Tight security measures aimed at curbing violence at Monday's J'Ouvert Festival

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Lucy Yang has more on security measures for this year's J'Ouvert festival.

The 2017 J'Ouvert Celebration will be held Monday in Brooklyn amid enhanced security measures, as New York City officials try to curb the violence that has plagued the annual event in recent years.

The festival will take place from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Crown Heights, after previously starting at 2 a.m.

Two people were killed last year, despite an increased police presence and more lighting, and in 2015, an aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo named Carey Gabay was shot and killed.

One of the victims was 22-year-old Tiarah Poyau, a student at St. John's University. A 17-year was also shot and killed.

Gabay, a 43-year-old lawyer who had worked for Cuomo and was deputy counsel of the state's economic development agency, was shot in the head as two street gangs exchanged gunfire.

The name J'ouvert means daybreak, put together from the French words "jour" and "ouvert." It is the start of a carnival that includes the separate New York Caribbean Carnival Parade later Monday featuring "pretty mas," or masquerade, revelers in giant feathery costumes riding on bright floats.

J'ouvert's costumes, called "ole mas," are different but just as wild. Some people dress in rags and don helmets with giant horns painted a thick-as-molasses black. Others cover themselves in red paint or black oil. The costumes are a nod to the original celebrations that began in Trinidad in the mid-1800s when slaves were emancipated.

This year, revelers must enter the route along 12 designated entry points and will have to pass through metal detectors, and no alcohol or backpacks will be allowed. Thousands of additional officers will be on patrol and will police party areas outside the barriers.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Related Topics:
nypdshootingviolenceCrown HeightsNew York City
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