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City announces more security measures for upcoming J’Ouvert parade

The changes come after two consecutive years of fatal shootings at the annual Caribbean street party in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
The city announced its latest security measures for Sept. 4's J'Ouvert parade in Brooklyn after two straight years of fatal shootings at the Caribbean culture celebration. (Facebook/J'Ouvert City International)

After changing its start time and adding weapon and alcohol screenings for attendees, city officials on Monday announced more security measures for the upcoming J’Ouvert Celebration in Brooklyn.

The latest changes to the annual Caribbean street party in Crown Heights, which will begin at 6 a.m. instead of 4 a.m. this year, include closing the formation area and parade route the night before the Sept. 4 event and upping uniformed police presence by 10 percent over last year.

Additionally, officials said that light towers will be at each of the 12 secure entry points along the two-mile parade route, and there will be 30 percent more towers than last year along the route as well as extra high-resolution NYPD security cameras.

These enhanced security measures come after two consecutive years of fatal shootings at J’Ouvert.

Last year, 22-year-old Tiarah Poyau and 17-year-old Tyreke Borel were killed by gunfire, while Carey Gabay, a 43-year-old former aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was fatally shot at the event the year before.

J’Ouvert, which means “daybreak,” is organized by J’Ouvert City International, which joined forces with the NYPD and other city officials “under one collective voice to ensure that we have a smooth and enjoyable 2017 J’Ouvert celebration,” its president Yvette Rennie said. “Our J’Ouvert is art, culture and self-expression through an artistic format showcasing the history of our ancestors, which has been taking place on streets of Brooklyn since 1984.”

Parade formation will be located on Flatbush Avenue from Grand Army Plaza to Empire Boulevard. The route will travel south on Flatbush Avenue, east on Empire Boulevard and south on Nostrand Avenue to Midwood Street.

The Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence and the City Crisis Management System will also provide violence prevention services during both J’Ouvert and the West Indian Day Parade, which also takes place in Brooklyn on Sept. 4.

Those efforts include deploying highly visible “Violence Interrupters,” often former gang members, who will deescalate street disputes and distribute education materials to at-risk individuals, identify “hot spot” areas on the route and other measures to stave off violence.

Additionally, backpacks and large bags will be prohibited.

 
 
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