Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city should have moved more quickly to install security cameras in public housing buildings after a fatal stabbing in Brooklyn. Had the cameras been in place, police might have been able to quickly identify the man who attacked two young children in East New York. Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Two young children were stabbed in an elevator in a public housing development in East New York. A 6-year-old boy, Prince Joshua Avitto, was killed. A 7-year-old girl, Mikayla Capers, was badly injured. But no images of the suspect were caught on security cameras because there were none in place.
The lack of cameras is not due to a lack of funding. The city had already set aside $27 million for additional public housing security measures, including more cameras.
Mayor Bill de Blasio blames an "unacceptable bureaucracy" for the delay in installing the cameras. He says his own administration should have done more to speed things up.
“The previous dynamic was unacceptable and we didn't change it quickly enough. And we now, I think everyone up and down the food chain knows that’s unacceptable to me. The buck stops with me. And I have ordered all these cameras put in place this year, “ said de Blasio.
The mayor says new security cameras would be installed in 49 public housing developments. He says the city will also focus on boosting security by fixing doors and improving intercom systems.
The city's new public housing chairwoman, Shola Olatoye, testified before the City Council, facing tough questions from elected officials about a recent rise in crime in public housing developments.
“How much violence has to occur before we being to address the widespread plea for greater security, for greater cameras?” said Bronx Councilman Ritchie Torres.
Earlier in the day, the mayor was in East New York, but he did not visit the public housing development where the stabbing took place.
Instead, he spoke at a graduation ceremony for 286 probationary firefighters at the Christian Cultural Center. The site of the stabbing was less than a mile away.