Page 1 of 1 [ 15 posts ] 

ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 29,713
Location: Long Island, New York

29 Aug 2022, 9:18 pm

Of the hundreds of hate crimes committed against Jews in the city since 2018, many of them documented on camera, only a single perpetrator has served even one day in prison

Quote:
The attack that sent 31-year-old Yossi Hershkop to the hospital was an unmysterious crime, the opposite of a stone-cold whodunnit. Security cameras recorded clear video of a group of four men approaching Hershkop’s car, with two of them repeatedly punching him through the driver’s side window while his 5-year-old child sat in the back seat. Another camera recorded the license plate and model of the attackers’ getaway vehicle. The assault took place around 3:40 p.m. on July 13, 2022, on a busy street in Crown Heights. Hershkop believes his assailants were identified later that evening.

In an ideal world, a victim’s personal background would be irrelevant to whether their attackers are arrested and prosecuted. But at least in theory, Hershkop is someone with enough of a profile to keep the police and prosecutors focused on his case. The young Chabad Hasid is an energetic yet shrewdly understated local political activist—the kind of person who knows the total number of newly registered voters in Crown Heights off the top of his head, or who you might WhatsApp when you need to reach a particular City Council member later that afternoon. He also manages a large urgent care center in Crown Heights, a position of real civic significance during New York’s COVID nightmare. Hershkop is also a personal friend of mine, although even people I am not friends with should expect the police to move quickly when they’re able to easily identify the people who bloodied them on camera in broad daylight in front of their child.

The police did not move quickly. No arrests were made during the two weeks after the attack, a span in which the getaway car got ticketed in a totally unrelated incident, Hershkop says. On July 27, an exasperated Hershkop tweeted: “No arrests have been made, despite the assailants’ vehicle having been seen all over the neighborhood. My son still has a lot of trauma from the incident & we now Uber instead of walk whenever we need to go out.” Perhaps not coincidentally, the first arrest in the case was made the day after that tweet, some two weeks after the attack. The first suspect was released on bail after the judge ordered a bond of $10,000, significantly less than the district attorney had requested, according to Hershkop. Hershkop is confident that after a long period of delay, the NYPD is now making efforts toward arresting the second individual who physically attacked him.

Perhaps the attack, which stemmed from a seemingly innocuous dispute over a parking space—a common enough occurrence in a densely populated place like Crown Heights, and one that almost never ends with anyone in the hospital—was just too fraught of an event for the police to want to handle too aggressively. Maybe someone feared that drawing additional attention to a group of young Black men attacking a prominent Orthodox Jew would threaten to inflame tensions in a neighborhood with a long but mostly improving (and generally misunderstood) history of racial division.

Maybe, but maybe not: Overload in the New York court system, increasingly lenient prosecutors and judges, and a police department in which officers are quitting at a growing clip, all make it easier for even open-and-shut cases to languish, and for people at every level of the system to find excuses not to resolve them.

The dysfunctional handling of public order takes different forms across the city, and across the country: Philadelphia is experiencing record murder rates; San Francisco experimented with decriminalizing certain forms of property crime, at least until its pro-reform district attorney lost a recent recall election. As with various other recent American traumas, the ambient disorder has its own distinct characteristics as far as Jews are concerned. In a study released this past July, the New York-based group Americans Against Antisemitism found that of the 118 adults arrested for anti-Jewish hate crimes in New York City since 2018, only one has been convicted and sent to prison.

Earlier this month, an Orthodox Jew from Baltimore named Aryeh Wolf was gunned down in broad daylight as he attached solar panels to the roof of a building in a gentrifying neighborhood in southeast Washington, D.C. As with Hershkop’s attack, Wolf’s murder was a motiveless crime in which the motive was obvious.

In New York, street harassment, minor assaults, and even full-on beatings of visible Jews are almost a banality now, too frequent over too long of a period to be considered an active crisis, even in the communities most affected. The city reported a 76% year-over-year rise in hate crimes during the first three months of 2022—attacks on Jews more than tripled, accounting for much of the spike. When reached for comment by email, the NYPD’s public information office stated that the Hate Crimes Task Force has made 44 arrests related to attacks on Jews so far in 2022 compared to 33 in all of 2021.

The report from Americans Against Antisemitism only dealt with incidents in which the NYPD found enough evidence of a bigoted motive to refer the case to the department’s Hate Crimes Task Force.

Devorah Halberstam, a veteran anti-hate crime activist based in Crown Heights, co-founded a civilian review board that advises the NYPD on how to proceed with incidents that could be classified as hate crimes. The group has been meeting each month for the past year. She stressed that any failure to punish such attacks isn’t a problem limited to Jewish victims. In a widely publicized case this past January, a 62-year-old Asian woman was attacked outside of her home in Queens. She fell into a coma and died 10 weeks later. Halberstam said the killing was not prosecuted as a hate crime, even though it seemed to have no other motive besides hatred of Asians. “It’s not against the Jewish community. It’s not against the Asian community,” Halberstam said of the rarity with which hate crimes charges are pursued. “It’s the broader picture.” Halberstam blames the sparse number of guilty verdicts on the vagueness of New York’s hate crimes statute, leading prosecutors to drop hate crime charges in order to pursue lesser allegations that can be more easily proven in court. “If you make the guidelines stricter, they don’t have as much leeway to get out of it,” Halberstam said.

A backlog in the criminal courts further gridlocks the system. In early 2022, the state had over 47,000 open criminal cases, an increase of 15% compared to the start of the COVID pandemic in 2020. Americans Against Antisemitism found that there were nine anti-Jewish hate crime prosecutions in the city that had been pending for two years or more.

The Americans Against Antisemitism analysis only refers to incidents that generated police reports and entered the criminal justice system. Some unknowable number of attacks on Jews occur beyond any official awareness. “Most hate crimes are not even reported in the first place,” says Dov Hikind, founder of Americans Against Antisemitism, and a former power broker in the New York State Assembly.

Hershkop agrees. “Eighty percent never even got to the point of making a police report,” he speculated, referring to Jewish victims of bias incidents. “That’s how we’re artificially hiding hate crimes. People are so burnt out and so not believing in the system that they don’t even make a police report.”

Even the Jews who do report what are obviously identity-motivated crimes against them can be treated with a revealing indifference. In June, 26-year-old Yizchak Goldstein was sucker-punched on East 33rd Street near Park Avenue at around 1 p.m. Goldstein, who was visiting from Miami, was wearing a kippah, unlike his nearby cousin. The attacker didn’t run off. “He squared off to fight,” Goldstein said. “He wasn’t afraid of the cops—he literally joked to me, call 911 … he was so confident.” When Goldstein did call the police, he discovered that the assailant, who had disappeared down the crowded street at a walking pace, was right not to be worried. The officers told Goldstein that they could not treat the assault as a hate crime because the attacker didn’t say anything antisemitic to him.

That wasn’t all. “They said that even if we catch this guy he’ll be out in a few hours and that this happens every single day,” Goldstein recalled.

Whether it’s because of a lack of confidence in the authorities, fear about the consequences of coming forward, or a somewhat fatalistic view of the inevitability of antisemitism, some number of the city’s Jews believe that crimes against them aren’t worth reporting. The Jewish community is not unique in this respect, either. A range of different types of crime, from hate crimes against Asians to sexual assaults on the subway to bodega robberies are believed to be dramatically undercounted. One popular explanation for the supposed disconnect between the 75% of New Yorkers who say they are concerned about violent crime and the official crime rate, which has risen only slightly, is that the city is in a state of undue panic, with a fearmongering media and cynical public officials driving a false perception of declining public order. Another, perhaps more plausible explanation for this discrepancy is that the official crime rate itself is an undercount, and that ordinary poll respondents have either seen or experienced crimes more frequently than the official numbers reflect.

The growing sense of chaos, of which the failure to punish antisemitic attacks is a possible symptom, exposes a tension within the current governing project in New York and beyond. Criminal justice reform is aimed at correcting real and longstanding inequities; at the same time, rising crime denies large numbers of law-abiding citizens, most of them women or members of minority groups, of their basic right to safety. In the case of hate crimes, which are one of the most extreme ways that human beings can express their bigotry, newfound sensitivity toward the accused, however justified, clashes with a societywide crusade against bias and racism.

When irreconcilable visions of equity are in conflict—when it’s a stark choice between punishing a criminal and protecting a targeted group, for instance—a bizarre inertia prevails. Homeless encampments will be made permanent with the help of well-meaning aid groups and public service agencies, as in Los Angeles and San Francisco; public drug use will be turned into a supposedly manageable feature of city life even as living conditions plummet, as in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood. Focusing all of society’s attention on the scourge of bigotry, only to refrain from prosecuting a spiking number of hate crimes, is the inevitable default position when no one tries to reconcile the gaps between people’s everyday needs and ascendent notions of fairness. When nearly everyone’s apparent goal is to create as little friction as possible, and to avoid pushing too hard against the gaping contradictions in how our cities are now governed, the result is situations like Yossi Hershkop’s—and maybe Aryeh Wolf’s, too.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


Dox47
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,244
Location: Seattle-ish

29 Aug 2022, 11:11 pm

Shhh, we don't talk about that, it confuses the narrative.


_________________
“The totally convinced and the totally stupid have too much in common for the resemblance to be accidental.”
-- Robert Anton Wilson


klanka
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 31 Mar 2022
Age: 44
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,396
Location: Cardiff, Wales

30 Aug 2022, 3:25 am

Why would someone be out of jail in a few hours for sucker punching someone for no reason. Strange legal system



ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 29,713
Location: Long Island, New York

30 Aug 2022, 8:06 am

Dox47 wrote:
Shhh, we don't talk about that, it confuses the narrative.

I just did.

klanka wrote:
Why would someone be out of jail in a few hours for sucker punching someone for no reason. Strange legal system

New York’s “no bail” law which greatly limited the criteria for holding suspects on bail. Bail is harder to make if you are poor and since minority groups are overrepresented amoung those arrested, bail was said to be part of systematic racism.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


klanka
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 31 Mar 2022
Age: 44
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,396
Location: Cardiff, Wales

30 Aug 2022, 9:49 am

So they'd be bailed out but wouldn't they get charged with a crime?



ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 29,713
Location: Long Island, New York

30 Aug 2022, 10:18 am

klanka wrote:
So they'd be bailed out but wouldn't they get charged with a crime?

They will be charged with a crime. That is not the issue, the issue is people are being victimized unnecessarily. They are collateral damage to the cause of anti racism.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


klanka
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 31 Mar 2022
Age: 44
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,396
Location: Cardiff, Wales

30 Aug 2022, 10:53 am

Sorry if I'm being slow. The person who did the sucker punch doesn't care about being charged with assault so he was being brazen? How would keeping him in jail before his court date be much more of a deterrent than the actual sentence?

Cos it would count as time served,if he was sentenced to prison anyway.



ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 29,713
Location: Long Island, New York

30 Aug 2022, 11:11 am

klanka wrote:
Sorry if I'm being slow. The person who did the sucker punch doesn't care about being charged with assault so he was being brazen? How would keeping him in jail before his court date be much more of a deterrent than the actual sentence?

Cos it would count as time served,if he was sentenced to prison anyway.

It is not about deterrence it is about prevention. If he was in jail could not have attacked the victim. I would think being let out on bail might have factored into his brazeness.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


Mona Pereth
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,834
Location: New York City (Queens)

30 Aug 2022, 11:14 am

Hopefully NYC's current mayor Eric Adams, a black former cop and very much a law-and-order person, will be able to make some substantial improvements.

I hope also that the BLMers will grow up and realize that "Defund the Police" is NOT the answer. Substantial police reforms are needed -- not just a few minor band-aid reforms -- but the needed reforms will cost more money, not less. Abusive police tactics are the cheap and easy way to do policing.

Be that as it may, on a more positive note: Although, yes, we're currently experiencing a crime wave, NYC's crime problem still doesn't seem to me to be anywhere near as bad as what I remember growing up. I remember a climate of extreme fear, up through a little after 2000 or so. Back then, almost everyone I knew had been a victim of at least one major crime. It's not that bad now, at least not yet -- and hopefully it won't get that bad.


_________________
- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
- Autistic peer-led groups (via text-based chat, currently) led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.
- My Twitter (new as of 2021)


ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 29,713
Location: Long Island, New York

30 Aug 2022, 11:52 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
Hopefully NYC's current mayor Eric Adams, a black former cop and very much a law-and-order person, will be able to make some substantial improvements.

I hope also that the BLMers will grow up and realize that "Defund the Police" is NOT the answer. Substantial police reforms are needed -- not just a few minor band-aid reforms -- but the needed reforms will cost more money, not less. Abusive police tactics are the cheap and easy way to do policing.

Be that as it may, on a more positive note: Although, yes, we're currently experiencing a crime wave, NYC's crime problem still doesn't seem to me to be anywhere near as bad as what I remember growing up. I remember a climate of extreme fear, up through a little after 2000 or so. Back then, almost everyone I knew had been a victim of at least one major crime. It's not that bad now, at least not yet, and hopefully it won't get that bad.


The problem for Adams is the progressives in the state legislature. All of New York City’s powers are granted by the state. The bail reform law has caused backlash. It got Adams elected, it turned Long Island from purple to at least temporarily red last year. In reaction same of the bail requirements were put back. Thing is the hard core progressives are in safe districts and you still have progressive judges and prosecutors.

It is not the 1970’s. The fear is that it could become that. Slippery slope deterioration is all to easy. I do have a sense of deja vu. Almost the same thing happened the 1960s. Protests mostly peaceful and riots occurred. They forced people to realize there was a racism and poverty problem. Believing that the criminal’s poverty and race should be taken into account all sorts of overcorrection occurred. New York went from a relatively safe city to a bankrupt crime and grime nightmare in 15 years.

The bad news is that most people under 45 have no recollection of that. The good news is that older people do remember it, the media is much less accepting of crime, we have a blueprint to mitigate and reverse it that did not exist then, we have much better technology to identify and track criminals.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


CockneyRebel
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Age: 48
Gender: Male
Posts: 109,173
Location: On a special base where the Christmas soldiers of the world live

30 Aug 2022, 10:05 pm

Send the Jews to my place. I'll keep them safe.


_________________
Oberfeldwebel

Age: 48
Gender: Non-Binary
Pronouns: He/Him/His
IQ: 86 and I use all 86 of them.


Pteranomom
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

Joined: 21 Apr 2022
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Posts: 345

03 Sep 2022, 1:25 am

No one has ever really cared about hate crimes against Jews except other Jews. That article was remarkably good, though.



Mona Pereth
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,834
Location: New York City (Queens)

03 Sep 2022, 12:07 pm

Actually it seems that one of the big causes of the recent crime wave is that the court system in many places is severely backed up, due to the COVID crisis. Even without no-bail laws, there wouldn't be enough room in jails to hold everyone pre-trial.

According to what I've read in various sources, there is a growing consensus among criminologists that justice needs to be swift in order to be an effective deterrent to crime, and that swiftness is much more important than severity. Therefore, what's needed is to find ways to unclog and perhaps expand the court system, with appropriate safety measures.

See, for example, the following articles from various sources:

- Pandemic-driven court backlog blamed for Georgia crime wave, Newnan Times-Herald, Sep. 01, 2021.
- Pandemic court closures could be driving high crime rates, NPR, July 24, 2022.

Anyhow, whatever the causes of the recent crime wave, it's important to note that the crime wave is happening almost everywhere in the U.S.A. It's not confined to NYC, or to blue states. If anything, it appears to be worse in red states (although this might be an illusion due to under-reporting of crime, which might be more of an issue in blue states, although we have no way of knowing this for sure).


_________________
- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
- Autistic peer-led groups (via text-based chat, currently) led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.
- My Twitter (new as of 2021)


Dox47
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 13,244
Location: Seattle-ish

03 Sep 2022, 1:09 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
Anyhow, whatever the causes of the recent crime wave, it's important to note that the crime wave is happening almost everywhere in the U.S.A. It's not confined to NYC, or to blue states.


What political party controls those cities, and often has had complete local control for decades?


_________________
“The totally convinced and the totally stupid have too much in common for the resemblance to be accidental.”
-- Robert Anton Wilson


Mona Pereth
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,834
Location: New York City (Queens)

04 Sep 2022, 3:15 am

Dox47 wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
Anyhow, whatever the causes of the recent crime wave, it's important to note that the crime wave is happening almost everywhere in the U.S.A. It's not confined to NYC, or to blue states.


What political party controls those cities, and often has had complete local control for decades?

Most cities everywhere are predominantly Democrat, but, if they are in red states, they have to operate within the constraints imposed by Republican state governments. In particular:

1) Municipal governments in red states may lack the funding they need, due to Republican insistence on low taxes.

2) Guns are an issue on which cities (the Democratic base) and rural people (the Republican base) clearly have different needs that are hard to reconcile. Rural people, especially farmers and ranchers, need guns for various purposes, whereas cities need to keep guns out of the hands of irresponsible people.

It seems to me that these two issues are probably the main reasons why the recent crime wave is (or at least seems to be) worst in cities in red and purple states.


_________________
- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
- Autistic peer-led groups (via text-based chat, currently) led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.
- My Twitter (new as of 2021)