Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzales, in partnership with the NYPD Community Affairs, on Friday, July 30, hosted a community Anti-Violence Family Picnic that welcomed scores of residents to the sprawling grounds of Highland Park, in East New York.
In an exclusive interview with Caribbean Life, DA Eric Gonzalez, noted the urgency in which he brought awareness to the spade of senseless gun violence that has been taking over the borough. As such, he met with the community in a healing atmosphere, as he implements measures to end the scourge.
“We had a terrible 2020 pandemic, and a surge of gun violence. As district attorney I am committed to making the community safe by ending gun violence,” said DA Gonzalez, noting that he welcomed the community to Highland Park. “We are with you, we are one community, and we will bring all of our resources together to make this a strong, healthy and vibrant community, as we celebrate a return to normalcy, and return to safety in Brooklyn,” the DA said.
He warned the small number of people whom he said were committing the shootings, and promised, “if you pull the trigger, the police will arrest you, I will prosecute you, and separate you from the community, to keep it safe.”
By the same token, his office is working with community partners to bring more resources to neighborhoods so less people feel like they needed a gun to stay safe, adding, that violence is starting to come down for this year, but pledged, never-the-less, to continue to work to return the city to its historic drop in crime, as in 2019.
“Let’s remember, 2019, was the safest year in our history, we need to get back there, so I am going to work every day until the community is safe, as it was a few year ago,” said DA Gonzalez, who, according to a report, asked the courts to throw out a large number of marijuana cases.
He felt encouraged that the community came out to the event, and thanked the string band, Deep Cova for providing the entertainment.
The New Jersey group members are bass player Marvin Bradshaw, Taz Mania on drums, and Anthony Brown, on the keyboard.
Highlighted by the color “Orange” significant to ‘gun violence awareness, the hours long fun day included give-aways, BBQ, drinks, and friendly games, which gave residents a relaxing day away from the violence that had been terrorizing their neighborhood.
The Family Assessment program, Emblem Health, NYPD Recuitmentprogram.com, East Flatbush Village, and other agencies helped to make the family day a success.
Staff of the DA’s office, ensured residents had a grand time. They included, Karen Crawford Chambers, coordinator in the Office of Public engagement, Michelle Patten Cay, senior assistant district attorney, Cornel Christie, senior photographer, Karla Watson, bureau chief, Red Zone, Melinda Alexis-Hayes, special counsel for public engagement, among others.