Pictured (l-r): Assistant District Attorney David O’Keefe, Chief of the Crime Strategies Unit; Gregory Herrera, Community Affairs Coordinator; Mauricio Morales, Assistant to the Director for Manhattan Community Operations, NYC Housing Authority; Executive Assistant District Attorney for External Affairs Leroy Frazer, Jr.; Isabel Gomez, Healthfirst Site Developer; Special Assistant District Attorney for Community Affairs Lee Llambelis; Deputy Inspector Nilda Hofmann, Commanding Officer of the NYPD’s 25th Precinct; two East Harlem Family Day participants; and Assistant District Attorney Kerry Chicon, Deputy Chief of the Crime Strategies Unit.
On June 1, 2013, the Office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., joined together with representatives from the NYPD’s 25th Precinct, the Lantern Organization, Urban American Management Corporation, NYC Housing Authority, Tahl Propp Equities, ARCO Management, CUNY’s Hunter School of Social Work, CUNY’s School of Public Health, Healthfirst, University Medical Practice Associates from St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals, FDNY, Pro Hoops and P.S. / M.S. 7 Principal Sameer Talati to host East Harlem Family Day. Assistant District Attorneys and staff members from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Community Affairs and Crime Strategies Units took part in the event, which brought together residents, local leaders, and members of law enforcement. More than seven hundred people, including children and their families, attended the event, which was held on the playground of P.S. / M.S. 7 at East 119th Street and Lexington Avenue.
“In the past three months, my Office and our partners in the NYPD have charged 81 members of four different gangs operating in East Harlem with a range of drug-and-conspiracy related charges,” said District Attorney Vance. “It is not enough, however, to remove the drivers of crime from a given community – we also need to make sure that residents feel safe in their neighborhood. That’s why events like East Harlem Family Day are so important, because they bring the entire community together to celebrate the very best that our city has to offer.”
At the event, members of local law enforcement and representatives of non-profit organizations were present to provide information about services and resources available to the community, such as after-school programs, employment training, re-entry and social services, athletic training camps, immigrant services, and summertime opportunities for students.
East Harlem Family Day participants were also offered the chance to engage in a variety of recreational activities and games such as rock-climbing, basketball, and face-painting. Members of the FDNY invited children to climb into the seat of a stationary fire truck and take photographs.
“East Harlem Family Day” participants scale the rock-climbing wall at P.S. 7
Earlier this year, 18 members of an East Harlem-based gang were indicted
for possessing and selling crack cocaine and marijuana, drugs which were often repackaged and sold in candy wrappers. Members of the gang operated near East 118th Street and Lexington Avenue and were accused of violent attacks on rival gangs which divided the neighborhood along turf lines and endangered innocent lives.
In April, 63 members of three other rival East Harlem gangs – “Air It Out,” “True Money Gang,” and “Whoadey” – were charged in three separate indictments
with Conspiracy in the First Degree, a class A-I felony, as well as Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, and other charges.