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Videos Show Prostitution’s Return to East New York - Not Seen Since 1990s

By Jake Beardslee · August 6, 2023

In brief…

  • Videos show the prostitution trade has returned to NYC's East New York neighborhood.
  • The video shows provocatively dressed women openly soliciting johns as early as 7am.
  • Prostitution at this scale has not been seen in East New York since the 1990s.
  • A retired NYPD detective worries the situation will lead to human trafficking of underage girls.
Recently posted YouTube videos depict a resurgence of street prostitution in East New York.  YouTube/@willyg5033

A shocking YouTube video shows that prostitution has returned East New York. The footage, shot at 7am on July 28, shows sex workers brazenly soliciting johns in broad daylight during the early morning hours. Scantily clad women can be seen walking the streets, waving down cars, and strutting in traffic in search of customers - reflecting a surge in street walking not seen in this New York City neighborhood since the 1990s.

The video, titled “East New York Ep. 2,” was filmed along Stanley Avenue near Sheffield Avenue. The video has quickly drawn more than 5,000 views since being posted.

The video depicts a woman in revealing orange lingerie and silver high heels soliciting potential customers near a parked vehicle and garbage truck. Another nearly nude woman wearing just an open jacket is shown nonchalantly walking into oncoming traffic while attempting to flag down cars.

Later in the video, a woman in a transparent purple nightgown and heels stumbles as she attempts to solicit a prospective john in a vehicle. Meanwhile, another woman sporting a black bodysuit with a revealing midriff observes the scene from the other side of the road.

The video shows additional scenes of alleged sex workers walking along sidewalks, signaling to passing cars, and ambling down the middle of roadways. The original YouTube user had posted episode 1 of the series on July 3, depicting similar scenes of open prostitution on Pennsylvania Avenue. That video received over 448,000 views.

Ex-NYPD Detective Michael Alcazar, who was once served in East New York’s notorious 75th precinct, told the New York Post that the graphic scenes are evocative of the widespread streetwalking that plagued the area during the chaotic 1990s, before the police reined it in. “In the 75, we would drive down areas where there were waves of them,” Alcazar said. “It’s sad because we cleaned it up. And now it’s back and with that, they’re also trafficking… kids.” He added that police would sometimes apprehend even 13-year-old girls engaged in prostitution and attempt to “get them help.”