"We Asked the City for Help and We Got a Raid"

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Manhattanville Houses in Harlem (imjustwalkin)

Over 40 suspects in rival groups were arrested in a huge raid at two Harlem housing projects last week. Daryl Khan, New York bureau chief of the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange and an adjunct professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, reports on what some residents in the area had been trying to do to curb the violence, and why they're worried this raid may actually make things worse.

New York City Council member Mark Levine (D-7), whose district covers the Manhattanville and Grant houses, called in to discuss what his office is doing to give kids who live there things to do so they're not caught up in the violence.  “No amount of arrests is going to prevent the next generation of young people from getting caught up in this,” Levine said. “We’ve got to invest positively in good experiences for young people in youth programs to prevent them from being drawn into this.”  

Listeners who live in the area called in to describe what it was like when the police raided their apartments, including one caller, Treeva from Harlem, who said her three-year-old niece is traumatized after the NYPD came into her apartment during the raid. “They broke the door down,” she said. “There’s a better way. I’m not saying all of these kids are innocent – but there’s a better way that they should be able to approach people’s apartments. My niece is hysterical seeing this. If you can’t trust the police, who can you trust?”

Daryl Khan said residents he talked to also aren’t sure the police raid was the solution to the entrenched violence. “Most kids…they’re scared of the police, they don’t feel comfortable approaching the police, and whether that’s a reality or perception – to them, it’s real.”


Daryl Khan

Comments [58]

John Jose from Mine your dam business

Free the ville fuck the cops

Aug. 31 2014 04:07 AM
Tom from East Harlem

WNYC: This is even worse than when you implied that the NYPD's prostitution arrests are based solely on the possession of one condom. Irresponsible and unethical journalism to further your collective political viewpoint. Please post this comment.

Jun. 15 2014 09:50 AM
Tom from East Harlem

What a ridiculously one sided report told only from the twisted perspective of violent criminals and their families who have failed to raise them to be civil to others. WNYC and Brian Lender, your anti-police bias is on full display here.

Jun. 15 2014 09:35 AM
Robert Darnell Hollinsed from Kingston N.Y.

This ain't gonna change because NOBODY can live in buildings with 20 plus floors, apartments that go up to Apt "Q", with 2 elevators and one of them don't work most of the time. These are those "Great Society" buildings. It's gonna be the same thing over and over. You got to tear these buildings down and create places where people can live next to each other. NOT ON TOP OF EACH OTHER !!!!!

Jun. 15 2014 12:07 AM
John from NYC

If you live in public housing, what do you expect? You can't complain about police raiding and invading your privacy. You pay 30% of your REPORTED income which turns out to be next to nothing to live in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country. If you feel your rights are being violated, save up some money and move out. These projects are supposed to be temporary housing for people to get back on their feet but people abuse this privilege to the point where they grow old and die in their housing project.

Housing projects don't work and we should tear them down. Not only are they a breeding ground for hoodrats, they are a waste of taxpayers' money. People have gone along for the ride long enough.

Jun. 11 2014 08:53 AM
GMan from Upper West Side

The truth will be told in a few weeks, when Brian Lehrer and the media all go off to their next story. Will this "shock and awe" have any real impact, or will it just be another news story to sell?. Spending money on summer jobs programs and better education will do more to solve this problem than arresting and incarcerating young men. We need to rethink our priorities.

Jun. 11 2014 07:58 AM

NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority)The Rage, The anger,

This is a video, that I found on utube and this young lady,
is venting about life in the PJ's.

Jun. 11 2014 05:51 AM
Dan Chav

There is a level of ignorance pervading this country, one that has never been seen before! Within the highest levels of government "corruption" abounds. No one is arrested and no one goes to prison. Yet millions are being spent on law enforcement to catch, arrest, and imprison criminals so that communities can feel safe. How is it, that the capturing of "criminals" in communities of "poor minorities" is applauded and commended, but the BIGGER criminals who rob from the people at large - get ignored!? I honestly don't know who I feel more sympathy for, the people who live in those communities who believe the police are there to keep them "safe" or the country at large - who has turned a deaf ear, and blind eye to their own enslavement!

Jun. 10 2014 09:28 PM
Marina from Harlem

The first phone caller, the mother of 2 members of the gang "Make it Happen Boys" from Manhattanville. She is basically saying that Tayshana Murphy had it coming because she caused a lot of trouble and that the kids at Grant Houses should "forget about it". She goes further and is honest enough to say that the killers are friends of her kids. WHAT KIND OF MOTHER lets her boys have criminals as friends?

She can only dispute the gang membership of the youngest, meaning chances are, there is a long list of criminal activity the oldest is associated with already. There are 9 sets of possible brothers in the gang member list of the Manhattanville project. You will think mothers make damn sure the eldest doesn't join the gang because the younger ones will tend to join as well.

I bet that she is aware that gang membership isn't beneficial to her kids, so why didn't she hand in her oldest son (the one she accepts openly that is a gang member) to the police from the get go? Doing that might have gone a long way towards preventing the gang participation of the youngest son and the trauma her kids' gang membership caused her grandkids.

Checked out Manhattanville's indictment. The 2nd caller had the ridiculous idea that she can wipe out 290 Overt Acts by Manhattanville's gang (270 for Grant Houses) and claim they are done by the new residents who moved 5 YEARS AGO!?!? Give me a break! How can these old women not realize that they should attempt to be honest, they are failing society being bad mothers. If they can't raise a boy well enough so that the kid doesn't join a gang, then they shouldn't have kids!

Jun. 10 2014 08:12 PM
Maria from Harlem from Harlem

"This was not a "Gang Raid", this was a shock-and-awe military assault on Black and Latino communities."

The NYPD action against known gang members protects the bulk of the Black and Latino communities that aren't affiliated to those gangs but have to live around them. Please contribute as much as you can informing the NYPD if you know about the location of any of the thugs that got away (about 40 of the 100 are still on the lose).

Here are the indictments for those who still think that these raids aren't specifically against criminals. The full list of criminals is included in these indictments along with the criminal activities they are involved with (basically walking around with loaded guns and plotting and executing shootings against each other).

To be specific, we are talking about 3 gangs who got busted this raid: the one at Grant Houses, The

* "Money Avenue", formerly known as the “Block Boyz", between Morningside Avenue and Manhattan Avenue and 115th-119th and plot their murders in the vecinity of Morningside Park and 119th
* "Make It Happen Boys", also known as "the ville", located in the huge project called Manhattanville Houses, located between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, from West 126th to West 133rd Streets
* "3 Staccs", General Grant Houses the huge project in 123rd-125th between Morningside Avenue and Broadway.

Jun. 10 2014 07:05 PM
matthew swaye from harlem

Mark Levine broke the law to steal the primary election from a Black woman and a Latino man. Then, the broke the law in the general election to steal the seat from a Latina. If millionaire white thieves like Mark Levine really want justice for historically oppressed people, they should stop oppressing historically oppressed people. For starters.

Jun. 10 2014 05:17 PM
Margaret from Morningside Heights

I'm with you on how to fix the problem, on the personal side of the residents (I can't say how to fix the police - some seem to get the job for the sake of the opportunity to handle certain people). People need to be sane, create and keep a sane personal environment, and have sane and dignified work situations. Youth would benefit from Yoga, Tai Chi, Dance, Handcrafts, Meditation, and Gardening. Every residential tower now has a community meeting room. These 20th C. housing complexes not having gymnasiums, there should be apartments changed into community use rooms, for: Monitored After-school; Family media and presentation nights; Daycares; visiting seminars/sample work sessions for jobs; Civics discussions; community and political organizing; Financial Literacy lessons. Create community gardens with seating areas and performance stages on the lawns, with democratic membership, and concern for what you've developed, with as many as care to be sensibly involved.

Jun. 10 2014 04:44 PM

This was not a "Gang Raid", this was a shock-and-awe military assault on Black and Latino communities. I defy you to explain how this is about protecting and serving anyone when 400+ police officers armed to the teeth and in body armor are laughing, cheering, and high-fiving each other after tearing apart people's home, handcuffing a near naked teenage girl and shoving guns in her face and traumatizing her, police telling a woman who tried to hide her 7-year old grandson "Don't worry, we'll get him later"

As the title of this program says, "We Asked the City for Help and We Got a Raid." If you have an honest bone in your body and care anything for our young people (Both the "good ones" who got swept up in this raid, AND the ones who may have been caught up in the madness of fighting each other) then you have to look at this with horror. That for youth with no future, no jobs, rotting schools with mis-education, the only answer the powers that be have is MORE police terror, MORE casting of all Black and Brown youth as criminals and even animals deserving of no basic rights or respect, and MORE mass incarceration. If that's the only answer they can come up with GET OFF OUR PLANET!
--25yr old Harlem resident.
Tonight at 8pm check the blog for video response.
People's Press Conference
Friday, June 13 6pm Harlem State Office Building 125th street and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.
With Residents who were raided, NYC Revolution Club, and Stop Mass Incarceration Network

Jun. 10 2014 01:59 PM
Maria from New york City

While I understand being upset that your home was raided, let's keep things in perspective here: the police were not there to pick up innocent people. These kids were terrorizing their neighborhood and people for years, so sorry if they finally got caught, and sorry if you felt the terror that others felt when your sons surprised them with a whack or a gun or whatever else they did to intimidate and bully. And, while this city has a lot of shortcomings, where were the parents to teach their kids not to harass and steal and beat up others? What needs to happen here is some parental responsibility. I hope the residents can find some peace now.

Jun. 10 2014 01:58 PM
Maria from New york City

While I understand being upset that your home was raided, let's keep things in perspective here: the police were not there to pick up innocent people. These kids were terrorizing their neighborhood and people for years, so sorry if they finally got caught, and sorry if you felt the terror that others felt when your sons surprised them with a whack or a gun or whatever else they did to intimidate and bully. And, while this city has a lot of shortcomings, where were the parents to teach their kids not to harass and steal and beat up others? What needs to happen here is some parental responsibility. I hope the residents can find some peace now.

Jun. 10 2014 01:57 PM

Thank you Brian Lehrer for making the decision to extend this segment.

Perhaps you can have a follow up.

Thank you to the NYPD for their
essential work protecting the residents
of NYC, including NYCHA residents like myself and my family.

Jun. 10 2014 01:00 PM
Bob from Manhattan

Great segment, Brian, very unsettling. I would hope that besides just this segment, you will follow up on it, maybe every two weeks, asking for phone calls from people in the houses to see if things have improved, and continuing to have on guests on like Mr. Khan and Councilperson Levine who are actively involved with making the project safer and more livable.
A question: with all the non-profit programs that are in the city, why can't one devote itself to improving services and keeping recreation centers open in these two projects? The fact that the city closed the Manhattanville recreation center a few years ago, is really frightening. Please continue to have on segments like these.

Jun. 10 2014 12:59 PM
keith from Manhattan.

Just a comment about those who were upset by the raid. Please be aware that this was a tactical event by highly trained police officers. They were not there on a community outreach or hospitality event. They were there to save lives, to protect you from the guns and gang members. While it was traumatic to have your homes raided, the cops have to handle it in a particular way for everyone's safety. Several of the callers complained about the intrusion in one breath, and admitted that not all of them are gang members, not all carry guns... well, what about the ones who are gang members, who are armed?! You cannot have it both ways. Those law enforcement officers risked their lives to give you a better, safer environment. Be thankful.

Jun. 10 2014 12:51 PM

I live in NYCHA, most of my co-workers,
live in NYCHA, including the Grant Houses.

The NYPD went into the NYCHA Grant Houses and they knew they were dealing
with gang bangers, people with a proven track record for violence and
who prey upon members of the community, pressuring kids to join their gangs
or get beat or worse.

The NYPD want to be safe also, they want to go home to their families
and they knew they were responding to a NYCHA where 19 murders had taken

I don't blame the NYPD for going in full force,
when they are rounding up known gang members.

It might have inconvenienced some residents, but the NYPD has an obligation
to make sure that their members stay safe, while dealing with known
gang bangers and entering a NYCHA project, where there had been
19 homicides.

The homicides are the worse that can happen.
The daily intimidation of residents, in the elevators,

by their very presence is also a significant downside
of having these gang bangers, operating with impunity
in the NYCHA.

Stop & Frisk should be applied aggressively,
because it saves lives.

Jun. 10 2014 12:45 PM
Amy from Manhattan

It's not as simple as "housing projects don't work." It's a question of how they're run & what resources & services are & (mostly) aren't provided to the residents. I'd like to see someone report on how typical situations are like the bldg. in Brooklyn where 2 children were stabbed, which didn't have security cameras even 1/2 a year *after* the money was supplied!

Jun. 10 2014 12:16 PM
Mary from Sunnyside

A few years ago, a couple policewomen on duty in a Brooklyn project were reprimanded for tossing a football with some kids.

One would think cops tossing a football and getting to know these kids is more effective than tossing their brothers and sisters around during a raid.

Perhaps Community Policing need to more accepted by the Police Command.

Jun. 10 2014 12:08 PM

Police community relations are atrocious, and need to be condemned and seriously reformed.

As caller after caller point out this kind of police thuggery has gone on for way too long, especially toward people of color, and specifically against young males.

Connect the dots people. With government becoming more privatized by RW oligarchs and their puppets in gov't, forced austerity is wreaking havoc on all our lives. For people in lower income areas, it can be deadly, as this and many other stories point out, when social programs, schools, community centers and basic infrastructure are not funded. It goes straight to the top. When the 1% hoards all the ransom money they stole from the public coffers during this Depression and hoard it all it destroys people's lives by suffocating society.

And what are the wealthy elite doing? Making sure the PD's are sufficiently riled up with fear, instead of forging open and collaborative relations with their jurisdictions, and now they're importing serious military weaponry.

NY Times: War Gear Flows to Police Departments

"Former tools of combat — M-16 rifles, grenade launchers, silencers and more — are ending up in local police departments, often with little public notice."

And we think of Russian and China as totalitarian authoritative regimes? We're right on the same path. It's no surprise we've probably surpassed them in nationalistic propaganda.

check out #myNYPD

Jun. 10 2014 12:05 PM
Mr. Bad from NYC

I'm sympathetic to the residents who were roughed up in the raid, it's not something to be dismissed but with 19 bodies already over this beef how are you going to say the NYPD is the problem? They can't be everywhere at once.

I'm sure that some innocent young men were picked up and will likely soon be let go but these gangs aren't exactly criminal masterminds... if the NYPD intelligence unit has their names it's not because some white guy doesn't like their baggy pants - it's because they never shut up on the phone or in person to everyone and anyone. I've heard some of these intercepts - the stuff these gangster kids will boast about is just mind blowing, it's no wonder they end up in prison, how do you cut a deal for someone who is 100% guaranteed to be convicted at trial by their own statements to multiple witnesses...

Jun. 10 2014 12:05 PM

Thanks for extending the segment.

Jun. 10 2014 12:04 PM
Ann from Brooklyn

How does the fact that Harlem is becoming a more and more valuable real estate zone figure into this equation? Developers who want to build luxury housing want to know that their potential clients will fell safe and protected. As the saying goes 'you can read the writing on the wall'. Can we reference the burning of the south Bronx in the early 70's?

Jun. 10 2014 12:03 PM
Justin from Brooklyn

Children are shot and stabbed every day in the Houses and what bothers Khan is the term "mindless violence". He is brainless.

Jun. 10 2014 12:00 PM
Anon from NYC

Hi we are a small group that works on an alternatives to incarceration program, we have like $5000 to handle hundreds of hours with mentors engaging in meaningful engagements with youth who have been engaged with the criminal justice system, men and women, throughout the year. It is not sustainable relying on volunteers and good hearts.

Jun. 10 2014 11:58 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I repeat:

The problem is not the Housing Projects themselves. However, there should be a police station in every building or at least every complex. The police should be inside patrolling the buildings and not stationed many blocks away. Their presence should be seen every single day. That's how Giuliani did it for a while. He got the cops in there. But now we have this "no frisk" nonsense and naturally we have a return of power going to the gangs again. It is just a fact of life that the criminals will raise their head wherever the police lower their profile.

Jun. 10 2014 11:57 AM
Roy from Queens

I love the bigotry here. Blame the people, who are all not tugs, but not the system as well. It's all a sad (censored) joke.

Jun. 10 2014 11:57 AM

We have 80/20 housing now, because we acknowledge that housing projects of the '50s do not work. The classes must be mixed together. But, once we knew projects did not work, we did nothing to get rid of them. Why is anyone surprised now?

Jun. 10 2014 11:56 AM
Deidra from south bronx

you heard about the high fiving by the police too from one of our residents, you would not believe what they do unless you are there.

also if they know all these people just get them while they are about and about, not raid and smash thru innocent peoples doors.

safe our streets

support local groups with funding not the corporations and wall street businesses

Jun. 10 2014 11:55 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Brian, thank you for recognizing how much more important this discussion is than talking about the World Cup & for extending the segment, & thanks to both the guests for staying to continue it.

Jun. 10 2014 11:55 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Triva's account exemplifies RIPPLE EFFECTS that compound the problems. Cops and we all need to understand these.

Jun. 10 2014 11:54 AM

Good decision Brian to extend the segment. This is a super important issue. Please follow up! What about connecting to the segment on sports in public schools you recently did? Healing the relationship between Black youth and the NY police is a top priority.

Jun. 10 2014 11:52 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Hey, Brian, you extending this segment to give Grant and Manhattanville residents a voice exemplifies why I've been a WNYC member for years...

Jun. 10 2014 11:51 AM
randy from Brooklyn

incredible segment, this is why i tune in. your "family meeting" bits smack of communism or cultism Brian, but this segment is what a real family meeting should be like. a serious matter with serious talk.

Jun. 10 2014 11:48 AM
Latrina from EBT Houses

This is a daily event at the pjs. America needs to see this.


Jun. 10 2014 11:46 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The problem is not the Housing Projects themselves. There should be a police station in every building or at least complex. The police should be inside patrolling the buildings not stationed many blocks away. Their presence should be seen every single day. That's how Giuliani did it for a while. I got the cops in there. But now we have this "no frisk" nonsense and naturally we have a return of power going to the gangs again. The criminals raise their head wherever the police lower their profile.

Jun. 10 2014 11:46 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I'm glad to hear Mr. Khan mention "know your rights" programs. I have to wonder if this raid could possibly have been constitutional. It sure doesn't sound as if the police had search & arrest warrants.

Jun. 10 2014 11:45 AM
Nicholas Medina

Great topic, hard to understand your guess speaker.

Jun. 10 2014 11:44 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Right or wrong?: Cannot solve a problem if you don't know the cause...? For real, a lack of understanding of (1) these folks' path to the pjs and (2) the effects of living there produces stopgap measures that (1) rearrange Titanic deck chairs and/or (2) perpetuate the chaos (and injustice).

Of course, this all leads back to the reckoning Ta-nehisi and other grown folk call for.

Jun. 10 2014 11:42 AM
Frade from Harlem

anonymous gentrifiers aside here.

did he listen to any of the callers?

Levine is a hack, less violence this summer, levine did not fight for more summer jobs and programs he directs the council resources to the richer parts of the district, it is all clear

he loves bratton

trying to have it both ways, a politician par excellence

Jun. 10 2014 11:41 AM
oscar from ny

Please board of education put a 30 minute class on civic just like sex ed and educate this children about what happens to criminals.. Hire a good social worker or a psychiatrist or a exorcist or a witch or voddo doctor to expell the demons that have invaded the minds of these children.. Help them understand that life now is different and that they're loved and appreciated.. So stop the freaking robbing and murdering.. Besides gangsters are last century ago..Jesus help them!

Jun. 10 2014 11:41 AM
Farnsworth from Sutton Place

These Democratic voter breeding facilities are about to implode. Do what Newark and Chicago did. Take them down and allow the city to flourish.

Jun. 10 2014 11:41 AM
jgarbuz from Queens


Like all liberal ideas go bad. But we did want to go from the rat-infested tenements to the spanking new housing projects they were putting up in the '50s. There was grass and trees and places to sit, as opposed to playing stick ball on the streets with the traffic. But you know what? Playing stick ball on the streets was better. The "slum clearance/urban renewal" idea sounded good but like all liberal theories usually crumble when faced with reality.

Jun. 10 2014 11:40 AM
nameless from Hakeem

If we don't take care of our problems someone else will and we won't like it at all. This is embarrassing.

Jun. 10 2014 11:38 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

One thing good about being cloistered in the Housing Projects and being afraid to go out as a kid meant that I had nothing to do but read books and watch TV. So I read a thousand books before I was thirteen years old and when we moved I aced every class in high school and got a Regents Scholarship.
But between the age of 7 and 12 I physically feared going outside and when I came back from yeshiva elementary school at 5.00 PM I would go up the back stairs at the rear of the building for fear of going through the front and getting hassled or worse.

Jun. 10 2014 11:36 AM
Brandt from South Bronx

The solution is part of the new housing plan

Jun. 10 2014 11:36 AM

Public housing...good idea gone bad.

Jun. 10 2014 11:35 AM
Dara from Manhattan

It's very upsetting to hear about the impact of this military-style raid on the community. Thank you for having this conversation.

Jun. 10 2014 11:34 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

The guest's white liberal guilt is charming but it's a fair point - HOWEVER....

Bratton said "mindless" as he saw the violence between the two groups was an end in itself as opposed to a means to an end.

Jun. 10 2014 11:34 AM
Caesar Romaine from Manhattan

Ask him why he's no longer with the Times or B Globe... did he quit or was he fired for not being able to write objective journalism? Not an advocate? Come on.

Any household providing succor to gang members should lose their section 8 housing.

Jun. 10 2014 11:33 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I grew up and somehow managed to survive the gang situation around the Van Dyke Housing projects back in the '50s and I suspect little has changed. I was traumatized for a number of years until we moved to a house in Flatbush. To this very day 60 years later I retain a small bit of that. I agree that it is only too easy for a handful of gangsters to take over an entire neighborhood. Like terrorists in Faluja.

Jun. 10 2014 11:31 AM
Malicia from Harlem

Bratton hyperbole.
Military response not cool. So much money for police and military and not for the Summer Youth Employment Program for example. Budget for summer jobs for teens constant.

have street cops on the street corners, not towers and cameras and random dirveby with the police car.

NYC wasting so much $ on these cops and their pensions.

Jun. 10 2014 11:31 AM
john from office

Wow, a 60's white liberal has been unfrozen and brought on the show today. Lets fell for the criminals, they are just good people. I thought people were killed by these innocents??

Jun. 10 2014 11:29 AM
john from office

The desire to live a thug life seems to be more important then law and order and maybe your kids getting out of these projects. Keep up the hip hopp/rap life style, idolize the thug and not the scholar and stay in the gutter.


Jun. 10 2014 09:16 AM

A similar PD visit was made to the Douglass Houses this past Saturday night. Does Mr. Khan have information on that raid??

Jun. 10 2014 09:10 AM


We're from the City, and we're here to help you make your lives better.

Jun. 10 2014 07:52 AM

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