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Rucker Park Tournament Resumes Amid Tighter Security

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The recent surge of shootings in New York City was on the mind of Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, especially as local police discussed security measures with the organizers of a basketball tournament where a recent shooting occurred.

Executives at the Entertainers Basketball Classic ramped up safety in response to the NYPD's demands. The event was temporarily suspended for three days because local police weren't satisfied with the security at the tournament. Five people were wounded in a shooting at the event’s venue in Harlem's Rucker Park on July 25.

“People used to complain about going through metal detectors,” said Gregory Marius, the CEO of the prestigious street basketball tournament. “But I guess now they see why we did it.”

Marius said safety precautions, including metal detectors and extra security guards, will be in place when the event resumes Tuesday evening.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the NYPD would not have let the games go on without the extra measures.

 “We need a higher comfort level that security is in place,” said Kelly, after he attended the launch of Cops and Kids – a program designed to improve relations between police and inner-city youth. “It's encumbered on them to provide security for the events.”

Kelly said White Plains resident Ricardo Laing has been arrested in connection with the shooting and has been charged with five counts of attempted murder.

But as to the larger issue of decreasing the number of shootings in the city, Kelly said, "We need a national comprehensive gun control strategy. We're all victimized by the lack of that strategy."

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