By Daniel Katzive
The murder that occurred on Sunday, May 1 at West 102nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue near the Frederick Douglass Houses remains unsolved.
Deputy Inspector Naoki Yaguchi, commanding officer of the 24th Precinct, told attendees at Wednesday’s monthly Community Council meeting that detectives are working hard on the case and believe they have a good handle on what occurred. He was not able to provide more details, given sensitivities around the ongoing investigation, but he did say the incident is not believed to be gang-related. This is the only murder thus far in the precinct this year.
In other news, the precinct has had some success in reducing grand larceny shoplifting incidents in the stores along Columbus Avenue between 100th and 97th Street, DI Yaguchi reported. He credited cooperative efforts between the officers patrolling that sector and Target and other large retailers along that stretch.
The guest speaker was Shawn McMahon, chief of the District Attorney’s Crime Strategies Unit, who addressed community perceptions that prosecution decisions are often too lenient.
McMahon said the pandemic had slowed prosecutions of gun crimes, because grand juries could not be impaneled for felony indictments, but the grand jury system is now fully operational again. Conditions at Rikers Island and the young age of many of those arrested for weapons possession are two other factors that have limited prosecutors’ ability to hold defendants accused of weapons possession ahead of trial.
Deputy Inspector Yaguchi will appear alongside Captain Neil Zuber of the 20th Precinct and Deputy Inspector William Gallagher of the Central Park Precinct via Zoom Thursday night at 6:30 PM, in a virtual forum meeting sponsored by the Upper West Side Coalition of Block Associations and Community Groups. See Wednesday’s West Side Rag article for details and link.