Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Boro Park Riots - Part 4

AN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT: [via email] Shortly after 7 PM I arrived to the corner of 48st & 16th Ave. I saw a tall Chassid in handcuffs being led away by the Police. A hundred or so people were watching and screaming.Then an elderly man in shirtsleeves on a stretcher was put in an ambulance. Fresh ashes were in front of Shicks Bakery as people mulled around.The head Police Officers went into the suit store next to Shicks Bakery together with Rabbi Edger Gluck & other Police Chaplains's. They spoke and made phone calls for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile out doors a fire was lit on the corner of 48th Street without any Police Officers in sight. when the conducting officer came out of the store he glanced at the fire in frustration; then upon spotting a news camera (channel 2) running to the fire he muttered, "let them burn it all down", quickly adding: "not the buildings!" The police obviously then made a tactful (in my opinion very questionable) decision: LEAVING the tense scene. In the 8 o'clock hour the overwhelmingly chassidish crowd lit a number of fires as the crowd continued to grow. Helicopters circled above and the media showed up en masse.shortly before 9 dozens of police in riot gear arrived and pushed the rowdy crowd, who now were mostly excited teenagers, to the higher street numbers. Not till after 10 did the crowds finally disperse with riot gear officers remaining on the street corners and lots of unanswered questions hanging in the community.
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