Crown Heights

Pols to lead unity walk in Central Brooklyn

July 11, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
State Sen. Jesse Hamilton says that “our common humanity” should serve as a salve for the hurt the nation is currently experiencing. Photo courtesy of Hamilton’s office
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Calling on residents of all races and nationalities to come together in the country’s moment of grief, state Sen. Jesse Hamilton announced that he and the United Against Violence Task Force will lead a unity march through Central Brooklyn on July 12.

Hamilton (D-Crown Heights-Park Slope, Sunset Park) said the march, which is being called the “Unity in the Community Walk,” will begin at 6 p.m. at the 77th Precinct at 127 Utica Ave. and end in Lincoln Terrace Park on Eastern Parkway and Rochester Avenue.

A number of Brooklyn elected officials are planning to take part in the walk, including Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams; state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery; state Assemblymembers Latrice Walker, Diana Richardson and Walter Mosley; and City Councilmembers Darlene Mealy and Robert Cornegy Jr.

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The peace walk was planned in the wake of the violence last week in Louisiana and Minnesota, where two African-American men were shot and killed by police officers, and the tragedy in Dallas where a lone gunman assassinated five cops.

“Now is a moment for our common humanity to act as a salve for all the hurt that has emerged from a truly horrifying series of events over the past three days — the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights, and the deaths of five police officers and injury to more in Dallas,” Hamilton said in a statement issued on Friday.

“We have families, friends and communities suffering from tremendous loss; additions to a catalog of suffering that needs none, among whose number are men, women and children. We mourn with you. We pray for you. You are in our thoughts. If our thoughts and prayers are even a feather’s worth of comfort in this time weighted with grief, then our collective expression of sympathy is well worthwhile,” Hamilton stated.

The peace walk is only the beginning, according to Hamilton.

“In the days to come, we must dedicate ourselves to the work ahead. Consoling the grieving, acting in unison to speak out against violence, rebuilding confidence in policing and our justice system, promoting positive police-community relations and reflecting on what longer-term changes we ought to institute, those are among the tasks that require our urgent attention,” he stated.

The Unity in the Community Walk comes a day after Borough President Adams and Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio were scheduled to hold a candlelight vigil at Grand Army Plaza. The vigil was set to take place on Monday.

The participants were to include the Rev. Msgr. Robert J. Romano, NYPD deputy chief chaplain; the Rev. Msgr. David L. Cassato, NYPD chief chaplain; and Dr. Uma Mysorekar of the Hindu Temple Society.

Meanwhile, condemnation of the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile as well as the assassinations of the five Dallas police officers came from all corners in the days following the tragedies.

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn-Queens), a member of Congressional Black Caucus leadership and the House Judiciary Committee, issued a statement calling on the country to come together.

“The unspeakably tragic events in Dallas, suburban Minneapolis and Baton Rouge shock the conscience. Sadness and despair have descended on America. Outrage is festering in many quarters. In times like these, America must rise to the occasion through unity under the umbrella of love. Violence is never the answer to injustice. We are all God’s children,” Jeffries stated.


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