Brooklyn residents call for funding to fight gun violence
by Salvatore Isola
Aug 14, 2019 | 351 views | 0 0 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Community leaders gathered in Prospect Lefferts Gardens last Friday to demand that more state resources be allocated to local groups to fight gun violence in central Brooklyn.

State Senator Zellnor Myrie and Assemblywoman Diana Richardson announced the state will allocate $200,000 for gun violence prevention causes, but argue the amount is not enough.

“We are, by any definition of the word, living in a crisis in central Brooklyn, and instead of getting a crisis-like response, we only get thoughts, prayers, and vigils,” Myrie said.

The event came in the wake of a Brownsville shooting on July 27 that left one dead and 11 injured on July 27, and another shooting just days before in Crown Heights.

“Eleven people shot, you tell me whether or not that is a disaster, an epidemic, or an outbreak,” said Myrie.

The 67th Clergy Council of East Flatbush and Save Our Streets of Crown Heights will each receive $50,000 of the funding. Brownsville Community Justice Center, Brownsville In Violence Out, Brownsville’s Elite Learners, and Brownsville Think Tank Matters will each receive $25,000.

Myrie said local nonprofits and places of worship are the answer to solving gun violence in the community, but he said they can’t do that work without sufficient funding.

Richardson wants the state to devote $1.2 million every budget cycle to the cause.

“When I started in the state legislature four years ago, it was to my dismay there was zero dollars coming back to our county,” Richardson said.

Richardson said she wanted the same response for her community’s crisis as the “swift response” she saw during the opioid crisis, when the problem was “an issue that was facing the white New Yorkers.”

“If the face of the person who was getting shot was in Park Slope, was in Williamsburg, the response would have been here already,” she said.

Myrie said the community groups would continue to provide assistance regardless of funding.

“We have community groups that have been on the ground, that have been doing this work before the mass shootings, and will be doing this work after the mass shootings,” he said. “It’s time that our state give them the support that they deserve.”
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