NEW YORK (PIX11) – New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams has seen enough.
“This pandemic, this public health crisis is not something that is being ignored, it is not something that we are going accept as normal.”
Williams shared his comments with PIX11 News on the steps of City Hall, after a wave of violence on city streets over the previous 72 hours made a new call for action inevitable as the number of shootings kept ticking upwards
“Throughout the weekend, I was getting reports and the number just kept on going up and going up. Then there was a double-shooting in my district that hyped it up again.”
Over the weekend, 21 were people shot, 19 in the boroughs of Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan. Four people died as a result.
Overall, Councilman Williams feels this isn’t simply a New York centric issue. It is one being played out in cities like DC, Chicago as well as Detroit and ultimately it’s the responsibility of the nation to battle this. “As a nation we have to confront this head on and as a nation we have been doing a poor job so far.”
At the same time that the NYPD was graduating 600 more cops to the streets, Councilman Williams launched the National Network Against Gun Violence.
One of those in attendance was Eric Cliette, who was there because, “Children dying unnecessarily is ridiculous.”
Cliette is the Director of Injury Prevention at Harlem Hospital. Their belief according to him is simple: “The philosophy is that if you provide children with positive things to do with their otherwise free time, they won’t have time or energy to hurt themselves or other people.”
In 26 years, they’ve seen the results of this philosophy with injury rates dropping by more than 60%.
As for shootings, “Since 2011, we started what is called the circle of safety which focuses on what we call gunshots, assaults and stabbings and numbers have gone down since 2011 dramatically.”