After bloodshed, NYC promises a safer J’ouvert festival

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CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn — For years, there have been complaints about safety at J'ouvert, a carnival celebrating Caribbean culture held before dawn each Labor Day on the streets of New York City.

But after Carey Gabay, a top aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo was killed by a stray bullet last year during the festivities, authorities are taking unprecedented precautions. Traditionally held largely in the dark, this year's celebration in Brooklyn will be illuminated by 200 light towers.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams held a press conference Saturday asking for peace at the festival.

"Our J'Ouvert is a peaceful J'Ouvert," said Adams. "Our West Indian Day weekend is a peaceful weekend."

Police plan to double the number of officers patrolling the neighborhood where a procession of steel drums and costumed revelers kicks off at 4 a.m. Monday.

The department has also added 42 new security cameras.

Organizers say they don't think the extra precautions will take away from the spirit of the event. About 250,000 attend the celebration.

The Associated Press and PIX11 digital producer Alyssa Zauderer contributed to this report.