One of the more unexamined elements of the shooting of police officer Kevin Brennan is that it happened in Bushwick, which has recently replaced Williamsburg as the cheap hipster neighborhood of choice.
The influx of young, white college students, who frequent newer coffee shops in Bushwick and famed restaurants like Roberta’s, lies in stark contrast to the man accused of the shooting, a convicted felon named Luis “Baby” Ortiz.
Daily Intel went to visit some of the hipster denizens who live off the Morgan L stop and found them to be particularly blasé about the crime in the area:
“It went through his head,” a young man in a knit cap was saying, standing next to the bench on which someone had lovingly scrawled the words, Hipster, Go Home. “Like into his skull.” He was speaking of Kevin Brennan, a plainclothes police officer who was shot by a felon he was pursuing at Bushwick Houses — the public housing project on Bushwick Avenue — and miraculously lived.
Though crime in the area has declined 20 percent since 2001, the murder rate is up — there were seventeen homicides last year. In the fall, a string of robberies prompted the Loft Hotel and other businesses catering to the area’s not-necessarily-struggling artists “to add in extra security and stuff,” says designer Mary Meyer.
Since the thing that makes Bushwick so appealing for marginally employed young people is the cheap rent, it stands to reason that moving there might come with some socio-economic drawbacks. However, treating those problems as a mildly fascinating circus show is not exactly an indicator of good perspective. Hopefully those hipsters don’t find themselves the next target of a shooting.