The Brooklyn North Division of the New York City Police Department, in collaboration with the 79th and 81st Precincts in Bed-Stuy yesterday held a youth summit at Woodhull Hospital to discuss community-police relations and gun violence in the area.
Representatives from seven police precincts, the NYPD Juvenile Enforcement Division, community board leaders and youth advisory board members were on hand in the hospital's auditorium to share information on trends in violence and gang activity in their areas.
Lieutenant Robert Lynch and Detective Jermaine Gonzalez presented to the group. The dialogue between the NYPD and various groups was candid. The concern in the room resonated at high levels.
But participants seemed encouraged, nonetheless, about the urgent need and real possibilities of changing what has felt like a downward spiral in the community's ability to reach the youth.
Attendance was a little thin, considering the numbers of organizations across Brooklyn North that could play a role. The other noticeable missing piece were the youths.
"This is the third youth forum I've been to, and I really enjoyed it. But I just felt there weren't enough people here to receive this information," said Hakiem A. Yahmadi, whose son was shot and killed by gang members in the Bronx in 2002.
Yahmadi has since founded the Metro Hawks Athletic Club, a basketbal club for young people in his neighborhood. Also, he also plans to visit his son's shooter in prison next week to forgive him and talk to him about the possibility of turning his life around to make a positive impact in the lives of his peers.
"As a community, we need to get more active. Come up with some solutions, some alternatives to keep these kids busy," said Yahmadi.
Detective Gonzalez also explained that the gangs that have grown and become so pervasive in certain parts of Brooklyn North no longer refer to themselves as "gangs," but rather "crews." The gangs, as they were formerly known in the 90s and early 2000s, have since broken into smaller factions, controlling smaller areas, that are mostly localized to within housing developments and or stretches of streets or square blocks.
To follow is a list of the "crews" that have been identified within the 79th and 81st Precincts:
BN-Brisp Nation, Clifton Place, Lexington Ave, Gates Avenue, Marcy Avenue to Nostrand Avenue (Armstrong Houses)
GAM-Gates Avenue Mafia, Gates Avenue
HB-Halsey Blocc, Halsey Street
SMG-Stack Money Goons, Tompkins Avenue, Park Avenue to Myrtle Avenue (Tompkins Houses)
TGM- Tompkins Get Money, Tompkins Avenue, Park Avenue to Myrtle Avenue (Tompkins Houses)
MGZ-Marcy Gangstas, Marcy Avenue, Flushing Avenue to Myrtle Avenue (Marcy Houses)
RF-Rich Family (Location to be determined)
WEU-Wrap Em Up, Marcus Garvey Boulevard, Myrtle Avenue to Park Avenue (Sumner Houses)
BSB-Brooklyn Street Bangas, Fulton Street
Chan City Mafia, 110/120 Chauncy Street
CNN-Crusty Nigga Nation, Pulaski Street, Lewis Avenue to Stuyvesant Avenue (Roosevelt Houses)
Grimmy Gunners, Pulaski Street, Lewis Avenue to Stuyvesant Avenue (Roosevelt Houses)
TSP-Team Stack Paper, Ralph Avenue, Fulton Street to Bainbridge Street, (Brevoort Houses)
2 Stacks, Ralph Avenue, Fulton Street to Bainbridge Street (Brevoort Houses)