Posted by: vote4claxton | January 10, 2009



New York Amsterdam News

Violence and shootings mar

beginning of year


Amsterdam News Editor

After a series of shootings

over the last holiday weekend

in Brooklyn and Queens, two

men are dead and several

other people wounded.

Two men—one a young

father with a child on the

way—were shot in the head

just after midnight on Christmas

in South Jamaica,


The victims were Andre

Stokes, 42, and Jamel Griffin,

34, the father of a young son

with a baby on the way. The

two men were pronounced

dead at the scene by responding

paramedics. They were

found in front of the apartment

of one of the men on Shore

Avenue close to Sutphin Boulevard.

Their families are devastated.

Eloise Woods, 68, Griffin’s

grandmother, who previously

lost a 15-year-old son to a

shooting, told the press, “There

is nothing worse than losing

your child to a gun…When is

enough enough? There has

been enough blood on our


Police have not announced a

motive. They said that no

arrests have been made, but

did release information that

the two victims had extensive

criminal records, including

drug-related arrests.

“The citywide deadly violence

over the holiday weekend

goes to show that despite what

Mayor Bloomberg and Police

Commissioner Kelly say about

the reduction in crime, the

inner cities are obviously not

enjoying this bountiful period,”

said retired detective Marquez

Claxton. “The streets are still

as dangerous as they have

been—certainly since

Bloomberg took office.”

Claxton, a Queens resident

who is running for City Council

this year, determined, “It is

going to get worse because of

the recession-fueled cutbacks,

which affect employment,

housing and public safety. The

police department’s lack of

resources does not help with

this problem of the abundance

of illegal firearms.”

The co-founder of the civil

rights organization 100 Blacks

in Law Enforcement added,

“People almost begin to expect

and accept the reports of

another person shot dead. The

mayor and the police commissioner’s

statistics have no

bearing on our reality. Unfortunately,

the deaths of Andre

and Jamel, and the vicious,

cowardly slashing of grandmother

Vivian Squires just

become momentary news

items. Nobody throws their

hands up in the air with

amazement; disgust maybe, a

little shock—but no prolonged

outrage. And Bloomberg and

Kelly are mere statisticians

not confronting the real


Last week, Mayor Michael

Bloomberg and Police Commissioner

Raymond Kelly

announced that major crimes

in 2008 saw a decline, but paradoxically

murders and robberies

were up. Last year saw a

rise in murders and shootings

in Jamaica, Queens.

Fresh from attending Saturday’s

“More books, less bullets”

rally organized by A.T. Mitchell’s

Hip Hop Stand Up and Vote in

Brownsville, Claxton suggested

that the steadily increasing

body count is a “another call for

the community to be more

proactive in stopping the violence.

Here it is a new year, with

all this expectation in the air:We

must have a revived focus to

halt the killing in the hood.”




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