As we know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. This week, J’Ouvert was permitted again, and once again death and violence occurred. Tyreke Borel, 17, and Tiarah Poyau, 22, and their bright futures were killed.
Amazingly, Mayor de Blasio just announced that J’Ouvert will go on next year, and therefore, the insanity will continue.
After this year’s violence, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said “J’Ouvert is singular in the significant violence associated with it” and the NYPD will “try to adjust” if the mayor wants to “go forward” with it next year.
This does not sound like a man confident that anything can be done to change the end results of this event.
Let us look at the facts of this event clearly, and not through the mayor’s progressive rose-colored glasses, that makes it all but inevitable that death and violence will occur again next year.
Over the past decade, there have been 21 shootings and countless other acts of violence at J’Ouvert. This year, there were two murders, four shootings, two stabbings, and 11 felony arrests.
J’Ouvert occurs in the middle of the night and scarves and masks are worn among the faces of 250,000 revelers. The community is plagued by gang rivalries and gun violence.
In short, J’Ouvert provides the perfect environment for scores to be settled between gang members and violence to occur under the cover of darkness and costumes.
By allowing this event to continue, Mayor de Blasio is also putting our cops between a rock and a hard place. Our NYPD is expected to keep the peace, but they are not allowed to enforce laws, which the gang members know.
For example, pot smoke is blown in the faces of our police officers without repercussions, alcohol is freely consumed publicly, and faces are covered which is a violation of New York Penal law 240.35.
This makes it illegal to congregate in public with two or more people while each is wearing a mask or any face covering that makes them unidentifiable.
Mayor de Blasio needs to stop the insanity and shut down J’Ouvert now. Brooklyn residents and our cops deserve no less.
Bob Capano was director of Community Relations for former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and a Republican candidate for City Council in the 43rd District.