More than 300 people joined an anti-violence march and rally in Brooklyn last night organized by Safe Slope, a grassroots group that formed recently in response to a string of sexual assaults in Park Slope, Sunset Park, and Bay Ridge. The turnout was much bigger than anticipated, prompting the NYPD to close down part of Fourth Avenue. "We’re here for the victims and we can come together as a neighborhood to help empower our neighbors to take a role in their own safety," Michael Crumshow of Safe Slope told CBS 2. Some locals have criticized the NYPD for not investigating the assaults thoroughly.
Since April, more than half a dozen women have fought off sexual assaults while walking in South Brooklyn, and one woman was raped in the vestibule of a Sunset park building. Police now believe there may be more than one perpetrator, and yesterday they released a sketch of another suspect, described as 5'4" with dark hair, last seen wearing a black tank top. At last night's rally, local resident Crystal Flemming said she attended "to let the perpetrator or perpetrators of these acts know we are watching and we are going to look out for our neighbors."
Not content to rely on the NYPD to protect them, Safe Slope is also launching a Safe Walk program in South Slope/Greenwood Heights/Windsor Terrace, on Thursday through Sunday nights, between 8:00pm and 3:00am. Safe Walk volunteers will provide “pick-ups” at local establishments and subway stops and will provide “drop-offs” anywhere between 9th and 30th Streets and between 2nd and 8th Avenues in Brooklyn. The number to call if you want a Safe Walk volunteer to join you is T.B.A. And if you are interested in volunteering, the group urges you to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.