Parade’s End?

The Story

This year’s West Indian American Day Parade again erupted in violence. One man was fatally stabbed, a number of people were injured by guns and knives, and an aide to Governor Cuomo was shot in the head. Every year, the parade is marred by incidents of this sort, especially at the pre-dawn “J’ouvert” parties that take over empty lots. With almost two million attendees cramming into Crown Heights for this off-season carnival, the hands-off approach to rampant lawlessness is clearly not working.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Funded: The West Indian Day Parade takes in hundreds of thousands of dollars of public money every year. Read more.  

  2. Oversight: At the request of local politicians, the NYPD turns a blind eye to pot smoking and illegal liquor sales at the event.   Read more.  

  3. Fatal: At least 20 people have been killed during the West Indian Day parades since 2003.  Read more


“I don’t know why people decide to come out and ruin other people’s fun with violence. I don’t understand it, but it happens every year.”

Bronwin Taylor, Participant

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Stop ‘em Cold By Peter Reinharz (Autumn 1999)

“New York City is today a much safer place, and not just because of lower crime[…]. Under the Giuliani administration, traffic fatalities have fallen a spectacular 51 percent. The AAA credited the city for its strong commitment to traffic-safety education in the public schools and for its police efforts, including such controversial but clearly effective programs as erecting pedestrian barriers in midtown, ticketing jaywalkers, and cracking down on speeding taxi drivers. In addition, the city has constructed speed bumps on streets near schools and reduced the speed limit on some thoroughfares to 15 mph. (City Journal first recommended many of these ideas in “The Quality of Life,” Winter 1998.) New York has become a national model for traffic safety.”

And in other news...

“With the second full school year of his administration beginning on Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio is already under pressure to show improvement at these schools, which are among 62 low-performing schools targeted by the state for possible takeover. One of the keys to transforming them, his administration believes, is to get parents to show up more by turning schools into one-stop community centers offering services like medical and dental clinics, adult courses and counseling.”