Tag Archives: queens village

Retired NYPD captain to launch bid for open City Council seat as Republican


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Facebook/ Joseph Concannon

When he first campaigned for City Council two years ago, retired NYPD Capt. Joseph Concannon ran on the Reform Party line and was trounced at the polls on Election Day by the incumbent, Councilman Mark Weprin.

Now that Weprin is out of the City Council and in with the Cuomo administration, Concannon is going for the now-vacant 23rd Council District seat again, but this time as a Republican.

Concannon is scheduled to formally announce his campaign on Monday, alongside Queens GOP leaders and supporters in front of the 105th Precinct stationhouse in Queens Village.

“Over the past few weeks and months, my close friends and family have been encouraging me to take my zeal for public service and community activism to the next level,” Concannon said in a press release issued Thursday. “Many of my friends as well as the people I meet every day express their dismay with the current leadership in the City Council, our mayor and the direction this city is headed in as a whole.”

While five Democrats are seeking the party’s nomination in the September primary, the Republicans appear to be unifying early around Concannon. Sources with the Queens GOP indicated earlier this week that he is the only Republican seeking the seat.

More evidence of GOP unity was noted in Concannon’s press release, which listed Queens GOP Chairman Bob Turner, Councilman Eric Ulrich — the lone Queens Republican in the city legislature — and Queens Conservative Party Chairman Tom Long as guests scheduled to attend the campaign launch.

In August 2013, Concannon launched a challenge to then-Councilman Weprin after the City Council passed into law the Community Safety Act, two bills bringing greater oversight to the NYPD and aiming to end “bias-based profiling.” Concannon opposed the act, claiming the regulations would impede police officers in their service, and received the support of numerous unions representing members of the NYPD.

Even so, Weprin was re-elected in November with 84 percent of the vote in the district covering all or parts of Bayside Hills, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Little Neck, New Hyde Park, Oakland Gardens and Queens Village.

Since then, Concannon has remained politically active in holding rallies calling for public support of the NYPD, most recently following the murders of Police Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in Brooklyn last December, and P.O. Brian Moore in Queens Village in May.

“Not since the violence and division this city faced decades ago have people felt so disconnected from their government,” Concannon said in Thursday’s press release. “I am running to restore some respect and common sense to our local government, the kind of common sense that is embarrassingly lacking in the NYC Council.”

Concannon added that he plans “to spend the next few weeks and months earning the right to be their voice and champion.”

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Mark Weprin’s former City Council seat won’t be filled until November


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Jeff Xie

Mark Weprin officially left the City Council on Sunday, June 14 — apparently three days too late for a non-partisan special election to fill his seat.

Mayor Bill de Blasio proclaimed on Monday that the vacancy will be filled at the Nov. 3 general election, and that the political parties will nominate candidates for the election in the Sept. 10 primary.

According to a spokesperson for the city Board of Elections, a non-partisan special election cannot occur if the vacancy occurs between 60 and 90 days of the scheduled September primary. Had Weprin resigned before June 11, the mayor would have been obligated to call a non-partisan election.

Weprin had announced in May he would step down from the City Council to join the Cuomo administration as deputy secretary for legislative affairs. At the time, he said he would leave within two weeks, but ultimately delayed his departure.

Following the traditional election format now leads to a competitive Democratic primary among previously announced candidates including former Assemblyman Barry Grodenchik; Rebecca Lynch, former assistant commissioner with the New York City Community Affairs Unit; Celia Dosamantes, former aide to Assemblyman David Weprin and Rep. Grace Meng; attorney Ali Najmi; and former City Council candidate Bob Friedrich.

Whoever wins the Democratic nomination will face the Republican nominee in the general election. Sources close to the Queens County GOP identified retired NYPD Capt. Joe Concannon as a probable candidate.

Once the general election winner is certified, he or she will be sworn into office immediately and will fill out the remainder of Weprin’s term, which expires in 2017.

Regardless of the outcome, the 23rd Council District — which includes Bayside Hills, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Little Neck, New Hyde Park, Oakland Gardens and Queens Village — will be without a voice in the City Council through November. Constituent services are continuing to function from the district office, and staff members are forwarding and following up on any complaints or service requests received.

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Driver dead in one-car crash outside Rosedale home


| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps

A 39-year-old man is dead after a car crash in front of a residential home on the Queens/Nassau border in Rosedale Sunday morning, according to police.

Reportedly, the accident occurred at 4:55 a.m. in front of a home on Hook Creek Boulevard near Essex Place.

Officers from the 105th Precinct found the driver, Benjamin Louis of 110th Avenue in Queens Village, unconscious and unresponsive with severe trauma about the body. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

Detectives with the NYPD Collision Investigation Squad determined that Louis, while behind the wheel of a 2001 Acura sedan traveling southbound on Elmont Road, lost control of the vehicle. The sedan then went onto a grass field, smashed through a fence and then collided with the front steps of the Hook Creek Boulevard residence.

The investigation is ongoing.

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Celia Dosamantes, former Meng and Weprin aide, officially seeking City Council seat


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Celia Dosamantes

A former aide to Assemblyman David Weprin will run for his brother’s vacant City Council seat.

Celia Dosamantes confirmed to The Courier that she will run in the upcoming special election for the 23rd District seat, which covers Bellerose, Glen Oaks, Queens Village, Oakland Gardens and other eastern Queens neighborhoods. Councilman Mark Weprin vacated the seat Friday to begin a new role with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

Dosamantes, the youngest candidate for the seat thus far at 24 years old, grew up in Bellerose, and has lived in the district for most of her life. Because of this she believes she knows much of the problems the area faces.

“The reason why I’m running for this seat is because I grew up in this area. I love this community,” she said. “It gives me an opportunity to help grow and strengthen this community.”

Dosamantes is leaving her current role as deputy chief of staff for Assemblyman Philip Ramos. Before that she served as the executive assistant for Rep. Grace Meng and, prior to that, a communications and legislator director for David Weprin. She has also served as executive director of the Bangladeshi American Advocacy Group.

If elected, she intends to support senior services, transportation, job creation and increasing resources for schools. She hopes to be on the education committee as Dosamantes comes from a family with a background in education. Her mother, grandmother and aunt were all schoolteachers.

Dosamantes has already taken the lead on one key issue in the community, organizing a protest with residents against the recently announced juvenile jail in Queens Village.

She also wants to create a task force against domestic violence, and hopes to fight for another precinct in the area to share responsibilities with the 105th Precinct, which she believes is overburdened.

“An officer died in our area,” she said, referring to P.O. Brian Moore. “There is no reason why our district shouldn’t have the best policing services.”

In entering the race, Dosamantes faces a potentially crowded field that includes lawyer and activist Ali Najmi; former Assemblyman Barry Grodenchik; and Rebecca Lynch, a de Blasio administration staffer.

Dosamantes said she has a lot of support from people in the neighborhood and many volunteers. She also may have the support of the large Hindu population in the area. An example of Queens diversity, Dosamantes has an Indian mother and a Mexican father, as well as some other influences, and speaks four languages including English, Hindi, Bengali and Spanish.

Dosamantes recognizes that winning the seat will be an uphill battle as the youngest candidate, but she thinks she has a chance.

“I think it’s up for grabs,” Dosamantes said. “I am the underdog, but I also represent the people’s candidate because I come from the district.”

Mark Weprin has yet to endorse a candidate running for his seat. Reached by phone, he didn’t want to comment specifically about Dosamantes either.

“I will make an endorsement eventually,” Weprin said. “I have worked with her. But I’d rather not comment on any one candidate at this time.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio has yet to schedule a date for the special election, which by law must take place within 60 days.

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First-degree murder indictment for alleged Queens Village cop killer


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Updated 4:08 p.m.

A Queens Village man accused of fatally shooting a police officer last month pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon to an indictment that includes first-degree murder charges, District Attorney Richard Brown announced.

Demetrius Blackwell, 35, of 212th Place allegedly shot P.O. Brian Moore as the officer and his partner, P.O. Erik Jansen, approached him in their unmarked police cruiser on the night of May 2. Moore was struck in the head and died two days later at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.

Blackwell was arrested hours after the shooting and remains in custody. He appeared in Queens Criminal Court Thursday afternoon before Judge Joseph Zayas for arraignment on a 12-count indictment that includes charges of first-degree murder, aggravated murder and attempted murder; second-degree criminal possession of a weapon; and drug possession charges.

If convicted, Blackwell faces life in prison without the possibility of parole — the maximum sentence under New York State law. He remains held without bail and was ordered to return to court on Sept. 17.

“The defendant’s alleged actions are a direct attack on society and the law and reminds us of the dangers that our police officers face each day — and the ultimate sacrifice they may be called upon to make — as they carry out their sworn duty to protect and serve our communities,” Brown said in a statement Thursday.

Moore and Jansen, both assigned to the 105th Precinct, were riding in the unmarked car along 104th Road near 212th Street in Queens Village at 6:15 p.m. on May 2 when they allegedly observed Blackwell adjusting his waistband, law enforcement sources said.

The officers then pulled up alongside Blackwell to question him when he allegedly pulled a black firearm out of his waistband and opened fire on the officers, according to police. Moore sustained two gunshot wounds to his head; Jansen was uninjured.

Following the shooting, Blackwell — in an attempt to alter his appearance — stole a t-shirt and a pair of sneakers, prosecutors said. Police, however, caught up to him later that night at his home. The gun he allegedly used — a silver revolver reported stolen from Georgia in 2011 — was also recovered.

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Five-alarm inferno in Queens Village amid stormy weather


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@FDNY

Updated Monday, June 1, 11:24 a.m.

Firefighters battled a five-alarm inferno at a Queens Village commercial building Sunday night amid wild weather that caused street closures borough-wide due to flooding.

According to the FDNY, the blaze broke out at about 6:30 p.m. on the ground floor of the warehouse located in the area of 218th Street and 98th Avenue.

Hundreds of firefighters from across the city were battling the inferno, which was upgraded to a five-alarm fire at about 8:47 p.m. Sunday. No injuries were reported, and the blaze was brought under control about four hours later.

The 109th Precinct tweeted that the odor of heavy smoke from the fire wafted across northeast Queens. Residents in the Queens Village area were advised to keep their windows closed and limit outdoor activity until the smoke dissipated.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, as thunderstorms carrying torrential rains rolled through the city, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) reported numerous road closures due to flooding.

As of 9:01 p.m. Sunday night, the OEM reported flooding forced the closure of the westbound Jackie Robinson Parkway at Union Turnpike in Glendale and the Long Island Expressway at Utopia Parkway in Fresh Meadows. Both roads have since reopened.

The 104th Precinct also reported that part of Cypress Avenue at Vermont Place in Glendale was closed after a sinkhole developed at a construction site.

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Queens Village rallies against plan to open juvenile jail in former school


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Nearly two dozen Queens Village residents and local leaders came together Wednesday to rally against the Administration for Children’s Services’ (ACS) plan to put a facility for juvenile offenders in a former school.

Through the Close to Home initiative, which was signed into law in 2012, ACS is seeking to convert the building at 207-01 Jamaica Ave. into a “limited secure placement facility” for about 18 youngsters from New York City who committed crimes before turning 16. The building once housed the Merrick Academy, a public charter school.

Normally, these offenders would be held in institutions upstate, but the law seeks to bring the children closer to family members and lawyers in the city, while giving them education and counselling services.

However, the protesters argued that the community has not received enough information about the plan and they fear with just limited security the delinquent offenders could escape and cause harm to the surrounding community, which has a school and single-family detached homes.

“By approving a correctional center in a residential neighborhood, it will increase the devaluation of our homes, crime and the stigmatization that has historically reduced the quality of life in southeast Queens,” said community activist Mohamed Hack. “While I support the mission of the ‘Close to Home’ initiative, I understand that there are more fitting locations for ACS to use to meet their goals.”

An ACS spokesman said a public hearing was held in Queens two years ago about the facility. Also, agency officials met with Community Board 13 on May 11.

To protect the community, security at the facility would include a secured driveway for vehicles transporting youngsters, locked doors and windows, and a control room with security cameras and television monitoring by employees 24 hours, seven days a week.

Nevertheless, protesters are still hoping to get ACS to reconsider putting the facility in the building, and once again using it as a school.

“When our schools are overcrowded and underfunded, instead of placing a juvenile detention center in a building that was intended to be a school, let us support projects that protect the safety and quality of life in our communities while at the same time foster economic growth and community development,” said Celia Dosamantes, who is mulling a run for Councilman Mark Weprin’s seat when he leaves office.

Another rally is set for Saturday at noon in front of the building.

Rally 2

The building at 207-01 Jamaica Ave.

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Residents oppose plan to create a Queens Village jail for juveniles


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Christopher Bride/PropertyShark

Residents and community leaders in Queens Village are strongly opposed to a plan to convert a former school into a facility for delinquent children who have committed crimes as part of the state’s “Close to Home” law.

The law, enacted in 2012 by the Cuomo administration, seeks to bring young offenders from facilities upstate closer to their families and lawyers in the city.

The city’s Administration of Children’s Services (ACS) has targeted the building at 207-01 Jamaica Ave., the former home of the Merrick Academy charter school, to be the facility for troubled city youngsters,  who have been arrested before they turned 16 years old and are considered “at-risk.” The city agency is hoping to house 18 youth offenders at the site in a “group home” setting, and The Children’s Village will operate the site under a contract with ACS.

However, Queens Village residents said they have not been adequately informed about the plan and don’t want teens with criminal backgrounds in their residential neighborhood, fearing they could escape and harm the community.

“I understand they want to bring them closer because now they are 200 to 300 miles away, but it doesn’t have to be a residential area,” said Mohamood Ishmael, president of the Queens Village Civic Association.

The facility will be a “limited secure” building to feel less like a jail, but will have a secured driveway for vehicles transporting youngsters, locked doors and windows, and a control room with security cameras and television monitoring by employees 24 hours, seven days a week.

An ACS representative said a public hearing was held in Queens two years ago about the facility. Also, agency officials met with Community Board 13 on May 11.

Besides bringing delinquents closer to their support circles, the program will also provide education and counseling services.

“While plans for this proposed facility are still being formulated, ACS’ goal for this, as well as all other limited secure placement facilities, is to provide a safe, stable and close-knit residential environment for young people to receive residential rehabilitation services while in our care, while also ensuring the safety of residents and the surrounding community,” according to prepared remarks by an ACS spokesman.

The Queens Village facility wouldn’t be the only one Queens residents are against. In South Ozone Park, residents are fighting against a facility from opening there, and filed a class action lawsuit against the operator of the planned juvenile jail and the building owner, according to reports.

Residents and leaders said the Queens Village building should be used as a school again since it once housed the Merrick Academy.

“All the schools in this area are overcrowded,” said Celia Dosamantes, a concerned resident and budding politician who has interest in running for Councilman Mark Weprin’s seat when he leaves office this year. “It was a school. Why can’t they use it as a school again?”

Residents will protest at the site Wednesday to stop ACS from further considering it.

 

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Queens Village mailman busted for dumping letters in trash


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Property Shark/Christopher Bride

A postal carrier based in Queens Village dumped more than 2,000 pieces of mail in the garbage while on the job, federal agents charged in a criminal complaint filed last week.

Prosecutors said Norberto Cintron, 30, allegedly trashed hundreds of items over a five-month period dating back to January of this year. He is assigned to the Queens Village post office located at 209-20 Jamaica Ave.

Cintron admitted to postal investigators that he dumped mail once or twice a week during the period, according to the criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York.

The U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General was tipped off to problems regarding Cintron on April 28, when the acting manager of the Queens Village post office reported finding undelivered mail stored inside collection boxes on Hillside Avenue.

Later, an anonymous tipster reported to investigators observing a certain USPS vehicle — which they determined Cintron operated — was not delivering all of the mail.

Postal agents recovered undelivered mail from Cintron on May 1, which he allegedly claimed to have dumped two days earlier, according to the criminal complaint.

Cintron was charged on May 15 with delay or destruction of mail and was released following arraignment on $10,000 bail.

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Councilman Weprin to leave seat for Cuomo administration


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/file photo

Updated Tuesday, May 12, 12:35 p.m.

Councilman Mark Weprin gave his two weeks’ notice to the people of his district Monday, as he announced his departure from the City Council to take a job with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Weprin, 53, who has served in the 23rd Council District seat since 2010, is poised to become Cuomo’s deputy secretary of legislative affairs. He didn’t set a specific date when he would leave office, but in a statement, Weprin indicated his resignation would take effect “within the next two weeks.”

Prior to his City Council election, Weprin served for 15 years in the state Assembly, holding the seat previously held by his late father, former Assembly Speaker Saul Weprin. Mark Weprin was elected to the City Council seat in 2009 to succeed his brother, David, who made an unsuccessful run for City Comptroller.

David Weprin then won a special election in 2010 for his brother’s and father’s former Assembly seat.

“It has been an honor to represent eastern Queens as an elected official for 21 years,” Mark Weprin said in a statement Monday morning. “It has been my privilege to serve the people and families of my neighborhood. I am proud to have helped the communities I have represented to continue to be wonderful places to live, work and raise a family.”

At the start of his second City Council term, Mark Weprin was elected in January 2014 as chair of the City Council’s Queens delegation. He was also named chair of the Zoning and Franchises Committee and serves on the Land Use, Education, Economic Development, Oversight and Investigations, and Technology committees.

As deputy secretary for legislative affairs, Mark Weprin will reportedly serve as a liaison between Cuomo and leaders of the Assembly and state Senate on various matters.

“I have known Governor Cuomo for most of my life, and he is a leader of incredible talent,” Weprin added. “I look forward to this next step in my public career.”

Once the councilman’s resignation takes effect, the mayor must call for a non-partisan special election to be held within 60 days. Each candidate must secure their own party line; the established political parties cannot nominate a candidate of their own, but they may make an endorsement.

The 23rd Council District includes all or parts of Bayside Hills, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Hollis Park Gardens, Holliswood, Little Neck, New Hyde Park, Oakland Gardens and Queens Village.

As for who may replace Weprin in the City Council, one contender has already emerged — former Assemblyman and Deputy Queens Borough President Barry Grodenchik. He confirmed his interest in running for the seat in a phone interview with The Courier on Tuesday.

Other potential contenders, as reported in the New York Observer, include Dominic Panakal, chief-of-staff to Councilman Rory Lancman; local attorney Ali Najmi; civic activist and former City Council candidate Bob Friedrich; and former City Council and Assembly candidate Steve Behar.

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Queens residents, pols mourn slain NYPD officer


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Joseph Concannon and Square Deal Committee, Inc.

BY ANGELA MATUA

After the death of P.O. Brian Moore was announced Monday, reactions of sadness reverberated across Queens.

“This was an unprovoked attack and cold-blooded murder of Police Officer Brian Moore, one of our city’s Finest, in the line of duty,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz in a statement Monday afternoon. “We deeply mourn this terrible loss. Any attack on our officers is an attack on our society. It is to be condemned in every sense of the word, and the person responsible must be held fully accountable. Our officers deserve the utmost respect for their devotion and the very real dangers they face day in and day out in the selfless mission to protect our city.”

Councilman I. Daneek Miller— who represents Queens Village, where the shooting occurred — said he hopes to work with local law enforcement to keep neighborhoods safe for everyone.

“As a community we mourn the passing of Officer Brian Moore and are appalled by the act of violence that led to it,” Miller said. “Our community looks forward to working with law enforcement to combat violence against our officers and ensure that our streets are safe for all.”

Fellow Councilman Donovan Richards also mourned Moore’s passing and added that a solid relationship between officers and the community is key to ending violence.

“Officer Moore was an exemplary member of the 105th Precinct and will be greatly missed by all those who knew him,” Richards said. “My prayers are with his family, friends and fellow officers during this time of loss. My sincere hope is that we can work to end senseless violence by building meaningful relationships between our communities and the officers that protect us.”

State Senator Joseph Addabbo, who has actively pushed for legislation to eliminate parole for people who kill police officers on duty, said he would continue to fight for this legislation to be passed.

“Police Officer Moore joins the unacceptable number of police officers who were murdered merely because of the uniform they wore,” Addabbo said. “I intend to continue my promotion of legislation that calls for the elimination of parole for those who kill police officers on duty.”

A retired NYPD captain residing in Queens also called for the public to show their support for local police in the days ahead.

“Police officers give of themselves every day to keep our city, state and nation safe,” said retired NYPD Capt. Joseph Concannon, who held a press conference Monday in front of the 105th Precinct stationhouse in Queens Village. “Police Officer Brian Moore of the 105th Police Precinct is a testament to the courage, valor and bravery of the men and women of the New York City Police Department.  We thank his family and friends for his service to the citizens of the city of New York. “

Concannon said he hopes people will observe National Police Week next Wednesday, May 13, by holding vigils outside of their local precincts from 8:30 to 9 p.m. The vigil remembers the 117 police officers nationwide who died in the line of duty in 2014.

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NYPD officer shot in Queens Village dies of his injuries


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@NYPDNews

BY ROBERT POZARYCKI AND CRISTABELLE TUMOLA

Updated Tuesday, May 5, 2:07 p.m.

The police officer who was shot while on patrol in Queens Village Saturday night died of his injuries Monday, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said.

P.O. Brian Moore, 25, of the 105th Precinct, had reportedly been in a medically induced coma at Jamaica Hospital after complications from emergency surgery set in.

“He already proved himself to be an exceptional young officer,” Bratton said of Moore, who had been on the force for just under five years. Bratton, speaking outside of Jamaica Hospital Monday afternoon, added that in that short time, Moore had made 150 arrests, winning various medals for meritorious service.

Officer Brian Moore (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

Officer Brian Moore (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

“We ask for the people of the city to pray for them,” Bratton continued, referring to Moore’s family, which includes his father and an uncle, both retired NYPD sergeants, and a cousin who is on the job.

Moore was behind the wheel of an unmarked police car when was shot by the alleged gunman, identified as Demetrius Blackwell, 35, of 212th Place in Queens Village.

Authorities said Moore and his partner, P.O. Erik Jansen, pulled up to Blackwell at the corner of 212th Street and 104th Road at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday and questioned him after observing him motioning toward his waistband as if handling a firearm.

Upon questioning Blackwell, the suspect allegedly pulled out a firearm and fired several shots at the car, striking Moore in the face and head.

Jansen, who was uninjured, radioed for assistance. A responding patrol car rushed Moore to Jamaica Hospital. Though he was listed as being in critical but stable condition as of Sunday, his condition reportedly worsened thereafter.

Police tracked down Blackwell at his home Saturday night, a few hours after the shooting took place. The weapon believed to have been used in the shooting, a silver revolver reported stolen from Georgia in 2011, was recovered by officers in Queens Village Monday.

As of Monday morning, Blackwell was currently being held without bail on first-degree attempted murder and other charges. Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced later that afternoon that the charges against Blackwell will be upgraded as a result of Moore’s death to first-degree murder.

Photo via Instagrams/@schweetlife

The Queens Village street near where Moore was shot on Saturday. (Photo via Instagrams/@schweetlife)

According to the NYPD, a wake for Moore, who resided in Massapequa, Long Island, will be held on Thursday at the Chapey & Sons Funeral Home in Bethpage from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and 7 to 9:30 p.m. His funeral will take place the following day, at St. James Roman Catholic Church in Seaford, Long Island, at 11 a.m.

On Monday evening, Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered all flags to fly at half-staff on all city buildings and stationary flagstaffs throughout the five boroughs until Moore is laid to rest. Gov. Andrew Cuomo also ordered flags on all state government buildings to fly at half-staff.

This is the first line-of-duty homicide that the NYPD suffered since December, when Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were fatally shot on a Brooklyn street. Their killer took his own life moments after the shooting.

“Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the loss of Police Officer Brian Moore,” de Blasio said in a statement. “For five years, Brian served with distinction and he put his life on the line each day to keep us all safe. On Saturday, he made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the people of New York City.”

President Obama — in Manhattan Monday for an address at Lehman College — also mourned the officer’s death.

“He came from a family of police officers,” Obama was quoted in The New York Times. “And the family of fellow officers he joined in the NYPD and across the country deserve our gratitude and our prayers, not just today but every day. They’ve got a tough job.”

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NYPD officer shot in Queens Village, suspect charged with attempted murder


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Instagrams/@schweetlife

BY ROBERT POZARYCKI, CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND ALINA SURIEL

Updated Monday, May 4, 9:30 a.m.

A police officer remains in critical but stable condition after being shot while on duty in Queens Village Saturday — and the man who allegedly shot him remains locked up, according to officials.

The shooting took place at about 6:15 p.m. in the vicinity of 212th Street and 104th Road.

According to police, the injured officer — P.O. Brian Moore, 25, a five-year NYPD veteran from Long Island — and his partner, P.O. Erik Jansen, were in plain clothes and patrolling the area in an unmarked vehicle when they observed the suspected shooter — Demetrius Blackwell, 35 — acting suspiciously.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Blackwell motioned toward his waist as if concealing a firearm.

Officer Brian Moore (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

Officer Brian Moore (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

Moore, who was driving the unmarked police cruiser, rolled up behind Blackwell and inquired as to his actions. Bratton said Blackwell immediately turned toward the vehicle, pulled out a firearm and fired at least two shots, striking Moore in the face and head.

Jansen, who was not injured, radioed for help, and officers in a responding patrol car rushed Moore to Jamaica Hospital. The injured officer was immediately brought into surgery and will be admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit. Reportedly, a prognosis for his recovery won’t be known for up to 48 hours.

The NY Daily News reported Monday that Moore is in a medically induced coma.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, Commissioner Bratton and Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown visited Moore’s family at Jamaica Hospital Saturday night and later addressed members of the media about the shooting.

“Our hearts are with his family, his loved ones,” de Blasio said. “Our hearts are with [Moore’s] extended family: the men and women of the NYPD.”

Blackwell ran from the location, but police, aided by several witnesses, stopped him several blocks away on 212th Place, officials said. The weapon, however, has not yet been recovered.

Police noted that Blackwell has a previous criminal record that included arrests for robbery and weapons possession. According to NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision records, he was released from prison in June 2008 after serving time for a second-degree attempted murder conviction.

Blackwell was ordered held without bail during his arraignment hearing Sunday on charges of first-degree attempted murder on a police officer, aggravated assault on a police officer, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and first-degree assault. If convicted, Brown said, Blackwell faces 25 years to life behind bars.

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Pedestrian critically injured in chain-reaction crash at Queens Village fruit stand


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Anthony Giudice

One person was seriously injured after a wild accident in Queens Village Friday morning involving a school bus, truck and fruit stand, according to authorities.

The incident occurred at about 11:45 a.m. at the corner of Hillside Avenue and Hollis Court Boulevard, near the southern end of the Clearview Expressway.

Police said a school bus with nearly 30 children on board suddenly lost control and struck a Penske truck parked outside the New Giant Farm fruit store at 211-14 Hillside Ave.

The impact caused the truck to mount the sidewalk and strike the fruit stand, causing structural damage to the building and an awning to collapse onto a pedestrian.

Paramedics brought the injured pedestrian to a local hospital in critical condition.

The children on board the bus were removed to Long Island Jewish Medical Center for observation, police said.

An investigation is ongoing.

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Man gets 25 years in deadly 2012 Hollis shooting


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File Photo

A Hollis man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for shooting and killing a Queens Village resident in broad daylight three years ago, prosecutors announced Monday.

Paul Boatwright, 23, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter earlier this month in the shooting death of Jerry Lodvill before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth C. Holder, who imposed the determinate sentence of 25 years in prison.

According to court records and published reports, Boatwright fatally shot 30-year-old Lodvill in the head and torso in February 2012 on Hollis Avenue near 205th Street across from a playground in Hollis as the victim was walking home.

“The defendant has admitted to gunning down a man in broad daylight and will now serve a lengthy sentence in prison for this senseless shooting. Gun violence in our neighborhoods will not be tolerated,” District Attorney Richard Brown said.

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