The meeting was sparsely attended despite being held just over a month after the arrests of three men tied to a series of violent attacks that included a murder in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.The overwhelming majority of the approximately 50 people attending were police officials, Community Board 4 members or other leaders in the area.City Councilwoman Helen Sears (D-Jackson Heights) led the meeting, held at the Elmhurst Hospital Center at 79-01 Broadway, and was joined by councilmen Hiram Monserrate (D-Corona) and Peter Vallone (D-Astoria). Police representatives included Community Affairs chief Douglas Zeigler, Patrol Borough Queens North commanding officer Assistant Chief James Tuller and 110th Precinct commanding officer Deputy Inspector Thomas Pilkington.Openly gay Jackson Heights district leader Daniel Dromm recommended that police open more lines of communication with gay residents, who form a significant population in Jackson Heights.Tuller said Dromm was welcome to come and speak at the morning meeting."Address our roll call. You can express your concerns directly to them," he said.Other residents said they wanted the police to shut down consistently troublesome bars.Vallone said there was proposed legislation that would expand the offenses that could be used under the so-called nuisance abatement laws to close the clubs, such as if a bar hires unlicensed bouncers.Lefrak City resident Ernestine McKayle spoke with emotion about her grandson, 28-year-old Jabari McKayle, who was gunned down Sept. 5, 2005 in a courtyard in the complex that is home to 5,000 families.She said Jabari McKayle's seven years in prison prior to his death had damaged him emotionally."My grandson only lived five months after he was released," she said.Other residents' issues were outside the borough. South Ozone Park resident Frederick Coleman, who works at Elmhurst Medical Center, said his three sons were arrested for no reason running to catch the subway in the Bronx.His sons, aged 21, 18 and 17, were running to meet their father who was with a terminally ill friend at Elmhurst hospital on Sunday."Up until today I haven't heard a reason why they stopped my boys," he said.Reach reporter Adam Pincus by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.
©2007 Community News Group
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