Brooklynites who witness gunplay must be willing to report what they saw to police in order to stem the tide of gun violence in the borough, said a group of pols and gun-control activists rallying on the steps of Borough Hall on Tuesday.
“We all of us have a responsibility to stand up and demand that we stop the violence in our streets, in our homes, on our blocks, and stop the senseless shooting of black men by other black men,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “Snitching should be a pride of honor. Stand up and snitch, and protect your grandmothers, your mothers, your community.”
James, along with Borough President Adams and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D–Williamsburg) stood outside Borough Hall before an open coffin containing photos of murder victims and a body-length mirror.
The two rallies came in response to several high-profile shootings that have rocked the borough in the past week, including a drive-by shooting that injured five — including a pregnant woman — in Red Hook on Monday night, and shooting outside a party in East New York that wounded nine.
There were 12 shootings in Brooklyn between July 27 and Aug 2. leaving 24 wounded and one man, shot multiple times in Gowanus, dead, according to police. That doesn’t include the Red Hook drive-by or a shooting in Gowanus on Monday morning that wounded a 20-year-old man, but it is a drop in shootings from the same time period in 2014, when there were 15 shootings, according to police. More people have been wounded in that time span this year however, up from 17 in 2014, police said.
Shootings in Brooklyn are down overall compared to this time last year, with 280 that wounded 335, compared to 295 shootings in 2014 that injured 349, according to police data. The murder rate has edged up slightly, however, with 71 murders in 2015 compared to 62 at this time last year.
But even with that slight dip in violence, any gunplay is too much, according to Adams, a former cop, who says we can’t go back to the bad old days.
“If we get jaded, we tend to believe that this is the normal way of life,” Adams said. “I remember from my police days when parents used to go through these drills of teaching their kids to duck to the ground when they hear shots. I don’t want to return to that life.”