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, March 25, 2011

Me and Julio Down By the Playground

A couple nights ago a kid named Julio Locarno was killed at the ridiculously portentous corner of Crooke and Parade. If you're someone who loves the neighborhood like I do, this is the kind of heartbreaking and chilling stuff that demands explanation. Read the Times article for background: Homicide in Caledonia.

I was trying to make some sense of the story, and how a noisy but joyous playground by day can become the scene of assassination by night. Then, while researching the murder, I came upon Brenda of "A Year In the Park" and her beautiful elegy of the senseless murder, and I realized I didn't need to write a thing. She did it for me. Thanks, Brenda.
Please read:
A Year in the Park

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a tragedy and cause for outrage. Maybe someone should let the soccer parents know. If they complained, maybe someone would give a shit. Thank God we're going to pick up some trash tomorrow. Maybe that will help everyone forget Julio and the Gunman. Until next time.

no_slappz said...

You wrote:

"We got vague promises, but no security cameras or other changes...The blood, or whatever, will dry, and so will the interest. After all, this was Julio, not one of the little middle-class schoolchildren who play soccer a few feet (and a vast gulf) away under their parents' watchful eyes every Saturday."

After all, this was Julio -- not a white or asian kid -- who himself had a serious criminal record, who encountered someone with homicidal intent. This was certainly not a random shooting. But the killer has a good chance of escaping justice because the "stop snitchin'" credo is strong among the segments of the NY City population responsible for over 90% of this city's violent crime.

Heres' my bet. Julio was murdered over something related to drugs or a female. Meanwhile, there is a disturbing undertone that comes from mentioning his non-white/non-asian ethnicity/race. The tone involves some kind of blame falling on responsible whites/asians for the horrifying criminal acts of members of "minority" populations, which, in fact, account for the Majority of Brooklyn residents.

A number of people know the name of the killer. When will one of those people do his duty and call the cops?

"People like Julio, and the livery car driver who also died here, are invisible once the blood dries. I guess they will bury Julio, and I will go back to living in that weird urban denial, three blocks from the bloody nexus and the gates of hell."

Weird urban denial? Yeah, it's weird all right. This iron refusal to admit the incontestable facts about who commits the violent crime in this city and elsewhere. A few weeks ago the NYPD issued its 2010 report on murder and it got no headlines.

What did it say? It said that in 2010 whites and asians accounted for 9% of all NYC murder victims -- but only 6% of all murderers.
What proportion of denial goes to blacks and hispanics who deny their over-representation among committers of violent crimes? What proportion of denial goes to liberal whites who pretend there's no group disparities?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

NoSlappz: Glad you took the time to write your thoughts. I'd caution against making so many assumptions. The reason I liked Brenda's essay was that it didn't draw hard conclusions, and didn't make the kid a martyr or saint. But I think she's spot on when she says that certain places invite crime. In fact, if I were going to murder someone gangland style, the Parade Ground is the first place I'd think of.

Much of what you say is sadly true. However, your suggestion that "groups" - cobbled together by race - should somehow take responsibility for their own? That's just old-fashioned racist bullsh*t. Get to know your neighbors - they don't all group together based demographics. This community is all of ours, and calling out races to take care of their "own people" doesn't do justice to the fact that most people are decent and do the right thing, including helping police where necessary.

Then you lash out at unspecified groups of whites and asians for giving a sh#t, or for being naive liberals. Do you actually know any of these people, or are you just assigning stereotypes? Sounds like the latter to me.

Frankly, those who know the name of the killer DO have the duty to come forward. And if they don't, they're culpable too. Regardless of their color. Btw, I suspect the primary reason more people don't "snitch" is fear, not a willingness to cover for members of their race.

Put some love in your heart, man. Other than that, thanks for writing.

Anonymous said...

sorry it was not over a girl or drugs. and yes ppl know who the killer is, but do you tell who the killer is or do you put your families lives at risk since they remain in the area? and cops need evidence to even catch a killer, so even if you know who it is where they live etc. how do you get police to get up off their asses and put killers in jail!

Anonymous said...

Bullshit - don't talk shit about ppl knew he killer. If ppl know then ppl need to step up. You testify or you wait to be the next one.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

harsh words y'all. tone it down a bit please. thanks.

Shelley said...

I just got this petition sent to me from the KWTneighbors list serve. I thought that since it pertained to our 'hood some readers of the blog may also want to sign it. It's not about pointing fingers in regards to what happened last Wednesday evening at the Parade Grounds, but trying to put an end to it.

http://www.petitiononline.com/pg25/petition.html