Built on Shaky Ground

The Quincy, an unassuming apartment complex in New Brunswick, New Jersey, has become synonymous with criminal activity, particularly robberies and shootings, along with woefully inadequate security, leaving residents to live in fear that they may become involved in the next incident. Like many such tragedies, The Quincy’s notoriety was the result of the best of intentions failing miserably in execution.

It’s a sensitive subject, but it goes back to the ‘white flight’ phenomena of the 60s and 70s where white families leaving New Brunswick as minorities began moving in, The Quincy becoming one of many. Racism is very much at the center of this story, but the real cause was a partnership between Johnson & Johnson and Rutgers University to encourage the building of hotels in the area and adding a new Johnson & Johnson center downtown with the hope of providing jobs for the new residents in the area. These noble intentions were quickly sullied by racially-motivated raids on various apartment buildings with the intention to force out certain types of residents and illegal immigrants, resulting in the demolishing of Puerto Rican, along with many black neighborhoods, to build a hotel, The Quincy.

Built on a foundation of such vitriol and tension, it’s no wonder how The Quincy quickly earned its notorious reputation it has today and it didn’t take long for it to become a hot spot for criminal activity.

On May 7, 2013 a pizza man arrived at The Quincy complex, only to learn that none of the residents had ordered a pizza. However, the trap was sprung as the deliverer returned to his car, being jumped by three men who proceeded to steal his money, the pizza, and shooting him before driving off. As too who staged the incident, a suspect was found and charged through cell phone information. The deliverer wasn’t the only victim either, as another shooting victim turned up at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital shortly after the incident.

Another shooting was reported in October of 2015, committed by a gangster and resulting in four victims, resulting in one minor injury, resulting in an extensive investigation of New Brunswick Apartments upon discovery of more bullets at the crime scene, concluding that the one who drove the victim to the hospital was, in fact, the suspect. The police chief stated that such events are all too common.

The Quincy is the result of many different factors and stands as an epitaph to an age-old problem that may never see a true resolution and that even the best intentions can have detrimental consequences.

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