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NYPD officers told to 'look the other way' during West Indian Day parade

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In the midst of all the lively colors, rhythmic dancing and mesmerizing music, parade goers admit lots of rum –among other things– is flowing along the parade route celebrating Caribbean culture in New York City. But the cops really don’t seem to care all that much—at least not at this event.

Revelers openly smoke weed and drink booze as the annual procession makes its way along Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, according to the NY Post.

One retired NYPD cop said, “No one in their right mind wants to do that detail.”

Officers investigate the scene of a shooting that took place during the festivities. Screen shot from video.
Officers investigate the scene of a shooting that took place during the festivities. Screen shot from video.

Unfortunately in years past, this event has been marred by deadly violence and now it looks like it’s happened again. “It’s the worst event of the year, in terms of violence, and it goes on for days,” the ex-cop said.

Despite the deadly violence this year, the city’s top cop said there was no reason to cancel the event.

Cops routinely confiscate booze from revelers at other popular parades in the city, but detectives union chief Michael Palladino said he was ordered not to do the same thing at the West Indian-American Day Parade.

“In my 36 years with the department, that’s the only parade where I was told to look the other way,” Palladino told the Post.

An aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo who was shot during pre-celebrations for the West Indian Day Parade is out of surgery but remains in critical condition. Screen shot from video.
An aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo who was shot during pre-celebrations for the West Indian Day Parade is out of surgery but remains in critical condition. Screen shot from video.

A top lawyer in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration was shot and critically wounded Monday morning, after being hit by a stray bullet, while he was reportedly enjoying pre-Parade festivities with his family. Carey Gabay apparently got caught in the crossfire between two gangs, police said.

According to Yahoo News, the shooting was one of several outbursts of violence in the neighborhoods surrounding the parade, which included the stabbing death of a 24-year-old man, near Grand Army Plaza.

It’s unclear exactly why those who attend this parade are treated so gingerly. But one reveler has an idea: “I’m allowed to drink and smoke….the cops see us and they don’t say anything.?.?. they are giving us a break because this is the one time we get to enjoy ourselves in public,” said Nevin Budhu.

Performers walk and dance down the streets during the  West Indian Day Parade. Screen shot from video. Screen shot from video.
Performers walk and dance down the streets during the West Indian Day Parade. Screen shot from video. Screen shot from video.

The order from supervisors urging restraint, say NYPD sources, is nothing new when dealing with parade-goers. The brass, officers say, “forbid us from making arrests, no matter what we saw, because they didn’t want riots.”

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