Following reports of a "turf war" between residents and roving bands of teenagers in Brower Park and the Park Slope Playground, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is seeking to assuage fears that his office is out of touch with the issue. "We are definitely aware of the increase in gang activity in parks and playgrounds," Hynes's spokesperson Jerry Schmetterer told the Daily News. According to Schmetterer, the DA's Gang's Bureau is "monitoring their activity. And we are in touch with the community about it."
The paper visited four other parks in Brooklyn where gang activity allegedly prevents citizens from using the greenspace: Paerdegat Park in East Flatbush, Detective Dillion Stewart Playground by Parade Grounds, Dean Street Park near Park Slope and Highbridge Park in East New York. Although we do find their designation of this handshake as a "gang sign" somewhat dubious, lest they ever forget "terrorist fist-jabs."
"Come here after three, forget it," one resident said of Stewart Playground. "It's becoming bad here. Before there weren't so many teens. They need cops patrolling the park." However, one Bed-Stuy resident sees the NYPD's response in clearing out a basketball court and playground at the Marcy Houses as a possible model for the rest of the borough: "The cops come in here when it gets dark. They go on the basketball courts and ask for ID. Then they kick them all out."