Last month, a teenaged male was stabbed outside of Canarsie High School. The student, just 15-years old, was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition, though the early prognosis was that he was fully expected to survive. A fight of unknown origins prompted the violence, which tragically escalated to the use of weaponry.
Also in March: a vicious, multi-person brawl, all captured on cell phone video by a bystander. According to eyewitnesses, six or seven men entered the fray, and two of them were stabbed for their involvement. The footage shows verbal altercations and some one-on-one melee. In an intensification almost too-cinematic to believe, some participants fled to their vehicles in fear, pursued by their assailants, and so the fisticuffs transformed into a vehicular chase. Stunned onlookers remarked that the men, indifferent now to collateral damage or their own well-being, tore away from the scene recklessly, smashing into parked cars in the process.
These eruptions of violence, indefensible and tragic both, represent a germane problem within our community. New York City has always been known as, and heralded for, its status as a melting pot, characterized by and cherished for its multicultural stature. Different religions and races, classes and opinions, generations and ideologies, are wonderfully intermixed, living side-by-side in, mostly, harmonious fashion. It’s what makes New York great, really. Though, with such great variety comes the possibility of friction. We as a people hope the friction doesn’t occur on a grand scale, though it should be said that fractious sects butting heads should be resolved always with even-handed legislation, and never with violence. Because even when misunderstandings occur on a more microcosmic level, the end result can be violence. Interpersonal arguments this past month have ended twice in bloodshed. And lawmakers and citizens alike should strive to eliminate this outcome.
The truth of the matter is, however, that crime is going down. According to crime statistics, murders in New York City actually have been on a steady decrease over the course of the past decade. In the year 2000, 673 murders were reported, or 8.7 murders per 100,000 citizens. In 2012, only 419 were murdered, dropping that second figure to 5.1 per 100,000. Robbery, rape, theft and assault numbers have likewise gone down. These are all encouraging signs, but the communal goal should be total eradication of violent crime. Perhaps this is an impossible dream, but in a perfect society, no one would have to feel threatened by violence, and all conflicts would be resolved nonviolently.
So what are the powers that be doing to work towards this, albeit idyllic, end goal? Great social programs such as the LOVE (Leave Out Violence) aim to instill in the city’s youth a mentality of pacifism or, at least, aim to teach them constructive, verbal ways to settle disputes. If we can teach a new generation practical ways to resolve their issues, and let them see just how much more preferable non-violent means of conflict resolution are for all parties involved, we may raise a new population whose mindset leads to a far more peaceful society. This new wave of diplomatic-minded youngsters will, hopefully, continue to drive down violent crimes well into the future. New York City, once a bastion of ill-repute, whose streets were widely regarded as dangerous to traverse after dark, may eventually come to more resemble the pacifist utopia police and politicians have been striving to create.
Of course, not everything goes according to plan. And in the meantime, we must deal head-on with the problem of violence. Entrenched in a society where violence always seems a possible recourse, if not permissible action due to its ubiquitous nature, there will always be impressionable and hotheaded young people who make grievous mistakes. In certain cases, those accused of violent crimes are simply victims of attempting to fight fire with fire. Those who were thrust into violent scenarios not of their own making and reacted unwisely.
At Kaplan Lawyers, we understand that violence is a problem endemic to our city and while statistics may be trending in the right direction, personal cases are filled with mitigating circumstances, outside factors, and various points of view. If you’ve been accused of a violent crime, or you are seeking counsel on behalf of a loved one who has been, it’s important to seek representation from a firm who understands the complex nature of these situations. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, our professional team of attorneys are equal parts compassionate, skilled and experienced. We can help analyze the details of your case and cast the specifics of the incidence in question in a sympathetic light. We can help you collect evidence and gather testimony that’ll help lay the foundation for a strong defense. We are here to help you in your time of need.
If you have any questions or concerns, our consultations are a great place to start. They are a free and easy way to hear about your rights as a citizen and begin fighting for your freedom. So contact us today.