In Brooklyn, Residents Traumatized By Spiralling Gun Violence
Muhammad Irfan 2 days ago Wed 16th September 2020 | 10:00 AM
New York, Sept 16 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 16th Sep, 2020 ) :On a regular sunny Saturday afternoon in late summer, the Raymond Bush playground in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood would be bustling. But these are not normal times, and the park is nearly empty.
"This is just overwhelming. It's sickening -- every day, you have to see someone getting shot, someone has lost their life," says the boy's father, 25-year-old Davell Gardner Sr.
He brought food and a cake to another park in Bed-Stuy, a mainly black neighborhood. He invited loved ones, police, and young people in the community who work for Save Our Streets, a group dedicated to ending gun violence.
"Since the shootings, the park emptied out more and more every day, to where the kids don't want to come outside and enjoy themselves," Gardner said.
"They are scared someone might not live to see the next day.
In most cases, the victims -- like young Davell -- have been black or Hispanic, as have been their assailants.
President Donald Trump has castigated authorities in his birthplace and other major US cities -- many of them Democrats -- for failing to stem the tide of violence, making it a theme of his reelection campaign.
But criminologists say that urban violence spikes every year in the summertime, and despite the rise in the number of shootings since May, the numbers are actually comparable to those seen a decade ago.
Pfaff says 2020 has seen a perfect storm of conditions fueling the violence -- months of confinement due to the virus crisis, and the reckoning about race that erupted nationwide in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of police.
That translated into fewer overtime hours for cops on the streets and the dismantling of a 500-strong plainclothes anti-crime division, which was accused of racial bias.
Also, "few people talk about the effects of a president who embraces the rhetoric of violence," Pfaff says.
"It's hard to say with any empirical precision how big an impact this rhetoric has, but it certainly fans the flames."