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(29th LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) – Assemblyman Albert Coutinho (D-Essex) released the following statement on Tuesday following Monday’s shooting violence in Newark:

“Thirteen shot in one day in state’s largest city, including one 15-year-old dead!
“Even for someone who has been born, raised and lived his whole life in the inner city, the statement just doesn’t seem real. How is this possible? How can this be allowed to happened?
“The truly sad part is that this insane spike in violence was predictable, as I wrote about in January following the layoff of 167 police officers in Newark. (“The Ramifications of Tough Love, Christie Style”)
“The horrifying part is this scenario is playing itself out to varying degrees in ALL of our cities and things will continue to spiral downward unless immediate action is taken.
“Who is responsible politically is immaterial. Action is required to liberate inner city residents throughout the state from being prisoners in their own homes.
“Anyone serious about addressing this issue knows that the long term answer is education and economic opportunity. In the short term, the only effective answer is having adequate police presence to deter and prevent crime.
“At this point in time, given mass layoffs in public safety, police forces aren’t doing any preventative work, only responding to calls for help. Everyone must do their part to bring ALL laid off police officers back.”