Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

West Indian Day Parade begins in New York City

Despite more police, West Indian Day events marred by deaths West Indian Day Parade begins in New York City
Howard Terry | 06 September, 2016, 00:24

Two people were shot dead at a pre-dawn Caribbean heritage celebration in NY despite ramped-up efforts by police and community activists to prevent the violence that has plagued the annual event.

There was also a shooting just a block away at Empire Boulevard and Washington Avenue around 4:15 a.m.

At least four people were shot and one was stabbed amid bloodshed at the pre-dawn J'Ouvert parade in Brooklyn, police said.

One woman in the crowd says she comes to the parade every year, proudly representing the island nation Grenada. She refused medical attention. She was pronounced dead at the hospital. "There are no arrests at this time and the investigation is ongoing".

The West Indian Day celebration is held on the first Monday in September each year to showcase the culture of Caribbean people. Flyers were also distributed by community groups warning people to desist from acts of violence at the J'Ouvert parade 2016 festival, "do not shoot anyone, and do not stab anyone."Deputy Inspector Norman Grandstaff had tweeted the poster Thursday, revealing that two people were killed at the 2015 celebrations and that 4 people had been charged with the murders".

"Upon arrival, police observed a 22-year-old female with a gunshot wound to the face", NYPD said in a press release. The parade kicks off at 11:30 a.m along Eastern Parkway at Schenectady Avenue, with a grand finale at Grand Army Plaza. In that case, a person was stabbed in the neck and was last listed in serious condition.

De Blasio, asked if the violence-marred parade would be canceled moving forward, would not rule that out. He was taken to New York Methodist Hospital in stable condition, according to police. "Just making a broad, strategic statement, all options are on the table".

Last year, Carey Gabay, a former aide to Governor Cuomo, was shot and killed while leaving J'Ouvert. "And if they don't behave, they'll get a stern talking-to and maybe not get a permit next year!"

Despite another year of violence, de Blasio, Adams and other community leaders vowed to continue to the tradition of J'Ouvert next year.

Cuomo, speaking Monday at the parade, noted Gabay's death and the continued violence, saying "the cruelest situation is when you can predict the violence and you can predict the death and you still can't do anything about it, and I hope this is a wake up call".

In the past decade, more than a dozen people have been either killed or wounded in shootings and stabbings at parade-associated events. Refresh the page for updates as they become available.

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