NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With murders up double digits and his crime-fighting reputation on the line, Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed to “get a lot of guns away from the bad guys.”
But some community activists say the answer may be a return to some type of stop, question and frisk, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
Natasha Christopher was in Grand Central on Tuesday, National Violence Awareness Day, demanding action to get guns off the street, and to mourn the loss of her 14-year-old son, Akeal, who was shot in the back of the head in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
“This was the worst possible pain I have ever experienced,” Christopher said.
With murders up almost 20 percent this year, Christopher said she fears for the safety of her two other sons. She wants the killing to stop.
“They need to bring back stop and frisk, but they need to find a better way to implement it,” Christopher said.
She has a message for Mayor de Blasio, a message from someone who knows the loss of a child.
“Please do something to save lives, because you removed stop and frisk and it has not worked. There are more children dying there are parents burying their children when it shouldn’t be happening,” Christopher said.
After the NYPD released the latest crime statistics showing shootings up for two straight years, the first time that has happened in nearly two decades, the mayor held a hastily arranged press conference and vowed action.
“We have the right approach for turning the tide and in that we will get a lot of guns away from the bad guys,” de Blasio said.
That approach involves a summer “All-Out” program that will send more than 300 cops to precincts where shootings and murders are up, many of them gang-related.
Areas targeted include the 81st Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant, the 44th in the Bronx, the 73rd in Brownsville, Brooklyn, the 52nd in the Bronx, and the 67th in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, Kramer reported.
“The NYPD has seen challenges before and has overcome them,’ de Blasio said.
The Rev. Calvin Butts of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem said rising crime rates could cost the mayor his job.
“The mayor needs to pay attention. It could mean that people will organize against him,” Butts said. “This is worse than the snowstorm.”
“I know the mayor is a parent. Which one of your kids are you prepared to lose? I should not have to live like this,” Christopher said.
Community outrage is expected to continue on Wednesday when a group called One Community, One Family will bring coffins and body bags to the steps of City Hall to remind the mayor that there are real people — real mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers — who are deeply affected by the carnage, Kramer reported.