NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The West Indian-American Day Parade in Brooklyn was marred by violence again, as police were investigating multiple shootings and a stabbing near the parade route Monday, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported.
At least two people were shot, and a police officer suffered minor injuries while making an arrest, officials said. A man was shot in the leg and a woman was grazed in the head, but both are expected to survive, officials said. A slashing victim also suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
A brawl also was reported.
The violence occurred mostly before the parade and occurred despite a beefed-up police presence.
Shootings and stabbings are nothing new at the parade. Last year, two people were stabbed to death, and two others were shot. In 2011, two police officers were injured by gunfire.
“I don’t understand it myself,” paradegoer Trevor Martin told Sandberg. “I’ve been doing this over 40 years, and this is unbelievable, the violence.”
Said another reveler: “You can be out here enjoying yourself, but you’ve always got to look over your shoulder,” he said. “Every second you walk.”
Although the parade, which celebrates Caribbean heritage, music, costumes and food, did not begin until 11 a.m., celebrations were going on through the night for the 46th annual parade.
The parade, which runs from Schenectady Avenue to Grand Army Plaza, is the culmination of a five-day festival. Paradegoers said the event is not just about having fun, but remembering their roots.
“I’m having fun. It really isn’t about the people,” Faye, 57, a native of St. Vincent, told WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola. “It’s just about me having a good time, and that’s it.”
Faye has been wearing ornate costumes in the parade since she was 2 years old.
“The costumes range to $200 up to thousands of dollars,” she said. “I did it in between.”
“I love it,” Ashley, a Haitian-American from Boston, said of the parade. “This is my third year, and I have the time of my life. It’s just a moment to express yourself through pretty much music.”
One reveler described to CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang what he loves so much about the day: “Reggae music, community, and we know where we came from, and we’re happy where we’re at.”
“I’m thinking about some corn soup, some jerk chicken. I’ve got my mind on it,” a woman told Jiang.
The rain did not dampen the spirits of New Yorkers who displayed a fierce sense of pride for the countries represented during the parade.
“They’re all very good but we know how to party in Barbados,” one reveler told CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell.
While parade goers took in the parade and enjoyed food from a variety of countries they were also served a heaping side dish of politics as mayoral candidates took an opportunity to get face time with voters ahead of Primary Day.
“I think we’re gonna get a very strong vote from the community and I think it’s one of the reasons why we’re going to do very well on primary day,” Bill deBlasio said.
Bill Thompson, John Liu, Anthony Weiner, and Christine Quinn were on hand as well and promised to keep fighting through September 10.
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