In recent years, however, the party has been punctured by violence. Last year, despite an increased police presence and numerous floodlights, four people were shot and two of them died. The year before, Carey W. Gabay, a lawyer in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration who was out celebrating with his brother, was caught in a shootout, apparently between rival gangs. He died of his injuries. Another man was stabbed to death that night.
Unlike other major cultural celebrations like St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Puerto Rican Day Parade that take place in Midtown Manhattan during the day, J’ouvert snakes through residential neighborhoods in the predawn darkness, through pockets of Brooklyn that still struggle with shootings and gangs.
At this year’s event, more police officers will be present, according to city officials. The city also plans to have more floodlights on the street and will set up security checkpoints. Officials said the police, elected officials, parade organizers, clergy members and groups that focus on combating violence were all involved in discussions about how to make the event safer.
“We’ve been working on this since the day after J’ouvert last year,” said James P. O’Neill, the police commissioner.
Yvette Rennie, president of J’Ouvert City International, which organizes the event, said, “So we can make J’ouvert a safe J’ouvert, the groups and the community decided to do it in daylight.” News of the early start time was reported by The Daily News.
City Councilwoman Laurie A. Cumbo, whose district encompasses the parade route, said moving the parade to daylight would “change the environment of the event.” Ms. Cumbo said the event should be a “world-class” festival, but that it had not…