New anti-gun violence network launches after 20 NYC shootings
Despite a rash of shootings over the last few weekends, lawmakers and administration members continued to argue against any causation between gun violence and the stop-and-frisk policy.
Brooklyn City Councilman Jumaane Williams argued no new data has proven the controversial police tactic deters crime, calling the recent shootings a spike.
Williams gathered with a coalition of elected and community leaders to announce the creation the National Network to Combat Gun Violence, which is designed to connect local legislators from more than 20 cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles, to reduce gun violence.
He said attempts to connect the recent shootings to the new administration’s more measured approach to stop-and-frisk — which critics argued disproportionately targeted black and Latino communities — were dishonest.
“Even if it did work, we as a society have said that the Constitution means something and that we do not want to live in a police state,” Williams said. “Do not ask black and brown people to accept something that nobody else will. Period.”
By Monday morning, there were at least 20 shootings reported over the weekend throughout the city, including at least three killed.
During the press event, Williams was notified of another shooting in Brooklyn, and that two of the weekend’s shootings were in his district.
“I don’t even know what to say,” he said under his breath. “It’s ridiculous.”
But while Williams refused to link the violence to a reported drop in stop-and-frisk throughout the New York City Police Department, at least one colleague in the Council disagreed.
“These shootings contradict two decades of crime reduction in our city and make the strongest case for bringing back stop, question and frisk,” Queens Councilman Eric Ulrich said in a statement.
Earlier this month, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told reporters that stop-and-frisk has not gone away and is still used when appropriate.
“Crime goes up, it goes down,” he said. “It’s always going to go up at some point in time. We’ll always have the ability to push it down.”
Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter @chestersoria