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Thursday, January 20, 2022

The Media Needs to Ask Incoming Controller Lander About Weapons in Schools and Incoming Brooklyn Borough President Reynoso About the Gang Shootings

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By Gary Tilzer

Incoming Comptroller Brad Lander should be asked by the media to explain his support for removing metal detectors from the city schools, in light of a 17-year-old student in a Brooklyn high school being busted in class with a loaded 9mm pistol and more than $30,000 dollars in his knapsack. The next day after the student was busted with a gun, the school, Urban Assembly of Law and Justice in downtown Brooklyn installed an impromptu metal detector and recovered 21 more weapons — nine knives, seven cans of pepper spray, four stun guns and a pair of brass knuckles. The school does not normally have a scanner in place.

“I don’t believe we should have metal detectors in our schools,” said Councilman Brad Lander. He is also pressing the department to outline a clear policy on how schools can have metal detectors removed. The new controller said, “Telling our young people that we look to them as potential criminals in the schools that have metal detectors does more harm than good.”


This week Lander and other NYC elected officials attended a progressive conference in Scottsdale Arizona. Did he and the other council member feel like a criminal when he went through the TSA’s metal detectors? Or do they feel like criminals every time they go through the City Hall metal detectors?

The media did not include lawmaker Lander in their stories about the guns and knives found at the Urban Assembly school last week, they usually don’t. The NYC newspaper never ask the lawmakers who is responsible for a policy or program that fails, why and how. This media disconnect is largely responsible for failures or dysfunction in city government beyond students carrying weapons into schools. Perhaps The NY Times that has not covered metal detectors in NYC schools since 1996, and did not cover the recent weapons found in the Urban Assembly, should ask their pick for Comptroller in 2021, what he thinks caused the recent bust of weapons in a school that normally does not have metal detectors?


Incoming Brooklyn BP Reynoso: Delete the NYPD Gang Database

Incoming Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso should be asked by the media to explain his support for deleting the NYPD gang data base, after Columbia University murder suspect Vincent Pinkney tied to upstart gang “Everybody Killa” (EBK), ‘open warfare.’ Pinkney was recently paroled from prison for gang assault.

Vincent Pinkney, 25, of Manhattan was arrested and charged with the stabbing to death of Columbia graduate student Davide Giri, 30, in Morningside Park Thursday night. He’s also accused a brief time later of stabbing another man, Roberto Malaspina, who survived the encounter. EBK has captured the attention of law enforcement officials in recent years.

EBK “represents a gang policy of open warfare,” the San Joaquin, Calif. District Attorney’s office wrote in a 2019 statement announcing an investigation into the group’s activities.“EBK is classified as a hybrid gang as its members consist of a mixture of Crips, Bloods, Nightingale gang members and gang members who originally come from, and continue to maintain, strong affiliations with other active criminal street gangs.” Members affiliated with these gangs were arrested and charged with offenses including narcotics possession and sales, illegal firearms, and shootings, among other crimes, according to the statement. Pinkney’s rap sheet includes 11 arrests since 2012 on a variety of charges.

Reynoso sponsored a council bill to in his words, “Would make it so that the gang database will no longer exist.” Reynoso, who is the Democratic nominee for Brooklyn borough president, said he began writing the bill after he was approached by advocates, families and academics who work to end surveillance of New Yorkers accused of gang or crew ties — a coalition known as GANGS. The GANGS Coalition’s goal is to dismantle systems that increase surveillance, and/or police contact, or enhance punishment based on law enforcement profiling of Black, Latinx and immigrant communities as gang or crew members.

The NYPD gang database is a list of people — almost all of them Black or Latino, the police commissioner has acknowledged — that the Police Department has deemed to be members of a criminal group. NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller wrote that the database is not only used to solve gang-related shootings and homicides, but to get ahead of retaliatory shootings to stop the cycle of violence. The database has helped cops while enabling neighborhood-based groups and violence interrupters to prevent deaths, he said.

At a rally last month, elected officials and advocates questioned why the database does not include white nationalist groups or mafia members. There are lists of mafia members maintained by the NYPD, FBI, DOJ and Federal Organized Strike Force, that in the 70s’ contained mostly Italian and Irish members of organized crime, because those were the groups that made up the mob in those days. In the 1930’s the NYPD list of organized crime member in Bed Stuy were Jewish, all member of Murder, Inc. Today Russian organized crime members list contains Russian names.

The media needs to ask lawmaker Reynoso that if the NYPD Gang Date Base is deleted, how do we handle killer gang members like Vincent Pinkney, who last week murdered Columbia student Davide Giri and serious wounded an Italian-tourists, in Morningside Park. Pinkney was already convicted of gang assault. The incoming Brooklyn Borough President Reynoso should also be asked by the media policy if deleting the gang database will stop New Yorkers from getting shot and killed by a random bullet during a gang fight. Bronx Gang Member Convicted Of Shooting 12-Year-Old In Playground U.S Attorney, Brownsville Baby Killed During Retaliation Shooting for Drive-By, 40 people shot in 5 days as cops battle gang violence surge.

NY Times: The police say the majority of the more than 2,500 shootings recorded since the beginning of last year can be linked to gangs. And this year, as shootings have risen from historic lows in 2019 to their highest level in a decade, a chorus of leading officials — including Mayor Bill de Blasio and Eric Adams, the Democratic candidate to replace him — have joined the Police Department in vowing to dismantle gangs as the surest strategy for reducing gun violence. Arrests in all three shootings in recent months show the authorities blamed the same problem in each case: armed street gangs that have contributed to a wave of violence that escalated last summer during the pandemic. The bloodshed has continued this year, wounding over a thousand, killing hundreds and threatening the city’s fragile recovery.


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