Shootings, Confrontation Mar Celebrations At West Indian Day Parade

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Spectators danced and sang behind police barricades as the pavement trembled with the pounding rhythms of music coming from massive loudspeakers aboard floats as the West Indian Day Parade rumbled through Brooklyn on Monday.

Amid the celebration, two men were shot at the parade — one in the stomach and the other in the leg.  It happened around 2:30 p.m.  Both men were taken to Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn. Violence has marred the parade in some years, with fatal shootings along the route in 2003 and 2005.

Photos: West Indian Day Parade 2011

In an earlier incident, police said a parade-goer pulled out a gun and fired into the air. He fled in a livery cab but the police stopped the car and arrested him.

A spokesman for New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams said he was arrested  as he walked along a blocked-off sidewalk around 1:30 p.m. Monday.   Stefan Ringel says Williams had been given permission to walk along the street by a police official, but was then stopped by other officers. A confrontation ensued, leading to the arrest.

However, according to the NYPD, Williams and Director of Community Affairs Kirsten John Foy were “stopped from entering a frozen zone.”

“A crowd formed and an unknown individual punched a police captain on the scene. In order to separate them from the crowd, Mr. Williams and Mr. Foy, who were handcuffed, were brought across the street and detained there until their identities were established and then released,” a police statement read.

The councilman said the incident was “easily avoidable” and acknowledged that no charges were filed against him or Foy.

“I will speak in greater detail and answer more questions about this event tomorrow,” a statement from Williams read.

The annual Labor Day parade celebrating the culture of the Caribbean islands is one of the city’s largest and most colorful, featuring dancers wearing enormous feathered costumes.

Spectators waved the bright flags of their native islands and enjoyed a lineup of Caribbean delicacies sold by vendors whose barbecues released delicious-smelling smoke into the late summer air.

Revelers began the celebration way before the annual Labor Day parade kicked off at 11 a.m. on Eastern Parkway.

Putting good food aside, Ray Grandrson said the day is all about celebrating Caribbean pride and for him it’s a way to pay tribute to his home country of Jamaica.

“It reminds us of where we’re from, where we’re coming from,” Grandrson said.

“We’re celebrating our culture,” Sabrina Addison, of Hempstead, said. “As a family we all get together to celebrate it.”

Erron Adams showed up bright and early to make sure his traditional Jamaican dishes, including swordfish, were ready for the crowds.

ALSO: Best Caribbean Restaurants In New York City

“This parade is fabulous!” said Arnold Caballero, 52, who was manning a huge barbecue. “There are people of all countries, and you meet friends you haven’t seen for years.”

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller: The Parade Is About More Than Music And Dance

The Trinidad native estimated that by day’s end he would sell about 500 pounds of jerk and curry chicken, beef and pork from the stand he’s run for a decade with two friends.

Caballero’s friend Agnes Cherryl Phillips, 55, a native of Grenada, added: “This is the most excellent parade you can ever have, with music and loved ones who come from all over America, from Miami to Canada.”

The city took some extra safety precautions at the parade following a spate of holiday weekend violence and the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Police helicopters hovered over the parade Monday and motorcycle officers patrolled the surrounding blocks.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo stopped by a pre-parade breakfast before heading to upstate New York communities where residents are still cleaning up from Tropical Storm Irene.

“Thank you for sharing your culture, your language, your music, your food, your diversity,” he said.

Cuomo said he would bring buckets of jerk chicken to Irene victims.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • mcullough

    Hmmmmm…. Don’t think this parade is on my to do list.

  • alfredo
    Now here is a parade where there is not so much as a angry word spoken in all the years that I have gone. A cop tl;d me a few years ago working it was like a vacation day. And Yes, plenty of people were tipsy from beer – still no fights. Very kid friendly. If you want to see a 12 year old in a skimpy feather bikini ……… well not so much at the Steuben parade. Depends what you are looking for, I guess. I believe there is an acceptance and almost expectation of violence at some parades, which becomes self fulfilling.

  • christine

    never any problems at st patricks parade…just some drunks…with no guns or trying to rape women in parks……….

  • barbicanman

    The country of Jamaica has one of the highest murder rates in the world,they kill woman and children with no regards to human life and leave bodies this doesnt suprise me,I live in jamaica my whole life so i am not a racist.

    • Dudus

      go succ yuh mudda yuh blood claat claffy

  • katie

    almost 50 shootings this weekend, Im not sure what kind of harmony you think that is.

  • KPMc

    Colorful costumes, fabulous food and sexy, uninhibited women. Sounds like a great place to be but marred by a bunch of gun-toting idiots.

    Everyone may love a parade but I’ll stay home next year, AGAIN!

    • Bronx zoo

      sexy woman?? I saw a lot of fat and old monkee face looking woman,the pics they showed were the so called pretty ones.

  • Nec

    I cannot believe this happened at this event. WOW shocking… They must outlaw all future events. Why if this is a West Indian Caribbean event, there wasn’t any Trinidadian or Jamaican costumes?

    • Bronx zoo

      are you blind????

  • Ty Johnson

    Let me tell ya right this second. The way people acted in the parade today was down right disgusting. It shames me that these people tryin to represent my country. I know the majority ain’t from the Islands. They be comittin Black on black violence left and right. I took my family to the parade all I gots them seein was what a woman slashed in the face. Then what happens? We be ducking behind cars to not get shot in the head. What is wrong with the youth in my neighborhood? Sickening. They make us look like a savage culture. I see a lot of post be sayin that its racist tocall the youth savage, but that’s what many black youths in my neighborhood be acting like pure savages. We as a culture can not bury our heads any more. We must stand up and fight the violence. I am sick to my stomach that I even brought my kids to that parade. I wanted them to see my roots, I left afraid for their lives. The cops are hard on our neighborhood for a reason. They not being racist. The fact is, the youngins be violent.The youth don’t know how to behave. My son got jumped multiple times, he got his game boy stolen and ipod stolen. I’m afraid to buy him nice things because he be a target. Lets stop being ignorant and stand up to the violence. It’s our own fault. I never thought I’d be sayin this 10 years ago, but now that I have a family and I grew up a bit, I actually feel safe when I see them rookies on every corner on foot every night.

  • EricG

    They should ban this dangerous parade





    • ric

      What is 100 % American ? Are you an Indian ? Because if you are caucasion , try again buddy !!

    • Berry

      There is no such thing as 100% American.


    Worked that parade for 20 years with NYPD. EVERY parade there was a stabbing, shooting, assault and so on. These people can smoke weed out in the open and storm the parade without any fear of the law. Have an open beer at the St. Pats parade and you will get a ticket or ARRESTED. HYPOCRATES!!!! Avoid this parade, the PR parade and Dominican Day parade… me. Call me a racistif you want to but I’ve worked them all. The news will never tell you that because they don’t want to offend certain groups. Gimme a break!!!!!

    • retrosoundsdj


  • CR Loser

    Hey CR. U r a loser who freedoms off your mama


    What would the West Indian parade be without a shooting? It happens every year.

  • del

    can anyone remind of the last time there was shooting at the Columbus day, Israeli day maybe even the puerto rican day parade

    • liz is a liar

      @ liz, you have the nerve. I guarantee you that you have morena friends. The real you comes out infront of your monitor and then you smile in their faces. Be careful what you say…they know who you are.

      • IgnoranteElephante

        @ liz is a liar, “morena?” You do realize that “morena” is a Spanish word, don’t you? You are mixing languages in the same sentence. Since this is America, just stick to English and say black friends.

    • meagan

      @ del. At the P.R. day parade they don’t shoot, they just get overly intoxicated on tequilas and coronas and sexually grope and harass the spectators. Based on how YOU look in the morning its fair to say you’re pretty much safe unless someone gets DESPERATE.

    • Anne Marie

      the last time there was a shooting at the parade was in the mid 70’s when someone shot that italian politician it was mob related.

  • The Facts

    The President’s ancestors were never “in chains.”

  • Sonia Anderson

    Staten Island man. The people who go to the the parade knows their heritage and are proud of it we are from the caribbean Islands. We did not steal it from anyone. You on the other hand do not know wher the hell you come from your fore fathers came here and robbed the Indians of ther heritage

    • IgnoranteElephante

      I think someone robbed you of your ability to type English.

  • Sonia Anderson

    I hardly think if one goes to parade watch the floats and go home that they will get HPV. I have known people who have gone there every year and did not contract HPV you see they only went to watch the parade

  • Buttbisquit

    I love caribbean culture food and music but the energy is UPTIGHT to say the least. People from the caribbean can be extremely volatile. If you grew up there of have visited you would see why…lack of resources and poverty is beyond anything we see in NYC.

    Much love to all the yardies but there is work to do…no need for racist remarks. Fun people that have a full plate in front of them…enjoy your day and don’t let other people discourage you from doing so.


    • Kingtutti

      This has nothing to with poverty, it has to do with how you’re raised. A good percentage of Asians from this city come from heavy poverty, but they’re not constantly shooting and stabbing one another. It’s all about being a thug in black culture. If black men put half the energy they put into rapping and thugging into their education maybe they wouldn’t be so stereotyped and they wouldn’t have such a high unemployment rate.

      • Lorraine

        @Kingtutti, you know what for the first time I must say I agree. As a mother of three men, it makes me sick. When my children were growing up I didn’t allow rap music to be played in my home, simply because NOT ONLY did it give me a headache but the lyrics were vulgar, derogatory and they would use scantily clad young girls to parade around in their videos. The lyrics don’t teach you anything other than to be violent. As a inter-racial by birth woman, I clutch my purse.”sadly”, when I walk down the street. The stereotype comes from the youth today, if they carried themselves in a productive manner..excluded themselves from the wrong crowd, pulled up their pants to waist height, and use words in the english language then perhaps the stereotypical persona would not be directed at them..per se. Crime happens in every race, but society looks and expects it to be common ground from the minority. Through hard work, discipline, respect , two parent home, and LOVE my children have grown to be diligent and career oriented men. Thank God.

  • The Facts

    Same mayhem every single year. Idiots spoil things for all the decent people.

  • iggy

    i stopped going when ol’ fat al was the parade leader. saved me the bother of being the “honky that done got shot.”

  • Wake Up

    Every single YEAR since it[‘s inception, this parade has had at least ONE shooting. I have lived in NYC all my life, and every year, for 44 years, we hold a lottery in the bar I hang out in. You have to guess within one half hour, when the first shootout will occur. I bet it would be between 4 and 4:30. It just came on the news now, but the times hasn’t been verified yet. I hope I won!
    ALSO, at the Martin Luther King concert series in WINGATE PARK, there is at LEAST ONE SHOOTOUT every year! The media NEVER reports it.

    • Helen G Thomas

      The devil always requires at least one blood sacrifice.

  • Jamaican Saudia

    and they are taking you with them marty!

  • Yo Momma so Fat

    As if New Yorkers weren’t hedonistic enough as it is. Who needs all of these scantily clothed transvestites dancing in the streets? We want people who can hit the books and want to do work, not party, party, party.

    • Moon Them

      Yo Momma so fat the top half of the Spaceship took off without her.

  • rodelu

    You people are disgusting. You all hide behind you nick names to post racists, and derogatory comments about these people or any other race other than yours. You should be ashamed of calling yourself americans. What is great about this city is its diversity and how can all, believe it or not, live in armony.

    • Very conservative

      Liberalism is a mental disorder.

      • jamila

        conservatism is the result of in breeding.

      • joe america

        said the tea bag nut…

      • Rodin

        @ jamila

        I agree but ‘inbreeding’ is one word.

    • Rodin

      Where’s Armony? Shouldn’t ‘Armony’ and ‘Americans’ be capitalized?

    • IgnoranteElephante

      rodelu, one of the firmest principles of America and being American is the ability to express one’s opinion even if it offends someone else.

  • buttbisquit

    Will there be any public bathroom available ? I never go to these things because I get herded like cattle…happy new year!

  • joe

    the media will never report it anyway, they don’t want to portrayed as racists. If these antics ever happend at any other ethnic parade, they would be all over it, truely a double standard

    • Jamaican Saudia

      “smart” joe – how do you think we know about it? answer = the media! get a grip and learn to be honest. there is NO double standard.

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