New York City touts safe Labor Day weekend, J'Ouvert and West Indian Day Parade

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, September 6, 2022
NYC touts safe holiday weekend, J'Ouvert and West Indian Day Parade
New York City Mayor Eric Adams joined NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell and other officials Tuesday to announce a relatively safe Labor Day weekend. Lauren Glassberg has the story.

CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Eric Adams joined NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell and other officials Tuesday to announce a relatively safe Labor Day weekend, including little to no violence related to the annual J'Ouvert Festival and West Indian Day Parade, which have typically been prone to shootings.

In all, there were 15 shootings during the holiday weekend this year, compared to 29 people wounded in 20 shootings last year.

Adams said it in addition to the NYPD, several city agencies supported police, rather than deploying officers in force as in years past. The drastically different approach was about proactive collaboration, such as the Department of Environmental Protection handling enforcement of noise ordinances.

"They were willing to do their jobs and come together and operate as a team to make our city safe, and because of that, we saw a celebration without that traditional violence," he said. "We walked through the parkway, and during the day, people stated, 'We were expecting to read the headlines, what we traditionally saw. It wasn't there. We know our capabilities. We had to dismantle those walls. We had to bring down the feeling that we were in it alone. We have to have the backs of each other."

Sewell said it was the third best Labor Day weekend New York City has seen related to violence in the modern Compstat era.

Officials said three people were shot on Saturday, five on Sunday and seven Monday. Five of the victims shot on Monday were in the early morning hours in Brooklyn, but officials said none were along the parade route.

Additionally, 40 illegal dirt bikes and ATVs were seized during and after the parades, as well as two illegal guns.

The main parade started in the late morning Monday and continued into the early evening. The separate street party known as J'Ouvert, commemorating freedom from slavery, was held in the early morning hours before the larger parade started off.

"Our city came together to stop a tradition of not allowing our Caribbean diaspora to celebrate with the level of peacefulness they deserve," Adams said. "I was proud to walk up the pathway, was proud to represent the city as the mayor as we dealt with celebrating to return the Caribbean Day Parade and J'Ouvert, in making sure that we can keep people safe. Zero Fatalities at the parade. Zero homicides. Best of New York, served by the best people in New York."

Outbreaks of violence have occasionally marred both the early morning and main parade, with the most high-profile being the 2015 death of an aide to then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo from stray gunfire during the hours of J'Ouvert, which used to start even earlier and was more informal.

Since then, a formal start time for J'Ouvert was instituted, along with checkpoints for entry, as well as an increase in police presence on the day.

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