Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I Thought *I* Was The BoroParkPyro!

From New York 1:
An angry mob of Hasidic Jews confronted police outside a Brooklyn station house Tuesday night after officers arrested an elderly Hasidic man.

Hundreds of Borough Park residents rushed the 66th precinct station house chanting "No justice, no peace" to protest what witnesses say was the rough treatment of an elderly Hasidic man by police.

Two garbage fires were set during the melee, but police were able to contain the crowd by 9:30 p.m. No injuries were reported.

Police say the protest was sparked after police arrested a 75-year-old Hasidic man who had been talking on his cellphone while operating his car at around 7:30 p.m. When police attempted to handcuff the man, two other Hasidic men tried to step in.

A crowd then formed, and the scene quickly grew unruly. Protesters threw garbage and hundreds of residents blocked the streets.

Community witnesses say the melee started because police dragged the man on the cellphone from his car, roughly put him into a police van, and twice slammed the door on his leg.

Witness say the man may not have immediately complied with police because he was hard of hearing.

The heavily-Hasidic neighborhood has been the scene of tension between residents and authorities in the past.

"No Justice No Peace"? What is this, an anti-War demonstration?

From the New York Daily News:
NEW YORK (AP) -- Hundreds of residents took to the streets and set garbage can fires Tuesday night to protest the treatment of a 75-year-old caterer they say was beaten by police officers during a traffic stop.

Police denied mistreating the man, identified by residents as Arthur Schick, and officers in riot gear fanned out to clear the crowd, which lingered for hours.

Sariel Widawsky, co-owner of the Schick's Bakery, said he saw the traffic stop through the front window of his store, which once was owned by Schick's mother. He said he saw police push Schick, whom he described as a friend he's known since 1960.

"They pushed Arthur against the car and physically manhandled him in a way unbefitting such a well-respected and liked member of the community," Widawsky said. "He shouldn't be treated like that."

He said police "acted as if they were going to a riot, pulling out batons and spaying Mace and abusing their power."

The man was pulled over in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn for talking on his cell phone while driving, police said. He resisted the officers during the stop at 47th Street and 16th Avenue and was arrested with two other people who meddled in the incident, police said.

Protesters set small fires and blocked streets while Schick's car sat parked in front of the bakery bearing his name.

The incident happened in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood on one of the busiest shopping days before Passover, the weeklong commemoration of the deliverance of the ancient Hebrews from slavery in Egypt.

You can check out the New York Times's take on it too, if you're subscribed.

Tip of the off-white straw tropical touristy hat: Life of Rubin


Anonymous big brother said...

that's so odd. i wonder what needs to be corrected....police methods, community attitudes, not talking on the cell phone while driving? all three?

its interesting to see they're actually enforcing the new law

4/05/2006 12:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The person involved, Mr. Arthur Schick, is a respected man and a brother of Dr. Marvin Schick. Although he lived in Borough Park in his youth, he does not live there now. He lives in a different nearby area. It is incorrect to describe him as Hassidic. He is sort of right-wing orthodox I guess, but he has no beard, doesn't wear a shtreimel, etc. (unless he has had a a recent, sudden conversion).

4/05/2006 1:04 PM  

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