Top National And Brooklyn Leaders Condemn So-called “KNOCKOUT GAME”
Jeffries, with Clarke on his right and Thompson on his left.
Top elected officials and community leaders have denounced the recent reported acts of violence related to the knockout game, a local and national phenomenon in which unsuspecting strangers are struck on the head and knocked to the ground.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8), Rep. Yvette Clarke (NY-9), Brooklyn Borough President-Elect Eric Adams, Brooklyn District Attorney-Elect Ken Thompson, Assemblyman Karim Camara (AD-43), and Councilmember-Elect Laurie Cumbo said people involved would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
"Random acts of violence, particularly when targeted at people on the basis of race or religion, will not be tolerated," Rep. Jeffries said. "If you violently participate in the knockout game, we will do everything in our power to make sure that the criminal justice system is there to knockout socially unacceptable behavior. We must also make sure that we positively reinforce young people throughout the community in a manner that promotes constructive activity by at risk youth."
Added Rep. Clarke: "The community we share in Brooklyn will not tolerate random acts of violence. Attacks on any people in our community are an attack on our community as a whole. With the leadership of this community and the New York City Police Department, we will stop the violence that threatens our safety."
"This dangerous, despicable game represents the worst kind of sick violence--and the perpetrators must be dealt with swiftly and harshly. Needless violence can never be tolerated; and violence in the name of hate and entertainment are the worst crimes that can be committed against citizens and society," Eric Adams, the in-coming borough president said, at the news conference. "Today we are uniting our borough to stop this knock-out game before another New Yorker is senselessly hurt. To these gutless offenders we say loud and clear: play this game, and you will lose."
“I’m here, standing with my colleagues in government, group of African American and West Indian American leaders to reach out now, before it’s too late, to any young person, who thinks, for one second, that it’s cool to sucker punch a totally unsuspecting, defenseless person for laughs or to gain some ridiculous measure of status," said Ken Thompson, who will be the new King's County DA after his historic defeat of Charles Hynes. "There is no status to be gained when you cowardly sucker punch a defenseless victim or you watch or encourage a friend to do the same. It’s not cool, it’s not right, we know better, and it won’t be tolerated. A civilized society demands that we cannot and will not tolerate such senseless violence."
Added Assemblyman Karim Camara: "I deplore acts of violence against anyone; and denounce the recent vicious and reprehensible acts of violence occurring across Brooklyn and the Country. We must see such acts of violence against any individual as an attack against every individual. I commend Commissioner Kelly, the NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force and local commanding officers for their swift action and commitment to investigating these incidences".
Assemblyman Walter Mosely said: "We stand together as one community to say that this “knockout game” - which has terrorized innocent people across the country - will not be tolerated in Brooklyn. We have come too far and worked too hard to unify our diverse city and borough to allow a few rogue criminals to turn back the clock of progress. I urge those with any information on perpetrators of this kind of random, senseless violence to contact their local precinct so that we can restore a sense of peace and safety to our neighborhoods."
"I am devastated that our children have made the decision to attack members of our community through what they call the knockout game. They don't realize that the lives of those that they have assaulted will never be the same unlike a video game," added Laurie Cumbo, in-coming Councilmember.
"They don't realize that their own lives will also never be the same because they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I am devastated because we as a community have failed our children anytime they feel that they have so little value for their own life that they could attack another member of the community. It is critical in our new administration that we provide our young people with the resources to channel their talents and dreams and to create opportunities to learn about one another so that we can build one community where we can all grow together and learn from one another".
According to the New York Police Department, there have been numerous incidents related to the “knockout" game. Several victims have been assaulted in similar fashion in Crown Heights, which has a sizable Jewish population. Over the weekend, authorities arrested and charged Amrit Marajh, 28, with aggravated assault as a hate crime, assault as a hate and assault in the third degree in relation to an attack on a Jewish Brooklyn resident. Last week, a 78 year-old woman was attacked in while walking down the street in Midwood.
There have been several victims of the knockout game all over the country. There have been reports of similar assaults on innocent victims of all ages in New York, Illinois, Missouri and Washington D.C. In New Jersey, one man died as a result of injuries connected to the violent game.