Yesterday evening, a 19-year-old was fatally shot on a northbound Q train. According to witnesses, Trevell Belton was shot as the train pulled into the Avenue U stop. Belton collapsed on the platform, while the shooter and his friend ran away.
The Post reports that the train was packed with teens leaving Manhattan Beach, where Belton had been visiting (it's unclear if the shooter had also been at the beach). An investigator told the Post that Belton and a shooter were arguing because they were wearing rival gang colors. Also, the investigator said the beach was packed because a radio station had encouraged kids to head out there to protest suggestions that the beach was being overrun by "thugs."
Which brings us to last night's Manhattan Beach community meeting. GerritsenBeach.net was at the Manhattan Beach Community Civic Public Meeting and notes that police presence at the beach was a big topic. Captain Vincent Stella of the 61st Precinct said 30-40 cops (including the "Plain Clothes Gang Unit") patrolled the beach yesterday; usually there are just 6 cops. Stella explained that he "had this man power based on a tip that because schools were ending there was going to be a large crowd going to the beach."
Interestingly, GerristenBeach.net also noted that he and a Post reporter were basically heckled for drawing public attention to issues in the community.
At this point two people, Dr. Oliver Klapper, a professor at Kingsbourgh Community College and Robert Gevertzman, CB15 Member, who were trying to see what I was doing all night, and never approached me or introduced themselves, started to harass me loudly. Saying I had no right to be there. Asking me if I needed permission to write down names and what people were saying. They continued with: “What are you typing? Why are you’re simulcasting the whole meeting, you have no right to do that.” When I told him my first name and said that this was a public meeting he started yelling “Who are you, where are you from”. The meeting who was now jeering me calling for my name and who I was. I replied with Dan from Gerritsen Beach. At one point I think I was told I was out of order.
The NY Post was there as was Courier life. I saw that the NY Post reporter was asked to stand up and ID himself, and then was accused by a few people of causing problems.
Well, this sounds like a call for even more bloggers to attend Manhattan Beach's public community meetings!