Friday, September 8, 2023

NYPD Body Worn Camera Video Footage Of Police Fatal Shooting Last August Of 21 Year Old Roosevelt Island Man Wielding A Knife In Lobby Of 540 Main Street Released Today By NY State Attorney General Letitia James

Reported last August 5

21 Year Old Roosevelt Island Male Wielding A Large Knife Fatally Shot By NYPD Officers In Lobby Of 540 Main Street Responding To 911 Distress Calls By Family Member - Investigation Ongoing

Today, NY State Attorney General Letitia James released body camera footage from the NYPD officers on the scene.

According to this press release from Attorney General James:

New York Attorney General Letitia James today released police body-worn camera footage that her office obtained as part of its ongoing investigation into the death of a civilian who died on August 5, 2023, following an encounter with members of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) on August 4, 2023 on Roosevelt Island. On the evening of August 4, NYPD officers responded to the lobby of a residential building on Roosevelt Island where an individual approached the officers with a knife. During the encounter, two officers fired their weapons. The individual was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Office of Special Investigation (OSI) of the Attorney General’s Office released videos from body-worn cameras worn by four NYPD officers during the incident. The release of the videos follows Attorney General James’ directive that camera footage obtained by her office during an OSI investigation be released to the public in order to increase transparency and strengthen public trust in these matters.

Pursuant to New York State Executive Law Section 70-b, OSI assesses every incident reported to it where a police officer or a peace officer, including a corrections officer, may have caused the death of a person by an act or omission. Under the law, the officer may be on-duty or off-duty, and the decedent may be armed or unarmed. Also, the decedent may or may not be in custody or incarcerated. If OSI’s assessment indicates an officer may have caused the death, OSI proceeds to conduct a full investigation of the incident.

The release of this footage is not an expression of any opinion as to the guilt or innocence of any party in a criminal matter or any opinion as to how or whether any individual may be charged with a crime.

The name of the decedent is being withheld at the request of the decedent's family.

Warning: The videos contain imagery that viewers may find disturbing.

Also from August 5 reporting:

... NYPD commanding officer of Patrol Borough Queens North, Assistant Chief Christine Bastedenbeck, said during a 2;20 AM press conference in front of Roosevelt Landings:

At approximately 11 30 PM officers from the 114th Precinct responded to multiple 9-1-1 calls at 540 Main Street regarding a male 21 years of age who was reportedly threatening a family member with a knife. The caller was a relative inside the location who also stated the armed male was off his medication and under the influence of marijuana.

The responding sector car consisted of two officers who are also backed up by two additional officers. The incident was captured on body worn camera and shows the four officers entering the lobby of the building.

Three officers then entered one of the two elevators while another officer propped the lobby door open to allow for additional responding officers to enter the building. All of a sudden the suspect emerged from the second elevator not occupied by our officers and moved quickly towards the officer securing the door swinging the knife directly at this officer. 

That officer retreated outside of the lobby and then the suspect then charged towards the elevator occupied by our officers still armed with the knife. The officers inside the elevator attempted to deploy a taser and also discharge their firearm striking the suspect.A large knife was recovered from the right hand of the suspect as seen here. 

Officers began rendering aid until EMS could transport the suspect to an area hospital where he was pronounced deceased 28 minutes after midnight. Thankfully none of the officers or civilians in the area were injured during this incident. I also want to acknowledge the response of local peace officers from the Roosevelt Island Public Safety unit 

The investigation will be handled by our Force investigation Division and additional information will be provided by DCPI as it becomes available....

CBS New York reported at the time.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

RIOC Video Guide Shows Current Tram, Subway, Bus And Ferry Transportation Options For Getting On And Off Roosevelt Island During MTA's 63rd Street Tunnel Rehab Project - Resident Group Asking You To Submit Testimonials On Your Recent Tram, Subway, Bus And Ferry Experience

According to to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)

Dear Roosevelt Island Community: RIOC has put together a short informative guide video to getting on and off Roosevelt Island as quickly as possible during the MTA's ongoing 63rd Street Track Replacement Project.

A group of about 25 Roosevelt Island residents gathered together at Granny Annie's last night to offer suggestions on improving the current Roosevelt Island transportation problems and strategize how to effectively lobby RIOC, the MTA and local elected officials to implement solutions.

The group, calling themselves Stuck On Roosevelt Island,

is soliciting testimonials from Roosevelt Island residents and workers about how they are dealing with the current transportation situation.

You can submit your testimonials here and info on volunteering to help available in the What's App chat group.

 I interviewed 2 of the Stuck On Roosevelt Island organizers last Saturday at the Farmers Market. Here's what they had to say.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

September Is National Preparedness Month - You're Invited To Weekly Thursday Roosevelt Island Emergency Preparedness Zoom Presentations For The Whole Family Starting September 7


Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Community Emergency Committee Chair Frank Farance reports:

September is National Preparedness Month, so the RIRA Community Emergency Committee (CEC) is holding WEEKLY presentations.  This year's theme is "seniors", but it turns out the needs of older adults have much in common with people with disabilities, access, and functional needs (DAFN), parents, youth, and others.  I will be presenting, feel free to ask your questions, the WHOLE FAMILY is welcome.  The four themes this month are:

September 7 @ 8-9 PM: PREPARING TO PREPARE.  Many people know how to prepare, but don't follow through.  This presentation will help you get better and more prepared.

September 14 @ 8-9 PM: PREPARING TO RESPOND.  These actions are stress-heavy and with Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda regrets.  This presentation simplifies the decision-making for virtually all hazards for NYC metro area.

September 21 @ 8-9 PM: PREPARING TO RECOVER.  Most people are unprepared for the Recovery phase after a disaster.   This presentation helps with the Recovery journey post-disaster.

September 28 @ 8-9 PM: PREPARING TO MITIGATE.  During "Blue Sky" days, what kinds of preventative actions can you take"? This presentation covers tips to make it better so the next disaster, hopefully, has less of an impact.

The Zoom info is the SAME FOR EACH WEEK.

Zoom info:
Zoom Meeting ID: 912 3049 8521
Passcode: 591680
Dial in: +1 929 205 6099

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Do You Want To Help Improve Roosevelt Island Transportation? Local Residents Taking Action To Organize And Advocate For Tram And Subway Solutions During MTA 63rd Street Tunnel Rehab Project, Come To September 6 Meeting At Granny Annie's To Learn More

A group of local residents are taking action to organize and advocate for solutions to the recent Roosevelt Island transportation problems at the Tram and Subway caused by the MTA's 63 Street Tunnel Rehab Project.

I spoke with two members of the group, Paul Krikler and Matt Wald, at Good Shepherd Plaza last Saturday. They described their outreach to the Roosevelt Island community and upcoming plans to improve Roosevelt Island transportation services during the MTA's 63rd Street Tunnel Rehab work scheduled to last into the first quarter of 2024.

According to the Group:

Do you want to help improve Roosevelt Island transportation

Want to get involved with advocating for better Roosevelt Island transportation? Join our volunteer meeting this week to discuss opportunities to help.

Wednesday Sept 6 at 7pm Granny Annie's (425 Main Street).

The Group has formed a What's App group chat Stuck On Roosevelt Island  to discuss these issues and to organize.

You can join the What's App group here.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

The Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation Welcomes Laurie Gold As Its New Rabbi - Come Meet Rabbi Gold Labor Day September 4 At Good Shepherd Plaza Picnic Tables For Snacks, Beverages & Refreshments

The Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation (RIJC) welcomes Laurie Gold as its new Rabbi. According to the Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation: 

Dear Friends & Neighbors,

Welcome to the Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation !

We are thrilled to welcome our new Rabbi, Laurie Gold who, as of August 1st, is “up and running” and already preparing for her new year, and the New Year, with us.

The RIJC has been a significant part of the greater Roosevelt Island community for over 45 years. We have had many “homes” and several Rabbis in that time, as well as served a wide variety of families, friends, neighbors and members, donors and supporters. People of all ages and backgrounds worship with us, celebrate holidays and special events together, volunteer to help our organization and engage the community in practical and meaningful ways.

We are an active, liberal, egalitarian congregation, conservative yet open to new ideas and to better involving our Island’s residents....

I interviewed Rabbi Gold last week.

Rabbi Gold told me:

My whole life I wanted to become a rabbi but I got sidetracked. I was a lawyer for 25 years which wasn't a terrible life. I didn't mind it but being a rabbi is so much more wonderful. I got a second chance so I'm very grateful that I got to be a rabbi. I wanted to be able to pass on my love of Judaism, my love of Torah, my love of Talmud, my love of Jewish ideas and Jewish values to other people. 

Being a rabbi for this particular community of sweet, welcoming and down to earth people is a dream come true. It's a real honor to work with RIJC President Nina Lublin and to work with other people at the temple and I'm  looking forward to to getting to know more people and having them get to know me so it's really thrilling to be here.

I asked Rabbi Gold of future plans for RIJC:

I want to bring new ideas. 

I love to teach. I want to teach courses on the prophets and happiness and Talmud and maybe some comparative religion and anything that people are interested in. One of the things that I've done, I've taught at Queensborough Community College and other places, and very often I ask the students what they want to learn about and then a couple of weeks later I present a lesson on that. I love to learn and I'm open to whatever people want to learn about.

One thing that I've been doing successfully at my prior positions was a walk and talk where we take walks in nature. There's certainly beautiful places here to walk and talk to each other and make connections. Even before Covid, very often we just lack connections. Relatives are scattered all over the country, friends all over the country so this is a good opportunity to make new friends. I always talk about my temple family and RIJC is already feeling like my temple family. 

I'd also like to work with some yoga teachers and do Jewish yoga which I've done in the past and it's a lot of fun. We do some prayers and meditation. I've been practicing yoga for about 30 years and I think it makes me the calm person I am. I'm not calm all the time. I was in Midtown traffic the other day and I was not very calm but 95% of the time I'm calm and I think it's because of my yoga and meditation practice so I'd like to pass that on to other people.

 I'm very excited to come here and I'm just delighted so far.

According to Rabbi Gold's biography:

Rabbi Gold received her rabbinic ordination from The Academy for Jewish Religion. Before becoming a rabbi, she worked as a trial attorney. Rabbi Gold earned a JD from Hofstra Law School and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Michigan. She has been the rabbi of congregations in Brewster, NY and Danbury, CT. She also served as rabbi at several nursing homes and cruise-lines.

Rabbi Gold and her wife Nancy like travelling and spending time at their local Jewish Community Center, where they swim and attend lectures. They also enjoy reading and practicing meditation and yoga.

Rabbi Gold is non-judgmental and meets people where they are. She is flexible, approachable and down-to-earth. Rabbi Gold looks forward to getting to know the members of her new Temple Family, Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation, as well as other people on the Island.

 The RIJC adds:


Please join us this coming Monday, September 4th, Labor Day, at 5:00 pm, at the Benches & Picnic Tables by Good Shepherd Chapel. Snacks, Beverages, Light refreshments will provided as we extend our Roosevelt Island hospitality to our new Rabbi. 

More information about RIJC, including plans for the upcoming High Holidays and Hebrew school, available at the RIJC website.