and time again, discussions about race turn black and white (sorry), with both sides becoming totally indignant when behavior gets labelled as racist. In this case, I'd argue that BOTH sides were right, that there were elements of both racial insensitivity and correct perception about how the business was being run, too.

So... is there a lesson to be learned? Sometimes everyone is a little bit right?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

In none of these instances should race have anything to do with it.

The most useful comment yet - the guys were over their heads. It seems that both this and the D Avenue shooting were related in that outside promoters were involved. Know your patrons. That's the rule.

And it's sad that a complaint about noise is now a complaint about a murder. They certainly should have used the first instance as an opportunity to tighten things up.

The discussions of race are problematic, in my view, because people's views are problematic. The discussion isn't the problem - it's a symptom. The deep mistrust and misunderstand are the roots of it. Deep. Very, very deep.

Jacob said...

I was wondering about this very thing the other day so I decided to look up the crime stats for the East Village vs. PLG/Flatbush.

East Village, precinct 9 is a bit smaller in population than precinct 71.

9th precinct
population 76,443

71st precinct
population 98429

Basically the 71st in 2015 is on par with the 9th in the late 1990s for violent crimes. All other crimes are way down from that.
So, would you live in the East Village in the late 90s? I would have.
I feel like these crimes have to be taken with a grain of salt. Terrible, tragic, we need to fight this, but certainly not a return to the bad old days.

Jester Court said...

Finally some perspective.

I'll bet crime and wealth match up every bit as much as crime and race by the way. Wealth and race seem to match up pretty well too. Despite the $2 million townhouses, this is still a pretty poor neighborhood. Something like 1/4 the household wealth as that neighborhood across the park. I we have 4 times the crime?

ctrldwn said...

Race discussions are problematic because more Americans are lacking the social skills to talk openly and intelligently on race and pigmentocracy without misunderstanding one another. So many factors are at play here. Our failing educational system. Our resistance to critical thinking. It's not an American phenomenon but we are highly susceptible to it. We've become uncivil and coarse in our political discourse. It's like watching 80's style wrestling. Two men trade insults on the mic, then they settle the score in the square circle and the winner rides off into the sunset while the loser is left to pick up the shattered pieces of his pride. It's part of the continuing dumbing down of our society. I mean, you had people go on tv and profess that we are living in a post racial society. Based on nothing or course and the media repeated it ad nauseam, telling viewers and listeners that race is a thing of the past. That was until you saw the tea party and other racially motivated events. Now they are telling us race relations are at an all time low. Really? I thought they said we are living in a post racial society? I tell ya, they do a lot more to confuse their audience than they do to enlighten it. They are god awful at this. They should stick to something less complicated, like discussing whether or not a black hole swallowed that missing plane. I shit you not, that was what a highly paid CNN anchor said during a show discussing the whereabouts of the missing Malaysian plane.

It's not just with race. Religion, sex, and foreign affairs are among the topics that requires a lot of thinking, listening, politeness, and rationality and we don't have that in today's soundbite culture. A culture that rewards media pundits who shout over others for ratings. A culture that reinforces irrationality, making it fashionable. Soundbites and buzzwords are more important that context. Not all of them are guilty of this but a lot of them are. Check out the debate between James Baldwin and William F Buckley and contrast that with what you see today. I'm no fan of Buckley but wow, what a relief to see two intellectuals debate on the current state of affairs back then. Nowadays, you have to search the heavens to find black intellectuals like James Baldwin or conservative intellectuals like William F Buckley on tv or radio.

Unknown said...

I lived in the East Village in the late 90's. There were still a lot of muggings. I had a friend who was mugged three times in the span of two years.

Back then I went to nightclubs and events like this one and there was always a thorough pat-down. Much more intense than the TSA pat downs.

Anonymous said...

Let's stop the bickering and solve the problem in front of us. Start with the facts (which are obviously subjective)... I'll give it shot, feel free to correct / add:

Most the shootings in the neighborhood are black on black

There have been bars in the hood that have outsourced events which has lead to gun violence

It's hard to get a witness to speak

Most crimes are committed by a small group of repeat offenders, according to the cops

We have gang / crew issues

Hood experiencing gentrification and resentment / dislocation

Cops focusing on tech that alerts them of shootings, not necessarily proactive

Rarely see cops walking the streets, interacting with residents

I have no clue what the solution is, but let's level set and take it from there. And I'm pretty confident there is no silver bullet (bad pun). This stuff needs to stop.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Sigh. I'll try once more but I grow weary...

You live in a black neighborhood so varied that it is simply meaningless to point out that it's black on black. So now we should target anywhere that black people hang out as suspicious? Wow, man, you are so blind. On my block alone, the difference between people of color is staggering. It's time to stop pointing out skin color except when you need a description to identify someone from a distance. I'm serious, this has got to stop.

The reason witnesses don't speak is that many people don't trust the cops. And why should they? That relationship has all but disappeared.

I've since learned this was an assassination, which means this was going to happen anyway. Where it happened might very well be incidental.

Yep. It's a small group of repeat offenders. That's a D.A. and judge issue, not police. The police drag them in, the courts spit them out. And in the meantime, the dragnet gets a lot of NON-violent offenders, further exacerbating the relationship between law enforcement and community and turning lost souls into hardened criminals.

Cops on the street. YES YES YES! That's what my petition was about. Actually, I DO see more cops. Typically rookies. It's the seasoned guys that could be helpful. All the Community Affairs guys, for instance, are terrific with kids and even low level dealers. I've seen it and they're very effective when they want to be. We need more of Tayolors and Martinos.

If gentrification was a CAUSE of violence, you'd see more violence against gentrifiers, no? Plus, crime isn't really up at all. A couple more shootings and felony assaults. It's not anywhere correlated with the massive upheaval in demographics.

Gangs? That's probably the one thing the cops DO have a solid tactical approach to. The major take-downs of the last few years have been big gangs. But it's small crews, basically nothing more than groups of friends, that end up being lumped in with the tag "gang related."

Keep an eye on the bars and house parties. Shut 'em down if they're not secured. Get cops talking to people and businesses. Reform laws and sentencing. Stop the overcrowded parties by outside promoters.

Any more ideas?

Anonymous said...

I have no confidence in this police precinct. Everything from their discourteousness towards civilians to their lackadaisical approach to crime in this hood. They don't take our complaints seriously.

Anonymous said...

This is not directly related to the shooting but I think it is very much related to this discussion of how and these perceptions are formed. It is a good read. I challenge anyone Particularly whites to look within themselves and see if they are brave enough to do what the author of this article did.