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From Sydney Brownstone's report:
Ever since 32-year-old Mark Carson was shot in the face after leaving a gay bar on May 18, the citizen crime-prevention squad New York Initiative (NYI) has been patrolling the West Village. It wasn't just Carson's murder that caused concern. The city has seen a sharp uptick in anti-gay hate crimes, with five reports in May alone.
In the past, NYI has spent nights breaking up fights in Harlem and keeping watch over a Canarsie neighborhood plagued by rape. The martial arts instructor, who goes by the name Dark Guardian, worked three years chasing coke dealers out of Washington Square Park. The group also served as night security during Occupy Wall Street's Zuccotti Park protests.
READ MORE: A Different Breed of Crime-Fighter Responds to Anti-Gay Violence
ALL PHOTOS BY C.S. MUNCY
Published on June 21, 2013