Fifteen people were shot in the city over Labor Day Weekend — a significant drop from last year’s holiday weekend, police said Tuesday.
None of this year’s shootings were connected to the J’Ouvert festival and West Indian Day Parade, which has sometimes been marred by violence in the past, cops said.
A special collaboration between the NYPD, city agencies, local clergy and violence interrupters made this year’s West Indian Parade one of the safest on record, Mayor Adams said.
Adams said other city agencies pitched in to help police handle the celebration.
“Instead of NYPD having to do everything to keep the city safe, the double-parked vehicles on neighborhood streets that were often ignored, the (Department of Transportation) was there to immediately tow those vehicles,” Adams said.
“Parties with people disregarding those in their communities by playing music too loudly, the NYPD wasn’t there, the (Department of Environmental Protection) was there with sound meters.”
Fifteen people were shot on Sept. 3, 4, and 5, this year’s Labor Day weekend — including three on Saturday, five on Sunday and seven on Monday, cops said. Only one of the shootings — outside the Nostrand Houses in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, early Monday — was fatal.
That’s a 48% drop from Sept. 3, 4 and 5 of 2021, when 29 people were wounded in 20 separate shootings Friday through Sunday, according to police. Shooting stats for Labor Day Monday 2021, which fell on Sept. 6, were not immediately available.
Police said that 40 illegal all-terrain vehicles and two illegal handguns were recovered during J’Ouvert and the West Indian Day Parade. At least one of the gun arrests took place during the parade at the entrance to the parade route, NYPD Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.
“Without question the reason the event went smoothly because of the collaborative efforts between the agencies in this room and the relationships forged with the people we served,” Sewell said during a press conference Tuesday at NYPD headquarters in lower Manhattan. “This is the third best Labor Day weekend we’ve seen in the modern CompStat era.”
It wasn’t immediately disclosed how many arrests took place during the weekend celebration.
NYPD Chief of Patrol Jeffrey Maddrey said covering J’Ouvert in 2022 was very different than in 2001, when he first patrolled the parade route as a lieutenant.
“I think about how much I ran around that night, shooting after shooting, stabbing after stabbing and tragedy after tragedy,” he said. “Looking at this year, this was the best collaboration I’ve ever seen. You can feel the love in the air out there.”
NYPD Assistant Chief Michael Kemper, the commanding officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, said every police officer assigned to J’Ouvert and the parade were given special training about the holiday and its significance. The officers were addressed by community and clergy leaders and elected officials before being sent to their posts.
“It offered so much value and transparency,” Kemper said. “When I first came on the job and covered this event, when we got our assignments it was very simple: stay at your post. You didn’t understand what was happening. Knowing why they are wearing makeup, why are they throwing powder, why they are excited, just having that level of understanding wasn’t something that existed when I used to cover this event.”
Police believe they are “gaining traction” in their effort to stem gun violence in the city.
The 115 shootings reported in the city in August was was down 30% compared to the 165 shootings reported in August 2021, the NYPD said in a news release Tuesday. The downturn was driven by “steep” reductions in shootings in the Bronx, southern Queens, and northern Brooklyn, the police said.
So far in 2022, shootings are down 12%, the NYPD says. In all, police have investigated 945 shootings this year through Sunday, compared to 1,077 in the similar period of 2021.
Murders were also down, with 27 counted in August compared to 59 in August 2021 — a decline of 54%. So far this year, murders are down by 12% citywide this year, with 290 slayings so far compared to 331 in the comparable period of 2021.
Robbery and assault have jumped by 38% and 18% respectively this year, NYPD statistics show. Nonetheless, police believe the reductions in shootings and homicides are “a sign that the NYPD’s work to eradicate violence is taking hold.”
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