July 23, 2003

Shooting at City Hall

Newsday.com: Two Shot Inside City Hall

At least two people were shot inside the City Council's chambers in City Hall at about 2 p.m. today and police have shut down parts of Lower Manhattan as they hunt for possible accomplices to the male shooter, a witness said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was inside City Hall when the gunfire erupted, was not hurt, officials said.

The extent of the shooting vicitms' injuries was not immediately known. One police officer at the scene said there were reports of two cops hurt; another report said Councilman James Davis was injured and taken to a nearby hospital. +++

The local all-news channel, NY1 had Councilman (and Mayoral aspirant) Charles Barron on air within a half an hour. Barron believes Davis may have introduced the gunman to him as a former political foe that was "now working with [him]..." He thought the gunman was shot by NYPD officers or internal security personnel, but a taped briefing by Mayor Michael Bloomberg indicates the gunman is at-large as the police have secured the area, shut down several subway lines and preparing to release a sketch of the gunman.

I expect questions about security measures post-Giuliani will increase exponentially. I wouldn't be surprised, if what Barron says is true, that the shooter entered City Hall through a less vigorous security screening with Councilman Davis.

James Davis, a former NYPD officer, and a member of the Fresh Democracy Coalition that ushered in nearly an entire new New York City Council in 2002, has been an outspoken critic of the Mayor and the current Speaker of the Council, Gifford Miller. He continues to be a strong supporter of term-limits and there has been some talk of a possible Mayoral run.

From the One People's Project reports on the first 100 days of the new City Council (2002 term):

District 35 in Brooklyn is a microcosm of New York City in that the residents are from all levels of socioeconomic backgrounds and represent diverse races, ethnicities, cultures and religions. Councilman James Davis has walked nearly every block in his district and talked with residents as they go about their daily activities. He's responded to many different constituent concerns, including issues involving education, housing, public safety, sanitation, neighborhood parks, and Medicaid.

Davis is Chair of the Juvenile Justice Sub-Committee, and a member of 4 Standing Committees. He has co-sponsored and endorsed Bills such as the Trans Gender Bill, the Predatory Lending Bill and the Living Wage Bill to name a few. He vigorously opposes many of the Mayor's proposed budget cuts and advocates for increased funding for education, public safety, housing, health and human services and cultural institutions.

UPDATE at 3:33pm - NY1 reports one of those shot by the gunman has died, but won't reveal the identity at this time. If it is Davis, it would be a tremendous lost for District 35 in Brooklyn in particular, and New York City as a whole.

Posted by ronn at July 23, 2003 03:03 PM

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