Mr Mayor - I've had enough of the W.I. Day parade through Crown Heights North - Page 2 — Brooklynian

Mr Mayor - I've had enough of the W.I. Day parade through Crown Heights North

2»

Comments

  • Chekhovian said:

    Is it totally crazy to say there could have been some unfriendly interaction between these two characters?

    From the NYT article:

    Two doors down from Ms. Gay’s home lived Leroy Webster, of 637 Park Place, an ex-convict with a list of arrests dating back at least 15 years. Farther down the street, on the other side of the tracks, lived Eusi Johnson, an ex-convict who was recently indicted on a federal weapons charge.

    By the way, why use "the other side of the tracks" in this reference, completely useless.

    I don't live far from the scene of this crime. With all due respect to the vast, vast majority of paraders who peacefully attend, I wish I could blame the parade for this crime, but I really don't think the facts add up to that conclusion. The tension of three days of policing might have had something to do with why 73 shots were fired (and I don't think one of them actually killed the first shooter, Mr. Webster, who seems to be still alive).

    what are the odds that these two guys were sober? i'd say they were probably partying it up like everyone else.

  • Trumystic said:

    You make no sense. What culture of drinking? Do you routinely see drunk people on a Saturday night wandering around Crown Heights outside of 4 days in September? If so where and when?

    I sure have!

    But mostly, they're hipsters, so I guess that doesn't have anything to do with this conversation.

  • it is not crazy to say that there could have been some unfriendly interaction between them. did anyone call it crazy? but it does not logically follow to conclude that the parade is therefore "totally unrelated."

  • Ah, but when a adult commits a crime, do we punish their parent for the abusive childhood that is "related" to creating said criminal?

    ....the approach of Clayfilms seems to have my vote.

  • I think it's fair to say that the parade is a catalyst for both parade-goers drinking excessively and the cops who must police the event.

  • I do not think the parent/child analogy is appropriate. If there is a bar in the neighborhood that is routinely spilling out drunk and unruly people at 4am, or if an abandoned home has become host to drug addict squatters, then the community comes together to try to address the situation in a way that attempts to provide better safety and quality of life. I am not sure why you would view potential measures to provide better safety to yourselves and your neighbors as "punishment."

  • Lambchop-

    I do not view any of the methods you describe as "punishment".

    Punishment would be doing something like cancelling the entire Carnival; something I don't think will happen, nor would I support.

    A move toward what Clayfilms describes would be progress, not punishment.

    ...the trick would be to figure out how to simultaneously keep the parade fun, reduce the amount of "unsanctioned activities", and avoid heavy-handed policing.

    It isn't an easy task. The organizers seem to have attempted to find a balance for 44 years.

  • homeowner said:

    I'm really troubled by the association of violence, alcoholism with West Indian culture generally. The problem isn't this parade, the problem is how people respond to this parade.

    This same event takes place in Toronto (which has the largest Carribean carnival on the continent). I know people who religously attend both events and they say the entire city of Toronto opens their arms to guests coming to the events.

    And yet, this event has the same problems with the "appearance of violence" as the WIDP.

    This article lays out the perceptions of Caribana vs. the realities and suggests that many of the issues are related to the media portrayals of events being linked to Caribana when in actuality they have no relationship.

    Similarly, the event that took place on Park Place was the result of a dispute between two neighbors that lived on the same block. There is no indication that either person attended the parade, no evidence that they were involved in any drinking or drug use at the parade, and all evidence points to the likelihood that the same tragic set of events could have occurred on any day, and yet this shooting is being cast as "parade" violence and the culmination of a "violent" event. We need to be asking ourselves why these connections are being made?

    You're talking about Canada. They have more guns per person (as in ownership) and yet much less violence. It's a whole different mentality up there. Even there public bathrooms are spotless. Show me a public bathroom in the States that's spotless. And let me remind people that until the NYPD started cracking down on St. Paddy's Day. the drunkenness and violence associated with the parade was notorious. And being committed by a lot of off-duty city workers mixed in with the usual civilians.

  • In an attempt to keep folks sober, LIRR and Metro North ban drinking on St Paddy's day ...where it is usually permitted.

    Some cities demand that liquor and beer sales be suspected on the day of large events.

    ....while open containers and alcohol sales by street vendors is already not allowed, should we attempt to curb impulse LEGAL buying?

    Do we think this would calm the parade?

  • okay, then we are in agreement, at least, that various steps could be taken that might enhance the safety of the neighborhood during the parade. i have been perplexed by some of the discussion here and on brownstoner that seems opposed to making any changes at all.

    homeowner, the violence could have happened on any other day, but it did not. the incident, by all reports, started earlier in the day of the parade, a few blocks from the parade, on a street that neighbors have described as normally quiet but negatively affected by the atmosphere of the parade (see http://prospectheights.patch.com/articles/neighbors-react-to-last-nights-shooting), after a series of other violent incidents that took place either at the parade or near it. you are asking us to remove the incident away from its actual context.

    it is quite strange to suggest 1) this area is always highly prone to this kind of violence; and 2) that this somehow absolves the parade of the need for any changes. to the contrary, if 1) is true, then the parade always highly prone to the same violence, and it therefore should be moved or not happen at all.

  • whynot_31 said:

    In an attempt to keep folks sober, LIRR and Metro North ban drinking on St Paddy's day ...where it is usually permitted.

    Some cities demand that liquor and beer sales be suspected on the day of large events.

    ....while open containers and alcohol sales by street vendors is already not allowed, should we attempt to curb impulse LEGAL buying?

    Do we think this would calm the parade?

    It's not the parade which needs calming. It's the knuckle heads who go around shooting guns and the police who set up these tiny barricades to hold a million plus visitors that need to be dealt with. IMO, the parade could be led by Carmelite nuns who do nothing but chant Latin incantations in an orderly march, there would still be violence and impatience from the crowded conditions and random shootings. You need to open up the pedestrian spaces and crack down on illegal guns (including crimes committed with) to help alleviate a majority of the nonsense which takes place. If the parade organizers are guilty of anything it's not having live bands and more participants and especially, not opening up more viewing space.

  • Durable, safe, open viewing space is in short supply in NYC.

    For example, Central Park and Prospect park rarely host any events of this size (around 600k people) because they are difficult to control and police. I also suspect that the park would also be trashed by the shear number of people; regardless of the "demographics".

    One of the benefits of having it along Eastern Parkway is that there is a reduced risk of crowding and stampedes, and the asphalt sweeps up nicely. Another benefit is that public transportation is plentiful.

    Would the events be calmer/safer if they were moved to a durable location like the incredibly under utilized, Floyd Bennett Field?

    Would the police allow more movement?

    Would the dynamic between the police and the crowd be less fraught?

    Would the aforementioned "gun shooting knuckleheads" leave their guns at home, be less intoxicated, or stay home altogether?

    Could the transportation problems be overcome?

    Would 600k people still get to have a good time?

    Would people still have a good enough time that they flew from all over the world to attend, injecting desperately needed $ into our city?

  • Eastern Parkway is fine. But when you squeeze down the streets to pencil size and try to fit in an Amish cigar, you're going to have problems. EP is certainly wide enough to relax on the barricades. And if you really believe that there's less of a chance of a person getting hurt or dying from a stampede, heat stroke or anything else related to close quarters, I have to wonder if you've ever tried walking from Underhill Ave to Washington inside the barricaded area/s. And let's recognize another thing: a lot of the areas where the parade goes through is ripe with gun violence most of the year. Hence my opinion that the parade is not the problem. So if you're asking would there be gun violence if the parade were held at Floyd Bennett Field, I'd say not as much, because nobody lives in the field except for some USMC radio personnel. And yes, I know about ESU being headquartered there as well. This doesn't mean that an a-hole or two wouldn't bring a gun to such an event.

  • This doesn't mean that an a-hole or two wouldn't bring a gun to such an event.

    Correct. There will always be idiots.

    If we only go to events in which can be certain there will not be idiots, we will spend all of our time alone.

    For some, not even this will work :)

  • I think it is very troubling that supporters are arguing that "many of the events [are] totally unrelated to the parade." No one is saying that the parade itself is the entire cause of the violence - that would be silly. But to deny any relation between the parade (and its accessory events, whether official or unofficial) and the public unruliness happening *all around the neighborhood* *all weekend* really strains credibility. Just because the parade ends at 4pm and ends at GAP doesn't mean people suddenly sober up or that tensions suddenly dissipate by 9pm two blocks away.

    Yes many people are saying that the event is the cause of the violence. You may not be but there are lots of reactionary people saying the parade is responsible for the gun violence hence cancel the parade. Yet no one can explain where to draw the line. Is the parade only responsible for/contributing to violence that happens near the parade route? Or do we include violence that happens in other parts of Brooklyn like Fort Greene, BedStuy, East New York? Do we include Queens (like Jamaica), Harlem and the Bronx as news reports of this weekend did?

    If we are attributing the violence that happened in NYC this weekend to the parade then what do we make of other violent weekends in the city (NB this isnt an exhaustive list just a quick google search):

    *Memorial Day 2011 (8 killed) http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-05-31/news/29621722_1_murder-tally-gun-violence-random-violence

    *June 2011 (3 killed, 21 injured) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304070104576396124038810018.html

    * April 2010 (4 shot) http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local&id=7367735

    * August 2010 (14 shot) http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/local_news/bronx/14-shot-in-violent-night-in-the-bronx-20100807-ac

    *October 2010(3 killed, 3 shot) http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/big_apple_bloody_weekend_yxm73HDEaabzssfarhn0rO

    There werent any West Indian parades on those weekends.

    I am not saying that crowd control at the parade cant be improved- it clearly can. But let us separate scapegoating the parade, parade organizers, West Indian culture and a serious discussion of what can be done to improve public safety of West Indian paradegoers and more importantly the safety of denizens of Crown Heights and environs.

  • Trumystic, no one is attributing the violence solely to the parade. Not even the person you quoted.

  • In San Francisco every Halloween used to be a free-for-all in the Castro. Over the years it started getting out of hand with loads of bridge and tunnel folk coming over to get drunk and gawk at the spectacle. Stabbings and shootings became the norm, despite extremely tight policing. Eventually, they just shut it down. I don't see why it won't happen here.

    The WI parade can happen in a somewhat different configuration with stricter hours. Whether any or all of these shootings are directly tied to the parade, there will come a time when no mayor is going to risk looking soft on public safety when things could be done differently while still celebrating WI culture.

  • Right, no person interested in serious discussion is making this argument. Just the same way that no one is suggesting that West Indian culture or the parade is connected to every day in which multiple incidents of violence have occurred. But I have seen purportedly serious people refusing to acknowledge that the parade has anything to do with it, and that is extremely troubling. We don't need to decide the exact parameters of what is connected to the parade and what is not before having a real discussion, but there does need to be intellectual honesty from all parties (yes, including the police). Given the politics involved, I'm skeptical that will happen, but hope springs eternal.

  • FYI to readers: I thought I would add this link to an intelligent media source having a similar, intelligent conversation:

    http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2011/sep/06/crown-heights-residents-reflect-deadly-shooting/

  • ^^ that was a response to trumystic.

  • I posted this link on another thread, but now think this thread is more appropriate.

    Here are the ideas of a person highly invested in changing the parade's image:

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/onya-west/labor-day-carnival-as-the-ultimate-anti-violence-campaign/10150303891625956

  • thelambchop said:

    okay, then we are in agreement, at least, that various steps could be taken that might enhance the safety of the neighborhood during the parade. i have been perplexed by some of the discussion here and on brownstoner that seems opposed to making any changes at all.

    homeowner, the violence could have happened on any other day, but it did not. the incident, by all reports, started earlier in the day of the parade, a few blocks from the parade, on a street that neighbors have described as normally quiet but negatively affected by the atmosphere of the parade (see http://prospectheights.patch.com/articles/neighbors-react-to-last-nights-shooting), after a series of other violent incidents that took place either at the parade or near it. you are asking us to remove the incident away from its actual context.

    it is quite strange to suggest 1) this area is always highly prone to this kind of violence; and 2) that this somehow absolves the parade of the need for any changes. to the contrary, if 1) is true, then the parade always highly prone to the same violence, and it therefore should be moved or not happen at all.

    My issue is that this violence is specifically in the news being linked to the parade and the "culture" of west indians, which fails to take into account all of the shootings that clearly had no direct relationship to this parade, and ignores all of the gun violence that occurs in this neighborhood on a daily basis. I never said that the parade did not need to change, I merely posited that the media coverage of this and other West Indian events is not in keeping with the reality of those two facts.

    I live blocks away from where the shooting happened and there are stupid fights that end up in gunplay several times a year. Canceling the parade isn't going to stop that and is only pretending like you've done something to improve the quality of life in this neighborhood.

  • I had a very interesting conversation with a "person somewhat involved in organizing the parade" today. (I do not have their permission to identify them)

    In sharp contrast to the perspective that the parade brings violent people into Crown Heights, the person stated that the parade should move to a new location, "so not as many violent people from the neighborhoods surrounding Eastern Parkway attend".

    S/he believed this would allow the people who worked hard to create the event and flew from all over the world to enjoy it more.

    S/he asserted that even some of the Carnival's lead organizers would like to move the parade to a different venue to make it "more cultural, and less about boom boxes on trucks".

    However, s/he felt they would likely be unsuccessful.

  • Trumystic said:

    I think it is very troubling that supporters are arguing that "many of the events [are] totally unrelated to the parade." No one is saying that the parade itself is the entire cause of the violence - that would be silly. But to deny any relation between the parade (and its accessory events, whether official or unofficial) and the public unruliness happening *all around the neighborhood* *all weekend* really strains credibility. Just because the parade ends at 4pm and ends at GAP doesn't mean people suddenly sober up or that tensions suddenly dissipate by 9pm two blocks away.

    Yes many people are saying that the event is the cause of the violence. You may not be but there are lots of reactionary people saying the parade is responsible for the gun violence hence cancel the parade. Yet no one can explain where to draw the line. Is the parade only responsible for/contributing to violence that happens near the parade route? Or do we include violence that happens in other parts of Brooklyn like Fort Greene, BedStuy, East New York? Do we include Queens (like Jamaica), Harlem and the Bronx as news reports of this weekend did?

    If we are attributing the violence that happened in NYC this weekend to the parade then what do we make of other violent weekends in the city (NB this isnt an exhaustive list just a quick google search):

    *Memorial Day 2011 (8 killed) http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-05-31/news/29621722_1_murder-tally-gun-violence-random-violence

    *June 2011 (3 killed, 21 injured) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304070104576396124038810018.html

    * April 2010 (4 shot) http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local&id=7367735

    * August 2010 (14 shot) http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/local_news/bronx/14-shot-in-violent-night-in-the-bronx-20100807-ac

    *October 2010(3 killed, 3 shot) http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/big_apple_bloody_weekend_yxm73HDEaabzssfarhn0rO

    There werent any West Indian parades on those weekends.

    I am not saying that crowd control at the parade cant be improved- it clearly can. But let us separate scapegoating the parade, parade organizers, West Indian culture and a serious discussion of what can be done to improve public safety of West Indian paradegoers and more importantly the safety of denizens of Crown Heights and environs.

    impeccable logic

  • there is no reason that the parade should be moved. The 44 years it has enjoyed should be continued. The people who form the parade should be asked to integrate some American standards. The parade should be one event. Not a childrens parade, which is very borderline it's already pg or pg13.

    The adult parade is completely adult, sex,drugs,drinking guns and crazy acting out of things that children,families should not have to deal with. The parades should be combined to a one day event. The current combination of 1 event that by design involves all night drinking and partying for the days leading up to the parade is a huge flaw.

    The event should be like all others,a few hours and then resume using the streets for foot and car traffic rather than drunk people standing around waiting to get shot. The city and the police have some responsibility for the event because of the format they allow. Like Kelly said its very hard to police the event, so make it smaller and easier by design.

    Will gangbangers and other shitheads still attend and try to make a name for themselves? yes but some changes can make a big difference. If West Indian parades must have excessive drinking and sex play then maybe they can rent a venue like the Javits, see if gun toters will pay 40 or 50 bucks and get past a metal detectors . We cant allow an event to degenerate so low that nobody asks for mission statement. If that is to celebrate and showcase West Indian culture and customs great, but lots of the floats and costumes and behavior don't do either.

  • These are quotes from this thread:

    - referring to parade:

    I am sick of celebrating what is to me outright racism
    and
    It's a shame that people can not party sober, but the culture encourages drinking and drugs, so what can you do
    .

    - West Indian culture as
    a culture of drinking and irresponsibility
    -
    the West Indian Day parade has basically become a free outdoor orgy with music
    -
    The adult parade is completely adult, sex,drugs,drinking guns and crazy acting out of things that children,families should not have to deal with
    and
    If West Indian parades must have excessive drinking and sex play...

    This thread cant really go lower. Racial and cultural stereotypes are thrown around and very few of you challenge these characterizations while many more of you register agreement or are complicit by your silence. Thanks homeowner and a few others who spoke up-its appreciated. Peace out.

  • Regardless of whether one feels the parade's reputation is accurate or deserved, I hope the organizers manager to change people's perception of it.

    Although the event has violence in the past, the HUGE majority of the persons it attracts continue to be "desirable attendees".

    ...but I fear a downward spiral. If too many people conclude attending the parade puts them at unacceptable risk of encountering violence or general idiocy, we will end up with a self-fulfilling prophesy.

    The organizers of the parade seem well aware of this risk, and after this year, the risk seems larger.

    Regardless of whether a negative perception is valid or not ....it is a threat.

  • there is nothing wrong with pointing out cultural problems. in fact, i'd argue that solutions are impossible without honestly addressing them.

  • The idea of everyone who is from a particular region of the world or neighborhood having a shared culture is quite fraught.

    Yes, I may have some interests and habits in common with those who have similar characteristics as me, but to assume that I am somehow able or responsible for controlling their criminal behavior is fanciful.

    As a result, I have concluded that I can not expect people who merely share some characteristics to have significant power or influence over the criminals who share some of the same characteristics.

  • sociological statistics do exist and they do refer to actual social phenomena. of course no one says that EVERYONE from a particular culture is X, but there are trends and statistics.

  • mr. met said:

    sociological statistics do exist and they do refer to actual social phenomena. of course no one says that EVERYONE from a particular culture is X, but there are trends and statistics.

    I agree.

    But I am discussing the degree of power and responsibility that may stem from merely being assumed to share a culture.

    For example, in the minds of many people, I look a lot like and belong to the same culture as Glenn Beck.

    ...yet I have accepted that I am powerless over his behavior, and can not make him shut up.

  • i didn't read all the replies, but my 2 cents. then run and duck for cover.

    the policing of the parade and the neighborhood before hand is stifled. the higher ups don't let the po-po do their job. They full well, with their CIA counter terrorism training know who all the potential hot heads are. there is a concerted effort over the last few years to allow the violence to escalate in an effort to get the parade abolished totally. Let's not forget that it is alleged the bullet that killed the woman came from a police weapon. Over 70 shots were fired. Thats at least 5 cops unloading at random in such a crowd.

    If the beat walkers were allowed to do their job by the brass and corral up the pockets of idiots known to them before hand, it would have been a better day.

  • I think that there needs to be a higher standard of clearance that those who orchestrate the parade should achieve. Given the large expected crowds, and the sad acceptance that 'there will be blood', I think that the entity which holds this parade needs to meet a higher expectation. Namely, I believe that these tractor-trailers need to be banned. I believe that they pose a safety hazard, a noise pollution hazard, and there is too much collateral damage associated with them.

    In conversation with a friend of mine, he told me that the entity responsible for the parade is really 'rag-tag' in their organization. I don't know if such is the case, but it has spurred me to investigate how one applies for permission to have a parade, and if there is some way of doing a better job of policing this. There simply has to be.

    I think this should be something concerned citizenry of all the adjoining communities through which the parade travels should be made aware of. I am eager to know what City Council members think about this, what the police commissioner thinks about this, and what do organizers of the parade think about this. There is too much garbage, too much noise, and too much un-policed socially aberrant behavior that needs to be stanched at the root.

  • Several months have now passed, but an article appears in today's 12/6/2011 NYT stating that there was a Facebook page in which posters purported to be members of the NYPD, and discussed how much they disliked the parade.

    The comments, as well as the article should be read. While I wish some of the viewpoints/opinions/comments would magically go away, I can't say I find any of the views surprising or shocking.

  • Racist NYPD cops.

    I am not surprised in the least.

  • It's really depressing and upsetting.

    One would hope the NYPD would have a higher standard for decency of employees.

    But it doesn't.

  • Boygabriel said:

    It's really depressing and upsetting.

    One would hope the NYPD would have a higher standard for decency of employees.

    But it doesn't.

    Sounds to me like it does:

    "Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s deputy commissioner for public information, said he learned of the Facebook group from a reporter and would refer the issue to the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau."

    What more would you have them do? Administer regular political correctness exams?

  • ha.

    As if this is going to result in anything more than loss of a few vacation days and maybe mandated "racial empathy" class or some b.s.

  • The police did this to themselves.

    Today it's okay to let people smoke pot and drink? NOT. No more so than when when 1 of your lackey pals gets a ticket or a DWI and it's dismissed because of a PBA card.

    The very few people that benefit from all the laws excused are a drop in any bucket the Carib bucket or the Police pale.

    It's the story of pot in the city, bust everybody all the time have a small problem, bust only brown and black people with weed and have a problem directly proportional to the busted population.

    Funny how all the big parties are not good for anybody. Street fairs have pros selling socks.belts and a cheesy Arepas but nothing to do with the community.

    The San Gennaro fest is a mess, nothing religious, nothing Italian only Carnies selling crap.*no money for the city!!

    Now we have a 3-4 day drunk fest that represents 1000's of islands and when the stew is mixed with guns,booze and stupidity nobody likes it.

    No matter where the parade is held, make it the same as the everybody else's, Irish, Germans, Puerto Ricans just one day of fun and some fuck ups. Move it to the city so it rises and falls like all other parade mobs.

    Don't make Caribbean people the problem make the duration, format and location of the parade the difference and why it is problematic.

  • Jack Krohn said:

    Some cops seemed to be getting along fine with the parade goers:

    http://www.complex.com/city-guide/2011/09/nypd-officers-caught-on-tape-bumping-n-grinding-at-west-indian-day-parade-video

    I'm guessing BG is okay with this type of unprofessional behavior.

  • eastbloc said:

    I'm guessing BG is okay with this type of unprofessional behavior.

    Do you need me to break down the different ways something can be "unprofessional"? Such as 'racists' vs 'dirty dancing'?

    Probably not.

  • catwalker wrote: Don't make Caribbean people the problem make the duration, format and location of the parade the difference and why it is problematic.

    Anyone think anything will be different next year?

    whynot_31 said:

    Regardless of whether one feels the parade's reputation is accurate or deserved, I hope the organizers manage to change people's perception of it.

    Although the event has violence associated with it, the HUGE majority of the persons it attracts continue to be "desirable attendees".

    ...but I fear a downward spiral. If too many people conclude attending the parade puts them at unacceptable risk of encountering violence or general idiocy, we will end up with a self-fulfilling prophesy.

    The organizers of the parade seem well aware of this risk, and after this year, the risk seems larger.

    Regardless of whether a negative perception is valid or not ....it is a threat.

    It isn't a question in which one can really answer, but:

    At what point does this event become perceived as one in which there are "too many armed, ignorant people" (by which I include select parade goers and police), so that a tipping point is reached and the "desirable attendees" stay home?

  • Concern trolling!

  • I think there are some simple fixes that could change the parade for the better. Here is my list in no particular order:

    1) The parade should return to its roots and make floats available for steel drums and bands only. If someone wants to perform, they need to have a band on the float PLAYING MUSIC, and not the flatbeds with stacks of speakers and a loop of the same song. They could do something similar to the Thanksgiving Day parade where performances of recorded music occur in front of the reviewing stands only.

    2)The parade organizers should develop their own volunteer security group that marches with the parade in "event staff" t-shirts to keep spectators on the sidewalks and off the parade routes. This allows the police to focus on crowd control in key areas.

    3) The police need to do a better job of allowing people to cross Eastern Parkway and not make it so the only way for pedestrians to get from one side of the avenue to another is to walk a half a mile, enter a pen, stand for 45 minutes and then get told they have to crosss within the next 30 seconds or it will be another hour before they can cross again.

    4) The police and the organizers must jointly announce a zero tolerance policy for weapons and drugs at the parade. People should be told in advance that they will be detained, ticketed or arrested if they are caught selling, using or carrying those items on Eastern Parkway.

    5) No hats and bats period. Its a parade.

    6) All advertising for parade events including J'Overt, the kids parade, the steel drum competition and the parade itself should include langauge about expectations (ie. "Don't bring alcohol onto the avenue. If you are caught drinking along the roadway you will be ticketed and possibly arrested").

    7) Better coordination needs to occur between the police and the parade organizers. Start earlier and work together insted of one side dictating what will or will not happen.

    8 ) Building owners along the parkway should be told that if they are serving alcohol is must be consumed on their property (inside the fencelines).

  • To put it mildly, many police seem to already hate working this parade. I imagine they will hate it even more if they are not allowed to have hats and bats.

    I wonder if the police will try to force the other changes recommended by Homeowner by threatening an "unofficial" sickout.

  • I think it's complicated. The desires of the community need to be paramount. Top down policing, especially in poorer non white areas gets problematic very quickly. (See: the facebook scandal)

    Also it needs to be kept in mind that the murder rates during the parade this year weren't that far off from a typical holiday weekend in the summer.

    Just b/c something happened, doesn't mean it happened b/c of the parade itself.

  • With 9 months to go before the next parade, we may have to accept that we will be unable to change some people's perception of why bad things happen at the parade. This may become an exercise in making the various forces happy, regardless of the validity of their positions.

    Because it will potentially erode further erode public support and force changes, it may be in the long term interests of the police for the 2012 parade to be as violent and ugly as possible.

  • With 9 months to go before the next parade, we may have to accept that we will be unable to change some people's perception of why bad things happen at the parade.

    Doesn't make the rampant racism in the NYPD any less valid of a discussion topic.

    Sorry.

  • We are all free to focus on what motivates the various entities that seek to change the nature and reputation of the parade.

    Depending on who is doing the analysis and the level of simplicity of the conclusions:

    ....the Chamber of Commerce is motivated by "bringing money into the city".

    ...The Elected officials are motivated "by getting re-elected".

    ...the police are motivated "by racism".

    ...the sanitation workers are motivated by "laziness".

    ...people who live on the parkway are "elitist".

    ...folks who run the sponsor the parade are opposed to limits because of "denial".

    We could type for hours and conclude that no one is motivated by what they should be, such as "having a safe/fun parade and weekend for everyone: kids, families, adults".

    What we may need is a coalition of organizations and groups. This technique might insulate them from some of the above name calling and allow them to actually implement some changes.

    If they are not successful, I would not surprise me if this event relapsed into being a sad, yearly display of violence and the various groups taking extreme positions.

    It could be like the 90s all over again.

  • I would not surprise me if this event relapsed into being a sad, yearly display of violence

    When has this parade not degenerated into a cauldron of violence and disorder?

  • homeowner said:

    I think there are some simple fixes that could change the parade for the better. Here is my list in no particular order:

    1) The parade should return to its roots and make floats available for steel drums and bands only. If someone wants to perform, they need to have a band on the float PLAYING MUSIC, and not the flatbeds with stacks of speakers and a loop of the same song. They could do something similar to the Thanksgiving Day parade where performances of recorded music occur in front of the reviewing stands only.

    2)The parade organizers should develop their own volunteer security group that marches with the parade in "event staff" t-shirts to keep spectators on the sidewalks and off the parade routes. This allows the police to focus on crowd control in key areas.

    3) The police need to do a better job of allowing people to cross Eastern Parkway and not make it so the only way for pedestrians to get from one side of the avenue to another is to walk a half a mile, enter a pen, stand for 45 minutes and then get told they have to crosss within the next 30 seconds or it will be another hour before they can cross again.

    4) The police and the organizers must jointly announce a zero tolerance policy for weapons and drugs at the parade. People should be told in advance that they will be detained, ticketed or arrested if they are caught selling, using or carrying those items on Eastern Parkway.

    5) No hats and bats period. Its a parade.

    6) All advertising for parade events including J'Overt, the kids parade, the steel drum competition and the parade itself should include langauge about expectations (ie. "Don't bring alcohol onto the avenue. If you are caught drinking along the roadway you will be ticketed and possibly arrested").

    7) Better coordination needs to occur between the police and the parade organizers. Start earlier and work together insted of one side dictating what will or will not happen.

    8 ) Building owners along the parkway should be told that if they are serving alcohol is must be consumed on their property (inside the fencelines).

    So help me, I could not have this better.

  • X-brooklynite said:

    I would not surprise me if this event relapsed into being a sad, yearly display of violence

    When has this parade not degenerated into a cauldron of violence and disorder?

    There's no evidence that there was any more violence that weekend b/c of the parade than there is on a usual summer holiday weekend.

    People need to stop this lie.

  • By spreading another one?

    There were certainly more shootings that weekend than any other weekend this summer. That's a simple fact.

    If you want to argue they weren't related to the parade, that's a more difficult assertion to prove either way.

    It's also a fact that police are anxious about this event. I don't see this as evidence of racism, but rather because of the reputation the parade has developed, at least some of which I expect is on merit, even if for no other reason than that it does attract enough people to EP to swell the population by an order of magnitude during its course. The fact that these people are often inebriated doesn't help.

  • eastbloc said:

    By spreading another one?

    There were certainly more shootings that weekend than any other weekend this summer. That's a simple fact.

    If you want to argue they weren't related to the parade, that's a more difficult assertion to prove either way.

    Actually, after that weekend I looked at the shooting mapsthat the papers had put together to analyze where the shootings occurred and whether they could be tied to the parade itself. My brief analysis showed only two of the 24 shootings that were initially reported for that weekend occured on the parade route itself during the parade. Another five occurred in neighborhoods directly adjacent to the parade in the hours after the parade was officially over. An addtional three shootings occurred in the same neighborhood-adjacent area on either Friday/ Saturday/Sunday. And there was one other Fri/Sat neighborhood-adjacent shooting reported with no victim (shots fired in the air?).

    Now, this begs the question as to whether those people who shot folks that weekend in places like Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island were visitors who were here for the parade, or were people who had attended the parade or parade events then went home and decided to bust a cap in someone. But on their face, of the 52 original shootings that occurred, the majority of them did not occur during the parade or in the general vicinity of the parade or parade related activities.

    Also, there was at least one weekend this June where the police recorded over thirty shootings in NYC.

    The problem here is that people are sold a story "WI Day Parade creates violent gun battles" and folks run with that. It gets repeated so many times that its accepted at face value. But it isn't true.

  • homeowner said:

    The problem here is that people are sold a story "WI Day Parade creates violent gun battles" and folks run with that. It gets repeated so many times that its accepted at face value. But it isn't true.

    ^ ^ ^ ^

    eastbloc said:

    It's also a fact that police are anxious about this event. I don't see this as evidence of racism, but rather because of the reputation the parade has developed, at least some of which I expect is on merit,

    So the part that's not on merit? That would be racism or bigotry or some other unacceptable logic.

    The NYPD facebook thread was rank with bigotry and ignorance, and should be a scandal given that they're who we trust to enforce the laws and treat communities fairly.

    But they don't.

  • You've either not been alive very long or paying too much attention if you think any cross-section of any population isn't going to be rife with ignorance.

    Or maybe you're just one of those people who are constantly scandalized.

  • Ah yes, the 'everybody does it so get over it' non-defense.

    1. It matters far more if a public servant entrusted with virtually ultimate power on the streets, like the NYPD, has bigots as opposed to say me or you.

    2. All bigotry is not equal. Like, say that of the privileged.

  • LOL. The police are privileged?

    I suppose you're one of those people who thinks if you make $65k you're rich and probably not paying enough taxes.

    And as to the notion that the underprivileged are entitled to bigotry, well, every bigot says that about themselves. After all, the poor oppressed Nazis were only trying to defend themselves from the usurous clutches of international finance Jewry, right?

    Those are some principles you've got there. Bravo.

  • The police are unquestionably privileged. They're privileged to stop whomever they please, frisk them, harass them, arrest them, and even shoot them if they feel the least bit threatened. They are an armed force occupying our city.

    If that army is biased against particular racial or ethnic groups, or against people who dress or talk differently than they do, then it can (and does) make life hell for those groups or individuals. No group which has as much power as the cops have can be allowed to be as bigoted as the rest of society. The rest of society doesn't carry guns, mace, nightsticks and badges.

  • I''m still trying to think of what groups would need to be part of a coalition in order for it to be powerful enough to get something done.

    I'm also trying to imagine why any sane person would agree to lead or form the coalition in light of how fraught the issues are.

    These are the types of problems that paralyze our society, and cause the various groups (police, community boards, advertisers, etc) to "act out" because they believe they are not being heard, and the parade no longer serves their needs.

  • eastbloc said:

    LOL. The police are privileged?

    I suppose you're one of those people who thinks if you make $65k you're rich and probably not paying enough taxes.

    And as to the notion that the underprivileged are entitled to bigotry, well, every bigot says that about themselves. After all, the poor oppressed Nazis were only trying to defend themselves from the usurous clutches of international finance Jewry, right?

    Those are some principles you've got there. Bravo.

    What in god's name are you talking about?

  • Boygabriel said:

    What in god's name are you talking about?

    Your statement that "All bigotry is not equal. Like, say that of the privileged." Which appears aimed to rationalize bigotry when it's exhibited by the "non-privileged", whatever that means, or make it somehow less perfidious.

  • booklaw said:

    The police are unquestionably privileged. They're privileged to stop whomever they please, frisk them, harass them, arrest them, and even shoot them if they feel the least bit threatened. They are an armed force occupying our city.

    LOL. "Your" city? Are you part of some native American insurrectionary organization?

    I pay taxes here and I vote, and the police don't have any privilege that I don't approve of. They're patrolling _my_ city, in order to enforce laws that my representatives to the elected bodies of this country have legislated.

    Perhaps they're "privileged" in the sense that their job comes with certain rights granted to people who are not police officers, in the same way that I am "privileged" to walk into my office building. They need those privileges to do their job.

    A job that is not particularly well-paid or prestigious, and where a bunch of yahoos who think it's "their city" don't so much as think twice about being grateful for the relative order that exists thanks to their presence.

    If you think you could do better, why not join the police force? It's open to anyone, for better or for worse. Might make more of a difference in the world than posting ignorant shit on a BBS.

  • If anyone here is posting "ignorant shit", it is you. This is no more your city than it is mine. I referred to it as "our city". You refer to it as "my city."

    The cops' job does not "require" them to shoot innocent, unarmed people. It doesn't "require" them to roust people just because of the color of their skin.

    If you do not value your civil rights, that's your prerogative. But don't complain when other people value the civil rights guaranteed by our... yes, "our", federal and state Constitutions, and those other people... myself included... object to cops trampling on those Constitutional rights.

  • booklaw said:

    If anyone here is posting "ignorant shit", it is you. This is no more your city than it is mine. I referred to it as "our city". You refer to it as "my city."

    The cops' job does not "require" them to shoot innocent, unarmed people. It doesn't "require" them to roust people just because of the color of their skin.

    If you do not value your civil rights, that's your prerogative. But don't complain when other people value the civil rights guaranteed by our... yes, "our", federal and state Constitutions, and those other people... myself included... object to cops trampling on those Constitutional rights.

    I don't claim to speak for anyone else. I don't know who the hell you think you're speaking for when you say "our". Seems like the height of arrogance to me.

    And the only rights being trampled in this thread are those guaranteed to the police officers by the First Amendment.

  • guaranteed?

    Nope.

    Allow me to insert a link to some "light reading" that discusses the ability of a public employer to curtail the rights of its employees, specifically police officers.

    It is a long article (about 30 pages plus cites), but it basically points out that the courts have ruled that some rights may be "curtailed" or "balanced" when the statements or actions affect the employer's ongoing ability to serve the public; The concept is often known as the Public Concern Doctrine.

    http://www.traviesolaw.com/CM/Articles/Travieso_article.pdf

    After this, we get to go back to talking about how to -or whether to- modify the parade, right?

    Carry on.

  • And I don't necessarily disagree with that. My point was more that we were discussing whether ignorance can exist in the police department. I believe it exists there much as it exists in any population.

    I also believe that most cops aren't out there to shoot innocent people or "roust" anyone. At least, I don't witness that happening with regularity, and when it does happen, people always seem to make a fuss, which tells me that the cops _don't_ have the _right_ to do any of those things either.

    And I won't argue with the right of a cop to shoot when he feels threatened. I don't believe they take that responsibility lightly. We just had an officer killed on duty responding to a robbery here in Brooklyn the other day. If he had the right to shoot innocent people, why didn't he shoot his killer? I guess he was exercising some sort of discretion. Imagine that.

    Then there are those who see the police as an "occupying army," which is a very crude way of revealing that their world view is more inclined to simplified, emotional extremes painted in broad strokes rather than any attempt at understanding human behavior.

    It's foolishness.

  • eastbloc said:

    Then there are those who see the police as an "occupying army," which is a very crude way of revealing that their world view is more inclined to simplified, emotional extremes painted in broad strokes rather than any attempt at understanding human behavior.

    It's foolishness.

    The fact that you can be so dismissive of people's feelings that the police are not there to help them but instead come into their neighborhoods with preconceived notions about guilt, innocence and whether people are deserving of protection seems equally simplistic and lacking an understanding of human behavior.

  • Perhaps a lack of empathy, but certainly not a lack of understanding.

    By your own assessment, I'm guilty of being dismissive of feelings, not facts.

  • The police argue that they are not free to do whatever they choose, to whomever they choose.

    They argue that they use a great deal of restraint before they use deadly force, and are more accountable to more masters than in the past.

    They point out that they shoot far less often than they have in the past, and that racial bias is not evident in who they shoot.

    Here's the latest big report on such matters: http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/268431-2010-nypd-firearms-discharge-report.html

    Despite such progress, I think we can all agree we would like the police to continue to improve; we just disagree on how we would go about it.

    For better or worse, we are silly to think the NYPD will not remain a major factor in influencing how the parade plays out in 2012.

    Anyone think anything will change?

  • eastbloc said:

    Your statement that "All bigotry is not equal. Like, say that of the privileged." Which appears aimed to rationalize bigotry when it's exhibited by the "non-privileged", whatever that means, or make it somehow less perfidious.

    Wrong.

    homeowner said:

    The fact that you can be so dismissive of people's feelings that the police are not there to help them but instead come into their neighborhoods with preconceived notions about guilt, innocence and whether people are deserving of protection seems equally simplistic and lacking an understanding of human behavior.

    It can also be summed up as 'racial and/or socioeconomic privilege'.

  • ah, but therein lies the problem:

    Every side genuinely believes every other side fails to understand the issues as a result of some inherent privilege, bias or deficit.

    It is all thinly veiled accusations of "ignorance", and the rhetoric gets old.

    Even though we may really dislike "them", we can not effectively shut "those people" up.

    We can not prevent them from influencing how the parade will be perceived in retrospect, nor can we prevent them from influencing how the parade will play out next year.

    They are at the table, and -in the vast majority of circumstances- we ultimately have to listen to them and engage them in the effort to try and mitigate the problem.

    Ultimately, we can insist that no one is responsible for the actions of a guy who get intoxicated and fire his 9MM, except the actual guy.

    ....but there are things we can do to try to keep him home, right?

    There are times we need to realize that we all may need to give up some fun/privileges in the hope that by doing so, the event will be less attractive to said individuals, right?

    Are we allowed to posit such ideas regardless of whatever socio-economic status, race, etc. we may possess?

    Are we brave enough to try to change an event despite the insults that will inevitably cast our way?

    If not, should we just enjoy the parade? Should we leave town as many people already do? Should we make sure we don't have to work that shift as a cop or at the ER?

  • "both sides do it" doesn't make both sides wrong.

    you have to actually evaluate, you know, the merits of an specific argument.

    YOU get tired of the rhetoric, but as we've established, not all people are middle class white males.

  • So, only people who convince everyone that they have no bias are entitled to an opinion?

    Is there anyone in NYC who could dream of meeting such a standard?

    Likewise, does this mean that people are free to dismiss the opinions of other people if they can convince themselves they are misinformed or have ulterior motives?

    whynot_31 said:

    We are all free to focus on what motivates the various entities that seek to change the nature and reputation of the parade.

    Depending on who is doing the analysis and the level of simplicity of the conclusions:

    ....the Chamber of Commerce is motivated by "bringing money into the city".

    ...The Elected officials are motivated "by getting re-elected".

    ...the police are motivated "by racism".

    ...the sanitation workers are motivated by "laziness".

    ...people who live on the parkway are "elitist".

    ...folks who run the sponsor the parade are opposed to limits because of "denial".

    We could type for hours and conclude that no one is motivated by what they should be, such as "having a safe/fun parade and weekend for everyone: kids, families, adults".

    What we may need is a coalition of organizations and groups. This technique might insulate them from some of the above name calling and allow them to actually implement some changes.

    If they are not successful, it would not surprise me if this event relapsed into being a sad, yearly display of violence and the various groups taking extreme positions.

    It could be like the 90s all over again.

    um, we have a problem.

  • So, only people who convince everyone that they have no bias are entitled to an opinion?

    I never implied anything close to this.

  • Boygabriel said:

    whynot wrote: So, only people who convince everyone that they have no bias are entitled to an opinion?

    I never implied anything close to this.

    Excellent. Let's get to work.

    Correctly or not, lots of folks seem to believe that the West Indian Labor Day parade plays a big role in the weekend's violence, and I'd like to make sure everyone gets a chance to be heard.

    Some police officers have already made their opinions known on a Facebook page. I've provided the link above and encourage you to read the comments with an open mind, and see whether any of the suggestions might be able to effectively distance this parade from the weekend's violence, and thus retain as much public support as possible.

    It may help to imagine ourselves as the head of a factory, that has a very large and powerful union to deal with. ...one which we do not completely control. Let's realize that the police will act up if we try to dismiss their opinions, no matter how much we dislike them.

This discussion has been closed.