Community asks questions, demands more resources after 10-year-old boy dies in Harlem

Manhattan

HARLEM, Manhattan — Police on Sunday questioned the parents of a 10-year-old boy who died after he was found unconscious and unresponsive inside the family’s Harlem living room

The boy was found with bruises and cuts about his body on Saturday, detectives said. He was found in the fourth floor apartment of a New York City Housing Authority building on West 131st Street.

In the wake of his death, community members called for an end to family violence. Street Corner Resources founder and CEO Iesha Sekou held a community response rally on Sunday.
     
“We have to commit to take care our young people,” Sekou told the crowd. “Now in this pandemic, the impact is great and people need help.”

The building where the little boy lived is part of the Saint Nicholas Houses and many speakers at the rally complained that without open NYCHA community centers, there are no services helping families in trouble to seek help.     

“These walls are thin enough where you can hear if a child is in trouble,” Tyrone Ball, the president of the St. Nicholas Association said at the rally. “It is our business, it is everyone’s business.”

Many who live in Saint Nicholas houses said they had heard about domestic problem involving the family.

“From the information I have, people knew the family had been through trauma and in a bad situation,”  Sheba Simpson, a neighbor and a candidate for the NYC Council, told PIX11 News. “Where are the services and resources that would have mitigated this murder?”    

Outside the memorial set up to remember the boy, many asked why neighbors didn’t come forward to help.

“He went to school with one of my grandchildren. He was in the fifth grade. I feel like he is one of mine,” Queen Wethington, a neighbor, told PIX11 News. “It is devastating.”

The NYC Administration for Children’s Services released this statement: “The safety and well-being of New York City’s children is our top priority. We are investigating this case with the NYPD.”

The NYC Medical Examiner’s Office has yet to release the official cause of death. 

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

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