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I will not be in New York City on Saturday when our residents gather to protest the death of Eric Garner and NYPD's policing strategies. Will I be watching a scene play out similar to Ferguson, Missouri? I don't think so. I'm hoping for cooler heads and thoughtful dialogue. Let's hope I'm right.
More than a dozen people were shot this weekend in the five boroughs, two fatally. The violence added to the rising number of shootings in New York, despite numerous efforts by the NYPD to combat the use of illegal guns. Police have increased the number of patrol officers and community-based violence interrupters in high-crime areas this summer.
The violence comes as police-involved incidents continue to make headlines. This afternoon, a march from One Police Plaza to City Hall is being held to bring attention to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the death of Eric Garner on Staten Island. And in Queens tonight, organizers are meeting to discuss plans for this Saturday's rally at the scene where Garner died.
Are efforts to curb violence in New York City working? With shootings up, but major crime down over all, how safe do you feel this summer? Do you plan on attending Saturday's rally in honor of Eric Garner? What's your reaction to the continued violence in Ferguson, Missouri? Will the National Guard be able to restore calm there?
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I'm going to try and attend the rally for Mr Garner this weekend, i use a walker but i'm able to travel to Staten Island but my home attendant might not be able to travel to Staten Island and i don't want to get her in trouble with her job. My reaction to the violence in Ferguson is people are mad because the cop shot him so many times and 2 times in the head when he had no weapon that's MURDER just like with the Garner case #99 knew the chokehold wasn't supposed to be used but he did it anyway, when he said he couldn't breathe the EMT's did nothing to help him they all should be charged with murder and put in jail for life. I don't think the National Guard would be able to restore calm until the people in the minority communities get justice, Racism have to stop its 2014
In spite of so called cosmetic changes crime will increase in New York unless they go back the old stop and frisk method with major improvements used in the past, in my neighbouhood Sunnyside I do not see one cop on foot no interaction with public, sirens police flashers unnecessary part of the area, on occasssion cops pull over and stop and Question a driver, that is it I want them get out they cars and communicate with the public, rather then hiding cowardly in they car.
Joco from Sunnyside
My answer is blame it on the politicians who handcuff the police, i.e., Williams, Rose, The city council speaker.
Concerning the dozen shooting victims, what did Mr. De Blasio and company think would happen when stop, question, and frisk was cut back to a minimum?
The so-called activists in these communities and the mayor have no one to blame but themselves. And they have no reason to complain -- they got what they wanted, and now they can live with it (and, in some instances, probably die with it).
By cutting back on stop, question, and frisk, the mayor essentially did for various high-crime neighborhoods what Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama did in Iraq and Afghanistan, freeing the populace from "oppression." And as it turns out, in those high crime neighborhoods, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, a significant number of people are prepared to use that freedom to kill each other at the drop of a hat.
But never let anyone say that Al Sharpton and company aren't focused -- a dozen minority citizens, mostly African-Americans, were shot by other citizens who were themselves, mostly, if not entirely, African-American -- but ol' Al and the professional protesters in this city are pulling out the stops screaming about how the police are still the problem.
I say give these activists what they want, and let the body counts rise in their neighborhoods -- let the shootings and the deaths mount up till the citizens there wake up and start screaming for the heads of the liberals and the professional activists who brought them this disaster. Then we might see some long-term change and solutions (though it's not likely to come from this mayor -- Sharpton's got him by the balls).
Upper West Side
I repeat what others have said over recent years. We need more cops on the streets and in neighborhoods where violence is a frequent occurrence. But I also think that the lack of jobs and the lack of citizen schooling are factors.
Port Richmond, SI
This video shown of this young boy that looked about 13 years old was ready to shoot. He just took the weapon out of the pocket and turned and fired. If he was stopped what would have happened to him? Where would he end up. Would he get a free pass. How often has he done something like this? Why do they continue to allow people to have these block parties when most of them end up in tragedy. Also why were the centers allowed to be opened until 11:00 PM. At 9:00 PM everyone should be at home and if they don't get a handle on all of this then they must agree one way or another for a curfew. Give it a try. Anyone found outside should be escorted home to find out why they are still outside. So if they are innocent and they have a civilized dialogue with the police then there should be no problem.
I believe that all of these marches don't do any thing for the cause. Sharpton and whom ever else is involved with him are concentrating on Jefferson. By doing this all they accomplish is nothing at all. It's become a 3 ring circus with 3 different venues of marchers going on. [POLICE PLAZA, JEFFERSON AND STATEN ISLAND]. What are they accomplishing? Absolutely nothing at all. They are all there for the ops attention. The National Guard should be respected because they will there for one reason and one reason only and that is to restore law and order. There will be no negotiating with the Guard. If they tell you to break it up and move on then they will have to abide by their orders.
Thank you John,
To all those who wanted to end 'Stop & Frisk', be careful what you wish for!
Debbie from Whitestone
Thanks again! I appreciate your level responses and requests for solutions from your First Word guests!!! John where is it written because I have no job I should commit a crime. This situation is multipronged and deserves the same in response. As such humans have a responsibility to themselves and society. When are your guests and callers going to acknowledge this fact. PC Bratton has been clear (overall) police respond to behavior.
Yes, tragic events in Staten Island and Mo. however riots are non productive and as President Obama shared "undermine the justice system".
From Michelle in Crown Heights
I think the federal government was quicker to intervene in the death of michael brown and not eric gardener's because the reaction to the deaths was totally different. Ny was more passive,and missouri was more outraged
From: Michael, Jamaica, NY. As i watch the video of what is happening in Missouri, it is disturbing to watch to be honest with you. Protesters and thugs throwing rocks and looting in the streets on almost an everyday basis. But what also doesn't help are the police throwing tear gas into the crowd, which in my view only makes the protesters angrier. Obviously, we need to have some measure of peace and calm to the town of Ferguson, Missouri. I'm just not sure the national guard showing it's presence in the area will help to bring that sense of calm. For the record, i will not be attending the Eric Garner rally on Saturday.
I agree with your caller Rachel from Canarsie.......when there are black on black shootings, you don't hear from Al Sharpton. Why is that?!?!
Susan from Flushing
I agree with the last caller... why is that blacks destroy their own communities and kill each other everyday? but no one is protesting this. I lived in East New York for a short time and saw it everyday. They are just hypocrites that need to blame other for their own dismay. The black community needs to stand up and take responsibility for their actions. We are defending two criminals - are you kidding me... what are we teaching out children?
Omg, im getting ready for work listening to your show, and John.. the caller Rachel is correct. These congress men and politians are frauds and double agents, in my opinion. When blacks kill other blacks, where are the protests??? This shows how the majority of the world have their eyes wide shut and it is very disgusting to me. I do believe that ANY nypd officer should be punished to the fullest extent of the law when they turn into lawbreakers. Wake up, people.
I would just like to say that I believe it's a blame game I think the justice system will blame society and society will blame the justice system . But what it comes down to is in order for change everyone needs to change the system of things need to change. I personally think a great idea toward peace between the law inforcement and society is to not have cops go to random neoghborhoods they barely know anything about, but rather routine patrol maybe if the community were to see the same faces protecting their streets it would build closer bonds between police and civilians. We all need to change it is not only a black and white issue it's not only a New York police dept issue it involves every race every age every sex.
angelina im from parkslope bk,
There were 22 shootings this weekend alone, and countless others in the past. None involving the police or white person shooting a black person. Why is there outrage about these events. We are killing our own people it seems on a daily and nightly basis and yet there is no outrage like what we see now. Does this mean that we are telling our children that it is acceptable? We need to stop killing our own people
I lived through the era of the civil rights movement. I plan to attend the rally Saturday. I’ll take the subway downtown, then the ferry, then walk to the rally. We should protest these related abuses: The killings of both Garner and Brown and the abuse by guards in city jails. And the Brooklyn DA’s wrongful convictions.
Meredith in Manhattan.
I don't want to sound as if I am minimizing the officers role in any of these situations, they are totally wrong. However there will not be any change unless an officer that is approaching a individual feels that their livelihood is being threatened. Meaning a officer will think twice about horrassing or profiling someone if they feel there job or pay is in jeopardy. We as Black men have to learn that we can't fight them in the street, it is a lose lose situation. Allow them to horass you take down their name and badge number and file a complaint. This is a situation where the pen can be mighty than the sword. With that being said the authorities that govern the police have to take action when they see a certain amount of complaints. Please young men of color file these complaints. You see what us coming out and voting did. Even if this action does not bear any results it will keep YOU ALIVE!
It's illegal to search for drugs. And Eric Garner was not resisting arrest.
The police are another arm of the militia. They are charged with the duty to defend and protect. They have every right to take steps necessary to control an out-of-control mob.
Why is it the white cop always shoot the color people only if they have to pay the lawsuits then they will hold trigger
Im hurt that the people can't trust the police to protect them anymore. The police can't just kill someone and expect to pay their family off for the wrong they have done . No amount of money will bring them back. We need to stand up for one another And understand that life isn't replaceable. Lets take a trip back in time aug 19, 1991 how is it that a Jewish man hit a guyanese kid and an ambulance comes and takes the man to the hospital and leave the kid in the street it always have been racism around and our unheard voices leads to riots you can't just disrespect someone and expect it to be ok just like the riot crown heights had in 1991 people demand respect and will fight to maintain it
The caller should understand that people are not just protesting for Michael Brown. It’s about Rodney King to Emmett Till (who was not murdered by a police officer, but the judicial system let the the assailants go free).
I echo the sentiment of your prior caller Rachel from Canarsie. In the U.S., the vast majority of violent crimes and murders against African Americans males are committed at the hands of other African Americans males (NOT the police). This does not excuse the police from supposed acts of violence against those in the black community. But so-called leaders such as Al Sharpton should venture to be philosophically consistent. Where is their outrage and conviction when hundreds of black men shoot each other to death on a near daily basis? Race hustlers like Al Sharpton make a living out of keeping racial tensions high.
Josh from Astoria
What happened to Eric Gardner is a tragedy, and most likely criminal in some form.
And for the record the police do ‘Protect and Serve’…..Themselves! Because the only way I can tell the difference between the UFT and the NYPD is that the NYPD carry guns.
I commend the African-American community of Ferguson I think that it's time that we take a stand against this type of police brutality we need to send a message that these police officers cannot continue to shoot us in the back and get away with it this is a staple within the American society to kill black man and walk
Are the police serious?Citizens must be obedient , submissive , and passive when the police accost them? Law abiding tax paying citizens? Ultimately, the police are citizens as everyone else. They chose to perform a job and swear to adhere to the policy of the dept.... period. No one granted them special citizenship where they can confront ordinary citizens without provocation., If they don't like it, then find another job....
When did resisting arrest become an acceptable practice? This march is a joke , because it's being led by a " race baiting" , hate spewing , opportunist ! How about the black community come with some REAL leaders with REAL solutions ? If crime were up in my neighborhood, I'd gladly welcome a police presence ! The communities of color need to work WITH the police ( and vice - versa ) to make these neighborhoods safe for EVERYONE!!!!
People need to police their own neighborhoods and not depend on the possible rogue cop. BTW there isn't a community leader for black people, is there one for white people?
Yes it is sad & Tragic that Mr. Garner died, but lets not mistakenly blame anyone for a crime. What I saw were Police Officers making an arrest, which we as a society want them to do, instead of walking away. Were tactics, and procedures applied improperly, I don't know. As a City we should allow our system to investigate, and handle this incident. Because the last thing I think we want is to start viciously scapegoating Police for doing their job.
Throwing firebombs is not a legitimate form of protest. It's arson. The police have not only the right but the obligation to deter that kind of behavior with deadly force if necessary.
John from Astoria
According to tweets from citizens of Ferguson, there is a small number of people looting. The protesters are peaceful. Last night's protest was peaceful until the police started using that gas at them BEFORE the curfew. This is never stated on the news, just selected footage to show the protesters in a bad light. Never how it started. This leads viewers to believe everyone is doing nothing but rioting and looting. Everyone wants to talk about what the victim should've done, What the citizens should do, but not how the police officers view people of color and how the police dept. should make changes.
Rhonda from Brooklyn
I can't wait for the rally! I'm looking forward to people seeing the dump that Tompkinsville has become by the "low level offenses" that black community activists don't want enforced anymore.
No rally will help to serve a community that has high crime with residents (whatever race) looking to resist the right way to live. A crime is a crime with a punishment no matter how menial the crime. The right way to live is to rid the streets with guns, drugs and delinquents. Why aren't community leaders working with residents and police to solve these problems? Why do they only show up when there is a TV publicity moment?
I would like to remind Rachel and a few other callers that there has been many marches and community outrage over gun violence. Lead also by parents of slain children. Remember there is also the James Davis' Stop the Violence organization in Brooklyn.
It is Police brutality that must end = justice