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.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

An Open Call To Our Elected Leaders and Civil Servants

If you thought drive-by shootings were a tune from the past, apparently an oldie-but-goody hit the airwaves last night. Sprayed gunfire from (allegedly) a Maserati on Flatbush near Maple. PLOG's got a picture of the bullet holes to prove it.

This corner has been much talked-about, and many of us have complained to the cops. General complaints don't usually get taken seriously, though. Call in a "thugs loitering" complaint and cops will blow it off. Say "there's drugs being dealt at..." and you'll get a shrug. Maybe a patrol car will slowly drive by. But now, ladies and gentlemen, we have something very, very specific to note. It's no longer too "general."

Six short weeks ago, Eric Adams issued a response to our neighborhood concerning what he felt was shrill and ineffective nagging coming from the internets. His well-written, though dismissive, plea sounded a simple refrain - I can't do it alone, we ALL need to be vigilant and contructive in combating crime - All well and good. Neighbors have started to create grassroots task forces, both in PLG and around the Parade Grounds, and have tried to build consensus and get the word out about crime prevention tactics. But remember, we're novices. We're not elected. And we don't get paid to chase bad guys.

Now, please, Senator, Councilman, Assemblyman, Precinct Commander...CALL FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES IF YOU MUST. BUT PUT SOME GODDAMN UNIFORMS ON THE GROUND. NOW.

We're not (all) a bunch of namby pamby yuppies who can't handle a street scene. We live in Brooklyn for chrisakes, and we know what that entails. If we were generally afraid of, say, loitering, we wouldn't be living in Upper East Flatbush. Most of us know the difference between a bunch of friends chilling and talking trash, and the kind of action that leads to violence. Drugs. Guns. Intimidation. Specific toughs "hanging out" with no day job but plenty of purpose. Long time residents and newbies alike can tell a drug corner when we see it. And Flatbush at Maple was a clear front-runner for worst corner, and now, just steps from the Senator's office, we see bullet holes from what could easily have been the worst night by far in the life of some unlucky parent.

Not to pick on you Senator Adams, but your words of just a few weeks ago ring hollow now. You said:

As a point of information, my office has met on several occasions with the 71st
Precinct concerning several alleged drug locations on Flatbush Avenue, some of
which are located near our district office. Due to the sensitivity of the
issue, there is little information that we can reveal to you at this time, but
we can assure you that positive steps are being initiated to address the issue.

Additionally, as you may be aware, we are pleased to inform you that subsequent
to our meeting, one major location, which was housed in an apartment building on
Beekman Place, has been shut down. There are others on the radar of the
Precinct and we have received every assurance that actions are being taken.

I got a 'craaaaazy" idea that just might work: Try putting a couple of friggin' cops on the corner day and night until the dealers get a hint. Try a sting and shut down any businesses on Flatbush that have dealings with dealers. How about two beat or undercover cops strolling up and down Flatbush? Any fool can see the street needs your help...Senator, Councilman, Assemblyman, Inspector. We'll be happy to help in any way we can...I mean, you should keep at us, tell us we're not reporting crime nearly enough, that we're not organizing, or being vigilant, or "working together with you." But in the meantime, take some common sense and elbow grease and do something...and next time, if we get all "shrill" on the internets, or on the phone, or at neighborhood meetings.,.why not take us seriously for a change?

UPDATE: See Senator Adams Comment. The cops have a different version of the story. So I guess it was just guys arguing over sneakers! Whew...that's a relief! Regardless of the "motive," toughs with guns felt emboldened to hold a shootout at a Flatbush store. I frankly doubt that there wasn't some "backstory" involved. Whether you call it "gangs" or "drugs" makes no difference to me. It's the attitude that ours is lawless neighborhood that worries me. But I AM gonna have a hard time letting go of the Maserati angle...


Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right. We need boots on the street. I contact Adams office today about this. We all need to keep the pressure on this guy or vote him out.

Anonymous said...

It is pretty embarrassing for a drive-by to occur just doors down from Mr. Adams' office in an area that anyone from the neighborhood can clearly see is gang/drug related activity. I also agree that any business that is complacent with such activity should be shut down.

Skei said...

Spot on!! We must have A patrol period! Not more patrols, just A patrol! It's getting ridiculous!! I'm ready to take it to the streets!

David said...

As a note there was another gun related incident in the neighborhood last Thursday evening at Rogers and Hawthorne at 10:45 PM. Four shots were fired and my neighbor who was in and out of his shop said he saw a few young men standing on the street corner and then one of them fired a gun into the air. This is not the wild west. This behavior is totally unacceptable. We have to make our feelings heard with those that are in charge of keeping our streets safe. Everyone should attend the next meeting with the police community public affairs officer.

Senator Eric Adams said...

On Sunday, I met with the Executive Officer at the 71st Precinct to discuss the recent shooting on Flatbush Ave. When incidents of this nature occur, it is important to provide an accurate account to the community. Misinformation can sometimes be a catalyst for heightened panic and fear.

For the record, the shooting stemmed from an argument between two different groups of patrons who were in the sneaker store. To date, the police department has determined that the incident was not gang or drug related, nor was it a drive by shooting.

The police department noted that there were numerous potential witnesses on the street at the time of the shooting and yet no one was willing to come forward.

I am extending an open invitation to anyone who would like to meet with me on Saturday, August 27, 2011, at my district office (572 Flatbush Avenue, bet. Beekman & Midwood) to have an open dialogue about the recent shooting. I will be there at 10am sharp. I look forward to meeting with you.

Senator Eric Adams said...

The meeting planned for Saturday, August 27th @ 10am is rescheduled due to the fact that elected officials and the NYPD are preparing for the impending storm and hurricane. The new date/time for the meeting is Tuesday, August 30th, at 7pm at our district office, which is located at 572 Flatbush Avenue (between Beekman and Midwood).