On Tuesday evening, December 19th, over 215 community members from S.O.S. Brooklyn, the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, S.O.S. Clergy Action Network, YO S.O.S., Legal Hand, the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence, the Cure Violence family (including Operation H.O.O.D. and G.M.A.C.C.), Assemblywoman Diana Richardson, Mothers Demand Action, and residents of the neighborhood gathered on the corner of St Johns Place and Schenectady Avenue to denounce gun violence. We are grateful to everyone who came out and stood with us to say NO to gun violence in our community. The peaceful communal gathering was in response to the incident on Saturday, December 16th, where at approximately 1:40 am, a 32-year-old black man was fatally shot at the corner of Schenectady and St Johns in Crown Heights.

Throughout the shooting response, credible messengers from around the community spoke out against gun violence., former Mediation Center staff member and current Program Director at Operation H.O.O.D. shared, “When do we slow down, and say that the next life matters? When do we slow down, and say that our lives matter?…and so when I look at a brother or a sister, I’m looking at myself again. So we have to start looking at each other and say, that’s me. You are me. I am you. And when we start looking at each other that way, we’ll think twice about shooting the next person.”

Before Saturday’s shooting, the S.O.S. Crown Heights catchment area went over 470 days without a homicide (our longest streak ever). This shooting also broke our streak of 100+ days without a shooting in the Crown Heights catchment. While this shooting broke our streak of 103 days, we would like to note that this is only the third shooting in our catchment area this year. Finally, we would like to note that it has been 715 days since there was a shooting in or around Albany Houses and it has been 415 days since there was a shooting in or around Weeksville Gardens.

We hold shooting responses after shootings within our catchment area, to express our concerns and make a statement that shootings and killings are not acceptable in our community. The tone of the shooting response reflected a strong community voice saying NO to shootings and killings in our community. As folks from S.O.S. Brooklyn and surrounding Cure Violence sites spoke about the impact of shootings on our community, more and more community members gathered together at the site of the shooting.  We would like to thank everyone who came out and stood with us against gun violence in our community. #stopshootingstartliving