Thursday, December 18, 2014

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The Call Blog: A Call For Security Cameras After Fatal Stabbing

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Some stories will stay with me when I leave the news business. This is one of them. Mostly because it's not just a story. It's a reality. A sickening reality of the world we live in. I'm thoroughly disgusted and thoroughly saddened.

Police are looking for a man who followed two children into an elevator yesterday and attacked them. The man stabbed a six-year-old to death and left a seven-year-old in critical condition in what appears to be a random act of violence. The horrific scene played out inside the New York City Housing Authority's Boulevard Houses in East New York, Brooklyn.

At a rally this morning, residents called on NYCHA to install surveillance cameras in the development. Crime is on the rise at NYCHA properties, especially in Brooklyn. The borough's president, Eric Adams, said today security cameras are needed throughout public housing to deter crimes and help detectives solve them. What do you say?

What's your reaction to the fatal stabbing in Brooklyn yesterday? Do you welcome more surveillance cameras in your neighborhood? If you live in a NYCHA property, how safe do you feel? What additional security or policing measures do you want to see in New York City?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

The cameras are being brought in and installed now at Boulevard hses. immediately . If you can bring them in now and nycha had them along what took so long. As usual wait until a tragedy than they move. The housing and mta police should never have been combined. We should look into having separate housing and mta police again. Giuliani came in and changed this and it was a disaster.


East New York is one of the highest crime neighborhoods in the city. We have several NYCHA housing as well as high rise developments like Starrett City. There are NO working cameras! They are all for show! There should even be cameras on the street lights, to see assailants if they are trying to escape. We have several schools and children coming into high rise buildings and they are not safe! Where are our elected officials and why are they letting a tragedy like this making them have to answer! We are very scared and our children are terrified! We are human beings too... The entire city should be in an uproar about this.

Jackie, East New York Resident

No amount of security cameras nor the addition of more police is going to solve violent crime in NYCHA developments until NYCHA addresses the problems. And that is to evict problem tenants and their equally disruptive families, as well as not taking in the homeless, most of whom are homeless by choices of their own making(lifestyle habits), that lead to their homelessness and evicting so-called "formerly" homeless, who are also part of the problem, because they still engage in activities that produce problems that lead to incidents like this.

Until they take this approach and take action, expect to see more of these violent crimes increase in NYCHA developments.

East Williamsburg

I live in a NYCHA (Frederick E. Samuel Apartments) in Manhattan and the crime that goes on here is staggering. I am a hard working parent who is trying to do the best she can to raise her child in a safe environment but I am afraid because I don't know when the shooting will start over a drug deal gone wrong and there are dealers living in and selling out of the apartments. I have called both the police and main management office to complain but to no avail, no steps to removing the issue have been taken.

I believe cameras in the hallways would be a great start to gaining some semblance of control in the housing system because it would at least be a step in taking back the safety of the buildings.


There are some very ignorant people saying cameras can't be corrupted but cops can. When we have the technology to have a camera stop a stabbing maybe that statement will be valid. As it is I live in a NYCHA development and a few years ago a high school senior was shot to death and the wanted posters for her killers were defaced so you couldn't see their faces. Yet whenever there are protests against Stop & Frisk those posters are left untouched. Let's stop blaming the cops for the fact it's our residents killing each other and cooperate with them to stop these violent people. I agree with Jamella earlier that we need principles instilled within our young people.

Morningside Heights


I come from a time (as a child of the 80s) when I lived in a 22-story apartment building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and NEVER faced such atrocities. Cameras weren't a thought in my building, and though there was ground-floor security, I had the security of knowing the majority of my neighbors. There is nothing that I or any other person can say to return the young lives lost in these senseless acts...that is a fact. It is criminal that there are those who continue to overlook the lost sense of community that has been non-existent for far too long. It's time to renew "community"...ASAP! The time has come that WE ALL put our hands into making efforts to regain and renew our communities, and live again for the sake of community.

My condolences to each and every family who has lost a loved one, no matter how.


As many cameras as this city has, what has stopped crime from occurring? We need to boost security systems within our public housing community, with hourly floor checks and up keeping a neighborhood that will allow these people to feel worthy. Why aren't there any community worthy programs that will attract and keep these families coming back for more?

Jay H.

I say make an example! New York needs to bring the electric chair here and make an example maybe these thugs will wake up and stop all this violence!

Carolyn From Upper West Side

please send your crew around the South Bronx and Harlem subway stations. You can see Police Officers glued to their smart phones while crime happens all around them. Then they over react to relatively petty things and humiliate young men. Very poor training and supervision. Please do something but without being obvious folks.


We need security cameras in NYCHA developments and other security measures to protect people in high crime neighborhoods. However, there is a correlation between high crime neighborhoods and failing schools, poverty, lack of mental health treatment, medical care and other unmet psycho-social needs. We have to put in place social services and social activities to give young people better options on how to spend their time and present them with alternative opportunities to crime. Additionally, we have to invest in economic development in these communities - no jobs or low paying jobs lead to fast money such as selling drugs. We have to do better by our children and the people who live in these communities.

Victor from Morrisania, Bronx

I believe that the whole thing with putting an end to stop and frisk certainly will play a part in the destruction of urban America. Big mistake.


If you really want to change the mindset of the youth.. You attack what brings them to similar interest, which is the media as a whole. What is being portrayed is what is being acted out upon. We need to raise our children as a village, and attack the roots before grabbing the bull by the horns.


I was a Sergeant in the Marines and a solution could be using roving police officers and a desk officer to check people in and out of the projects. Also putting up trespassing signs altos police who have worked the area and know the people to stop people who aren't from the and issue them a trespassing summons. There are so many tools to be used we need to deploy all of them and see what works the best. Also keeping the community unloved is a deciding factor.


manpower it's all about manpower create jobs give people the opportunity to protect the neighborhood they're building a home prevent what's going to happen not deal with it after the fact


The presence of police in every public housing building especially the elevators. Cameras detects after the crime has happened, with actual police presence the perpetrators might think twice. Like someone said earlier assign cops just for these buildings.

Bedford Stuyvesant

It's an tragedy that young angel lost his life . The NYPD needs to get their priorities straight instead of setting up BS stings to collect over easy over time they should be PROTECTING not wasting tax payer money The police was cracking down giving over 4500 tickets where were they ?


This news is disturbing, just as disturbing as thousands of other deaths and crimes that happen through out the city all the time. Cameras only help after the fact, and while I am not against a more cameras, the real solution starts at home, schools, and within our city council. As a society we need to start getting kids on a road to success. We need to break up gangs that rule the streets and better the education system so our young people have hope, goals, and the tools to have a better future and have respect for one another and life. We also need to get weapons off the streets, and get gun laws changed. We also need to get police officers out from behind desks, and off useless traffic patrol in midtown and into the desperate areas in housing developments and other high crime areas. Real change run deeper then cameras. It begins with teaching respect.

Katie in Brooklyn

My heart goes out to the families of this atrocious crime.

Cameras and security patrols can deter and are extremely helpful after the fact to solve crimes. Clearly this man who stabbed these two beautiful children is a lunatic and nobody can doubt that he has a history of mental illness. Once that comes out, the families should sue the mental institution or hospital that let this guy out.

What nobody wants to talk about is that the mentally ill, when not walking among us, are in prisons because mental institutions were closed.

from Manhattan

Dear John,

I once lived in the South Bronx from 1995 to 2009 across the street from NYCHA projects, and people were using the Emergency Fire Exits to enter and leave the buildings at any day and time. Reporting this to the city was a waste of time because nothing was done to improve the safety.

Staten Island, New York

Shame on police commissioner... Statistics of 4 months are not enough to establish a trend... How about weather... A hard winter as compare to 2013 affected commerce... Do extreme weather conditions affect crime? Stop and frisk although questionable due to its bias however most crimes are commited in areas wher ethnicity and poverty are correlated... So the bias as racist as it is, still is the reality of our society.. Extinguish the social economic bias and you will reduce the rest.. I am from South America and believe me I embrace all races


It is horrible what happened to these two young children and i feel for their families. I have lived in public housing since 1963. The worst that city did was remove Housing Police Office from the individual housing complexes. As a young child through my 20s there were always officers in the complex. We knew each officer and they new all or most of the tenants in the 4 buildings. It was community policing at it's best. Had they never taken that away public housing would still be a safe environment. But aside from that, although I feel for the parents of these two children, WHY were such young children playing outside or riding the elevators unaccompanied by an adult. My mother never let me out alone until i was in my mid teens and i raised my own the same way. Many parents today do not think before letting their children out.


There should be 24 hr police presence in every public housing building especially the elevator.


Something needs to be done about the young people who sit outside all day & night. They crowd on the stoops & benches. Idle minds & hands will cause problems!

Red Hook West

I'm so sad to say this but why was a 6 and 7 year old alone without supervision?

My heart is crying.

This is a tragedy. However, where is the call and outrage and the campaign to ban all knives. Three students in California were killed with a knife as were these two young New Yorkers. Should we confiscate all them from America’s kitchens. No of course not. Wake up America, it is people who kill people, not knifes, and not guns. *** We do not need more cameras they do not prevent crime. ****We must have a return to the cop on the beat, and get their asses out of the car walking around, not standing around, with their eyes and hears on the ‘street’ !!!

God bless the victims. Get well soon.


Do not let children ride elevators by themselves. They cannot judge good vs. bad people. With perverts, criminals, etc. all around us, it's too risky to let children travel around without supervision.

Ramona, Clinton Hills

Hi John;

2 kids are dead and one little girl is fighting for her life. I don't get why the new administration has to remind us how crime is down since this time last year. These particular crimes make me sick to my stomach. Cameras can be broken; we need to assign more police officers on foot patrol in every housing development in NYC. Let's hire more officers and assign them to the projects.

Midtown East


The long term solution to the crime problem in the black community is not more police, marches,or more cameras. The solution is to declare thousands of young men of color,societally and psychologically dysfunctional and get them the psychological recources that they desperately need. The problem is psychological and you must try to change the value system of these young men and you can do this if the elected officials at the federal, state and local levels start dealing with reality.


The cameras will help AFTER a crime is committed. Here in Woodside Houses our management office can't event fix the light outside of our building. Our disabled seniors cannot leave or enter the building because they can't see where to put their keys into. Our young are in danger because with no lights its a haven for sexual predators and the like. NYC Housing has cameras for nothing. No one looks at them. We have a homeless person living in our stairhalls who pees in our elevator on a daily basis. We have pitbulls running around after 7:00 pm without a leash. Our address is 50-28 31 avenue. Woodside New York.

Help us by getting this message to the Corporate offices of Nycha.


My name is Marisol and I live in flushing queens ,I believe that there is a desperate need for more cameras in all areas of NY is a shame that our kids have to be victims to these crimes ,there is not enough being done .just last week my sons school was threaten 3 times we dont have not one camera and is sad that in this world we live in we have to wait for something horrible to happen to actually do something about it.Yes camera doesn't stop crime but it gives us justice and peace of mind and believe it or not it makes criminals think twice before committing a crime. My heart goes out to the families of the children that were hurt in Brooklyn ,may God bring peace to their hearts

My heart goes out to the family and friends of the kids in the stabbing incident. I am for stop and frisk. Cameras don't seem to deter crime when it comes to hardened criminals or criminals with psychiatric issues . I'm sorry, if you look suspicious or act suspicious you should be stopped and questioned .

Isabella / Cambria Heights NY

Bring back the housing police. What happened to them? Does anyone monitor the cameras that are in the buildings and elevators? Bring back the tenant patrols, which we now call Resident Watch, stop cutting the funding.


I strongly believe that cameras should be installed on public streets as a mean to not only deter crimes, but to also alert the public of criminal activities.

Also the government and the employees of the public housing look down on people who live in those places and don't provide them with the safety and services they deserve.

East Flatbush



Crime is on the rise cause the mayor stop the "stop & frisk" system, I need the mayor out and someone in there that makes the stop & frisk system vibrant !


Hello John & NY1,

I welcome surveillance cameras on every block in N.Y. I try not get angry or emotional, but when I heard this report on the news, I cried. I really hope NYPD tracks this animal down and put him under the jail.



I don't believe security cameras should point onto private property without permission of the owner. NYCHA houses are owned by the people via the government and is responsible for maintaining the residents' safety. So, yes, install the cameras if it can be proven that they work and don't infringe on other's rights.

Port Richmond, SI

Gun and knife attacks are up especially most recently in Brooklyn. Now let me get this straight was Stop and Frisk a bad idea ? I don't think so.

Glen Oaks Village, N.Y.

Being that there wasn't any rational reason behind the stabbing of two innocent children, this sorry excuse of a man should be punished to the highest extent of the law. It's sad to see lives taken away before they even began.

Amanda from Queens

This barbaric attack on two innocent children should be a wake-up call to parents to never leave their children unattended ever.

Bay Ridge

Hi John,

First of all this person is a coward to do this horrific act of violence but there are no words to explain how do you do this to two defenseless children. I understand they were just going out to buy some ice cream or ices. Poor little things could never have believed what a joyous trip to buy goodies would turn into such a tragedy. These projects have been overlooked or more like ignored far to long. The problem just get worse instead of better. There is no light at he end of the tunnel as far as repairs and most of all security. The cameras will definitely help but I really believe that the reinstatement of The Housing Police Force should be a seriously consideration.

John: You have tackled this subject many times and some of the callers suggested that the law enforcement officers should be able to question people roaming the halls for weapons of any kind at all. Tenants that reside in the NYCHA houses know very well what is happening within the buildings. They have admitted when they have called your show that they are fearful of the situation.

Thank you John,

Hi John

First i would like to send my condolences to the family, when i heard about that on ny1 tears came to my eyes it's so sad when kids get hurt or worse due to stupidity. NYCHA should have security cameras in all of their buildings and the NYPD should do a walk through in all of the buildings. I hope Comissoner Bratton add more cops to the NYCHA buildings because the summer is coming and the kids will be out of school, parents need to be with their kids espically when they're six and seven that's to young to be riding in the elevator by themselves anything can happen


This tragedy focuses on a long-neglected need. But sure as God made little green apples, there will be some pointy-headed civil libertarian out there screaming about how we're infringing on the right to privacy of the poor if such cameras as installed.

Upper West Side

30 yrs ago my mother was stabbed to death in the stairwell in NYCHA in Spanish Harlem. There weren't any camera's then nor locked front doors and here we are decades later and the situation is still the same, so beyond disgusting. The blantent lack of care, concern and safety is atrocious on so many levels and should be addressed and resolved immediately. These babies that suffered such a tremendous savagery should not have been the green light for NYCHA to get the job done.

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