The two fatal stabbings, plus shootings, at and near Monday's West Indian Day Parade, were brought up at a mayoral press conference yesterday. The Post reports that Mayor Bloomberg "downplayed the two murders at the West Indian Day parade — bringing God into the conversation as he noted even more people were killed there last year. "Given the concentration of people and the celebration, if God said, 'Would you make the deal of having that every year?' I’d give it some thought," Hizzoner said while discussing the decrease in violence from Labor Day weekend 2011. In other words: Coulda been worse!
The NY Times also noted that Bloomberg and the NYPD "tried to play down the episodes—pointing out that there had been more bloodshed linked to the parade in previous years.":
Mr. Bloomberg said at a news conference in Queens on Tuesday that the Police Department “deserves credit for taking aggressive steps.”
He seemed to accuse the news media of exaggerating the violence. “Unfortunately, writing stories without any facts has become something of a blood sport,” he said.
One resident, Gerard Louisias, told the Times he thought that the combination of young people, alcohol, music and skimpy costumes were to blame... as well as the police. Louisias pointed to how the police barricades really penned spectators in, "Somebody bumps into somebody and they get into an argument. It can happen anywhere. The police need to ease up."
A 27-year-old man who was stabbed in the neck at Eastern Parkway and Bedford Avenue wasn't supposed to be there. According to the Daily News, "Mallinckrodt Leandre... was eventually cajoled by pals into heading to the parade, where he died at the corner of Eastern Parkway and Bedford Ave. 'It was wrong place, wrong time,' said Leandre’s grieving girlfriend, Suze Abellard. 'He is not a trouble maker.'"
And Nilfredo Veras, who was stabbed outside a Chinese restaurant two blocks from the parade route, wasn't supposed to be in the area, but he took a shift at the bakery for a colleague, only to be fatally stabbed by a drunk man. His cousin lamented to the News, "If he worked overnight he wouldn’t have gone (to the parade) and he’d still be here with us."