New Yorkers took to the streets of Bed-Stuy on Saturday to call for an end to the surge of gun violence that has gripped New York City this summer, reports Patch.
The “Cease-Fire Peace Walk”, was organized by several local organizations including New York Knicks player Taj Gibson’s foundation.
The march its way from Broadway Junction to the newly-curated Black Lives Matter mural on Fulton Street, where a number of speakers, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, urged the community for peace.
In the last few weeks, citywide shootings have spiked more than 200 percent, compared to the same time period last year. North Brooklyn has been a particular hot-spot for the surge of gun violence, seeing 78 shootings in the last 28 days compared to just 14 during the same period in 2019.
Recent gun violence incidents include a shooting that broke out just blocks from the rally on Nostrand Avenue on Saturday afternoon, which killed a 23-year-old. Also nearby, a shooting on President Street last week hurt at least four people and killed a 30-year-old when it spilled onto a Classon Avenue street corner.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has responded to the surge with an anti-crime plan that includes increased NYPD foot patrols in high-shooting areas, particularly in the Brooklyn and the Bronx, and deploying Community Affairs officers and gun buybacks.
“This is a community claiming ownership over its own streets,” de Blasio said Saturday, according to videos from the rally. “This community owns these streets — not those who would do violence, but the people every day who want to live in peace.”