Uptown Girl

Posts Tagged ‘crime’

Sweet girl in the Bronx…

In Uncategorized on October 6, 2010 at 9:34 pm

The Bronx is a borough of New York just 20 minutes uptown from Manhattan with a criminal reputation and long colourful history. The corner of 161st street and Morris avenue is famed amongst locals as a danger zone as is evident in the comments section of an article posted in New York Daily news this week. Shanell “Sweetz” Crute is the young woman who was shot and killed by a gang and died in her boyfriends arms on the street corner just before midnight on September 30th.
At just 26 years old Shanell Crute did not have any enemies, according to her boyfriend Ira Richards, though the situation tells a different story. Crute was running through the Bronx in an effort to escape a group of men before being shot 9 times and falling to her death. Police believe the shooting was a revenge for a dispute that had occurred earlier in the evening.
After arguing with the group Richards and Crute joined hands and ran from the gang, Crute was shot dead as she ran. As news spread of the shooting in her neighbourhood residents were very saddened. Shanell “Sweets” is said to have been a well liked person and nicknamed ‘sweets’ because apparently people seemed to fall in love with her easily.
This story is not uncommon in a city where gangs are rife and revenge is serious. Just last night on East 19th street, 2 young men were shot and killed as a result of a “beef” (longstanding grudge), which caused members of a Brooklyn street gang to locate Terrance Serrano and Rashawn Washington in a nightclub in the early hours of October 6th and wait for them outside in an SUV before shooting them point blank as they got in their car to leave.
Prominent street gangs such as the ‘bloods’ who both populate and control criminal activity in the New York prison system, in particular on Rikers island have had historical rivalries with Los Angeles gangs as well as those from other ethnic groups such as the “Latin Kings” . The bloods have made their presence known in the city since the 1960s with their signature red scarves and clothing. They are said to be founded by Omar Portee or “OG Mack” in a Rikers island cell.

Morales, M & Armaghan, S (2010, October 1st). Bronx woman gunned down while fleeing gang of thugs; dies in boyfriend’s arms NY Daily news, Retrieved from: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/10/01/2010-10-01_bronx_woman_gunned_down_while_fleeing_gang_of_thugs_dies_in_boyfriends_arms.html?obref=obinsite#ixzz11bZYF3sn

Parascandola, R & Lauinger, J (2010, October 6th). Busted taillight leads cops to suspect in Flatiron District double murder. NY Daily news, Retrieved from: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/10/06/2010-10-06_dim_bulb_busted_taillight_nets_slay_susp.html

The Bloods:In prison . (2010). Retrieved from



Crime in Manhattan

In Uncategorized on September 11, 2010 at 3:02 pm

My first night in Manhattan was the night of my 21st birthday. I was captivated by the bright lights and elegance of Madison avenue and the plush Carlton hotel. My 3 nights in the city were graced with glamorous dinners, champagne and Broadway shows. Enchanted, I moved to New York to live and work in what I thought was an idyllic life in the greatest city in the world. The grimy side of the city became apparent to me when I moved to upper Manhattan in the crime ridden neighbourhood of Washington heights. It was 13 minutes on the train to Times Square, I had no idea about its bad reputation or that it has one of highest crime rates in the country. I got myself a shared apartment and a job downtown and began to learn about the culture of the inner city. People at my new job were shocked when I told them about my residence, but perhaps too embarrassed to warn me against its perils. I chatted happily with the Latino locals who always in seemed happy in the hot summer streets, the children playing in the water of the open fire hydrants ,dancing to the constant meringue music coming from open windows . Within the first six months I was on first name basis with many of my neighbours especially the younger generation. I found them to be compelling, excited and filled with life. My naivety had the possibility to lead me into a lot of trouble. One morning on my way to the subway, I stopped at the top of my block at the local J&J corner store to get my usual egg and cheese roll. I greeted Julio, one of the shopkeepers and chatted happily. I bought a copy of the New York Post and sat down on the train to read it. I came across a small article, not very noticeable or even on the first page, that read “Homicide in uptown corner store”. I continued to read that a shop keeper had shot someone inside J&J corner store at 4am that same morning and that the store played a large part in the drug rings of Manhattan. The shop keeper had apparently fled to the Dominican Republic and the crime was being investigated. There was no yellow tape at 8am when I walked into the store and it was running ‘business as usual’. From that day forward I resolved not to be naive anymore and to learn all I could about crime in Manhattan.

Photo copywright Dave Beckerman