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.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Shots Fired on Hawthorne

UPDATE 12:15AM: To the commenter with a description, and to anyone who saw the shooter, please call the detective's squad at 718-735-0500. They may need people to corroborate descriptions or look at mugshots. You will not be asked to confront anyone in person or put yourself in harms way. Thanks!

UPDATE 10:44PM: This will be the third "ratcheting up" of police presence in as many weeks, if my tally is correct of statements to that effect by the Deputy Inspector. At this rate we'll all have our own body guards by Labor Day.

Feel free to keep commenting away. I have nothing to add. I forwarded the description of the shooter (thank you Anon) to everyone who should have it and I'm hoping this all leads somewhere useful in the end. Right now, it just seems surreal and designed to ensure that the District Attorney does not leave the meeting on June 12th without a sense that the neighborhood is quite tired of business as usual. He's confirmed by the way. 40 Clarkson. Be there.

From two friends come word of shots fired on Hawthorne between Flatbush and Bedford. From one account, a shooter shot twice then yelled "take that nigga."

47 comments:

Rudy on Winthrop said...

I can report ambulances and police vans whipping down Winthrop from Bedford to Flatbush @ 7:45pm.

the bang gang said...

Yes, shots apparently fired in front of 75 Hawthorne. Just returned from work and found the building cordoned off. A bit shaken cause you never think it will be this close to home and yet it is. Hope everyone is safe and that this is the last of it.

Nadia on Winthrop said...

This is getting to be too much. I can't wait to meet with the DA's Office to see what recommendations they will make for our neighborhood. I love my neighborhood and most of my neighborhood, I am tired of these folks thinking that they own it and they can do what they please-whenever they please. I say we all come out in force on the 12th, and be ready to take back our streets.

Anonymous said...

So tired of this. These are the minority that ruin the name of PLG.

I wish this minority could be evicted. They have no place here.

Flatbush Atlantis said...

NYPD helicopters were flying super low over my neck of the woods (around Ocean and Church) earlier today (4 pm-ish) I guess it can't be related to this, but anyone know what was prompted the helicopters.

Anonymous said...

I was the one who said in the other post about Community Education. Is it worth it? Is it worth killing someone to go to prison and never have a quality life? Stop the stupid street fairs and use the money for educating people that they can have a future, some kind of empowerment fair instead. Get some ex-cons who turned their lives around to talk to these people, who have no regard for their own lives, so how can they have regard for anyone else's?

jade said...


Very depressing news! There must be something that we can do collectively to change things around. I feel like a hostage in my own neighborhood. I fear going outside after getting home from work…this is no way to leave.

Amy said...

A friend of mine was there. I heard it. I don't think anyone was hurt, but it was still scary.

Anonymous said...

PLG is becoming quite a bizarre place. It's like the crime has spiked alongside the gentrification. I've been here for 8 years - on Hawthorne. It was never this bad before. Usually you have an inverse - more newcomers, less crime. Here, it's been the polar opposite. I might need to move my white ass to Brownsville to flee the whites and the crime they attract. Just kidding. Sort of?

Anonymous said...

and any news?

Anonymous said...

Want the ugly truth? This will only get addressed when 26-year-old Kaitlyn from MInneapolis catches one in the face as opposed to 19-year-old LaNiqua. Save the reflexive faux outrage. That's just the reality of NYC media/crime/political mechanics.

Anonymous said...

I've lived on Hawthorne for 6 years. As far as I know there's been one single other shooting on the block, also in front of 75. That was about four years ago, a jealous boyfriend situation, and the guy was shot in the leg. The shooter was from another neighborhood and was quickly arrested. Anon at 9:42, this has got nothing to do with gentrification. It's about young men who are ignorant and violent and have too easy access to weapons. But hey! If you want to move to Brownsville, good luck. I'm staying here, and I'm going to this meeting with the DA and demand that the public be protected.

Anonymous said...

btw, anon 9:52, you really don't want to advise Kaitlyn to move back to Minneapolis. It has a violent crime rate about 50% higher than New York.

Anonymous said...

Uh oh Anon 9:52 PM, you are going to get flagged and reprimanded from the Sheriff of Iowa!!

Anonymous said...

I think Kanye West is Anon 9:52.

Anonymous said...

Saw the shooting and the shooter. Stocky darker skinned black man about mid to late 20s, shaved head, wearing black polo with white stripes, jeans, and white sneakers. Shot the gun, yelled at whoever he was shooting at, and casually walked up Hawthorne to Flatbush with the gun still visible in his hand as calmly as if he was going to buy some milk. Just because a person isn't running, doesn't mean they aren't dangerous so please watch out!

Pissed Off said...

Where the fuck are the cops? Why aren't they blanketing these troubled spots? What, Sunday's incident wasn't enough for them?

the bang gang said...

what i found even more outrageous as i walked to the entrance of my building where the cops were hanging out:

me: what happened? i live here
cop 1- bothered: just something
me: it doesn't look like just something, it looks like those paper cups are placed over shell casings
cop 1- disparagingly : no one was hurt
me: do we have to wait till someone is hurt?
cop 2- casually as if reading the phone book: we are looking for the shooter

I walked away because I am sure if I followed the thoughts in my head I would end up arrested. I do not appreciate the patronizing tone of these cops who simply try to pacify me (us) by sparing me the truth. DO NOT DOWNPLAY WHAT JUST HAPPENED!!

Residents know it and face it every day. About time we demand that law enforcement started to feel us. I am not some idiot who needs to look the other way content that no one was hurt.

turk473 said...

Anonymous 9:52 here. I've adopted a screen name so that there's some continuity to my posts from now on.

Black ghetto violence does not penetrate the consciousness of the power elite. And that includes the black power elite. Why? Because they hang out with the white power elite. In neighborhoods far far away from the grit and grime of PLG.

It's not a race thing.

This is America - it's a money thing.

Who owns the section 8 madhouses on Flatbush? Orthodox Jews who live dimensions away in Suffern and Monsey. Think Moses Fried. They don't care about the violence because their state checks get mailed every month no matter what. They have no incentive or desire to lobby Bloomberg or Ray Kelly or the media to better the conditions around their buildings. It's really not complicated.

Here's when action is taken in gentrifying neighborhoods - when there is new development. The big developers want their new condo and rental building investments protected. When you have enough money to put up a shimmering 20-story building that means you matter financially. That means you can get some ear or face time with Bloomberg or Kelly or their underlings. You see them at a cocktail party and you say look here Mike, I have 50 million invested in this place called PLG, call the precinct and clean that place up. That's hone things happen.

Anonymous said...

To anon at 10:00pm, there was a shooting on Hawthorne between Rogers and Nostrand a few months ago. I believe the man who was shot died on the scene.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

FYI, Turk473 is blazing a well-worn trail in the opposite direction from Owner. He's about to go ballistic on the Jews the way Owner goes off on the blacks. But, if he keeps his cool and recognizes that it's not just one ethnic group taking advantage of the inner city poor, he's actually articulating a very powerful message that I've come to believe is an essential part of the conversation about drugs, guns, development and law enforcement. I hope he can keep his hatred in check. I've gotta do some work now. Turk473, I'm rooting for you, I really am.

Anonymous said...

reading about the drug hotspots at Rays and various areas near Clarkson Flatbush and how they persist for many years with the cops saying they know about it and are watching the situation makes me think that there may be elements of some police corruption since they are never really dealt with !, like someone had mentioned in another recent shooting thread here, maybe there is a diplomatic way of raising this concern at the meeting with the DA on the 12th

Anonymous said...

11:06, I sincerely don't think this is about police corruption of the sort you're talking about. The dealers and thugs on the corners are small-timers. The cops aren't on the take from the gangs. They're overstretched, and in thrall to a compstat-driven culture that values numbers above almost every other form of policing. The cops are shift-workers from the suburbs, and they have no incentive to care more about the community than they are required. I'd like to see a program that incentivizes police to live in the communities they serve.

But given the fact that despite the recent spike in violence the cost of buying a house in PLG has increased 50% in the last couple of years, the odds of that ever happening are infinitesimal.

turk473 said...


The vast majority of street cops are low-rent white racists from Long Island and parts of Queens.

They see Brooklyn as a thug infested slum they are forced to engage to collect a meager paycheck. They see black people as perps. They hate the people they "protect" and vice versa.

They see the white people who live in these neighborhoods as silly liberals trying to sate some weird fetish by living in a minority neighborhood. They simply can't process why a white person would want to live in a place like PLG when they can be in Bensonhurst or Suffolk County with other whites. They see them as oddities - and thus dislike them.

Hence their generally unhelpful, curt, and ultimately condescending attitude towards everyone - black and white - in PLG.



Anonymous said...

Cannot wait for Hudson to put up their condo tower on Flatbush, hopefully that will " buy " our 'hood some cops!

turk473 said...

CFB - First of all I really respect what you do here. Simple as that. You care, and that's enough for me.

But in my own defense I must say that you might have jumped the gun a bit on characterizing my position on section 8 realities as "hate."

Sometimes facts are facts. I didn't disparage the folks who own these buildings - I just tried to explain there is scant effort to keep some of these Flatbush buildings and their environs free of vice and lunacy - it's simply because there is no economic incentive to do so. Some of these landlords haven't been to Brooklyn since before Do the Right Thing was in theaters.

That''s all. No intent to insult anyone, just laying out some economic realities of my beloved, crazed neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

If what turk is saying is true, then the only thing we can hope for is a mayor and new police commissioner and one that isn't a shell of Bloomberg.



Clarkson FlatBed said...

Okay, Turk. You won me over with the Do the Right Thing reference. And yes, many of the owners bought the buildings in the '70s and are hard to track down and have addresses in the places you'd expect.

There are different kinds of cops out there though. There are the "shift cops" and then there are the more dedicated lifers, who seem to have a better grasp of the dynamics at play. It's your tendency to paint everyone in broad strokes that troubles me. Plenty of cops get the City dialogue; they're just not likely the ones holding back a crowd of onlookers - those are the 20-and-out guys who say things like "move" when you ask what can be done about the gangs.

At least half of the detectives and narcotics officers I've spoken to in the last year have been black. I always ask cops where they live - it's a knee-jerk thing with me, for just the reason you describe. Frequently, the white guys are from Staten Island, it's true - the heads of the 70th and 71st, Rodriguez and Lewis for instance. But the answers have been remarkably varied all told. Just saying it's not completely monochromatic.

Anonymous said...

It's not comforting that sirens are being heard right now again in the nabe

Anonymous said...

First of all, I don't understand the people saying PLG is "crime-ridden" or whatever. As a whole, NYC is INCREDIBLY safe for a big city, and within NYC, PLG is not a bad area. Start on Flatbush and walk east if you want to find some bad areas. I grew up in Chicago, and I can point you to some really bad hoods there that nowhere in NYC matches up to.

Second, what can the police do? They proactively patrol, stopping and frisking, and they get sued. Load up police in a black neighborhood and get called racist. My gf heard the shots and police were on the scene in about 2 minutes. They have been quick in other situations, too. The people hating on police are some of the first to call them when stuff goes down. There are always bad apples who are racist, who are violent. The cop I spoke to today was very brief. Who knows? Maybe he was upset he was stuck at the scene while everyone else was out looking for the shooter. Hating on the NYPD as a whole doesn't really cut it for me.

Police departments are essentially reactionary solutions, and at that point whatever is done, is done. If we really want to make a lasting impact, we need to be proactive in dealing with education and poverty. Until then, realize this will happen every once in a while. If you don't like it, move to Westchester or pay extra taxes.

disco princess said...

Re:It's like the crime has spiked alongside the gentrification.

Ok, do you have any specific stats?

Re: If what turk is saying is true, then the only thing we can hope for is a mayor and new police commissioner and one that isn't a shell of Bloomberg.
Then not Christine Quinn.


Re:Police departments are essentially reactionary solutions, and at that point whatever is done, is done. If we really want to make a lasting impact, we need to be proactive in dealing with education and poverty. Until then, realize this will happen every once in a while. If you don't like it, move to Westchester or pay extra taxes.
I'm not sure what addressing education and poverty will do, but I agree with everything else here.

This neighborhood isn't perfect, and people should have realized that whenever they arrived. That said, I do believe that things have gotten better than they had in 80s and 90s.

Anonymous said...

I was so surprise to see police surrounding the first Hawthorne because its usually peaceful @ different times of the day/night when im passing through. When I walked pass around 7:30pm I was so surprise at the scenery. My lil daughter was so upset to see "The street with the pretty houses" surrounding by police

Anonymous said...

Was anyone hurt?
I live on Hawthorne and like Nadia I love most of my neighborhood.

Time for some serious evictions. This is a wonderful community with so much to offer - park, garden, museum, transit, groceries. Nice sized apts too.

That's why I came here.

the bang gang said...

I suspect they are still after the shooter as there was police presence on Hawthorne this morning. A patrol car parked right by the small church.

I left for work around 9:20 so wondering if they are still out there.

disco princess said...

Re: Time for some serious evictions. - First we have to identify who should be evicted. Then there is the actual evictions process (which should take a while).

The Snob said...

Tenant law is there for you when you need it, but it's also there for lowlifes that a building is better without. It takes a very long time, and money, to evict even the worst tenants. And then they can just come back and stay with another family member. I think jail is more expedient!

Clarkson FlatBed said...

But Snob, I will tell you for a fact, in the case of my block, that the guys going to jail are not the ones on the lease. Meaning you send a guy or two to jail you're not eliminating a problem; it's a total temporary solution. And if the guys come back without any means of rehabilitation, it can sometimes get worse. 35 Clarkson did finally evict a leaseholder through "nuisance abatement," which I know nothing about. The managing agent asked me to come down and testify against the family, which I was happy to do, and Mrs. Q said "not on your life." I did tell them we could get the block association to sign something and send it to the judge though.

There's got to be some engagement of the young guys. It's working elsewhere. I'm not saying you, Snob, or me, but maybe there is a way for us to start working WITH rather than be scared all the time. And I was talking to guy at breakfast who DOES engage with guys on the street. I'll write more about him and a program that's working in Brownsville later.

By the way, C.O.P. program - the neighborhood watch where you drive around in a precinct provided program - has a mandatory meeting to get certified on the 18th. More info coming here soon. Mark your calendars. I often think of our grandparents generation and how they were willing to sacrifice their lives for democracy. I think I can handle driving around in a cop car taking notes. No one has been killed in the C.O.P. program doing that, or even roughed up. So if you're interested in wearing a cool jacket and getting a set of keys and partner and time, I dunno, once a month? I think it sounds like one more thing we can do to start getting a system of neighborhood watches happening. And did I mention the jacket?

Outside the Historic District said...

I found this post on the NY Times on the recent violence to be very annoying as I live in the neighborhood but not in the ' Historic District' in an apartment.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/nyregion/prospect-lefferts-gardens-unruffled-by-nearby-shootings.html?ref=jdavidgoodman

The article suggests that the historic district is an oasis of beauty and calm and unity but that just outside of it is where the undesirables live in a run down area where 'anything' can happen.

To quote:
" Several people pointed out that in New York City, the difference between a treacherous and a tranquil neighborhood can be a matter of a block or two, and that Sunday’s shooting of three people occurred on Lenox Road, one block south of the neighborhood’s traditional southern boundary. Referring to one of the signature blocks, Bill Sheppard, a senior vice president for the real estate firm Brown Harris Stevens who lives in the neighborhood, said, “If this were happening on Maple Street, that would raise a few eyebrows, but it’s just outside.”

HELLO -- shooting outside LPT, Sterling and Hawthorne within 6 months!

While the historic district is beautiful and tree lined etc. etc., the rest of the neighborhood has a solid and beautiful multi-family building stock and if anything is getting more economically and culturally diverse than the insular historic district.

I would love it if the Q would address this PLG historic district elitism more. The people who live outside that bubble matter too!

disco princess said...

Re: And then they can just come back and stay with another family member. I think jail is more expedient!
This is true. Would you want a potentially innocent family member to be evicted because of a rabblerouser? What is it's someone's grandmother? Someone mentioned this point at a tenants' association meeting for my building recently.

The Snob said...

That Times article was pretty obnoxious -- but in keeping with real-estate obsessed NY. On the balance, I'll take it over "PLG Is BURNING" coverage.

Tim, more info on the COP training. The Snob loves a new jacket!

Anonymous said...

I've heard on the grapevine that it was not a shooting on Hawthorne, but a fight/argument. If that's true would as many people feel so uneasy about recent events? Is anyone able to corroborate this?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Huh? That's a joke, right? Not only was I told it was a shooting by the precinct, but a good friend hit the deck when she heard the shots. And another friend heard the shots from outside her window.

And yes, it most definitely was a fight/argument. The kind that ends in one person pulling a gun on another and then pulling the trigger.

Anonymous said...

You can't really say it was 'definitely' a shooting unless you saw it. And if the police told you so three days ago then could it be possible that the story has changed? Did the police confirm how many shell casings were recovered from the street? I only inquired if it were true, I didn't mean to cast any aspersions on your reporting, which incidentally is second to none.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:43, you make no sense. Do you think Q's two friends who heard the shots made a mistake and heard fireworks instead? Just because one doesn't actually witness an incident, doesn't mean the incident didn't happen. What is your point, exactly?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

More than two. Plus a long conversation with Lewis...he had multiple reports from witnesses. I only reported it because two people I know and trust told me within minutes of each other. Not nervous nellies either. And frankly, it's pretty insulting to use an anonymous name and cite the "grapevine" to discount what's been said here. If I were one of the many people shaken up by the shooting I'd be pissed as hell right now, but hopefully they're getting a good night sleep. Of all the nerve...

MadMommaCarmen said...

Dear Anonymous,

Kindly go back to the grapevine and pass along this message for me:

It was a shooting. Two shots fired at around 7:30pm near 75 Hawthorne. I know the difference between gunshots and fireworks. Growing up in the south Bronx at the height of the crack epidemic will teach you a thing or two about guns and the sound they make when they're shot right outside your window.

This clarification is important because calling it an "argument" once again makes excuses for stupid behavior. Its like that lady on my block who's son is an accessory to murder. She wishes the police would leave her "good" son alone, that he "ain't do nothin".

Uh huh...keep believing that and let me know how far that gets you in solving our community's real problems.

Anonymous said...

I actually was speaking with the block association president about the block party in September and ordering to shirts for everyone when we saw the gunman pass with his silver pistol in his right hand. That's when we ran for cover and took cover behind a van. It was a shooting. Some of the comments here are flat out disturbing. As someone who grew up in this neighborhood and watched the white people who couldn't afford Park Slope and Prospect Heights flood in...some of the elitism and entitlement written here is just plain disgusting.