Press "Enter" to skip to content

Rivera: Addressing ‘chaotic’ E. 14th Street strip has been ‘a priority for me for years’

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Following a fatal stabbing on E. 14th Street, Councilmember Carlina Rivera said progress has been made dealing with the “chaotic area,” yet admitted there continues to be “ongoing disorder.”

The broad-daylight murder of a man near the Trader Joe’s on E. 14th Street west of Avenue A on Sunday afternoon cast a glaring spotlight — once again — on the unhinged violence that can occur along this busy commercial stretch of the East Village.

Since the COVID pandemic, the area around First Avenue and 14th Street has drawn quality-of-life complaints from neighbors for unlicensed street vending cluttering the sidewalk, homeless encampments, open substance abuse and fights. In January, Immaculate Conception Church’s caretaker was viciously slashed on the side of his neck after telling a man to stop urinating in front of the house of worship.

The violence on June 23 also saw two others seriously wounded, one of them critically. On Monday, police announced that Alejandro Piedra, 30, who lives in New Lots, Brooklyn, had been charged with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder, all with depraved indifference in the second degree, in connection with the incident.

Following the shocking stabbing spree, Keith Powers, who represents Council District 4, across the street on the north side of E. 14th Street, cried that something must be done, declaring the status quo “unacceptable.” Powers’s district includes Stuyvesant Town / Peter Cooper Village, with 30,000 residents, right across the street from the site of the vicious stabbings.

“The situation on 14th St is out of control,” he said, in a post on X on Sunday. “This is directly across the street from my district where many of my constituents walk every day. It’s unacceptable to have conditions on the street remain status quo.

“We need every elected official and agency working to solve these problems,” Powers urged. “A dedicated NYPD presence to curb illicit activities, continued enforcement [against] illegal vendors, ongoing attention to trash and sanitation cleanup and more.”

The day after several people were stabbed on E. 14th Street near Avenue A, there was an increased police presence on 14th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue, including several police cars and five police scooters. The normally crowded sidewalk filled with vendors and their wares was cleared. (Photo by © Jefferson Siegel)

On Monday, in fact, there was a “dedicated N.Y.P.D. presence” near the murder site, with several police vehicles and a number of police scooters parked near the spot.

On Monday, Councilmember Rivera, who represents District 2, which includes the beleaguered stretch of E. 14th Street, issued a statement of her own.

“Our community is saddened to hear of the troubling violence that took place on 14th Street last night,” she said. “We are also upset that this area remains chaotic and unkempt since the pandemic. I have personally been in touch with the N.Y.P.D., Bellevue Hospital, the Department of Sanitation, Manhattan district attorney and the [Catholic] Archdiocese to work together to address local conditions.

“Just moments before the incident, the N.Y.P.D. approached multiple aggressive individuals transient to the area, and have identified the individual involved as an emotionally disturbed person with a record of assault,” Rivera said. “I want to thank the officers who responded to the call, Sanitation for clearing out debris related to yesterday, in addition to their regular cleanups, and every agency we have partnered with in attempts to improve this challenging corridor. We will continue to work with them and the Bellevue Street Health Outreach and Wellness Mobile Unit to support those with mental health issues. We will also continue our conversation with the Archdiocese about the future of the market [at Church of the Immaculate Conception].

“I remain grateful to Community Board 3 and the community-based organizations who host the interagency meetings our office coordinates to discuss how best to keep all of our neighbors safe.”

In response to follow-up questions, including about accusations that she has been too “hands-off” regarding the street activity on this troubled stretch, the councilmember countered that dealing with the problems, in fact, has been a priority for her. She chalked up the root cause of violence along the corridor to “various compounding factors,” including “underinvestment in mental health.”

“Addressing concerns on 14th Street has been a priority for me for years, and I have worked proactively and collaboratively with various partners to address ongoing issues since the height of the pandemic,” Rivera said. “Our efforts have produced positive outcomes, but ongoing disorder in the area demonstrates the need for consistent interventions that connect people to housing and services. Underinvestment in mental health has created a situation where too many New Yorkers in need of mental healthcare are unhoused, unemployed and involved with the criminal legal system. We need more resources to keep people from getting to this point, where violence is the outcome of various compounding factors.

“My office remains committed to working with city agencies like NYPD, Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, and Sanitation, Bellevue Hospital, Community Board 3 and local community-based organizations to address and resolve ongoing quality of life and public safety issues.”

— With reporting by Sarah Ferguson


  1. Karine Karine June 30, 2024

    I agree with the comments above AND that the NYPD’s strategy of removing diligent local beat cops in our neighborhoods is a tragedy.

  2. Gojira Gojira June 25, 2024

    So glad to know that this hellhole stretch of East 14th Street has been “a priority” for our go-getter of a councilwoman “for years.” Given that it frequently makes the old Second Avenue Thieves Market that flourished in the ’70s and ’80s look like Sotheby’s Auction House, I’d hate to think what it would be like there if Carlina did not care so very, VERY much. Thanks, Ms. R!(/sarcasm)

  3. Save the past and have a future. Save the past and have a future. June 25, 2024

    Carlina only cares about those that got and kept her in office, real-estate developers. She signs off on terrible policies one after the other. The rezoning, which did not need to happen for the “Tech Hub,” which has placed historic buildings along Broadway and 4th Avenue in danger and will be replaced someday with luxury condos. She voted for the destruction of the East River Park as well. Why? Because she wants a career in politics more than anything else.

    • Yes. Yes. June 25, 2024

      Add to that litany of pro-developer activity the undoing of her NoHo community, which was wrapped in the false blanket of “affordable housing” but was in actuality further promoting commercialization of the area.

  4. Ron Wisniski Ron Wisniski June 25, 2024

    Please duly note that neither Rivera nor Powers mentioned the Citi Bike and ebike chaos plaguing our city with lawless entitled bike riders terrorizing us at every turn, literally. City Council Bill 606, which would license and register all e-bikes and e-scooters, now known as Priscilla’s Law (in memory of Priscilla Loke who was killed by a Citi Bike rider running a red light), now has 31 co-sponsors. Powers and Rivera have yet to add their names.

    Transportation Alternatives has both of them by the throat. Remind them that that malevolent bicycle lobbying group is not who they should be taking orders from. Primary them both and put them on notice that they need to step away from the dark side and see the light.

  5. CooperUnionDad CooperUnionDad June 24, 2024

    My son lives in Stuy Town, as do many other Cooper Union students. Ms. Rivera, perhaps partner with the universities to clean up 14th Street.

  6. John Penley John Penley June 24, 2024

    The City Council representative for this area and those other ones who made statements have discretionary funds. So while they pass the buck on this, I ask why not use some of these funds to hire additional security and cleaning for the block???

  7. True New Yorker True New Yorker June 24, 2024

    Someone feeling the heat today?

    Carlina Rivera, you have done nothing for the community.

    Just drive around in your limo — since Covid the area looks like a declining, decaying community — your vote “yes” to keep the crack shakes sure didn’t help. You also rep Washington Square Park, are you going address that too? Are you going to show up to a police community council meeting? With those who you loathe. You are the poster woman for failed progressivism.

    Please, East Village, wake up and vote in a normal commonsense person who, yes, is liberal but values the community, its people and safety over ideology.

    • JSS JSS June 25, 2024

      Amen, vote this clown out of office. She doesn’t even want the job – she clearly aspires for a higher office. There are few leaders in the world today. She is most certainly not one of them.

      • Patricia Patricia June 25, 2024

        Totally agree with you, JSS. How does she keep getting the votes?!?

      • Yes Yes June 25, 2024

        She’s term-limited.

    • Jesse Jesse June 25, 2024

      You got that right! Has she ever done ANYTHING that served our community?

Leave a Reply

Mission News Theme by Compete Themes.