Mother tried to move away

Shanta Merritt, Darryl Adams' mother, hugs Michael Joyner. Photo by Christina Santucci
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After Shanta Merritt’s son was shot in June, she took the police report to the city and requested a transfer out of South Jamaica Houses to protect her family, but the New York City Housing Authority told her she needed at least two police reports before it could take any action.

Now she has the second.

Darryl Adams, 18, was shot again early Friday morning, only this time he did not live. And amid his mother’s grief is anger at the city for not trying to place her family in safer housing sooner.

“I told them I can’t live here no more,” she said. “They denied me.”

City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) said that in response to Adams’ death he is preparing to hold an investigation in April as to why Merritt’s request for a transfer took so long.

“We getting to ready to have an oversight hearing because of this and other incidents with NYCHA not getting this process done as expeditiously as possible,” he said. “This is a tragedy.”

A spokesperson for NYCHA did immediately respond to a request for comment.

The city did eventually offer Merritt a transfer six days before her son was shot, but she said it was in a housing project in Harlem that seemed even more dangerous than the one she was currently living in, so she turned it down.

According to NYCHA documents about the emergency transfer program, it provides the service to victims of domestic violence, victims of crimes and witnesses who cooperate with law enforcement.

“NYCHA does not guarantee that a transfer application will be approved, nor do we guarantee how long it will take to process a transfer application,” the agency said in the document. “Because different boroughs have different numbers of families waiting for available apartments, NYCHA cannot guarantee how long it will take before an apartment reassignment is made. However, qualified applicants who are willing to be flexible about their borough choice may be moved more quickly.”

Earlier this year NYCHA said it had 161,000 people waiting for public housing and 120,000 waiting for Section 8 housing, which is subsidized housing outside of a project.

According to Wills, NYCHA’s policy should be less vague and the agency should have done more to put Adams and her family in safe housing after the initial shooting over the summer.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Posted 7:19 pm, March 7, 2012
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Reader feedback

nyc from queens says:
b.s. most likely these people where always problem tennets no transfer and have them deal with there own problems nycha should only give out those transfers for those who really need them theres people who suffer around problem people
March 10, 2012, 10:18 pm
tsk from nyc says:
“I told them I can’t live here no more,” she said. “They denied me.”

"The city did eventually offer Merritt a transfer six days before her son was shot, but she said it was in a housing project in Harlem that seemed even more dangerous than the one she was currently living in, so she turned it down."

bad reporting and a lying lady. good combo
March 10, 2012, 11:25 pm
sadden from south Jamaica says:
it is easy to judge when you don't know the facts. the truth is Daryl was a good kid and star basketball player for the P.A.L. he was originally shot because he was rising above the bull —— of the streets and staying on the right path among drugs and gangs. his injuries sustained from the first shooting ended what could have been a good career and ultimately lead to his death as he no longer could outrun his killers due to a bad hip. my heart goes out to Ms. Merrit as she tries to move pass this tragedy.
March 12, 2012, 12:53 am
Concerned neighbor from South Jamaica says:
At first Darryl Adams mother said she was denied a transfer, but now we find out she was given a transfer 6 days before his death. Which one is it? You got the transfer or not. She denied the transfer. If she would of took the transfer, he would be alive today. She said the area where the transfer was in was worse. What kind of people do you expect to have in NYCHA? Freaking Donald Trump? NYCHA is for low income families. Where there is poverty you will get a higher rate of crime. Also from what I have read and heard, there is more to this story. If you grow up in an environment where there is drugs, and gang activity and your going around hurting others, eventually, it will catch up to you. This young man lost his life cause if the idiots he was hanging out with. They walk around clueless and no direction in life. They say his funeral will be a celebration. Na man!! Too late for a celebration. His friends are balling now right? Idiots!!
March 12, 2012, 3:24 pm
ME from St. Albans says:
As far as I can see, Darryl was a kid who didn't have a record. How was he a problem just for hanging with who the real problem was. He can't help that he family lived in housing. It's really inconsiderate to say that after a young man was killed, that he deserved it because of his environment. I've observed alot of teens graduate high school and go to college who were from Jamaica Houses. Darryl just got the short end of the stick and he's like a lot of innocent people who are gunned down that didn't have anything to do with the crime. There was more to the story but it didn't involve Darryl. No mother should lose a child.
March 12, 2012, 5:10 pm
Concerned neighbor from South Jamaica says:
To ME from St Albans : if there is more to the story, than you obviously knew what was going on. Why didn't you intervene? Why didn't you do something to prevent this? Instead, you kept your mouth quiet because that's the code and way of the streets. Everyone who knew the story, should be blamed. It angers me to know that a young life was taken over stupidity!! You stupid idiots!!
March 12, 2012, 5:50 pm
Concerned neighbor from South Jamaica says:
Well the funeral services for Darryl Adams is over. So what's going to happen next? Will his friends continue to hangout and claim land that's not theirs? Will there be more blood shed or will his friends and the community end the violence? I guess we will see what happens. For those adults condoning and encouraging these young kids and teens to continue in gang activity, YOU are to blame!!!
March 12, 2012, 10:12 pm
Jubilee from Jamaica says:
I agree with NYC from Queens. This definetly looks gang related. These thugs and gangs live within NYCHA and they create havac for everyone. They put our lives in danger. There are hard working decent people in NYCHA and these gangs make it hard for us. They intimidate the community. They are animals and have no regard for human life. NYCHA needs to do a sweep of these people. They don't work and spend countless hours watching neighbors so they can victimize them. Let them kill each other. They can eliminate themselves. Now they cry cause one of theirs is gone. Boo hoo!! I hate the hood!!
March 12, 2012, 11:44 pm
Mrs. T from Rosedale says:
I'm sick right now reading the ignorance coming from individuals that know nothing of this story or young man. I wish ppl would take the time to read before chiming in. Darryl was a wonderful young man, who yes was from housing, but nonetheless had a great future ahead of him; the animals that sit in cages right now weren't even from housing. They were from so called better parts of Queens, which we obviously see is a myth now. Take time to think before you comment because you will be checked. Idiot!!!
March 13, 2012, 5:16 am
tsk from nyc says:
that's all fine & good mrs. t, but the headline & article make it seem like housing told her no to a transfer. they granted her one and she turned it down because she felt it was beneath her. "it seemed even more dangerous"? it either was or wasn't. there are #'s to back up if it was more or less dangerous. it's a true tragedy whether or not he was a good kid or the roughest in the borough, but don't bury the part where she had an out from her current environment and turned it down cold
March 13, 2012, 9:13 am
Marie from Queens says:
To tsk from NYC: makes me wonder why a mother would turn down saving her sons life. If she knew his life was in danger she should of transferred or sent him to live with relatives or friends outside the neighborhood.
March 13, 2012, 10:06 am
tsk from nyc says:
To Marie from Queens: agreed. was he shot twice by the same people or was he just unlucky? to be a civilian and shot at twice (the second to kill) doesn't cast the victim as someone who "was rising above the bull —— of the streets and staying on the right path among drugs and gangs." innocent people are randomly hurt and killed everyday, but shooting a kid twice for just going the straight and narrow path? doesn't sound right at all. i could understand him being picked on regularly, but shot on two separate occasions?!
March 13, 2012, 10:57 am
Siedah from Long Island City says:
I cannot say whether Darryl was a good kid or not because I did not know him. I do know that it is definitely possible for innocent people to be shot twice. However, it does strike me as a bit strange that this young man was targeted on numerous occasions. I grew up in a housing project so I am well aware of the dangers. I am also well aware that some people really cannot get out. But while you're there, you have to make the best of it. Live to a higher standard than most of those around you. Not act like you're better than everyone, but claim for yourself that you will escape that environment one day. Now, I cannot judge his mother at all because I don't know her either. But I will say that parents must set proper examples for their children. They won't always follow, but at least they have something to fall back on. Pictures do not lie, and judging by many pictures shown here and elsewhere I am not so sure this young man had a good role model to pattern after. I am truly sorry for the loss. African Americans....we must do better. You do not have to be a product of your environment.
March 13, 2012, 11:26 am
Marie from Queens says:
To tsk from NYC: I'm not going to comment on anything I don't really know. I know what The Ledger has posted. If you look at all the articles about this case you will get the answers to some of your questions. Read everything so that you know what I mean. Gotta watch out what we say here because people are upset right now over this. All I have to say is that I have a young son who was jumped, attacked and robbed by the animals of South Jamaica Projects. They have this sick idea that if you walk into those projects your entering hell and you never know what can happen. They act like they own it. It's all about drugs. Bottom line.
March 13, 2012, 12:46 pm
Concerned neighbor from South Jamaica says:
It hasn't even been a few hours since Darryl Adams burial and another fight in South Jamaica Projects. Cops everywhere.
March 13, 2012, 1:46 pm
Sad Friend from Jamaica says:
It's a crying shame that some people are so heartless to take another person's life without a thought. People are what makes up the environment. My heart goes out to Darryl's family because despite who he was hanging out with and no matter what he was doing, he didn't deserve to be struck down like that. I can only imagine the pain his mother feels since I am a mother myself and pray every day that my kids will be safe. Most people make the best of where they live, I for one, cannot afford to live in the "better neighborhoods" which may or may not be as safe. You play the hand your dealt and make the best out of the situation you're in. I did not know the young man very well and will not comment on either his or his mother's character, but I will say that there is no doubt that he was well loved by his family and those true friends that he had. Some people are saying there is more to the story about what happened. We may never know what really happened and I don't think it's fair to speculate. One thing for sure is that a young man was killed by ruthless individuals who have also destroyed their own lives for the sake of "being bad assed". Rest in Peace Young man and may your family find comfort in the days to come.
March 13, 2012, 1:55 pm
qx from queens says:
when they can,t get you they Envy!!you!!! dealers look outs granies there all working togther they want your check!! they can,t stand those neghboirs they can,t getin the projects live to a better standered don,t flash it wear holy water comeing in and out of your building
March 13, 2012, 2:15 pm
Genuine from South jamaica says:
The South Jamaica Houses are possessed by evil demons! This war has not ended. I fear there may be more bloodshed. Lord please bless the kids and people of South Jamaica. Lord take this evil spell that has been cast on these teenagers. Lord please intervene in the case of another murder. Lord protect the innocent people of this community. Lord Jesus Christ Help Us!!!!!!
March 14, 2012, 9:35 am
Selena from Queens says:
People will say what they want. They have their own opinion. To me it doesn't matter what immature people have to say about thus case. Nonetheless, a mother lost her son. It didn't have to happen, it shouldn't of happened and it could of been prevented, in my opinion. I feel the community should come together to end the violence and try to work together instead of against each other. We are all brothers and sisters and it doesn't matter the color. We need each other and we should all look out for one another. I pray for his mother, fam and the community. May his soul rest in peace.
March 18, 2012, 9:10 am
MR.tired of ppls BS says:
to the people that are talkin as if b/c of where Darryl live and grow up at justifys what happen over lookin who and what darryl was as a person for the short time he was BLESSED to b on this earth,also the kids responsible grow up in a better neighborhood,so it has nothin to do with where ur from or where u grew up at,but it has everything to do with us as parents being responsible for our kids,such as Ms.Merritt being a single parent raising a fam of 5IN NYCH AND ALL BEING OOD KIDS THAT NEVER GOT INTO IT WITH THE stop the BS like ur in a position to judge.....PERIOD
March 21, 2012, 4:06 pm
Major C from Queens says:
Kwana Jean, I don't know you, but your an instigator who should mind your business. I too know who will occupy the apt. but you don't see me broadcasting. It's people like you, that bring problems and gossip and that's why he is dead because of people like you.
April 30, 2012, 3:13 pm
gee from south jamaica says:
Qx from queens, you are 100% correct on that one. They are miserable little demons but I say this, if I cant live at peace neither will they!
July 7, 2013, 2:13 am
ieasha from 40 says:
I wish I knew who task was can I would be at her door try me my real name anyway yeah they was tryna move her to the worst part of Manhattan so she denied he didn't die because of a f°¢king transfer b!t¢h so get it right and u must know my brother so y u not saying he wasn't the type to be getting killed its hating A$$ ppl like u to talk bad anyway ppl he wad around had beef so u know how that goes anyway so task please revile urself or see me in the streets I bet u won't say nothing but RIP DARRYL
April 3, 2014, 8:28 pm

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