Why Violence Is Up in Pockets of Brooklyn


Weather: Expect more of the same. There is a chance of showers, with thunderstorms, in the afternoon and evening. The high should reach the mid-70s.

Alternate-side parking: Suspended today for Solemnity of the Ascension.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, one person was killed and 10 were wounded in six separate shootings.

And that was just in northern Brooklyn.

Citywide, violent crimes have dropped to record lows. But in some neighborhoods, crime is stubbornly persistent. My colleague Ali Watkins wrote about shootings in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights and other parts of northern Brooklyn, and what the police are doing to stop the violence.

How violent are these pockets of crime?

In northern Brooklyn, there have been 11 more shootings so far this year than there were a year ago. Over that same period, northern Queens had 10 additional shootings and northern Manhattan had 16 more.

What is behind the violence?

One answer is access to guns. Though New York City’s gun laws are restrictive, other cities and states have looser regulations. For years, law enforcement officials have complained about how guns illegally flow into New York with disturbing regularity.

Another answer is gangs.

Not all of the shootings in northern Brooklyn last weekend were gang-related, but at least one was part of what the police said was tit-for-tat retaliatory gang activity. The gangs, according to the police, include the Brisp Nation, Gates Fam, Rich Fam, the Hoolies and the 900 gang.

Not familiar with these gang names?

The gangs are often tied to housing developments and individual blocks, rather than to national or regional groups, the police and community groups say.

What’s behind the violence?

“They have alliances, and they just don’t like one another,” Chief Terence A. Monahan, the Police Department’s highest-ranking uniformed officer, said about the gangs. “It’s not over drugs. It’s not over anything but: ‘You’re on the opposition. I don’t like you.’”

What ignites the violence?

A perceived slight, an observed snub, a discerning sense that one’s allies have been disrespected. It can be difficult to unpack the origin story of some feuds. The perpetrators in one story are, in their own telling, the victims in an earlier story.

From Williamsburg to Brownsville, investigators say, these feuds have left a trail of killings and shootings that are often foreshadowed on social media.

Calls to action on social media often come with hashtags, as the crews air grievances and organize attacks. Detective George Harvey, who has worked in the 79th Precinct, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, for 25 years, said gang members regularly post messages about disputes, their general activities and their movements.

Two transgender activists who were part of the Stonewall Inn rebellion are getting a monument in Greenwich Village.

The Bronx opioid crisis claimed a 1-year-old. His mother has been charged with murder.

[Want more news from New York and around the region? Check out our full coverage.]

The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

A private school in Westchester County will hire a diversity officer after black students were cast as slaves during a mock slave auction organized by a fifth-grade teacher. [NBC News]

Some water fountains in Queens parks have high levels of lead contamination. [QNS]

The hottest piece of real estate in Harlem is a prison with spectacular views. [Daily News]

The police were still looking for a Connecticut woman who was reported missing on Friday and involved a divorce battle. [Stamford Advocate]

The photographer Patrick Brown’s documentation of the Rohingya refugee crisis is this year’s FotoEvidence Book Award winner. He presents the work at a reception at the Bronx Documentary Center. 6 p.m. [Free]

An evening dedicated to the poetry of Jewish humor, featuring Bob Mankoff, a former cartoon editor for The New Yorker, and several others at City Lore in Manhattan. 7 p.m. [$15]

How many people make it to Broadway?

The obvious answer: the lucky few.

The other answer: 14,768,254.

The Times’s theater reporter, Michael Paulson, just wrote about Broadway’s box office boom.

Nearly 15 million patrons saw Broadway shows last season, for a total box office gross of $1.8 billion, according to figures released Tuesday by the Broadway League, the trade association representing producers and theater owners.

What’s behind the boom?

Having a record number of tourists in the city certainly helps, Mr. Paulson reported.

People who live outside the greater New York area make up 63 percent of Broadway attendees, according to an annual study of audience demographics conducted by the Broadway League.

This season, there were 72 Broadway shows, including 38 musicals, 29 plays and five special events (including “Springsteen on Broadway,” which brought in $50 million).

Whose show was the biggest?

“Hamilton” grossed $165 million over the season (the best tickets regularly go for $849 apiece).

Next was “The Lion King” with $116 million. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” made $105 million; it was the first nonmusical play to gross more than $100 million in a year.

The most-attended show of the season was “Wicked,” which, playing in Broadway’s biggest house, drew 753,146 people.

It’s Thursday — make a show of it.

Dear Diary:

In fall 1999, I was single and I decided to have a party where single men and women could meet. The caveat was that everyone I invited had to bring an equally unattached friend, presumably someone they were not romantically interested in.

The party was a great success, and at around 10 p.m. the doorbell rang. I opened the door to two men dressed in dark clothes. I introduced myself as the hostess.

“Come on in, gentlemen,” I said. “The party is just getting started.”

The older of the two stepped forward.

“Excuse me, ma’am,” he said. “We’re from the 20th Precinct, and we had a noise complaint from one of your neighbors.”

I started to offer to turn the music down while apologizing for any inconvenience when the younger of the two officers stepped into the apartment. To my surprise, he took my hand and started dancing with me.

We danced until the song ended. The officer leaned toward me.

“I’m getting off at 11,” he said, before asking whether he could come back after his shift ended.

“Of course,” I said. The officers left.

Around 11:30, the younger officer returned. He ended up being one of the last guests to leave.

— Melaney Mashburn

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