On Wednesday, September 27th, 57 people came together to speak out against gun violence in our community at the North Crown Heights Emergency Public Safety Town Hall. New York State Senator Jesse Hamilton, representatives from New York State Assembly members Diana Richardson and Walter Mosley’s offices, members of the Cure Violence Family (including Guns Down, Life Up), News 12 (see their story on the event here), law enforcement, Crown Heights Community Mediation Center staff, and community members came together in the Kol Israel Synagogue to discuss the recent shootings in Crown Heights. We are grateful to the many community members who came out and shared their concerns.

At the beginning of the event, a panel of stakeholders spoke to the group, with program manager David Gaskin sharing, “I’m very big on changing community norms…in the anti-gun violence world, we work with the individuals, we want them to become self sufficient, self dependent, we want them to able to identify when violence is around them and how to interrupt the violence.” Another panel member was Michael Tucker, whose son Stephonne Crawford was killed by an NYPD officer in 2005. Michael Tucker shared that he now does anti-gun violence work in his community. His advice to the audience was, “Find better ways to communicate and respect each other…that’s the number one thing. The most important thing, that if you have respect…everything else will work out.” The evening ended with community members speaking about the impact of gun violence on their lives, asking panel members questions, and proposing solutions to prevent future shootings in Crown Heights. Crown Heights Community Mediation Center staff tabled to provide information about the Center’s programs and to provide free gifts to attendees.

We would like to note that, while unacceptable, the recent shootings in Crown Heights did not occur inside of the S.O.S. Crown Heights catchment area. This means that it has now been twenty-nine days since there was a shooting in the S.O.S. Crown Heights catchment area. As well, it has been 400 days since the last fatal shooting in our catchment area, and it has been 635 days since there was a shooting in or around Albany Houses. While the recent shootings have been devastating, we would like to take the time to recognize the hard work of S.O.S. staff and community members in preventing shootings and keeping people safe within the S.O.S. Crown Heights catchment area.

We would like to thank everyone who came and spoke out against violence . If you are interested in becoming more involved with S.O.S. Brooklyn’s work and becoming a volunteer, please email info@crownheights.org. #stopshootingstartliving

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Save Our Streets Crown Heights Program Manager David Gaskin speaks about the work Save Our Streets does to prevent gun violence, through interruption and outreach work in the community.

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Former S.O.S. Crown Heights Program Manager Allen James speaks about the importance of anti-gun violence work in our community.