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An Angry Mob Of Hasidic Jews Riot In Brooklyn

A little touch of middle eastern style problem-solving n Brooklyn. Or is it France?

From the New York Times:

An Arrest Sets Off a Protest by Orthodox Jews

By JENNIFER 8. LEE
April 5, 2006

A routine traffic stop of a 75-year-old Hasidic driver in Brooklyn escalated into a protest last night by hundreds of Orthodox Jews, who surrounded a police station house, chanted "No justice no peace," lighted bonfires and set a police car afire. The driver and two other men were arrested, but no serious injuries were reported.

The police said the situation began around 6:30 p.m. when officers pulled over the man, identified by neighbors as Arthur Schick, for talking on his cellphone while driving on 16th Avenue at 47th Street in Borough Park.

The driver became uncooperative and was arrested, the police said. As he was being put into a police van, two other men tried to intervene and were also arrested.

Residents of the neighborhood said Mr. Schick is known to be deaf in one ear. Many said they suspected that he did not hear the police officers’ requests for his license and registration when they first stopped his car.

Witnesses said the police were unnecessarily rough with an elderly man. "Arthur had stepped out of his car, and was pushed by police officers against the car and put in a hand-lock behind his back," said Sariel Widawsky, 49, a co-owner of Schick’s bakery, formerly owned by Mr. Schick’s family, who said he saw the arrest. "People saw what the police were doing to a 70-to-80-year-old man and starting screaming at police to leave him alone."

"They literally threw him down into the van," Mr. Widawsky said. "He fell on the first step. They picked him up and manhandled him into the van."

"Another witness said the police had overreacted. "For nothing — he didn’t do anything — they cuffed him and took him like an animal," said Jacob Jacobvitz, 21.

The police did not comment on the accusations of use of excessive force.

As word of the arrests spread, hundreds of residents from the tight-knit Hasidic Jewish community protested in the streets.

Riot police officers were dispatched to quell the crowds, which were largely calm by 9:30 p.m. The protesters created two big bonfires by tossing cardboard into the street and setting it ablaze, and later set a police car on fire. It was removed, still smoldering, around 11 p.m.

The Hasidic population of Borough Park has sometimes had tense relations with the police. In 1999, several hundred angry residents poured onto the streets to protest the fatal police shooting of a mentally disturbed Orthodox Jewish man, Gidone Busch. Mr. Busch was fired upon at least 12 times when he threatened neighbors with a hammer. Residents said the police had used excessive force.

The driver was charged with obstructing governmental administration. He was given a desk appearance ticket and released later that night, the police said. A second man was charged with disorderly conduct, and a third with assault.

 

This is so ridiculous on so many levels. And dangerous.

Identity politics and mob violence do not belong in this country.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, April 5th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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