(The New York Times) Standing on a walkway at the Queensbridge Houses in Queens, two young men clutched guns and snarled dares at each other. This might have been a scene out of the 1980s or ’90s, when Nas, one of the hip-hop giants who grew up in Queensbridge, rapped, “Any day could be your last.”
But it was an afternoon two months ago, decades on.
And stepping between the two men was Shyism Bryant, 41, a retired drug dealer who spent 13 years away from Queensbridge, in state prison. He now works as a violence interrupter at Queensbridge. Two colleagues, Kristofer Bain and Taylonn Murphy, were with him.
Tactically, Mr. Bryant said, he believed it was critical to buy time, and then to create a psychic space so that each of the young men could subtract guns from the dispute without losing face.
“Neighborhood police officers have cellphones and everyone has their number,” said Inspector Elvio Capocci, the executive officer of the police department’s housing bureau.
“And people call them. We are using precision policing — targeting the small amount of people who are causing chaos and trouble.”
Read more from The New York Times [HERE].