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J'Ouvert Festival kicked off in Brooklyn amid heavy security as 4 people are shot overnight - one just blocks from the parade route

Revelers are searched by police officers during a Caribbean street carnival called J'ouvert on September 4, in New York City

  • Tens of thousands of revelers gathered on the streets of Brooklyn for the J'Ouvert Festival early Monday 
  • But this year saw a heavy police presence, barricades and metal detectors amid fears of violence
  • Two people were murdered at J'Ouvert last year, despite an increased police presence, and in 2015, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's aide Carey Gabay was killed by a stray bullet
  • Last night, four people were shot in Brooklyn - one just blocks from the parade route - and another fatally

J'Ouvert Festival kicked off this morning under heavy security after four people were shot overnight in Brooklyn.

The annual celebration of Caribbean culture has been plagued by violence in recent years. Two people were murdered at J'ouvert last year, despite an increased police presence, and in 2015, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's aide Carey Gabay was killed by a stray bullet.

While just last night, four people were shot in Brooklyn - one just a few blocks from the parade route. 

The result is that this year's event festival took place with heavy security including an increased NYPD presence, police barricades and metal detectors. 

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The J'Ouvert Festival kicked off this morning under heavy security after four people were shot overnight in Brooklyn

The J'Ouvert Festival kicked off this morning under heavy security after four people were shot overnight in Brooklyn

Revelers are searched by police officers during a Caribbean street carnival called J'ouvert on September 4, in New York City

Revelers are searched by police officers during a Caribbean street carnival called J'ouvert on September 4, in New York City

 A police officer confiscates a bottle of alcohol during the J'ouvert Festival. Alcohol has been banned in a bid to prevent violence at the annual event

 A police officer confiscates a bottle of alcohol during the J'ouvert Festival. Alcohol has been banned in a bid to prevent violence at the annual event

New York mayor and governor march in 2017 J'Ouvert parade

Last night, a 49-year-old man died after getting shot in the head on Herkimer Place in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn at just before 9pm on Sunday. Three others were injured in separate incidents and are recovering in hospital. 

Two NYPD cops observe the parade of revelers as they pass by in incredible, elaborate costumes 

Two NYPD cops observe the parade of revelers as they pass by in incredible, elaborate costumes 

Revelers are searched by police officers and have a metal detector passed over them during the Caribbean street carnival
Revelers are searched by police officers and have a metal detector passed over them during the Caribbean street carnival

Revelers are searched by police officers and have a metal detector passed over them during the Caribbean street carnival 

Tens of thousands of costumed, paint-slathered revelers gathered on the streets in the New York borough in the early hours of Monday for the celebration of Caribbean culture which has been plagued by violence in recent years

Tens of thousands of costumed, paint-slathered revelers gathered on the streets in the New York borough in the early hours of Monday for the celebration of Caribbean culture which has been plagued by violence in recent years

The result is that this year's event festival took place with heavy security including an increased NYPD presence, police barricades and metal detectors

The result is that this year's event festival took place with heavy security including an increased NYPD presence, police barricades and metal detectors

A police sign reads 'no music' along the route of J'ouvert festival. Thousands of additional officers were on patrol today and  policed party areas outside the barriers

A police sign reads 'no music' along the route of J'ouvert festival. Thousands of additional officers were on patrol today and  policed party areas outside the barriers

They include a 44-year-old man shot in the chest near the parade route, one man shot in the abdomen at Union Street, Crown Heights, following a dispute, another shot in the torso in Crown Heights, who walked to a neighboring hospital.

No arrests have been made. 

Police would not confirm whether the shootings were associated with the J'Ouvert celebration. 

 Carey Gabay, an aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, died after being caught in the crossfire at J'ouvert in 2015

Carey Gabay, an aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, died after being caught in the crossfire at J'ouvert in 2015

In response, city officials this year changed the start time of J'ouvert's steel band procession from 4am to 6am and added strict security layers that don't sit well with some longtime merrymakers.

'Those of us really involved in J'ouvert are not creating this violence, and we shouldn't be punished or forced to change,' said Michael Manswell, a dancer, choreographer and college professor who has attended for decades.

The precautions, he and others predicted, likely won't dissuade the devout from turning out early. He hoped it would discourage the troublemakers, who he said were people ignorant of the event's meaning and just looking for an opportunity to create mayhem.

'I can tell you I'm going out there either way, because I am committed to the mas,' said Manswell, referring to the costumed performances.

One reveler covers her face with a Trinidad scarf and sunglasses during the parade as she walks alongside cops on the parade route 

One reveler covers her face with a Trinidad scarf and sunglasses during the parade as she walks alongside cops on the parade route 

 Revelers are searched and have metal detectors passed over them before entering the parade which draws tens of thousands of costumed celebrants 

 Revelers are searched and have metal detectors passed over them before entering the parade which draws tens of thousands of costumed celebrants 

This year, revelers must enter the route along 12 designated entry points and will have to pass through metal detectors, and no alcohol or backpacks will be allowed

This year, revelers must enter the route along 12 designated entry points and will have to pass through metal detectors, and no alcohol or backpacks will be allowed

Shootings near the march route have long been a concern, but the violence got renewed attention in 2015, when the aide to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo was killed by a stray bullet. 

Last year, 17-year-old Tyreke Borel was shot and killed and a 72-year-old woman was grazed in the arm. Soon after, a 22-year-old woman, Tiarah Poyau, was shot in the head just a block away and also died.

This year, revelers had to enter the route along 12 designated entry points and pass through metal detector. No alcohol or backpacks were allowed. Thousands of additional officers were on patrol and policed party areas outside the barriers.

Participants say while the event may not have the nostalgic touch, they're pleased it will go on.

'It is a part of our cultural heritage,' said Guy. 'It is a way to link our past with our present and future and to remind ourselves of who we are.'

Two people were killed at last year's J'Ouvert Labor Day festival

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Comment by David on September 6, 2017 at 1:10pm
Cancel that stupid parade! No one with any sense goes, and it's just an excuse for evil people to come out, and show their ass! Every year, same ol stuff!
Comment by ALEXIS JOSEPH on September 5, 2017 at 10:53am
Are we madd, we brought the bs to ourselves,
Comment by TonyPuck on September 4, 2017 at 9:06pm

Sorry I think this article is negative bullshit, 4 people were not shot at the parade,  One getting shot near to where the parade route does not count.  You talking about Brooklyn, how many people got shot the nite before?  You said it yourself, thousands attended the celebration and your article makes it look like four unrelated cases marred the Jorvert.  I think you just trying to make news out of related info.  If I am wrong I am sorry, that is how I see it. 

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