Al Sharpton, prominent NYC leaders gather at Harlem 'Public Safety Summit'

Thursday, January 5, 2023
Prominent leaders gather at public safety summit in Harlem
Al Sharpton and the National Action Network is hosting the Harlem 'Public Safety Summit' in an effort to address gun violence in New York City. NJ Burkett has the details.

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- A major summit, organized by Rev. Al Sharpton, is underway at the National Action Network in an effort to fight crime in New York City.

"It doesn't matter how old you are. If you are old enough to have a gun, you are old enough to face whatever it is that you got to face, because families are being destroyed," said Yaneli Henriquez, the mother of a shooting victim.

Henriquez says her daughter's legacy depends on it. Angellyh Yambo was a straight-A student with glasses and braces, who was shot to death on her way home from school.

The gunman stood outside a corner bodega and fired half-a-dozen shots at another young man across the street. But the bullets missed and struck Yambo half a block away.

A 17-year-old is charged in the case. Bronx DA, Darcel Clark.

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"You have to know that there are consequences to the decisions that you make," Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said.

The question is: do the gunmen know that?

"They should know it because they face prosecution," Clark said. "But if it's a system where it's broken, and they think that they're not going to be held accountable, then they may continue to do it."

Last year, 56 teens were wounded and six were killed. Of the victims, 21 were under 16 years old, including an 11-month-old baby.

As for arrests, 31 teens were charged last year including two 14 year-olds, and 33 teens were charged in cases where no one was struck.

On Thursday night, New York's most prominent Black prosecutors and elected officials were attending a public safety summit in Harlem, organized by Rev. Al Sharpton. Among them was New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

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"If we can walk out of the room with a real plan on how to deal with recidivists, I think it's a real W for the city," he said.

Clark says judges need to have discretion, and that a gun possession arrest doesn't belong in family court.

"If you display a gun, you possess it," she said. "As long as you possess it, you should be held accountable in criminal court."

Henriquez grieves for her daughter every day.

"It's been 16 years with her and 9 months without her," she said. "So, this situation is breaking me in pieces."


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