The Association of Winemakers and Small Businesses of New York has joined the voices calling for more support for the city’s police at a time when gun violence continues to claim lives.

The president of the group of merchants, Francisco Marte, told Efe that they are working on a campaign that will involve some 5,000 wineries that they claim to represent in the five counties in support of the police and that it will consist of a sticker with the message "we support the community and the police".

The latest episode of armed violence cost the life of an 11-year-old girl named Kyhara Tay, the victim of a stray bullet.

According to Marte, the wave of violence is the result of having taken a billion dollars from the police budget in 2020.

"Our politicians are not acting as they should be, we need them to return authority to the police so they can do their job" Marte told Efe, before requesting the return of the controversial practice of "stop and frisk" (stop and frisk) ´declared unconstitutional in 2013.

He also said he was against the bail reform that was made under the past administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, which does not allow judges to impose bail in almost all minor or non-violent crimes, which makes it easier for detainees to go free. while their case is resolved in court, and they continue to commit crimes, says Marte.

"That reform has been a disaster for our community and for public safety and then irresponsible politicians defunded the police"he also told Efe.

Marte insists that the solution is to work together with the community, which includes religious leaders, and the police. "to have a stronger voice" and also "shout" the name of the politicians who do not do their job because "must be taken out" of your post.

He recalled that the violence has also impacted merchants and mentioned a recent case of a winemaker who, after closing his business, was intercepted by thieves as he entered his car. "They entered (the thieves in the car), beat him, took the keys and opened the cellar" where did they take "quite"he indicated without identifying the merchant because he is afraid after what happened.

"Now a strong hand is needed to hit criminals harder, and for prosecutors to do their job. If there is no punishment, follow the crime"said Marte, who indicated that in the coming weeks he will launch the campaign for the wineries and will give more details.

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