Parade Marred By Violence

Tamer El-ghobashy, Melissa Grace And Bill Hutchinson, New York Daily News, September 18, 2006

The African-American Day Parade in Harlem was marred by violence last night as gunfire erupted at several locations, leaving three people wounded, police and witnesses said.

Yellow crime-scene tape replaced parade streamers soon after the parade ended, souring what had been an otherwise happy celebration.

“Everything was so peaceful. Then there were just hundreds of people running in every direction,” said paradegoer Cynthia Brown, 44, of Harlem.

“I don’t understand why they had to go and ruin it.”

Cops and paramedics responded to several shootings along Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., which was packed with onlookers from 111th to 142nd Sts.

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“You had dozens of kids out here, and we were trying to do something nice and positive, and then you have to worry about some knuckleheads with guns,” said a 63-year-old witness named Charles, who heard the gunfire and ducked. “It’s not right.”

Hundreds of cops were called in to quell the violence, but the mayhem lingered, witnesses said. At 125th St. and St. Nicholas Ave., cops were spotted with their guns drawn as shots rang out and bystanders scrambled for cover.

“I heard two shots. The police were standing right where I was, so I thought it was a safe haven,” said a 52-year-old woman, who requested anonymity.

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