New York Police Department officers individually scanned every J’Ouvert attendee to create the ultimate bottle neck in a move branded ‘crazy’ by festival-goers.
Tens of thousands descended upon Brooklyn for the day-long West Indian party, featuring a morning festival called J’ouvert, which combines the French words ‘jour’ and ‘ouvert’ and refers to daybreak, and an afternoon Caribbean Carnival parade.
The measures were put in place following violence in previous years, but organizers were still fielding abuse from party-goers who disapproved of security being beefed up.
Women and men draped in the colors of their celebrated countries are searched by police
A woman with a bandana made out of a Barbados flag holds out her bare arms for a police officer to scan
New York Police Department officers individually scanned every J’Ouvert attendee to create the ultimate bottle neck in a move branded ‘crazy’ by festival-goer
A man with a Union flag tied to a belt loop on his pants holds up his shirt so a police officer can scan him
Christine Lord, a Bedford-Stuyvesant resident, told The Gothamist: ‘This is crazy. How’re you gonna scan thousands of people with just a few scanners?’
‘Everyone else has a parade just fine—you have all the parades in Manhattan, and they don’t do this.
‘You have police coming from out the city and have no clue about our culture.’
In spite of the extra security, one man was shot and another stabbed near the Caribbean Carnival parade route Monday evening, police said.
It is meant to be a day of dancing, good food and a tribute to Caribbean ancestors, but it has become a day of concern for city officials.
In 2015, an aide to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo was killed by a stray bullet.
Last year, 17-year-old Tyreke Borel was shot and killed and a 72-year-old woman was grazed in the arm.
Soon after, a 22-year-old woman, Tiarah Poyau, was shot in the head just a block away and died.
An unimpressed woman with a Jamaican bandana and flag tied to her shorts and a Grenada flag tied around her neck is searched by police
Revelers are searched by police officers during a Caribbean street carnival called J’ouvert on September 4, 2017 in New York City
This year, a 22-year-old man was shot in the torso Monday evening, and a 20-year-old man was stabbed in the abdomen about an hour and a half later, police said.
Both men were wounded in the same area of Eastern Parkway, which is along the parade route.
It’s not immediately clear whether those involved were participating in the festivities.
The men were taken to area hospitals. The shooting victim was in stable condition, firefighters said; the other man’s condition wasn’t immediately available.
A woman in a Grenada shirt holds out her arms so police can scan her
Later, a man scuffled with, bruised and bit two police officers who instructed him to move from a spot where he was standing along the parade route, police said.
Officers used a stun gun to subdue the 36-year-old man and arrested him on charges including obstructing government administration.
There had been talk of canceling this year’s J’Ouvert party because of past violence.
Instead, officials tightened security and moved the starting time for the pre-parade J’ouvert celebration from 4am to 6am, and police officers patted down revelers, vendors and residents hours before that.
Spectators had to go through metal detectors, and thousands of additional officers were on patrol and were policing party areas outside the barriers.
Some people complained of long delays getting past checkpoints and of the change in tone that came with the bigger police presence.
‘The police disrupted the festive mood,’ Christina Jackson, a 17-year-old wearing shorts and a bandanna emblazoned with the Jamaican flag, told The New York Times.
She said she didn’t feel the need for the extra security.
But J’Ouvert City International co-founder Hazel John did.
‘It shows they’re concerned about our protection,’ John, 70, told the Times.
‘The people who come to enjoy the event feel more protected.’