Community salutes police for Q6 arrest

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Photo gallery

NYPD Chief of the Department Phillip Banks III hi-fives 2-year-old Malachi Miller in South Jamaica. Photo by Christina Santucci
Shanta Merritt (l.) signs a memorial for D'aja Robinson at the corner where the teen was killed. Merritt's son, Darryl Adams, was murdered last year in the South Jamaica Houses. Photo by Christina Santucci
CIty Council Speaker Christine Quinn (r.) greets NYPD Chief of the Department Phillip Banks III. Photo by Christina Santucci
Shenee Johnson, (c.) whose son Kedrick Ali Morrow was killed in 2010, was one of nearly a dozen parents whose children were killed or injured by gunfire. Photo by Christina Santucci
Erica Ford, (l.) the founder of I Love My Life, recognizes mothers, whose sons have been killed by gunfire. Photo by Christina Santucci
Councilman Ruben Wills (at podium) is joined by (l.-r.) Kenny Carter, the founder of Fathers Alive in the Hood; Lance Feurtado of the King of Kings Doundation; and Councilman Leroy Comrie. Photo by Christina Santucci
Robert Mazyck holds a framed photo of his 11-year-old daughter Tayloni, who was paralyzed after she was shot in Brooklyn. Photo by Christina Santucci
A memorial for D'aja Robinson features hundreds of signatures and messages. Photo by Christina Santucci

Several elected officials were joined by parents whose children were killed or wounded by gunfire in honoring NYPD Chief of the Department Phillip Banks III and the Police Department following its arrest of a suspect in last month’s fatal shooting of a teenage girl on a South Jamaica bus.

In May, 14-year-old D’aja Robinson was killed as she sat on the Q6 at the corner of Sutphin and Rockaway boulevards, and 21-year-old Kevin McClinton was charged in her death, police said.

“We are back here today to express our gratitude to the Police Department and every member of the community who helped apprehend this [suspect] so justice can be brought,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said Saturday. “Make no mistake, when something like this happens, the police are leading, but it is a community effort.”

Quinn was joined by Councilmen Leroy Comrie and Ruben Wills at the site of D’aja’s murder, and Wills had strong words of praise for Banks.

“In our communities, police and community relations have not always been the best, but his appointment has brought about a new perspective, a new day if you will,” Wills said. “He has been there at every single scene, not just here in southeast Queens but citywide. He has spoken to countless parents and dealt with our community-based organizati­ons.”

A Queens resident and 27-year veteran of the department, Banks was promoted to his current role in the NYPD in April.

“We have seen shootings decrease and murders decrease, but those are just statistics,” he said. “Certainly one is too many and that is the bad thing about it. But the good thing about it is can be stopped.”

Banks said that if police and the community continued to build their relationship, violence would decline.

Before the news conference, the elected officials took a few minutes to speak with nearly a dozen parents of gun violence victims.

“I’m at a loss for words at this unnecessary violence going on in different neighborho­ods,” said Robert Mazyck, whose 11-year-old daughter Tayloni was paralyzed after she was shot in Brooklyn. “She was standing in front of the building, waiting on her aunt to pick her up and a guy just randomly started shooting. She walked into the line of fire.”

Shanta Merritt, whose son Darryl Adams was killed last year, was invited by I Love My Life founder Erica Ford.

“I will never see my son again. With all of this going on, and I come to other people’s funerals or memorials or meetings, it just hurts even more for me. I’m just going to relive it forever,” she said.

In addition to I Love My Life, Fathers Alive In the Hood, Cure Violence, I Love My Life and the King of Kings Foundation were also on hand at the South Jamaica bus stop.

Banks said in the course of any investigation, leads are investigated, and one lead led the NYPD to South Carolina, where McClinton was apprehended.

“Hats off to the detectives who worked on this particular case,” he said, adding that other officers and many other people who assisted in the investigation also deserved praise.

Banks said with any murder investigation the NYPD puts a great deal of resources into closing the case, and a murder like that of D’aja Robinson affects the whole community.

“We feel it, too, when we suffer losses like that,” he said.

Updated 2:43 pm, June 21, 2013
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Reader feedback

maria from queens says:
Maybe if the city implements a curfew for kids 19 and under, that can help curb some of these shootings Or bring in the troops, until there is order in the city. We need the troops here. NYPD needs help!! Cops are being targeted. These kids need order and they have no respect for NYPD, but if they see tanks and lots of troops walking around with AK47's and dogs sniffing for things, I bet there will be order.
June 23, 2013, 12:24 am
maria from queens says:
Another sensless death in South Jamaica. I believe she was targeted. You kids are trying to be impressive by murdering someone but, you fail to realize that, you can run, but you cant hide!. I believe there is a connection here between Daya Robinson and Darryl Adams because they had friends in common. If you kill someone you will be caught and serve a long time in jail.
July 7, 2013, 1:30 am
maria from queens says:
This city makes no sense. You can be a woman and walk topless freely in public view but you cant speak spanish in the police department? That is insane!! So racially motivated. The NYPD needs to realize that, if you want the publics help, you need to learn spanish and stop being racist!!
July 7, 2013, 1:36 am

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