In the countdown to the huge West Indian-American Day Parade festivities, the NYPD is continuing its efforts to make J'Ouvert, the pre-parade all-night party, safe. This time, they're appealing to participants with flyers asking them not to shoot or stab anyone.
Last year, two people were killed during the festivities, including an aide to Governor Cuomo. The police announced earlier this summer that they would be doubling the number of officers. On Thursday night, the 71st Precinct Tweeted:
— NYPD 71st Precinct (@NYPD71Pct) August 25, 2016
An organizer has pointed out that there have been many cops at the J'Ouvert parade; at a press conference addressing the 2015 violence, Kwasi Wahtuse said, "I think the media has made no distinction between the actual J'Ouvert celebration, and the violence that occurs before, during, and after it. The actual parade itself is always secure, with a strong police presence. The stuff that happens on the peripheries is what they talk about. The media is making no move to describe violence as a perennial problem."
According to DNAinfo, residents in a "closed Facebook neighborhood group" were upset at the flyers, with one calling it "racist" and "condescending... Why are they lumping hundreds of thousands of peaceful J’Ouvert celebrants with gang bangers from Ebbets Field? It’s completely outrageous and the opposite of what the NYPD says they are trying to do."
"I guess this is the de Blasio crime prevention program," a police source snarked to the Post. "I found this absolutely hysterical. It’s just incredible. We’ve come to the point now where we’re asking people not to shoot one another. As if this doesn’t come naturally? If they really want to reduce the crime here, they should be enforcing the law and restricting the permits... This will have zero impact, of course. What a waste of paper, though I don’t want to put the graphic artist out of business."