• Cops Look The Other Way On Assault, Tensions Still Run Hot

    May 8, 2024
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    Anyone who has made pasta knows it takes a lot of energy to bring water to a boil, but once it's there, you can turn the heat down and still maintain the rolling bubbles. That's New York right now. Illegal immigrant crime, Columbia Univ. and City College protests, the Met Gala clashing with pro-Palestine mob marches--they all turned up the heat. But the kettle is still aboil.

    A few of the key players are in jail, a few are laid up and nursing wounds. But the bulk of the protesters are still here.

    Notably, NYPD officers are acting like referees who have collectively agreed to "let 'em play." No penalties for ticky-tack fouls, just the flagrant stuff. It's not a bad strategy for the cops. Mayor Eric Adams is well aware that most of the infractions that landed perpetrators in Rikers a few years ago are summarily dismissed by infamously soft District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

    In one case this afternoon, a Jewish woman fought with a Jewish man...over a Palestinian flag? It's true that attitudes differ amongst Jews about the role Israel should play in the sphere of global Jewry. From fervent Zionism to general support, from apathy to antipathy, the full range of sentiment is in play.

    Therefore, it should come as no surprise that an altercation might break out between two Jews over Palestine, it is unusual to see an NYPD officer refuse to intervene in a pitched battle over property. Taken as a single incident, perhaps merely noteworthy.

    But two cases of police passivity in the same afternoon?

    Warning: excessive profanity.

    It's not quite a pattern, but given the similarity of the incidents, worth noting.

    The tweet claims the man in a vest and camouflage cap is a "Zionist," but he might just as easily be described as a patriot, or a member of the silent and angry class. Today we saw a "Falling Down" moment. John Doe was all business as he shoved two pro-Palestine supporters and knocked the smart phone out of the hand of another amid a barrage of insults and profanity in front of New York Presbyterian/Weill-Cornell Medical Center.

    Again, the point here is not the physical assault itself. A uniformed officer and several hospital security guards stand idly by while the instigator strolls off down the street, despite what appear to be brass knuckles adorning his left hand (in New York, any metal device designed to augment the damage of a punch can result in a Class A misdemeanor resulting in up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine).

    The Manhattan recently witnessed a similar NYPD disinterest in assault and destruction of personal property in Central Park. The marching orders from Mayor Eric Adams, as they play out in the street day by day, appear to be to stand down for low-level assault, and enforce the law through mass arrests while wearing protective riot gear. Given the city-wide breadth of the problem, this keep-your-powder-dry approach might be best for a police force already stretched thin.

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