March 28, 2022 By Christian Murray
Several elected officials representing districts in eastern Queens held a press conference Monday to condemn a shooting that took place Friday just two blocks from Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Oakland Gardens.
The officials gathered near the corner of Springfield Boulevard and Horace Harding Expressway where a 16-year-old boy was shot in the arm at around 3 p.m. by one of his fellow Cardozo High School students. The teen was taken to Northwell in stable condition and the incident prompted a school lockdown.
Council Member Linda Lee, joined by Congresswoman Grace Meng and Council Member Vickie Paladino, held the press conference to call on city officials to address public safety with a coordinated response.
They called for an increase in the number of officers at the 111th NYPD Precinct as well as more school safety agents. Additionally, they say extra school counselors and social workers are needed at Cardozo.
“We’re here today to call for a coordinated response…to get guns off the street, keep kids in school and out of trouble, and invest in their futures so they know there’s alternatives to violence out there,” Lee said. “What happened on Friday is as tragic as it is frightening, because if any student thinks it’s necessary to use a gun on someone else, we’ve failed them as a city.”
She said that she was thankful that no one was seriously injured or killed, noting that too many young people have lost their lives to gun violence in recent years.
Meanwhile, Meng said that it saddened her to see yet another shooting in Queens, particularly one so close to a school.
“Cardozo High School is one of the pillars of education in our community and to hear about one of the students getting injured due to gun violence just blocks away from the school breaks my heart. We have to stand up, as parents, students, teachers and everyday citizens to coordinate an end to this epidemic plaguing our community.”
Council Member Vickie Paladino was also at the press conference and said that the rise in gun violence stemmed from poor government policy.
“Unfortunately, this is the direct result of years of bad policy decisions which have rewarded and excused criminal behavior. My office is committed to reversing these policies and working closely with police, prosecutors, and the local community to restore public safety.”