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Arrests in Brownsville drive-by shoootings

August 4, 2012 5:33:18 AM PDT
Two people have now been arrested in the shootings of six people, including a two-year-old girl, in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. The two arrested are both teenagers

Lawand Tinsley, 19, faces six counts of second degree murder, six counts of first degree assaut, and six counts of second degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Michael Jones, also 19, faces similiar charges. Investigators said the suspects were gunning for a 17-year-old, but only hit innocent bystanders.

The arrests and a series of recent shootings are changing the dialogue between the community and police, which has been heated at times over the last several weeks.

But now, activists are encouraging residents to reach out to cops with tips as they did in this case.

"This whole thing about snitching is dead in our community," said Tony Herbert, Community Advocate.

"We will be doing the snitching for you, if you're afraid to do the snitching," said State Sen. Eric Adams, (D) 20th Senate District.

Talking to the police is what community leaders say helped lead to the arrests.

The victims include 2-year-old Ariyanna Prince who was shot in the leg.

"Just get her back to how she was. I'm not going to stop her from being a little kid," said Jahlessa Westly, victim's mother.

Kentrell Simpson, 13, was shot in his right hand.

His grandmother says he may never be able to write again.

"Too many people got hurt, innocent people," said Beverly Wright, victim's grandmother.

Beverly Wright came to the 73rd Precinct where Lawand Tinsley was being held on Friday night.

"So many shots, why?" Wright said.

Sunday's violence and a slew of other shootings have pushed people into fear and anger.

Community leaders say there are too many handguns on the streets and people need to let police know when they find one or when someone is illegally carrying.

"We're going to roll out a series of things that allow community residents to report crimes without having to walk inside a precinct," State Sen. Adams said.

State Senator Eric Adams says he wants to use churches and interfaith communities as a bridge between nervous residents and the police department.

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