‘Cure Violence’ aims to prevent potential conflicts as city prepares for possible summer of violence

The city is now expanding these types of programs to at least 31 sites, including the 49th Precinct area in the Bronx.

News 12 Staff

May 12, 2021, 2:39 AM

Updated 1,077 days ago

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The NYPD reported 423 more shootings last summer compared to the year before. Now, the city is preparing for violence to spike again but also taking steps to prevent the potential damage.
Kraig Lewis was federally indicted in what is believed to be the biggest gang takedown in New York City history. 
"People that I see walking remind me of my friends and I. I try to help them, maybe I can stop them from going down that path we went,” said Lewis. 
Lewis went from being behind bars to spitting knowledge to encourage kids to learn from his mistakes. 
He says the work he is doing as a youth advocate for “Release the Grip” may be more important now than ever. 
"The key is to get to the people right now during the pandemic because this is the wildest it's been in a very long time,” said Lewis. 
Lewis and Bronx Pastor Jay Gooding both agree that this summer will see a lot of violence. Police say last June citywide shootings rose 130% compared to the year before. 
They say there was a 177% jump in July. "Change the narrative, make the kids look like -- he's this big-time gangster, he got indicted, but why is he telling us to go to school? That's what really matters,” said Lewis. 
Lewis says they use a strategy called “Cure Violence.” It involves trained violence interrupters from the community mediating potential conflicts before they happen. 
The city is now expanding these types of programs to at least 31 sites, including the 49th Precinct area in the Bronx. 
"This is a proven approach, so much so that President Biden has invested literally billions in the future of community-based solutions to violence all over the country...we're doubling down on it now,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. 
Lewis says he has found his purpose and is encouraging kids to pick up a mic not a gun. 


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