Assembly candidate proposes plan in wake of shooting
Hiram Monserrate, a candidate running for the 35th Assembly District, which includes East Elmhurst, LeFrak City, and parts of Corona, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, and Rego Park, led a press conference in response to a recent shooting that left a man dead in the stairwell of a Lefrak City apartment building.
Community members joined the call for swift action to curb what they say is a surge of crime and violence in their neighborhood.
Malika Shabazz, a longtime resident of Lefrak City, said the community’s safety is at risk.
“The street crime and shootings have now entered the inside of our buildings, we need real swift and decisive action to keep our community safe,” Shabazz said. “We are beyond sick and tired of all this crime.”
Ruby Muhammad, a Lefrak City resident since 1978, echoed Shabazz’s remarks, saying, “We need these guns out of our community.”
Monserrate cited a shooting last December when two men were shot across the street from Lefrak City.
He has proposed a public safety plan that would not allow bail for anyone caught carrying an illegal firearm in New York, a bill establishing strict minimum penalties for anyone selling illegal firearms in New York, and a permanent funded initiative to increase headcount at NYPD and a return to “beat cops who know their community.”
“First and foremost our condolences to the family at this time of tragic loss,” Monserrate, a democratic District Leader, said. “But, there has been a dramatic uptick in crime in this community and shootings are too commonplace. We need concrete measures now, no more excuses.”
Monserrate also noted that most recent NYPD data shows a 56.7 percent uptick in overall crime in the 110th NYPD Police precinct, with 14 robberies so far this year, compared to seven last year at the same time.
In 2001, there were a total of 614 reported robberies within the 110th precinct, according to NYPD data. Two decades later, robberies have decreased nearly 60 percent in the area, to 257 total reported robberies in 2021.
Monserrate became the first Latino elected to public office in Queens for City Council in 2001, and was then expelled from the the New York State Senate following his misdemeanor domestic assault conviction in 2009. He later spent two years in federal prison for misusing funds while he was a sitting City Councilmember.