2012-07-13 / Columnists

The Rockaway Beat

These Statistics Do Not Lie
Commentary By Howard Schwach

The statistics from the New York City Police Department are glaring:

Sixty-two percent of the city’s 515 homicide victims in 2011 were black. Another 26 percent were Hispanic.

Twenty percent of those who were murdered in 2011 were women. Of those, 54 percent were victims of domestic violence.

Seventy-four percent of those who were killed had prior arrests, mostly for drugs. More than ten percent were known gang members.

Fifty-nine percent of the known suspects in the murders were black. Another 22 percent were Hispanic.

Eighty-five percent of the known suspects had prior arrests, nearly half of them for drug possession or sale. Fourteen percent were known gang members.

Sixty-two percent of the murder victims and 75 percent of the suspects in their murders were between the ages of 16 and 37 years old.

One in five, 20 percent, of the murders occurred in and around city public housing complexes, such as those that dot the Rockaway peninsula.

One in five, 20 percent of the shooting incidents in which nobody died occurred in and around city public housing complexes.

One in four, 25 percent, of the gun seizures was done in city public housing complexes.

Look at those statistics and then tell me again why it is racist to target black and Hispanic males for stop and frisk incidents more often than whites and Asians, especially around city housing complexes. The statistics prove once again that the cops are doing their job and doing it well. At least until now.

According to the New York Post, the number of people shot in New York City this year in relation to the same period last year increased 46 percent.

Certainly, shooting incidents in Rockaway are way up in relation to any recent year to which you want to compare the recent spate of shootings.

Local sources told The Wave that the recent wave of shootings was due to a battle between the Gang of Apes and the 40’s Boyz, both centered in the Ocean Bay Houses.

Those sources say that one teen has been shot twice in the last month due to the gang war.

In Patrol Borough Queens South, which encompasses eight precincts in Queens, including both of Rockaway’s precincts, there have been nearly 20 shootings this month, statistics show.

The Rockaway summer shooting spree started at about 2:25 a.m. on Friday, June 22, when Taquan Harding, 18, of 81-10 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, standing in front of the bodega at 86-16 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, was shot and killed by an unidentified man who walked up to Harding, said something to him and then shot him once in the chest.

A little more than 24 hours later, at about 2:35 a.m. on Saturday, June 23, an unidentified 19-year-old Hispanic male was shot at the corner of Beach 72 Street and Hillmeyer Avenue in Arverne.

Police say that the victim was shot once in the abdomen but was not likely to die. Sources say that the victim was not cooperative with detectives.

He was transported to Jamaica Hospital, where he was treated and released.

Then, on Sunday, June 24, there were two shooting incidents.

At about 5:12 a.m. an unidentified male was shot in front of 438 Beach 40 Street, in the Ocean Bay Houses.

Sources say his wound was not lifethreatening and he was transported to Jamaica Hospital, where he was treated and released.

Then, at 10:50 p.m. that night there was a report of shots fired at Beach 20 Street and Cornaga Avenue in Far Rockaway, but a police canvass failed to turn up anybody with a gunshot wound.

Then, on June 27, there was an armed robbery with a handgun at Beach 49 Street and Beach Channel Drive, a robbery that police suspect was gang related.

Early in the morning of the same day, there were shots fired in the vicinity of McBride Street in Far Rockaway and then the next day, at about 10:30 p.m., a woman was shot at 321 Beach 47 Street. Sources say that the woman may have been an innocent bystander in the way of a gang-related shooting.

On July 4, reportedly in retaliation for the Beach 86 Street murder, an unidentified 23-year-old man was shot once in the back of his shoulder in front of the Ocean Village complex, not a public housing complex, but close.

A few weeks ago, a press report that was widely reported in the New York Times and other city daily papers, said that the statistics proved that the NYPD’s stop and frisk policy was racist and needed to be stopped.

The police department, stung by the criticism, backed off a bit on the policy and we now have the result.

A myriad of shootings, not only in Rockaway, but all over the city.

In fact, 802 people were shot in New York City in the past week, in relation to the 743 people who were shot during the same period last year.

Meanwhile, two men who were found to have weapons during stop and frisk incidents have been freed by liberal judges on the grounds that the cops has no probable cause to stop and frisk them in the first place. That the two had weapons that could have been used to kill innocent bystanders and the cops took those weapons off the street did not seem to bother either of the judges.

When I was a teacher at IS 53 in Far Rockaway, I ran a cafeteria with about 360 kids. With my experience, I could walk into the cafeteria and tell instantly where the trouble was going to come from that day. Training and experience, the same way an experienced cop can look at somebody walking down the street and “know” that he is carrying a weapon or is up to no good.

Stop and frisk saves lives – both those of police officers and those who have to live in unsafe communities. To stop the policy for the sake of some liberal ideal of unreality is just plain stupid. It should continue.

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