Community Activists, Residents Rally In The Wake Of Yet Another Vicious Attack

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Brooklyn residents are taking a stand against the so-called “knockout game,” a violent trend in which youths sucker-punch unsuspecting strangers for kicks.

Community leaders and local residents held a rally in East New York on Friday in the hope of bringing an end to the assaults.

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“We are stressed out, but we refuse to be knocked out in our community,” said Leticia Smith of the Brown Memorial Baptist Church. “We are asking our mothers to make a recommitment to pay more attention to our children.”

Several attacks have taken place in recent weeks in Brooklyn. The victims include a 78-year-old grandmother and a 12-year-old boy.

On Friday, police released surveillance photos of a man linked to an assault of an elderly woman in Brooklyn. Investigators said the 76-year-old victim was approached from behind and punched in the head while walking in East New York. She was treated and released earlier in the day.

Earlier this week, Mira Harpazi, 72, was walking two blocks from her home at the Starret City housing complex in Brooklyn when she was punched in the face by a man in his 20s.

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Like other alleged “knockout” victims, she was not robbed, but left on the street injured.

Online videos from various cities show young suspects randomly punching innocent victims.

Community activist Tony Herbert from the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network said they are calling on social media companies and their advertisers to stop showing images of these attacks.

“The one thing we do denounce is the opportunity of folks to use social media like World Star Hip Hop and YouTube to proliferate this kind of stupidity,” Herbert said.

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