Cops downplay gangstas

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Although a recent shooting may be linked to gang violence, cops from the 69th Precinct said that gang activity in Canarsie is at an all−time low.

Captain Milt Marmara, the commanding officer of the 69th Precinct, reported this week that Memorial Day weekend was quiet and uneventful, a drastic change from the activities that took place just a year ago when a “gang conclave” broke out on the Canarsie Pier.

Cops were called en masse to quell the problem when dozens of gang members sporting colors flocked to the pier for some kind of meeting.

A few arrests were made as cops tried to move the gang members along, officials remember.

It was quite a different story this year, Marmara said.

“It went very well,” Marmara explained. “We set the tone early by focusing on noise complaints. There were no issues to speak of and 311 calls about noise were down all weekend.”

Yet police are wondering if a gang beef prompted a shooting on East 102nd Street and Avenue J on May 21 where a young man was shot numerous times in the back and once in the hand. He was listed in stable condition after treatment at Brookdale Hospital.

Police described the shooter as a black male sporting a hoodie. While no gang colors were reported being seen, it’s believed that the shooting could be gang−related because the victim was friendly with gang members in the neighborhood.

Marmara said that while gang activity is down, Canarsie is still home to dozens of gang members.

“There are gang members in the 69th Precinct and there was some gang activity last year,” Marmara explained. “But ever since we started identifying gang members and coordinating our efforts with the gang unit, we have been very successful.”

“We’ve been tracking our bad guys and gang incidents are down, along with shootings,” said Marmara, adding that cops are also paying more attention to gang recruitment at local schools.

Updated 3:32 pm, October 19, 2011
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