Gangs of Times Square: Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer Suspiciously Not Down with Edgy New York Gang Riot

So, maybe you know of this frenetic gang riot in Times Square that local business owners preemptively beefed up security for? The same Times Square riot that left a few kids shot and dozens arrested? Well, now you do:

Last night, long story short, a bunch of kids came stampeding (or: "marauded") through midtown Manhattan in what's being noted as some kind of violent gang initiation. Four kids were shot, 54 were arrested.

Apparently, it coincides with both the Auto Show at the Javits Center as well as Easter Sunday. And via the New York Post, it's been happening for quite some time, now.

"This kind of nonsense [on Easter night] has been going on for the five years I've been here," said a security guard at a business on West 42nd Street, who asked not to be identified. "The police try to maintain the crowd, but while one side of the street is maintained, on the other side of the street, a fight breaks out."

Right, so, question: Why wasn't the public warned about the potential for this by police before it happened? Why did only local business owners know?

Doesn't matter, because what we do know, now, is that it serves as a violent reminder of the days when New York was basically The Warriors, and if you took the subway, you were going to die. So notes Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer, in a release today:

While law enforcement authorities investigate the violent uprising that resulted in three shootings and dozens of arrests, we need to get in front of this growing epidemic before we find ourselves reliving the bad old days of the 1970s. New Yorkers are on edge, and for good reason: with shootings up 19 percent over the same time last year and murders up 22 percent, everyone should be on heightened alert.

Again: Maybe we, the public, or they, the police, should've been ready at-large before this happened? Unless allowing this kind of thing to happen and controlling the effect of it has some kind of fascinating political angle to hold it up against. Note the end of Stringer's release:

One thing is becoming increasingly clear -- the city cannot withstand the draconian cuts proposed by the state to our budget. If there was ever a prime example that we need more resources to combat crime, this is it. We need Albany to do the right thing and pass a budget that won't place New Yorkers in harm's way.

Upcoming Events

That right there is a call for more money. If you're the conspiratorial type, you'd allow that maybe authorities managed this kind of thing to make a point. You wouldn't sound too insane, though. Consider this: Every day, scores of New Yorkers and tourists see processions of cops heading down various streets and avenues with little to no evident purpose other than to put their presence on display. How come that kind of power wasn't shown to preemptively ward off an event that's happened four years in a row? And would we need the money if we had more efficient allocation of resources?

Kids busting up Times Square, causing a ruckus, shooting each other: bad.

Kids busting up Times Square, causing a ruckus, shooting each other, while cops had advance notice, followed by a scare tactic press release calling for more state funding to help assist this kind of thing even though plainly evident displays of the resources to deal with this kind of thing are paraded in front of New Yorkers daily: worse.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >