Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council to immediately release $10 million to local community groups as part of an effort to quell gun violence after a bloody weekend in the borough. Three people were killed and 19 wounded in shootings around the city, but the gunplay was concentrated in Kings County, with a 46-year-old shot dead in Fort Greene, a 24-year-old gunned down in Canarsie, and nine injured when gunmen sprayed a house party in East New York.
The rate of shootings is actually about level in the city, compared to this time last year. But the dramatic events of the weekend prompted Adams to stage a dramatic press conference this morning, wheeling a casket lined with a mirror and photos of shooting victims out to Borough Hall, with East Flatbush Councilman Jumaane Williams and activists at his side.
Adams emphasized that social services need to be provided in addition to law enforcement tactics. "This is not an NYPD issue alone," he said. "If we have New Yorkers that are willing to do the job on the ground, we must give them the financial support."
Adams said his office contacted Mayor de Blasio and the City Council about freeing up $10 million in emergency funding for select organizations, but he has not received a response from either.
Williams said gun violence should be as big of a concern as combatting terrorism, given the numbers.
"Since 9/11, we've had 74 people killed in terrorist attacks in this country," said Williams. "Since 2001, over 150,000 people have been shot and killed in this country [Editor's note: this figure number is likely much higher] and we haven't done anything even close to what we've done on terrorism."
Adams plans to leave the casket outside Borough Hall for five days. His spokesman, Stefan Ringel, declined to elaborate on what organizations might receive the money under Adams's proposal, what types of services they would provide, or whether they would be confined to Brooklyn or working citywide.