Tag Archives: Police Commissioner Ray Kelly

Ridgewood musician kills himself, three others in Brooklyn shooting


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


A Ridgewood man fatally shot himself and three fellow musicians at a Brooklyn home Monday morning, according to police and published reports.

Ali Akbar Mohammadi Rafie, 29, allegedly killed the three men and wounded a fourth just after midnight at a residence on Maujer Street in East Williamsburg, said cops.

Two of the homicide victims, Soroush Farazmand, 27, and his brother, Arash, 28, were both members of Yellow Dogs, an indie band that originated in Iran, according to published reports.

The third victim, Ali Eskandarian, 35, was reportedly not a part of the band, but was also a musician.

The wounded victim, a 22-year-old man, was shot in the right arm and was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where he remains in stable condition, said cops.

Police said they discovered Rafie dead on the roof of the Maujer Street home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and a rifle next to his body.

Rafie was a member of another Iranian band, the Free Keys, the New York Times reported. Members of both bands were acquaintances, but Rafie was no longer a part of the Free Keys.

According to reports, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the shooting seems to have stemmed from a dispute over money “involving an indie rock band.”

 

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Spike in crime sparks push for park safety


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

The city may continue to report decreasing crime rates, but its park safety is up for question.

Crime in city parks this spring was 44 percent higher compared to the same period last year, according to NYPD data.

From April 1 to June 30, 128 crimes were reported in the 31 city parks for which the police department reports stats.

During the same time in 2012 there were 89.

It’s the largest jump since 2006, when a law was passed requiring the NYPD to provide the City Council with park crime statistics, said Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee.

“[These stats] are obviously cause for alarm,” he said.

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park reported the most crimes of Queens parks, with 27 complaints, 12 more than the same time last year. These included 22 grand larcenies, two robberies, two felony assaults and one grand larceny/assault.

It was the second most crime-ridden park in the city, following Central Park, which had 37 complaints.

Six crimes were reported in Alley Pond Park and two in Forest Park during the same period.

In the wake of the crime jump and a rape in Forest Park last week, the second time a female jogger was tasered and then sexually assaulted there this year, there have been calls for Forest and Flushing Meadows to have their own precincts.

Central Park is the only city green space to have a dedicated NYPD precinct. Flushing Meadows, the fourth largest park in the city, at 898 acres, is slightly bigger than Central. Forest Park, the third largest green space in the borough after Alley Pond, is 544 acres.

“These are public spaces and people should feel safe,” said Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates.

The jump in crime, he said, is no doubt a result of the lack of dedicated officers assigned to the parks.

The NYPD did not comment as of press time, but Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has reportedly stated that park crime has been consistently low and only accounts for a small percentage of overall city crime.

Vallone wants to require the department to extend the crime reporting beyond 31 parks to every city park over one acre.

He said the NYPD says it’s only providing data for so few parks because they don’t have to submit the information if they don’t have the technology to do so.

“It’s now been seven years since the law was passed and it’s ridiculous to think that they haven’t been able to come up with this technology.”

 

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Queens murder becomes city’s first homicide in nine days


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo by Robert Stridiron

The shooting death of a man in Corona this weekend was reportedly the first homicide after the city went nine days without a murder.

According to police, around 6:00 p.m. Saturday, the victim, 24-year-old Jahim Campbell, was found bleeding with a gunshot wound to the head in the basement apartment of 97-28 57th Avenue. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

If the death of a Brooklyn woman on Friday is ruled a murder, then the number of days without a homicide would be cut to eight.

Still, more than a week without a murder is uncommon in New York City, and the chilly temperatures may have contributed to the homicide-free streak.

“You know that’s always, that’s sort of the anecdotal answer that we have in policing the cold weather or rain… sometimes yes, sometimes no,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told WCBS 880. “It’s always a complex issue. It’s difficult to point to any one factor. But we’re happy it’s what it is.”

“We’ve seen it where people who are forced to be inside as a result of the weather get violent,” he said.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers. High of 79. Winds from the SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%. Tuesday night: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers. Low of 75. Winds from the South at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70% with rainfall amounts near 1.5 in. possible.

EVENT of the DAY: Special preview of Ira Sachs’s latest film “Keep the Lights On” at the Museum of the Moving Image 

This event closes “Looking for Love: The Films of Ira Sachs,” the first comprehensive NYC retrospective of Sachs’s work that includes all his feature films and a selection of short films, each followed by a Pinewood Dialogue with Sachs in person. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Plans to convert College Point paint factory into waterfront condos back on table

A stalled proposal to transform a 150-year-old paint factory in College Point into a waterfront condo complex may be coming back to life — sparking community concerns. Read more: New York Daily News

Cops in hot water

Abandon ship! A Queens couple was forced to make a desperate leap into Jamaica Bay moments before a powerful 600-horsepower NYPD Harbor Patrol boat rammed into their tiny fishing dinghy. Read more: New York Post

Court orders city to do proper environmental review of Willets Point

Plans to revamp the gritty industrial landscape of Willets Point must remain on hold until the city can produce an “appropriate” environmental review, a court has ruled. Read more: New York Daily News

Schumer: Deny cop killers parole for murder of NYPD officer in 1988

Sen. Charles Schumer has spoken out, demanding four convicted cop killers to not be granted parole. Officer Edward Byrne was killed back in 1988 while he was sitting in his patrol car protecting a local citizen’s house who feared retribution local drug gangs. Read more: CBS New York

IBO: Longer NYPD shifts would bring greater efficiency

City police officers could be working longer hours, if the city implements the ideas from a new study.
The nonpartisan Independent Budget Office suggests lengthening officers’ shifts from 8 hours, 35 minutes to anywhere between 10 and 12 hours. Read more: NY1

Dems open convention in push for tested president

Four years later Democrats have gathered again, this time in support of a president who carries the power and the burden of incumbency, both in evidence as the opening gavel is struck at the Democratic National Convention. Read more: AP

Stanford scientists cast doubt on advantages of organic meat and produce

Does an organic strawberry contain more vitamin C than a conventional one? Maybe — or maybe not. Stanford University scientists have weighed in on the “maybe not” side of the debate after an extensive examination of four decades of research comparing organic and conventional foods. Read more: New York Times

Maspeth street renamed for former NYPD detective


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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A Maspeth street was renamed for a former police officer who passed away last year from the after effects of working at Ground Zero.

Kevin Czartoryski, who died in 2010 at 46, was honored on Sunday, April 29 with the renaming of the street he lived on when he passed.  He suffered from pulmonary fibrosis.

Fifty ninth road off 60th Street in Maspeth will now be known as Detective Kevin Czartoryski Place.

Hundreds of friends, family, co-workers and elected officials attended the ceremony and spoke lovingly of the former police officer.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Senator Chuck Schumer, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Assemblymembers Cathy Nolan and Grace Meng, State Senator Joe Addabbo and Councilmembers Elizabeth Crowley, Daniel Dromm and Jimmy Van Bramer attended the renaming.