Photographer: Amnon Gutman
Title: United We Thrive-Divided We Die
Location: NYC, United States
Period: 08/2020 - 11/2020
Category: Solutions

Gun violence has rocketed in the context of communities' conflicted relationships to the police force in NYC five boroughs since George Flyod's killing in Minneapolis and the subsequent demonstrations. more than a 1000 shootings since the beginning of 2020 point to the need and demand for a greater police presence but also a basic distrust of police intervention. This election year, characterized by incendiary disclosure coming from the national symbol of authority has further contributed to a climate of distrust and disparity. In addition, Covid-19 has created a situation in which restrictions on movement, accompanying domestic pressure and a general atmosphere of confusion and chaos inevitably lead to increased gun violence.

A number of local anti-violence groups in communities suffering from the increase in shootings have had to renew their successful efforts of the past and regroup in order to address these complex and life-threatening challenges. Clearly, the pandemic makes the lives of these brave members of the grassroots organizations far more difficult and so their attempts to survive both as individuals and as committed members of their communities requires special strength. While those over the age of eighteen are defining the roles they have already taken regarding themselves, their families and their communities, children are left with fearful questions and tragic outcomes.

August-November 2020

Focussing on the prevalence of gun violence in New York’s five boroughs, this project is an urban study which dates from 2012. Its purpose is to bring to public attention the grass- roots efforts to confront the problem. I believe that the process of documentation supports the efforts of those brave citizens and that public acknowledgement may lead to similar attempts across the city.

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In Bedford Stuyvesant police officers canvas the street after a shooting incident that has left two people aged 24 and 26 dead No arrests have yet been made and the homicide investigation is ongoing

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When Spooky a 41 year old man was shot dead in Flatbush he left a young son Spooky s mother and his son are being comforted after the shooting by friends and family outside their building where Spooky collapsed and died Innocent people were shot and it looks like it s gang-related and we have to work together to be able to identify the perpetrators I need people to come forward said the police detective who is in charge of the investigation

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Candles and blood stains mark the site of the shooting of Jaylen Karate Kid Flowers a 25 year old man who was murdered two days previously at Howard Houses Brownsville

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Youth who are part of the God Squad and East Flatbush Village 2 local grassroot organisations who are helping their communities to confront gun violence walk the streets of Flatbush during the day delivering masks and hand sanitizers to people from the community

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Pastor Gilford Monrose founder of the 67th precinct clergy council inc The God Squad conducts a shooting response in Flatbush at the site where three people were killed in gun violence two weeks before br The God Squad mission br Helping to lessen neighborhood tensions and the burdens on government by providing relief to the distressed and underprivileged community members of the 67th Precinct

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Residents of Brooklyn gather to commemorate RBG Ruth Bader Ginsburg an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 until her death on September 18 2020 br Barclays Center

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Black Lives Matter stage a protest in NYC in remembrance of Jonathan Price a 31 year old black man who was shot and killed by a Texas police officer earlier in the year

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On the 25th anniversary of the Million Man March A T Mitchel center the founder of ManUp Inc a local grassroot organisation in East New York leads the 500X5 a united men of colour initiative over the Brooklyn Bridge

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Family and friends of Theodore Llyod Senior mourn his death during his funeral procession br The twenty-three year old man was killed during a drive-by shooting while standing outside with friends at H block Flatbush Theo leaves a wife and 2 children

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A far away view of parts of NYC from inside a housing project in Brownsville While the incidence of drug related crime has decreased compared to its peak during the crack and heroin epidemics violent crime continues to be a serious problem in the community especially gang-related gun violence

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An anti Trump activist is arrested and taken to a police car during a New York Triumph Rally a Donald Trump supporters rally in Staten Island

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Members of Crisis Management System CMS during a press confrence couple of days before Labour Day Weekend a weekend event which usually has a lot of shootings inside the neighbourhood of Flatbush CMS is an initiative by the NYC mayor office that simultaneously operates across 22 communities citywide in neighborhoods significantly impacted by gun violence and provides violence intervention and support systems