Bed-Stuy, what’s going on?
Yes, we all know as temperatures rise, generally so does crime.
But the crime spree that has taken ahold of Bedford Stuyvesant in the last month harkens back to the Bed-Stuy of old, in the 80s when crime levels were at their highest.
In the last seven days alone since July 3, there have been more than a dozen shootings across both precincts. And even more disturbing, many of the shooters’ victims were children.
On Tuesday, July 3, a double-murder/suicide cost the life of a woman and her 7-year-old grandson, as well as the shooter himself, who took his own life.
The next day, on July 4, there were reportedly six people shot, and that was in the 79th Precinct alone (does not include the 81st Precinct).
Then, the next day after that, the morning of July 5, another man was shot and killed on Jefferson Ave.
The next day after that, on July 6, a Bed-Stuy mother was arrested for the murder of her 7-year-old son.
Then on Sunday, July 8, a gunfight at the Roosevelt Houses led to a 3-year-old boy being shot in the leg in the crossfire. His only crime was being a kid who dared to play outside in the courtyard.
Today is Monday, July 9. What’s next?
People worry, complain, and are saddened and angry over the rising levels of gun violence in the neighborhood. Fewer police and foot patrols, fewer outreach programs available for teens and far fewer jobs are just a handful of the many factors given for creating what appears to be a perfect crime storm.
However, that still does not answer the question, “What’s next?” When will the community step up? New faces have populated the neighborhood in record numbers over the last decade.
Yet the ones you see at the community board meetings, police precinct meetings, tenant association meetings and block association meetings, are more or less the same ones that have been active for the past 10-20 years.
Let’s say, looking at historical precedent in this country (Depression-Era), it may be another four or so years before we begin to see a real, impactful return to a strong economy.
So, that means that unless there is intervention at the ground level, things will only get worse before they get better, unless something is done.
What do you think is the best way to respond to the rising tide of crime in the neighborhood?
Should it take place at the legislative level, where elected officials get involved in passing more stringent gun control laws? Should it start in our churches, since Bed-Stuy has the highest concentration of religious institutions in the entire city? Or should it start with the residents becoming more involved in block watch programs or volunteering in a mentorship capacity?
Either way, something needs to happen, or absolutely nothing will change. Tell us what you think in the comments.