The fact that East New York, Brooklyn, remains the overall violent-crime leader in New York City is not surprising. After all, there’s been so much mayhem there over the years that the place has earned not one but two nicknames from the detectives working there: “The Killing Fields” and “The Dead Zone.” But instead of being No. 1 with a bullet, as it has been perennially in the past, this year East New York is No. 1 with an asterisk: While the neighborhood tops the city in rapes, robberies, and assaults, its homicides have been halved this year. In fact, there are 11 neighborhoods in the city with more homicides in 2008 than East New York, including its neighbor Brownsville, which, with a city-leading 22 slayings, is the apparent victim of the spillover syndrome. Located on Brooklyn’s eastern border, the 75th Precinct only had 10 murders through September 21, compared to 22 through the same period last year. Still, the overwhelming overall numbers of East New York’s other violent crimesfor instance, there have been 140 more robberies and 130 more assaults in East New York this year than any other neighborhoodallows the birthplace of Murder Inc. to retain its notorious title.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 15, 2008