Queens basketball court where teen was killed by stray bullet gets makeover by cops and community


JAMAICA, Queens — The Queens basketball court where 14-year old Aamir Griffin died almost two years ago is now becoming a place where families can feel safe again, thanks to an effort by the NYPD and Aamir’s friends and family.

The NYPD and community have spent the last few days revamping it so that families can feel safe coming back.

Artwork, new basketball nets and pictures of Aamir, who was killed while practicing his jump shot, are now a part of the venue and they’re not done yet at the court at the Baisley Park Houses in Jamaica.

“We’re painting the basketball court in honor of Aamir,” said the boy’s mother Shanequa Griffin. “I’m honored, I’m excited. I’m happy that someone took the time out to do this for my baby.”

Aamir’s mother is hoping the now colorful court will bring life to the community and end the violence in the neighborhood.

The makeover was made possible by the NYPD’s Community Affairs unit in Southeast Queens.

“I won a grant through NYC Police Foundation,” said Detective Tanya Duhaney. “With the vision I had to bring the kids back, because since the shooting the kids won’t come out on the basketball court.”

Family, friends and even officers all picking up brooms and paintbrushes.

For Aamir’s friends, especially Daja White who was there on that fateful October night when Aamir took his last breath, the remodeling means so much more.

“He was important to me, this is something for him,” White said. “I know if he was here he’d be doing the same for me.”

The official ribbon cutting is Tuesday, a little delayed because of the rain expected our way.

As for the person behind the bullet that killed Aamir, still no arrests. Police say it remains under investigation.

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