Lawmakers To Hold Vigil For Homeless Stabbing Victims


A day after police arrested the person accused of killing two individuals and badly injuring two others in a stabbing spree, elected officers and neighborhood teams will maintain a vigil for the victims on Monday afternoon in Inwood.

Assemblymember Carmen De La Rosa and a gaggle of different metropolis and state officers will collect at 3 p.m. this afternoon outdoors the 207th Avenue A prepare station to honor the victims, all 4 of whom have been experiencing homelessness. The alleged killer, Rigoberto Lopez, was homeless as nicely.

“The homelessness disaster within the metropolis continues to rise and within the midst of a world public well being disaster, displacement and lack of earnings are an ongoing menace to our housing inventory,” De La Rosa’s workplace wrote Sunday in a press launch saying the vigil. “Our neighborhood stands in opposition to violence of any variety and on this second of sorrow, we acknowledge the numerous intersectional points that result in homelessness.”

The unprovoked string of assaults started Friday and prolonged into Saturday. One unidentified man was fatally stabbed on a subway bench round 11:20 p.m. on Friday in Far Rockaway and a 44-year-old girl, Claudine Roberts, was discovered lifeless on the 207th Avenue station in Inwood. Two others have been injured in stabbings on the Fort Washington-181st Avenue station.

By Saturday night time, Lopez, who’s 21 years outdated, was taken into custody and charged with two counts of homicide and two counts of tried homicide. His sister, 27-year-old Lisbeth Astwood, informed the NY Put up her brother’s expenses have been a “shock.”

The violence has fueled calls for for extra police places of work within the subway system. Police deployed 500 officers to all 472 subway stations over the weekend. MTA officers have requested Mayor Invoice de Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea for an additional 1,000 cops to patrol subways and buses. Requested concerning the MTA’s request, de Blasio spokesperson Avery Cohen mentioned the town is “instantly surging 500 officers” who will work with current police and outreach staff.

Advocates and lawmakers say the violence underscores the homelessness disaster and the necessity for assured housing and sufficient shelter to all.

VOCAL-NY, a corporation preventing to finish homelessness, mass incarceration, and the battle on medication, mentioned the options to violence have to be “rooted in offering housing, providers and care; no more police.”

“Homeless New Yorkers have traditionally suffered on account of police violence, and this present shutdown is not any exception. Elevated policing does nothing to maintain those that are unhoused protected,” the group’s housing marketing campaign coordinator, Joe Loonam, mentioned in a press release on Saturday.

In October 2019, 4 homeless males have been crushed to demise in Chinatown in a violent episode that shook the decrease Manhattan neighborhood.

Between July 2019 and June 2020, 613 homeless New Yorkers had died, a 52% rise in comparison with the yr prior. The spike highlighted how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the risks of being homeless. COVID-19 and drug overdoses have been among the many prime causes individuals experiencing homelessness died in 2020.

Numerous northern Manhattan native organizations are becoming a member of the vigil on Monday, together with The Uptown Collective, Altagracia Religion and Justice Works, Uptown Wagon, and different. Elected officers to affix embody: De La Rosa, Rep Adriano Espaillat, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Robert Jackson, Meeting Member Al Taylor, Councilmembers Ydanis Rodriguez and Mark Levine.