On Thursday, September 21st, Save Our Streets Clergy Action Network and the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center held two shooting responses in response to the recent shootings in the 77th Precinct. Shooting responses are held to express our concerns and make a statement that shootings and killings are not acceptable in our community.
The first shooting response was held at St Marks and Utica Ave, around the corner from the 77th precinct. 35 community members from S.O.S. Brooklyn, the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, S.O.S. Clergy Action Network, YO S.O.S., Safe Horizon, the Cure Violence Family including G.M.A.C.C., and residents of the neighborhood gathered together to say NO to gun violence in our community. This communal gathering was in response to the incident on Sunday, September 17, in which a 30-year-old black man and a 34-year-old black man were shot on St Marks Ave between Utica and Rochester. During the response, members of local clergy and the Cure Violence family spoke up to denounce violence in our community. After the response, S.O.S. Crown Heights Program Manager David Gaskin shared with local news that, “We have to make those that feel like it’s okay to shoot others, we have to make them feel uncomfortable…we have to show a presence, a huge presence, every time one of these instances happens…stand together, and just let the community know that, as community members, we don’t want this.”
The second peaceful communal gathering was in response to the incident on Saturday, September 16, in which a 20-year-old man was shot and killed on the corner of Franklin Ave and Lincoln Place. Over 160 community members from S.O.S. Brooklyn, the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, S.O.S. Clergy Action Network, YO S.O.S., Safe Horizon, the shooting victim’s family, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s office, New York State Senator Jesse Hamilton, and residents of the neighborhood gathered to stand together against gun violence in our community. This shooting response drew so many people that, at the height of rush hour, traffic came to a standstill on Franklin and Lincoln. Without even trying to, the community’s united stance against gun violence shut down the streets surrounding the shooting response. During the response, members of the community, S.O.S. Brooklyn, and S.O.S. C.A.N. spoke out against violence. Marlon Peterson a local community member and former member of the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center team from the BePrecedential group, shared the importance of reaching young people in the community, urging community members to connect with young people by saying “That is your moment of interruption. Talk to them. Ask them how they feel.”
We would like to note that, while unacceptable, these recent shootings did not occur inside of the S.O.S. Crown Heights catchment area. This means that it has now been twenty-one days since there was a shooting in the S.O.S. Crown Heights catchment area. As well, it has been 392 days since the last fatal shooting in our catchment area, and it has been 627 days since there was a shooting in or around Albany Houses. While the recent shootings were 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 out and stood with us against gun violence in our community. If you are interested in becoming more involved with S.O.S. Brooklyn’s work and becoming a volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. #stopshootingstartliving
Folks from S.O.S. Brooklyn, YO S.O.S., Safe Horizon, and community members, stood together against gun violence at St Marks and Utica.
Over 160 community members came together on Franklin Ave to stand against gun violence in our community. Marlon Peterson addressed the crowd while traffic on the surrounding streets slowed to a standstill.
Members of the victim’s family listen to Reverend Kevin Jones address the community on Franklin Ave.
Reverend Kevin Jones asked people at the Franklin Avenue response to join hands and arms and come together in song for peace in the community.