Congressman Hakeem Jeffries

Representing the 8th District of New York

WABC-NY: Brooklyn Lawmakers Battle NRA On Looting Comments

Feb 19, 2013
In The News

CONEY ISLAND, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Lawmakers in Brooklyn are taking aim at the National Rifle Association.

They are outraged after a top official with the NRA claimed looters ran wild in the borough after Superstorm Sandy, but that never happened.

Now the borough wants an apology.

When Sandy rolled in on Brooklyn, a day or two later there was looting. It seemed like there was a lot of it, but there really weren't an abundance of cases.

Still, last week NRA chief Wayne LaPierre said looters ran wild in South Brooklyn.

The new congressman for that area says the week before Sandy there eight burglaries and a week later there were 17. It's not a huge jump.

"There's Wayne's world and then the real world. In Wayne's world the facts don't matter," said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, (D) New York.

"There was no food, water or electricity. And if you wanted to walk several miles to get supplies you better get back before dark, or you might not get home at all," LaPierre wrote.

"Comments are made by Wayne LaPierre are not constructive. They're destructive. They're factually inaccurate and they demean the entire community of South Brooklyn," Jeffries said, "And we need to get back a constructive conversation about how to turn things around to the gun issues in America."

In fact, in this neighborhood crime, except for burglaries, went down in the aftermath of Sandy.

Shootings dropped 17%.

Robberies dipped 22%.

Overall crime citywide was down 25%.

There were no murders for eight days.

Eyewitness News asked neighbors how they felt.

"No no, I didn't feel unsafe. Why should I?" said Sonia Nevler, a Coney Island resident.

"So when I'm here I feel safe. You just watch where you go. I felt fine after Sandy," said Kelsha White, a Coney Island resident.

This neighborhood will take months before a complete comeback, but its leaders want to set the record straight and not be used as a reason for more guns.

"My message to Wayne LaPierre is very simple: Don't use Brooklyn to justify your extremist positions in this nation. That's all," said Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough President.
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