January 23, 2022

West Indian Day Parade celebrates Caribbean cultures, but shooting leaves 1 dead, 3 others hurt

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West Indian Day ParadeBy Emily Ngo And Jennifer Barrios From Newsday

People in brilliantly colored costumes adorned with feathers and sequins danced down Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn Monday to the cheers of more than 1 million spectators.

The 47th annual West Indian Day Parade in Crown Heights and Prospect Heights served as a celebration of Caribbean cultures in New York City, with reggae music booming and the flags of several nations — including Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago — fluttering.

The festivities, however, were marred by violence.

Several people were shot, one person fatally, in the early morning by a “career criminal” who was immediately apprehended, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio sought to reassure revelers that the “vast majority” of attendees were celebrating “safely and appropriately,” and Bratton said helicopters and 4,000 officers were on scene to monitor activity and help keep the peace.

De Blasio marched with his wife, Chirlane McCray, who has roots in St. Lucia and Barbados, and children, Chiara and Dante, along the route. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo joined him for several blocks.

Overall, the mood was jubilant. Loudspeakers blared from homes and front stoops. Impromptu dance parties also formed. Vendors peddled aromatic West Indian fare such as oxtail and jerk chicken.

“It’s unity of the islands just for one day,” said Zelma Daisley, visiting from Barbados.

Hosea Nelson, 53, of Crown Heights, originally from Jamaica, was selling flags and had brought a dice-and-board game called Crown and Anchor. He said he likes the dancers in the parade. “They look beautiful,” he said.

For Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, the parade has been a lifelong affair. He marched in it as a child, policed it when he was a cop and Monday was a grand marshal.

“It shows the diversity of the borough, the beauty of people living together,” he said.

The violence had begun overnight when, the NYPD said, three people were shot, one fatally, after a gunman opened fire into a crowd of people. A man, 26, whose name was not released, began shooting at about 3:30 a.m. on Empire Boulevard between Rogers and Nostrand avenues, police said.

A man, 55, was hit in the torso and pronounced dead at the scene, police said, while another man and a woman, both 22, was also struck. Police said their injuries were not life-threatening. Bratton called the case “very unfortunate,” but noted that “the individual that did the shooting was taken into custody immediately by police.”

Several rounds hit an unmarked police van sitting near the scene, shattering the vehicle’s glass and cutting a detective inside, police said.

Police said they chased the shooter and arrested him, finding a .45-caliber black firearm that he had dropped. Charges were pending Monday.

With Dan Rivoli

IMAGE: More than 1 million people were expected to march and line Eastern Parkway and nearby streets in Brooklyn for the traditional parade that stepped off on Sept. 1 , 2014. The event, which celebrates Caribbean culture, is one of the largest parades in the city. (Credit: Newsday / Chris Ware)

For more on this story go to: http://www.newsday.com/news/new-york/1-dead-2-others-shot-in-prelude-to-west-indian-day-parade-in-brooklyn-1.9197979


Related story:

Peterson: Thugs reign on festive Hub parade

China Olympics Beijing Water Cube Bird's NestBy Kevin C. Peterson From Boston Herald

The murder of 26-year-old Dawnn Jaffier on a Saturday morning in August should lead us to a sobering conclusion: it’s time to cancel the Boston Caribbean Parade. Forever.

The yearly carnival is supposed to be a celebration of West Indian culture. But over the years it has become an event associated with routine violence.

Jaffier — a youth mentor who spent the summer coaching kids at the West End Boys and Girls Club — died during J’ouvert, a pre-parade event. She was shot in the head on Blue Hill Avenue in Dorchester, her blood staining the street.

But many others have been victims of shootings and bloodletting connected to the parade in years past.

Consider the following small sample of the carnage:

• In 1993 seven people were shot during the carnival. Police blamed feuding gangs.

• In 2007 four people were stabbed as they attended festival-related events.

• In 2008 a man police believed to be attending the carnival was found stabbed to death in a Dorchester park.

• In 2010 three parade watchers were shot, one died.

The problem with the Caribbean Carnival is that it gives outlaws opportunities to show their disrespect for law-abiding citizens. Gun-toting youth have turned the parade into a place of violence that many now fear.

If the slightest chance exists that someone may be shot or murdered next year, then shutting down the event is a responsible action.

Let’s not get this twisted. We shouldn’t confuse the yearly violence at the Caribbean festival with what happened at the Boston Marathon two years ago.

The bombings on Boylston Street were an aberration, one terrible event in an otherwise long history of peaceful celebrations.

But the ugly terror that happens along Blue Hill Avenue each festival approaches the level of self-inflicted, protracted terrorism. It numbs our souls.

It’s an insult to the black community in Boston to allow the parade to continue when the results of the event are too often murderous.

Jaffier’s life represented yet another bright promise in an increasingly vibrant and diverse city. We all need to ask ourselves: “Is her blood on our hands?”

Kevin C. Peterson is a senior fellow at the Center for Collaborative Leadership at the University of Massachusetts Boston and founder of the New Democracy Coalition. Talk back at [email protected]

Photo by: Kelvin Ma

IMAGE: A note from the West End Boys and Girls Club hangs at makeshift memorial stands at the intersection of Blue Hill Avenue and Charlotte Street, where Dawnn Jaffier was shot and killed in a daytime shooting during the Caribbean Carnival.

For more on this story go to: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/opinion/op_ed/2014/08/peterson_thugs_reign_on_festive_hub_parade





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