DNAInfo.com posted a story by Shayna Jacobs about Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Edward McLaughlin who "begged" Harlem residents to do something about gang violence. From the bench the judge said, "if you do nothing, you are complicit" as he addressed the need for Harlem residents to take a stand against growing gang violence.
Judge McLaughlin made his statement during the sentencing of several leaders of the "2 Mafia Family" and "Goons on Deck" gangs that operated in central Harlem around 137th Street and Lenox. These gangs were the subject of a 2010 operation of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and NYPD to root out violent street gangs.
The article includes figures that show Harlem had 244 shooting in the last 23 months; half of all shooting involved youth under the age of 19. It is estimated that 71 of these shootings were gang related.
While the Judge's sentiments echo what many local community members feel, more needs to be done to prevent and intervene early when youth are getting into trouble.
A forthcoming report by the Harlem Community Justice Center focused on youth gangs will offer some suggestions for a way forward.