Holy crime stoppers, Batman!
A team of real-life superheroes have increased patrols of New York City following a slew of recent anti-gay hate crimes.
The New York Initiative, a nine-person team of crime fighters, plans to patrol the streets of Greenwich Village three nights a week in light of the May 18 killing of gay Harlem resident Marcus Carson, 33, and a series of beatings that followed, reported DNAinfo.
NYI, equipped with bulletproof vests, self-styled ensembles and superhero personas, was founded in 2009 by its leader Zero, according to the group’s website. Some of his partners in crime include Dark Guardian, Spyder, Doc Adventure and Eden Cofax.
The group also has several mantras like “Be ready for anything. Anything at all,” “Don’t take anything personal,” and our favorite: “Be nice until it’s time to not be nice anymore.”
The team is an offshoot of a now nationwide collaboration of self-proclaimed “volunteer crime fighters and diffusers” called The Initiative Collective, which has 11 branches across the country, according to its website. All of the groups work actively toward fighting crime, according to its Facebook page.
The New York Initiative will also offer a self-defense workshop in the East Village’s Tompkins Square Park on Sunday July 7 at 4 p.m. to help boost awareness of defensive techniques.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told DNAinfo that anti-gay hate crimes have increased from 14 to 29 in the last year. Mr. Kelly also said he would increase police patrolling in Greenwich Village in the wake of the Carson murder and the subsequent beatings.
Although the NYI could not be reached for comment, we think it’s because they had more important things to do.