Newburgh, Murder Capitol of NY

Welcome to Newburgh, Murder Capital of New York 

This tiny city has a crime epidemic reminiscent of the Bronx of the seventies. It is also the scene of some of the most ambitious gang raids ever conducted, led by an FBI agent who knows the young men he’s arresting only too well. 

One morning earlier this month, just before sunrise, a silent convoy of SUVs streamed into the tiny, troubled city of Newburgh, New York. Over 200 law-­enforcement officers descended on the blighted heart of town, and a company of military-style commandos prepared for a synchronized raid. Armed with M4 assault rifles and dressed in helmets, goggles, and green fatigues, SWAT teams burst into a series of dilapidated houses, shouting, “FBI! Get down!” 

Stop and frisk dawg!
By late morning, twelve alleged members of the Bloods street gang were in ­federal custody. Along with eight others who were already behind bars, the young men were charged with murder, attempted murder, robbery, ­assault, possession of firearms, and conspiracy to distribute drugs. It was the third major sweep by federal authorities in ­Newburgh over the past sixteen months. At a press conference, Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said that the raid was designed to ­“restore the rule of law” in the impoverished city, where violent street gangs “have held the good citizens of Newburgh ­hostage for too long.” 

Beautifully situated on a picturesque bend in the Hudson about a 90 minutes’ drive north of New York City, Newburgh does not look, from a distance, like a community mired in High Noon levels of lawlessness. But in actuality, it has less in common with bohemian Beacon, just across the river (“Williamsburg on the Hudson,” as the Times recently anointed it), than it does with, say, West Baltimore. Despite its small size and bucolic setting, Newburgh occupies one of the most dangerous four-mile stretches in the northeastern United States. “There are reports of shootouts in the town streets, strings of robberies, and gang assaults with machetes,” an alarmed Chuck Schumer said in a Senate hearing last year, describing the situation in Newburgh as “shocking.” With a higher rate of violent crime per capita than the South Bronx or Brownsville, little Newburgh, population 29,000, is the murder capital of New York State. 

Read the full expose here: http://nymag.com/news/crimelaw/newburgh-2011-10/ 

With sister city Poughkeepsie rated as #6 top cities in the country to raise a family, it is hard to imagine that just a short hop down the river you could wind up in the epitome of ghetto life in America. At one time, back in the early 90's, Poughkeepsie also wore this dubious crown of being the most fatal stretch of urban blight in a state famous for its urban nightmares. We were even graced with our very own homegrown serial killer.

We are not without our troubles still today, but since then, "PoTown" has seen significant recovery and development of its urban terrain, in particular in the trouble hot-spots such as the waterfront and downtown Main Street. For whatever reason, Newburgh did not follow suit, and instead has now been sucked into the depths of misery reminiscent of the 90's crack epidemic which spread across NYC and urban centers across the state and nation.

There is no simple solution either. While police swarm the neighborhoods in true Gestapo fashion, many of the citizens who live there see the police as a force every much as oppressive as the gangbangers who battle for control of the streets.  

Hundreds March on City Hall in Wake of Fatal Police Shooting in Newburgh

Sadly, Newburgh now represents so much of what is wrong with our nation. Narco-gangsters spawned or imported as the result of social disintegration and a lack of meaningful opportunity, juxtaposed against the stormtroopers who defend the very system which created the conditions in the first place.

What a miserable state of affairs, for all involved. The sh*t had to land somewhere though. With gangsters and cops alike feeling so utterly hopeless in their endeavors, and murder their only unity.


Anonymous said...

I love how you complain and never do anything or say anything important, just bitch and moan. I live three streets down from Chambers Street in Newburgh, NY. A 32 year old just got shot to death a few days ago here, and the next day a swarm of feds showed up. The neighborhood, for the first time in my life, was safe. You're comparing the cops and feds to the Waffen SS. Would you rather have them leave, and give the shooter an apology, a cookie & a hundered bucks?

Station Six Underground said...

Please reload the page and post your comment using the DISQUS format so that it will be publicly visible.

I don't know how you were able to comment here using the blogger interface since it has been disabled for public view, in favor of the DISQUS format. But thanks for participating.

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