Williams calls for end to senseless gun violence

Council Member Jumaane D. Williams.

BROOKLYN, NY- Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn), co-chair of the Council’s Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, issued the following statement today after separate shooting incidents occurred this weekend in Manhattan and Brooklyn that lead to several deaths and injuries.

On Friday evening, one person was killed and two others were injured at a shooting at the Wycoff Gardens Houses in Brooklyn. The second incident involved the shooting, allegedly by a 16-year-old, of two young people visiting Bryant Park’s ice-skating rink: 14-year-old Adonis Mera and 20-year-old Javier Contreras. The third incident involved a 4:30 a.m. shooting at a house party at 687 Shepard Avenue in Brooklyn. No injuries were reported. On Sunday, a 30-year-old man was shot and killed at Smith Houses on the Lower East Side. Early this morning, three people were shot and killed in East Williamsburg, one injured, and the gunman took his life. These incidents come just days after New York City experienced no murders or non-fatal violence, the first such day since Nov. 26, 2012.

COUNCIL MEMBER WILLIAMS’ STATEMENT:

“This weekend, several New Yorkers lost their lives because of senseless acts of gun violence in Manhattan and Brooklyn. My prayers for peace, comfort and healing are with those who lost their lives, and those who were injured.

“Although the number of shootings are down across New York City and just days ago, New York experienced a day without any homicides or non-fatal violence, these latest incidents are no consolation to the families of those whose lives were lost or to those were injured, including a young 14-year-old child, Adonis.

“According to reports, a 16-year-old child was behind the shooting incident at Bryant Park. If a young person resorts to gun violence as the solution to his problems, we must ask ourselves, are we doing everything we can to show our young people a better way?

“As I have said consistently, all of us have a role and responsibility to help reduce the need to resort to senseless violence in this city and this nation. We have to treat this like the disease and public health crisis it is. We must acknowledge and fully support efforts on two tracks to deal with this. The first is to severely limit the supply of guns endemic to this society. All statistics show that more guns only means more gun deaths, period. The second, and equally, if not more important, is to address the demand for violence, whether it is stabbing, as we’ve increasingly seen in the news recently, or guns, which endangers us all. We have to get to the heart of the destructive behavior.

“We can help do this by fully supporting what we know works, focused deterrence models on to two fronts: 1) Law Enforcement and 2) Community. The New York Police Department has shown great promise with focused resources on the known criminal element and we must continue that. In addition, organizations like I Love My LIFE, Man Up!, Inc. and Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets (“YO SOS”) have been employing focused models on the ground and must have the funding they need to help our young people realize their full potential. Indeed, we must encourage and support more community groups across the city to do the same. It is also why the council’s Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, which I co-chair, must continue and increase funding that it needs to fully implement its violence reduction strategy.”

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