By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The tragic shooting death of a Brooklyn baby in his stroller “sends chills through the spines of every New Yorker,” Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota said. Reacting to the baby’s death, Lhota said the deadly incident should spur officials to get guns off city streets.
Lhota spoke out on Monday, the day after the murder of one-year-old Antiq Hennis. The New York Times reported that the baby’s parents were walking across a street in Brownsville, pushing him in a stroller at about 7:20 p.m. on Sept. 1 when shots were fired and the little boy was hit.
“The tragic murder of one year-old Antiq Hennis last evening is an outrage. His death sends chills through the spines of every New Yorker, and together we mourn for him and his family,” Lhota said.
“Antiq was the 16th victim under the age of 16 to be shot on our streets in the past three and a half months. That is 16 too many,” Lhota said. “We need to do better – we owe our children much, much better,” he added.
Lhota also took a swipe at the City Council, which last month voted to override the mayor’s veto of the Community Safety Act. The new law will lead to the appointment of an inspector general to monitor Police Department policy. The law will also make it easier for citizens to sue the NYPD is they believe they are being racially targeted by cops.
“The ‘Community Un-Safety Act’ enacted by the City Council last month directly diminishes the NYPD’s ability to get guns off our streets and prevent these violent crimes from occurring. Their actions have threatened the safety of all New Yorkers,” Lhota said.
“I understand this is a difficult subject that incites deep emotions. But if we are going to be serious about saving lives – primarily the lives of those living in high crime neighborhoods – we need to be honest about how we can accomplish that goal. We must do everything we can to prevent future gun violence. We must be vigilant, we must be proactive and we must never allow criminals to believe they have the control. Let us honor Antiq, and the life he didn’t get the chance to live, by addressing this crisis head-on and preventing future deaths,” Lhota said.
Lhota is the front-runner, according to the polls, in a three-way primary for the Republican nomination for mayor. Billionaire John Castimatidis, founder of the Gristedes supermarket chain, and George McDonald, founder of the Doe Fund, an organization that helps homeless people find jobs, are also running in the Sept. 10 primary.