People living in the New York City Greenwich Village neighborhood are begging police to end the nightly takeover of Washington Square Park, where revelers gather nightly to sell drugs, have sex, and even commit crimes.
Hundreds of residents met with the New York City Police on Wednesday to ask for law enforcement to restore order to the neighborhood.
“The criminality has extended to our quaint street,” an unidentified woman said at the meeting. “From lewd acts to nudity to drugs, crack being smoked on our street, our children have witnessed people shooting up.”
Another man told the Daily Mail the rules were in place but have not been enforced and the park has become a “free-for-all:”
The Daily Mail detailed the ongoing mayhem:
The New York Police Department’s Sixth Precinct called the emergency meeting amid growing complaints from merchants and residents about the non-stop partying at the park, where people were stabbed and beaten over the weekend- and a diner cook was thrown through a window.
‘The park has become a drug den, it’s not about the music,’ one woman said at the meeting, according to the New York Post.
Others outside of the church protested the meeting, with some claiming people were just upset with the chaos at the park because ‘it’s bad optics for them [the white people] to see black and brown people’ at the park. And an increased police presence has only led to more problems, according to ABC 7, with five officers hurt trying to close the park after curfew earlier this month as 23 people were arrested.
“There’s going to be a presence of police officers in there and our goal is pretty simple here – for people to be allowed to use the park because it is a beautiful park, it always has been, but also public safety,” NYC Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, said in the Daily Mail report.
“So we will continue to be there for the residents of the community,” Shea said. “We are intending on being there, enforcing the closing with the parks department.”
The Daily Mail reported that crime has been up overall across the city — in the last 28 days, there have been 41 murders, 100 rapes, 1,051 robberies, 1,771 cases of felony assault, 839 burglaries, 2,630 cases of grand larceny and 854 cases of grand larceny auto.
So far in 2021, 32,695 major crimes have been reported. Nearly 400 more major crimes were reported this week in New York than there were in the same week last year — a 30 percent increase.
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