Cops, Community Come Together for ‘Unity Walk’

by Rachel Holiday Smith – DNAinfo

The neighborhood of Crown Heights came together Tuesday evening for a march to try to find common ground in the face of recent violence against both black men and police officers nationwide.

More than 100 people met in front of the 77th Precinct at 127 Utica Ave. in Crown Heights for the “Unity in the Community” walk, which ended at Lincoln Terrace Park about eight blocks south of the station house.

Many elected officials participated in the event, including Assemblywomen Latrice Walker of Brownsville, Jo Anne Simon of Brooklyn Heights and Diana Richardson of Crown Heights, who told the crowd “the truth is, all lives matter.”

“We believe that there can be a partnership between law enforcement, clergy, elected officials and the residents. We believe this is possible. Today we will march in unity. And we are marching, not to give you rhetoric, but … to lead by example of how this can be done,” she said.

The event came in the wake of the fatal shootings of five police officers in Dallas, Texas, as well as the deaths of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota last week.

But the violence hit close to home, too. Delrawn Small was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer in East New York on July 4.

“I’m tired of this!” said Mike Tucker of Lay the Guns Down at the rally Tuesday night; Tucker’s son was killed by police in 2005. Shouting into a microphone, he called for attendees to push for gun reform, register to vote and get organized locally.

“People are dying out here! People are dying, not just in other states, we’re dying every second, every day, right here. Let’s start here first,” he said.

“We’re dealing with this issue in our own backyards,” Walker said, adding that Brownsville, one neighborhood in her district, has seen 29 shootings so far in 2016.

The march came a day after people gathered at Grand Army Plaza for a candlelight vigil to honor the victims of last week’s violence.

6 Comments

  • 2. sw2 wrote:

    if the leaders would take moral and spiritual responsibility, this would not be as bad.
    its not going to improve from gun control, it will come from teaching moral and spiritual SELF-CONTROL.
    also, the media/entertainment industry has filth on their hands for showing violence. They need messages of positivity.
    how about one of the 7 mitzvos bnai noach groups making a film about morality, truth, justice, etc.

  • 3. DAVE wrote:

    it seems to me that Ms. Richardson is the best spoken of all our local elected people.

  • 5. Milhouse wrote:

    There is no “recent violence against both black men and police officers”. The equivalence drawn between a deliberate racist terrorist attack against innocent policemen, and the Sterling and Castile shootings, is obscene.

    Most ofl the facts are not yet in on those two shootings, but one thing we know for certain: neither one was a deliberate murder. In both cases the policemen believed the suspect was reaching for a gun, and had to shoot to defend themselves. The investigations will reveal how reasonable their perception of danger was, but there is no doubt that they did have that perception, and would not have shot without it. And from the few facts we do know it seems almost certain that the Sterling shooting will be found 100% justified, and somewhat likely that the Castile shooting will also be found justified.

    Sterling was a career violent criminal, who was being arrested for menacing people with a gun, was struggling and resisting arrest. He got his right hand free and was reaching towards his pocket. The cops clearly had no choice but to shoot him.

    The facts on Castile aren’t so clear. The cop stopped him because he and his girlfriend seemed to look like the photos of two wanted armed robbers. He told his dispatcher he was going to stop them and check their IDs. Castile seems to have had a gun in his lap, and to have reached his hand towards it — we will never know with what intention, and the cop could certainly not have known with what intention, so he would seem to have had no choice but to shoot.

    If Castile did not intend to grab the gun then he was extremely foolish to reach in that direction. When he attended his mandatory training class before getting his carry permit, he must have been taught how to behave if stopped by police while carrying; he must not have been paying attention.

    In any case, it’s obscene to compare these two shootings, which are at worst no more than manslaughter, with a deliberate terrorist act by a vicious man who announced his intention of killing as many cops as he could, especially white ones.

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