Hundreds gather in Grand Army Plaza to mourn victims of gun violence

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Brooklynites gathered in Grand Army Plaza on Aug. 6 for a candlelight vigil to mourn the victims of multiple recent mass shootings.
Hundreds of people gathered to demand concrete steps to prevent future mass shootings like the ones in Brownsville, El Paso and Dayton.
Borough President Eric Adams organized the Monday night event after multiple people were killed in mass shootings, including one in Brownsville on July 27.
New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams held back tears as he spoke of the harm perpetrated by gun violence.
Demonstrators demanded that elected leaders enact stricter, concrete gun control measures.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blasted President Donald Trump, saying his rhetoric is “directly responsible for what happened in El Paso.”

Hundreds of mourners gathered at Grand Army Plaza on Monday to grieve the recent victims of numerous mass shootings and to demand Congress enact tougher gun laws.

“This is not just about assault weapons — this is about gun violence in all of our communities,” Congressional Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Queens) said. “We have to do more.”

The Aug. 5 gathering formed after a particularly bloody 10-day stretch of gun violence in both Brooklyn and around the country. Mass shootings in Brownsville, California, Texas, Ohio, and Crown Heights combined to leave at least 55 injured and 36 dead, represented at the vigil by candles and empty shoes.

In New York City, shootings are up from 426 this time last year to 448 thus far in 2019, according to NYPD crime statistics.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams took the microphone as the sun set over Monday’s solemn gathering, the former councilman from Canarsie biting back tears as he railed against the senseless nature of the violence tearing communities apart.

“I’m so tired of these vigils and these candles,” he said. “This is a plague on this country. And what’s worse — this is the most preventable plague that this planet has ever seen. It is 100 percent preventable.”

The vigil-turned-rally focused predominantly on gun legislation, but Borough President Eric Adams expressed disappointment in the reaction to the July 27 shooting at a street fair in Brownsville that left one dead and 11 others injured, arguing that the political impact of the carnage was mollified by the race of the victims.

“If the shooting in Brownsville would’ve happened on Park Avenue instead of Park Place, we would have a different response in this city and in this country,” he said. “A mother does not mourn differently based on the ethnicity of her baby, she mourns anytime she loses a child.”

And while the speakers blamed loose gun regulations for enabling mass murderers, they pointed the finger at President Trump for empowering them to act.

“Individuals are emboldened by racist rhetoric coming from the highest of offices, who refuses to understand the power of his words,” said New York State Attorney General Letitia James. “What we need to do is inspire individuals and bring people together and talk about our aspirations as a nation.”

The freshman congresswoman from Queens was even less diplomatic in her critique of the president.

“I’m tired of questioning if the president is racist,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “He is.”

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at
Updated 9:00 am, August 7, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

The Queen of EBT says:
These people are so deranged. It was a Trump bashing fest. If people in Brownsville only had access to butterflies they’d still find a way to kill each other. The Democrats are the real racists. They have no problem calling everything White supremacy or ‘whitelash’. Screw them.
Aug. 7, 2019, 6:44 am
Jimmy says:
Were Obama and Clinton responsible for incidents during their administrations?
Aug. 7, 2019, 8:14 am
Malcolm Z says:
Letitia James and AOC are prime examples of rabid, racist women of color. This is the new face of racism.
Aug. 7, 2019, 8:15 am
Jimmy says:
I guess Obama and Clinton weren't responsible for incidents during their their administrations because they never made any racist comments.
Aug. 7, 2019, 9:47 am
SCR from Realityville says:
The last thing NYC should do,is loosen up enforcement of their decades-old ZERO(tolerance),illegal gun-possession laws. You're so much,as nabbed,in-possession;of an illegal firearms,you do the time. That's timeline prison. Perhaps,because we have apparently backdown,in some cases;of this enforcement-is at least one of the reasons,that"shootings",in our city;are suddenly up?
Aug. 7, 2019, 2:47 pm
Facts is facts . from far away . says:
Did any of you recently read about a Brooklyn Judge that let a young man with an illegal gun out of jail and told him to right a composition about guns , its true look it up
Aug. 7, 2019, 4 pm
Real Jimmy says:
So fake Jimmy, racism is the cause of every mass shooting in the last 30 years? Are you watching Cnn too much? I you think so prove it. Don't just let Cnn and the liberal news brainwash you. I don't recall columbine for example, being a situation inspired by racism.
Aug. 7, 2019, 9:04 pm
SCR from Realityville says:
Again,are most of the responders here,drunk or high? Or are they just stupid? Whatever,this discourse is definitely,no more coherent;than the worst of Donald Trump.
Aug. 7, 2019, 11:23 pm
LaQwerty Jones says:
Be quiet SCR. Donald Trump is the best President ever! Trump 2020. Get off the Democrat Plantation. Don’t be a brainwashed Antifa Fascist.
Aug. 8, 2019, 7:39 am
LaQwerty Jones says:
I'm a racist POS and I support the racist POS in the white house!
Aug. 8, 2019, 5:13 pm
LaQwerty Jones says:
Thank you Donald Trump for saving America from the Fascist-Socialist-Marxist-Communists trying to destroy our great nation. God bless America! Trump 2020! #Blexit #Walkaway
Aug. 9, 2019, 7:33 am
LaQwerty Jones says:
Thank you Donald Trump for making America even more racist than ever!
Aug. 9, 2019, 7:57 am
LaQ says:
Thank you DT for exposing the hypocrisy and bigotry of the Left. The globalists are being outed one by one. The swamp is being drained in both parties. The lies are being exposed. Only the brainwashed masses cannot see the truth and continue to live in the dark.
Aug. 9, 2019, 8:14 am
Amy Klondikebar says:
Trump rocks! MAGA 2020
Aug. 9, 2019, 9:52 am
Amy Klondikebar says:
trump Sucks! Anyone else 2020
Aug. 9, 2019, 4:06 pm
Creepy Joe Biden says:
Even I want out of the crazy Dem clown car, plus Kamala Harris’ hair smells funny! TRUMP 2020!
Aug. 9, 2019, 4:41 pm
The Leftist says:
I will attack you and boycott you if you dare to think differently. I am all about love and tolerance.
Aug. 9, 2019, 8:44 pm

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