Montclair Council Calls Special Emergency Meeting Following William Street Fatal Shooting

Montclair town council called a special emergency meeting at 10 a.m. this morning, with the agenda item being legal matters and council to comment on the fatal shooting at 25 William Street. The council was unable to get four council members at the meeting, but Mayor Jackson spoke briefly and addressed comment from one of a few residents who attended the meeting. Mayor Jackson, along with members of the council, Sean Spiller and Rich McMahon, were present as well as town attorney Ira Karasick and town manager Marc Dashield.

Mayor Jackson confirmed that the emergency meeting was to address legal matters related to the William Street shooting and although only three councilors were in attendance, those assembled, including town manager Marc Dashield and town attorney Ira Karasick would be able to meet as a special committee in executive session after the public portion of the meeting. There was a public comment from William Scott, who organized the Montclair Residential Preservation Group, who asked about the need for more community policing, cops walking the beat, in Montclair, especially in light of what occurred last night on William Street.

Mayor Jackson said that in the last two weeks, more street lighting and other changes were implemented in the Mission Street area as a response to the deadly shooting on Mission Street in February. “This is an action-oriented council and we will be taking action in this case,” Jackson said, of the William Street shooting. He added that other councilors could not make today’s meeting because of the short notice, but he echoed sentiments he said he voiced last night about the sadness and loss of life in regard to the William Street fatal shooting of a Ridgefield, Connecticut man, Brian Schiavetti.

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51 COMMENTS

  1. 6 months ago, after the Mission Street shooting, the community gathered en masse vowing never to let this happen again. Community watch groups, police vigilance, and end to violence. It was the last straw. Now, here we are again, 6 months later, same violence. Maybe they need to stop talking about what to do to stop this sort of nonsense and actually start doing something.

  2. redrum,

    The world awaits your plan to stop crazy-ass folks from doing crazy-ass things. Some use guns. Some planes. Some use their bare hands.

    But tell me, what ordinance should we pass? What law will stop crazy people?

  3. I hate to admit Prof is right, not that I don’t love Prof but I don’t want to believe that we can’t stop “teh crazy.” Take the Aurora shooter. Even if the gun dealers ran the prerequisite checks on him, they would have found nothing in his background. But if you saw the video of him in court, you would see that he is undeniably off his rocker. It’s a scary problem and I am not sure how we solve it.

  4. In the Aurora case, more stringent laws could have made a difference. No one should be allowed to buy an assault rifle. And someone who suddenly starts buying weapons from different stores along with loads of ammunition, well there’s a pattern here. If it weren’t for the NRA, we could place limits on the kinds of weapons sold, the amount of weapons anyone can purchase in a given period of time, and the amount of ammunition anyone can purchase in a given time period. Not perfect, but a start.

  5. That said, we don’t know the details of this crime yet. However, we do know that there are a few areas in Montclair that are problem areas. I took the train to Bay Street once, and walked from there to an evening event and I’ll never do it again.

  6. Just what does anyone expect the town council to contribute here? They can piggyback on the attention and get their names in the paper, but who really looks to them for solutions? It’s not like they are going to consider the crime as a reason to lower anyone assessed value.

  7. The council can and will do nothing. Smoke and mirrors. Its easier to say there is nothing we can do than realize Montclair is one big coke den.

  8. Wasn’t there a huge ecstasy bust in the Quick Check parking lot a couple of months ago? It appears that the criminal elements are branching out from their traditional haunts. I feel terrible for the young man and his family, but we can’t have people getting murdered all over town every few months or else even the most bubble headed among us is going to start to rethink the value proposition of living here. I would venture that we have the highest ratio of crime to dollars paid in taxes in the state, and that’s bad. 🙁

  9. deadeye, your are very right but as the Professor so eloquently stated, there is nothing anyone can do to stop what’s going on. So we just have to learn to live with the drug shootings, drug deals, car jackings and such.

  10. Yeah, that kind of thinking is putting us in first place in the race to the bottom. Anyone that thinks violent crime is just a colorful aspect of living here has their head up their, well you know…

  11. Nice try, redrum. Oh, and I prefer the informal “prof”. Despite the patches on my elbows and lectern I carry with me at all times, I like all to think I am “one of them.” (This despite my Palatial Estate in UPPER Montclair…)

    But please, don’t conflate two issues here: 1) gun control, and 2) gun control’s ability to limit the crazy.

    I support gun control, but I do know that there are many fine folks who enjoy shooting- sometimes even assault weapons. But just as legal drugs can be abused, we have to live with the understanding that we cannot legislate sanity.

    To be very clear: crime in American is at an all time low, yet the assault weapons ban expired a few years ago; also, violence is all over the media– including music (remember when rap was the cause of violence?). So while this tragedy in Montclair and in Aurora is devastating to all, let’s not act like this stuff happens all the time.

    Or that violent movies, movie or video games are the cause, and that gun control is the answer.

    Oh, and look at the gun violence in Chicago, they have very strict gun control, yet this is one of its most violent Summers in recent memory.

    Go figure. Perhaps, this is a mental health issue? Wait, that would be hard to deal with– better to start banning things and curtailing rights.

  12. First of all, this shooting had nothing whatsoever to do with assault weapons, so lets not “conflate” those issues. In addition, I would venture that the murderer was in violation of numerous existing laws spanning from when he conspired to meet the deceased for whatever nefarious purpose, and also regarding his coming into possession the the murder weapon. It’s not a lack of laws here. It’s bad people with no regard for the law in our midst whose actions are tolerated, and thereby enabled, by the wooly thinkers in town.

  13. Did anyone catch this ingenious headline: “Montclair Council Calls Special Emergency Meeting Following William Street Fatal Shooting. Meeting was to address William Street shooting, possible violation of law.”

    A violation of law? Ya think?

    And, “Mayor Jackson confirmed that the emergency meeting was to address legal matters related to the William Street shooting…”

    Wow, the sign of a true leader at the helm of Montclair.

  14. Most of the violent actors in Chicago have something in common. If that’s what empowerment looks like, they can keep it.

  15. @redrum “6 months ago, after the Mission Street shooting, the community gathered en masse vowing never to let this happen again. Community watch groups, police vigilance, and end to violence”

    So you think that the community near William and Valley banded together to do watch groups becasue a shooting happened on Mission St? Do you live in Montclair?

  16. I’m new to living in Montclair, but isn’t William Street considered another one of Montclair’s “problem” streets? I know it’s not near Mission St, New Street, Glenfield Park, etc – but we’ve heard this is another street to avoid being around alone at night.

    Is this true? Are drug dealings, and the crime that follows it, common there?

  17. Didn’t you get the “Streets To Be Avoided When Alone” map as part of your welcome wagon packet?

  18. zidarich. Fair question, not the greatest block in town, but walking down this street and grabbing coffee at quick check at 10:00pm is definitely safer than say walking from bay street to the mission street deli for coffee at the same time.

    Drugs are likely here, but someone else mentioned a “hit”. Gambling debts could be involved.

  19. Yeah, I hope the town council can get on top of this violence stuff. Stamp it out. Particularly people who come to Montclair from another state and then get shot. That’s stuff has to be stopped.

    Why this went down is anyone’s guess. The facts will come out. The kid doesn’t seem like a criminal type at all. Just out of high school from some Connecticut suburb. Possibly he and his buddies got involved with something that got a little out of their league very fast. Or maybe it was about a girl. Wouldn’t be the first time.

    Regardless, I want the Town Council to eliminate murder and manslaughter too. Hell, they should eliminate spousal abuse and date rape too.

  20. The town council can’t stop these sort of things from happening. What they can do is restore funding to MPD and get more officers on the beat, particularly at night. What they can do is re-prioritize our expenses to do this. Maybe we don’t need to plant 3 million trees in town next year and buy designer benches for South park Street.

  21. Man o’ man Montclair is slip sliding rapidly…..sad. Next stop Irivington. Another NJ town down the tubes guided by Dems.

  22. I shouldn’t have used this story to take political shots. My apology. My condolences go out to that Villanova Business School student and his family.

  23. Sounds like we might start finally seeing police in my neighborhood, I’ve been here for almost 20 years and I can count the number of times I’ve seen a patrol car down my block. However, I can’t count how many times I’ve seen these coked up and drunk MSU and MHS kids drag race passed my lawn jockey. We have issues in the 43 just like in 42 but nobody’s addressing them. Oh wait, nobody’s been killed on this side of Valley…yet. I’ll be patient, wait for the death and then I get all my taxes worth of visual deterrents and reactionary rhetoric.
    I guess burglaries don’t count, if they did there’d be no other side of the tracks.

  24. While, yes, you apologized for the verbal rottenness in your post of 5:42, herbeverschemel, you posted your apology rather quickly, at 5:44. Perhaps you wouldn’t have needed to if you’d just spent even half as much time in actual contemplation of the seeming callousness of the words in your original post.

    And no matter how mean the streets of someone else’s town may seem to others, it’s always useful to bear in mind that even a place like Irvington is full of law-abiding, non-felonious sorts. Kind of like, in the aggregate, even the citizens of Montclair. Some simply can’t afford to move out of such places. (As folks continually vow to flee Montclair and its high taxes on this very site, it should be noted; but then they’re usually folk who can afford it.)

  25. I’ve never heard of William Street as “one to avoid.”. Is that code for a street in which a large number of black people live?

  26. Not quite sure what new local ordinances this morning’s emergency town council meeting could possibly have created retroactively. Perhaps a “no murdering withing 1000 feet of a public school zone?” Personally, I’d like to see our police spending a little more time patrolling the streets going after real criminals instead of ticketing my car every time I fall asleep putting my kids to bed and accidentally leaving my car parked in front of our house overnight.

  27. es2v, it may well be a code. I live near Frog Hollow and it’s friendly, civic-minded, and I haven’t noticed any more crime there than any other part of town.

  28. Frog Hollow is a nice peaceful neighborhood. The Township just recently took back the Hollow Daycare center building, after all the good work the organizers did and closed the center. Shame on the Township.

  29. The shenanigans regarding Hollow Day Care are a lot worse than the town just taking back the property.

    The Day Care Center was used for a lot more than just day care. There was a summer camp, and the center was used for other gatherings. People in the neighborhood volunteered to help take care of it, and it was in fine condition.

    It was, basically, put out of business. Then a padlock was put on the door by the town and the director wasn’t even able to retrieve her files.

    All my attempts to convert it to an asset, including affordable housing, were turned down. It stands empty, as it has for close to a YEAR while the town pays utilities, maintenance, and insurance.

    This is a story that needs to be told by the media.

  30. …all of those so called leaders and politicians who took medals and honorable citations at the Daycare Center’s founders celebration a couple of years ago ….they deserve NOTHING…instead, they waste loads of money on cheep useless projects like South Park…

  31. You need Police walking these areas on foot. It will not completely remove the crime but it will make the street and neighborhood alot safer. I saw this done in NYC on 109th & Broadway – it worked, until the cops left and then slowly the drugs/crime came back onto the street. But for a while it was nice to NOT see the dealers pushing in front of the school yard all day and all night.

  32. Frog Hollow is truly not a crime neighborhood. I would be happy to live there. It was a black neighborhood since the 1700s, according to history books, and it is just a modest middle class neighborhood like many others. The shooting that took place is not because its a crime neighborhood….this crime was apparently specific…not a random crime in a bad neighborhood. A similar event could have taken place on a property on Upper mountain Avenue. If police were sent to patrol frog Hollow, they really wouldn’t see much movement at all. But there is need for more police presence that would certainly act as a crime deterant all over town. Frog Hollow is a bit of a Sleepy Hollow…. Mother Connor, how was a beautician that lived there, noticed that children used to pick flowers from peoples gardens. She organized children after school to keep them away from mischief..and taught them to grow their own flowers to pick. There was a logistical problem that there were no longer eligible families to receive Dyfus benefits from the Frog Hollow neighborhood, and children were driven from Newark to attend classes and be cared for.

  33. I really dislike the assumptions made of “these areas” grgirl. I know that area very well. My husband (Ivy grad) grew up there, and I go there almost every day to visit my in-laws. Latebloomer and frankgg described it accurately. The area is peaceful, friendly and civic minded. Police patrolling the area would not help anything.

  34. “es2v” bring it on – I have friends too that live in “these areas” and I have been to their homes and have heard them complain about the state of “these areas”. My remarks stand and are ture to what I have seen and experienced in person.”these areas” are indeed unsafe are riddled with drugs and crime and the non criminals living in “these areas” would greatly appreciate a police presence. Funny thing is you assume you know who I am and where I come from- don’t you know that old saying???

  35. two theories and both aren’t good for Montcalir or that neighborhood:

    1- it was random or a mugging which is scarys for the entire town.

    2 – more likely something was going on in that apartment building that brought a 21 yr old guy from CT into contact with someone who didn’t seem to mind shooting him a few times and killing him. There is no info that he had a friend in the building or someone there said he was visiting them and must have been killed on the way out. So who was he there to see? On the surface seems like some vice situation (drugs, gambling, prostitution, guns) gone bad which then begs the question – who are the nefarious characters living in that apartment bulding that would bring this guy there in the 1st place and what are they involved in?

  36. grgirl – Bring it on? Really? Should we meet on the corner of Williams and Valley at 11p tonight? Or should I contact the police since you are witnessing illegal drug transactions and/or experiencing crime in person? I didn’t assume anything about you as a person, and for the record, you don’t know me either.

  37. Hey es2v, when you go visit your “in-laws” with your “ivy-grad” husband in “Frog Hollow”, why don’t you go there at about 2:30am, pull out your IPAD and read the Times early edition. It will be the last thing you read as your brain gets pounded into the sidewalk and you Ivy grad husband gets wire-rimmed glasses crushed as he makes a run for it. Good luck assuming that this will right itself by having everyone hold hands and sing songs of happieness. It ain’t happenin’. You gotta put lot’s-o-cops on the streets to clean out — not the local population — but the dealers who have infested this town like bed-bugs in the Penn Plaza Hotel in New York. The people who live in the neighborhood aren’t the problem, it’s the outside element of organized crime that must be squelched with a strong police presence. The problem isn’t the people, it’s the organized crime. That’s why it’s called “organized”, and it’s winning.

  38. Frankgg, its the absentee landlords and the outsider crime. The tax rates are forcing many to rent out since they can’t sell. And take a look at the police blotter… Suspects are always from Bloomfield, Newark, East orange, Irvington. Neither of the two shooting incidents this year were Montclair victims or suspects. We have a bit of a problem here.

  39. “fun” and “grgirl”- We have lived 2 blocks from Frog Hollow for 18 years. My husband, till recently when he stopped smoking, used to walk through that area every night to have a cig. People were friendlier and nicer there than in other neighborhoods. Not once did he feel threatened, and I don’t recall him ever coming home with his head pounded to a pulp.

    Drugs are everywhere, including in the estate section, I am sure, but there are no dealers out in the street in the Hollow that we’ve ever seen.

  40. I designed an interior renovation for friends of mine who have lived on William Street for years and I never have had any notion of fear or unpleasantness in all of my comings and goings. I’ve attended board meetings at the Hollow Daycare Center till late at night and its just like any other street in town.

  41. Frankgg,
    Unfortunately, Hollow Day Care became a “target” for others who wanted the subsidies. I worked closely with their treasurer and admired their leadership. My efforts to utilize the center for other community purposes were thwarted by others on the Council. HomeCorp had a plan for revitalizing the area and wasn’t even allowed to enter the facility with their architect. I had an individual interested in possible use for DARE programs but that got squelched. A power struggle that fails to do the right thing for the Community!

  42. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMZ8lTHDrtU&feature=email

    Here is a video interview regarding Mother Connor’s founding of the Hollow Daycare Center. The building was desiged by local architect, Paul Sionas, back in the 80s. I was a trustee and unfortunately at the time of the brutal closing, I could not do anything to help out because my grandmother had passed away and I was unavailable. I regret not having been able to be more pro active to prevent the closing.

  43. There are times when politicians use an unfortunate event to push for a favorite program that ostensibly would address a core issue that caused the event, but in reality is tangential at best.

    Community policing would not have prevented this murder, and it would not have prevented the murder of Ibn Futrell on Mission Street earlier this year. It might (maybe) help get reluctant witnesses to step up, as the main point of community policing is to get residents, who might not otherwise be pro-cop, more comfortable with the police. This is especially true for teenagers. It is a great thing, community policing, but determined criminals generally wait for their moment.

    Had there been police presence on William Street as the murderer(s) arrived, they likely would have cruised past, and undertaken their plan elsewhere. Better for Montclair perhaps but the Schiavetti family would likely still be mourning.

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