Shots Fired on Amsterdam Avenue and 101st Street

Police are investigating a report of gunshots on Monday around 4:30 p.m. at 101st Street and Amsterdam Avenue, the location of the Frederick Douglass Playground. No one was injured and no one was taken into custody. Police are still investigating what occurred, an NYPD spokesman said. “It’s unclear who is responsible,” he said. Its also not clear how many shots were fired. The shooting occurred a block from the 24th precinct.

Another shooting at a playground in the 20th precinct last month has led to new concerns that that precinct does not have enough officers.

NEWS | 24 comments | permalink
    1. Rob G. says:

      How much will things need to get out of hand before things change? Will it take the death of a child from a stray bullet? Criminals and gang members are acting with impunity due to the stranglehold that pols have put on the NYPD. And it’s only going to get worse once “justice reforms” give criminals another revolving door.

      Emasculating the police department and justice system simply does not work. All the gains we made during the ‘90s and early-mid ‘00s seem to be disappearing right before our very eyes. I hope we can turn things around during our next election cycle.

      • Jerry says:

        @Rob G…It appears that you have a very serious problem understanding the concept of cause and effect. Either that, or fact vs. fiction. When you refer to a “stranglehold” on and “emasculating” of police, I hope you are not decrying the requirement that our New York City Police abide by the United States Constitution in the performance of their duties. I think you are probably referring to changes to “stop and frisk” since 2013, but the way “stop and frisk” was performed by the NYC police department during the Bloomberg administration was declared unconstitutional by a U.S. District Court Judge in Bloomberg’s final year as Mayor. Moreover, there is no evidence whatsoever that “stop and frisk” as practiced (unconstitutionally) by NYC Police during the Bloomberg administration actually resulted in lower crime rates. For one thing, the overwhelming number of persons stopped under “stop and frisk” were completely innocent, guilty of absolutely nothing. For another, studies show that the N.Y.P.D. “stop and frisk” tactics produced rates of seizures of guns or other contraband that were no greater than would be produced simply by chance. Finally, crime has continued to drop sharply in the years after “stop and frisk” was modified to no longer be unconstitutional.

        All instances of crime are sad and traumatic–especially for those directly involved. But published stories of random acts of crime in a neighborhood of over 200,000 people (or a borough of more than 1.6 million) do not qualify as trends in crime rates or valid statistics. You are trafficking in fear, and that is regrettable.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          jerry, very well said. All i would add is… Amen!!

        • Kaz says:

          This is one of the best comments I’ve ever seen on WSR. Thanks, Jerry.

        • Rob G. says:

          Sorry, but you don’t get to say “crime is sad and tragic”, then find ways to excuse it or lecture us that it’s not really happening. Those that bury their heads in the sand about the problems around us are as culpable as those that cause them.

          • Jerry says:

            @Rob G…I don’t understand the basis for your reply. I abhor crime (and almost all uncivil behavior) and my heart goes out to each and every victim of crime. I also believe perpetrators of crime should be apprehended and prosecuted according to the law. But what do either of those thoughts or beliefs have to do with my ability to count or understand cause and effect? I recognize the difference between random acts of crime that yes, are sad and traumatic, and generate fear, and actual crime statistics or crime trends in a neighborhood of over 200,000 or borough of 1.6 million. Bottom line: I do not see how mischaracterizing past events or current trends to make an invalid point is a helpful undertaking, and I’m speaking out against it.

            I don’t think that, or anything else I’ve said, constitutes excusing crime or lecturing you that it’s not really happening. (Indeed, as far as I can tell, I don’t think we will ever be able to eliminate crime completely.) I am merely using information to refute your basis for what I deem to be unnecessary fear-mongering and scapegoating.

            Incidentally, the most recent federal criminal justice reform–the most widespread criminal justice legislation in more than a generation–was championed by Jared Kushner, supported by a large bipartisan majority in both houses of Congress, as well as a broad swath (and majority) of criminal justice experts, and signed into law by President Trump. Who is it exactly that you want turned out in the next election cycle because of this?

        • Janice says:

          Very well said, Jerry.

        • Will says:

          Thank you Jerry, it’s nice to see someone with sense on here

    2. Uwsider says:

      Gunshots in broad daylight on a playground across the street from a police precinct. The second playground gunfire in our neighborhood this month. Good thing we are closing jails.

    3. UWSConcerned says:

      This is terrifying and a story that needs to be told beyond this readership. Two daylight shootings in/adjacent to playgrounds (one shooting, one shots fired, technically). Our leaders need to support the NYPD’s ability to prevent and police crime – but even before that, need to acknowledge this dangerous and troubling trend.

      • Jerry says:

        How do two terrifying published stories of random acts of crime in a neighborhood of over 200,000 people (or a borough of more than 1.6 million) qualify as a dangerous and troubling trend? Why are so many commenters on West Side Rag unable to distinguish between the fear and trauma engendered by any single act of crime and anything approaching crime rates or valid crime rate statistics? Why is it presumed that it is possible to prevent all acts of crime–and that NYC police would do so–if only our politicians provided more “support” and some mysterious, unseen shackles on the police were removed?

        • Jojo says:

          There are tons of assaults in the area lately.

        • mkmuws says:

          Agreed. The same talking points over and over really discrediting NYPD. Who overall seem to be quite effective.

        • Rob G. says:

          Jerry, our current mayor came in with an anti-police message that immediately resulted a demoralized NYPD that continues today. Even the NY Times article that you posted here supports that. That, coupled with “justice reforms” that have (and will) put more once and future criminals on our streets will certainly have an even more detrimental effect for our neighborhood. You speak of cause and effect yet you don’t seem to understand it yourself.

          • Jerry says:

            @Rob G…IF NYC police officers are “demoralized” because “our current mayor came in with an anti-police message” (which I do not stipulate as fact), then I respectfully submit that they should not be police officers! Life is extremely difficult for everybody, and the work of a NYC police officer is even harder and more difficult than the vast majority of other professions. Any person whose feelings are so easily hurt by a politician’s rhetoric (or their misinterpretation of it) could not possibly be up to the extraordinarily demanding task of being a NYC police officer.

            As to whether “our current mayor came in with an anti-police message,” I’m aware that our police force was reminded to work within the confines of the United States Constitution, but I hope you don’t think it is “anti police” to demand that. I also hope you realize that it is not the exclusive province of the Mayor, or any other elected official, to insist that our police officers follow the U.S. Constitution, treat all residents with respect, and not use undo force in the performance of their duties. I think almost all reasonable New Yorkers request that of our police, and I would hope all reasonable NYC police do too.

            As for cause and effect, I find it hard to believe that you are actually arguing that a NYC police officer has any right to extra-sensitivity, thinner skin or more easily hurt feelings than anyone else, and/or that it makes sense on any level to ascribe these alleged hurt feelings to the occasional random acts of crime that are reported in West Side Rag! Is your argument really that because the current Mayor (or anyone else) decried the illegalities of certain past police policies, or supported the firing of the police officer whose actions led to the death of Eric Garner, today’s police officers in the 20th and 24th Precincts are “demoralized,” and moreover that this demoralization has led to increased incidences of crime?? Even though, every bit of factual evidence that there is indicates that crime has continued to drop sharply in the years since the current mayor has taken office??

            (I cannot speak to the justice reforms that have very recently been enacted on the federal, state and local levels. All I can do is note that the reforms were widely and deeply championed across the national and state political and academic spectrums.)

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        a “shooting” generally refers to a person being shot. “Shots fired” (how many shots? are we sure it was a gun? not firecrackers? if a gun, why were the shots fired?) cannot be considered a “shooting”, “technically” or otherwise. Are we to panic every time there is an unverified report of a gunshot? And why is this “news”? Shouldn’t WSR get some verification before adding to the sense of crisis?

        • LK says:

          You are so carried away in your own world that conventional definition of words start to confuse you. I’m sure you can gather from the context that shooting refers to the shots being fired, which is consistent with Oxford definition, “the action or practice of shooting with a gun.” Well, at least you didn’t think the article was talking about shooting a movie. I’ll answer your other question – cops use spotShotter technology to accurately detect and respond to gunfire.

          • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

            This would not qualify as an NYPD “shooting incident”. There is not a “shooting incident” every time gun discharges within NYC (assuming this was, indeed, gunfire). In the other shooting incident, there was actually a victim: someone got shot.

      • Jeff says:

        Not to be a troll, but I am going to guess that Jerry hasn’t lived here in Manhattan Valley very long and he does not have kids. The simple fact is that the police do not make their presence known on the sidewalks of our neighborhood. I am just talking about some community policing. There are neighborhoods in New York where it happens. This is a very concerning story, to say the least! Thanks to WestSideRag for keeping us informed.

        • Jerry says:

          @Jeff…I’ve lived on the Upper West Side (in the high 80s and low 90s) for 40 years. I spend more of my time while on the UWS in the 80s and 90s than anywhere else, but my range of activities in the neighborhood extends from 59th to 110th, and occasionally to 125th. I’m a parent of two (now mostly grown) children and friend, godparent or Uncle to several more. There have been moments when I’ve felt threatened by crime, so I know the feeling of being scared, but that doesn’t mean I’ve lost my sense of proportion or ability to reason. I would not mind if NYC police made more visible and more frequent foot patrols in our neighborhood, but I don’t think that (or any other measure) will eliminate all crime. I think there will always be some degree of risk when out and about anywhere in the world–let alone a city as big as ours–and I don’t think making up statistics, ignoring facts and claiming our neighborhood is more dangerous than it actually is, or scapegoating politicians and pretending there are easy solutions to complex societal problems, do any good.

    4. Barb says:

      There are constantly stories that policemen don’t feel supported by the city or leaders. The police chief himself said it. The growing trend of citizens throwing water buckets on policemen’s heads and the general hatred for police is not helping either. I lived in LA 20 years ago in a troubling area and haven’t heard of so many instances like here. I think it three people were robbed or attacked in the last month, during daytime on the UWS. Shocking. DeBlasio cut 20 policemen on the UWS, that doesn’t help.

      • Jerry says:

        @ Barb…Here is a link to a very thoughtful and well-balanced article about the feelings of NYC police officers following the firing of Daniel Pantaleo, the officer whose chokehold led to Eric Garner’s death. I, for one, agree with the female police sargeant quoted in the article as being critical of Pantaleo and strongly disagree with the other sargeants and union officials who defend Pantaleo and object to his firing. Either way, however, it is very hard to draw any meaningful line whatsoever to the “feelings” of NYC officers following Pantaleo’s firing and recent random acts of crime in our neighborhood. (It also is not true, according to the article, that de Blasio “cut” 20 officers.) What is true: the Upper West Side is a neighborhood of more than 200,000 in a borough of 1.6 million in America’s largest city, where crime rates continue to fall. By every objective measure, the UWS is an extremely safe neighborhood. Nevertheless, there surely will always still be incidents of crime, including daytime shootings that thoroughly unnerve us. That shouldn’t be cause (I believe) to place feelings over facts.

        https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/22/nyregion/daniel-pantaleo-nypd-police-officers.html

    5. FrankV says:

      Still remember the days when this was a regular occurrence (same area) and the police would not bother to investigate.

    6. tom burnett says:

      to all those commenters who posted thoughtful statements, I invite you to attend the next Community Council meeting at the 24 Precinct at 7 pm on Wednesday November 20. We look forward to hearing from each of you in person. The meeting is chaired by DI Seth Lynch, the commanding officer and he is an effective leader and an attentive listener.

      Tom Burnett, President 24 Precinct Community Council