• Brooklyn patrol shot: Thug opens fire on Shomrim crew


    Four Members of Jewish Patrol Are Shot in Brooklyn


    Gothamist


    If I take the news accounts as accurate, it sounds like the Shomrim chased down and attacked this guy they suspected of masturbating in public, based on second-hand accounts and long after it actually happened.


    Shouldn't the police be arresting the Shomrim guys? The victim sounds like a creep and could get charged for having an unlicensed weapon, but attempted murder for defending himself against a group of thugs is ridiculous.


  • Weird. Articles say that they're licensed (they can't carry, though) and have a strong relationship with the NYPD, but I wonder to what extent they're trained... this situation sounds like it was a bit (a lot) more than they could chew. A watch is something that I can get behind, but something like this crosses in to vigilante territory - I'm not so good with that. Intervening in a dangerous situation, when the public is immediately in harms way is one thing. Tracking a guy, cornering him and forcing a confrontation is really fucking stupid, though, and should be left to the police.
  • Shomrim may be lic'd as security guards. ....a lic that does not take long to receive.

    Of course, most of the time they seem to catch people without incident.

    In these instances (in Crown Heights, not Williamsberg) a combination of Shomrim and citizens seem to have chased suspects or merely followed them until police arrived:

    http://www.crownheights.info/index.php?itemid=27914&catid=23#c
    http://www.crownheights.info/index.php?itemid=27894&catid=23#c
    http://www.crownheights.info/index.php?itemid=27745&catid=23
    http://www.crownheights.info/index.php?itemid=27408&catid=23#c

    (note: Whynot does not endorse the comments of people on the above blog. Gotta love the racial harmony that is being expressed - sarcasm!)

    ....at some point though, even regular citizens seem to have the right to hold people until the police arrive. Here's a recent event wherein some guys cornered some local kids who were doing things much more serious than whacking off in a car or the crimes I reference above. (i.e. shooting a shot gun, almost hitting a guy with a car, and yelling religious/racial epithets)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/01/nyregion/01mosque.html

    So, it isn't clear to me when people have the right to detain someone. It must be up to the police on a case by case basis.

    Personally, I totally agree with what the Muslim guys did.

    Although the Jewish guys who got shot weren't pursuing as serious of a crime, I'm not opposed to their actions either.

    It does, however, blur the lines. At what point do I (a hypothetical criminal) know that I am not about to get the crap beat out of me by a gang of vigilantes? ....when do I lose my freedom and right to self defense? How do I know you are waiting for the police, and not just waiting for some more friends to show up and administer street justice?

    BTW, if you are whacking off in a car so often that the local patrol knows about you ....you have a problem on several levels. If you are doing this while carrying a weapon, and then discharge it at four people who corner you.... I'm at least ok with Assault in the 1st degree. (I'll let the lawyers debate on that charge vs. attempted murder)
  • Off the subject, but tangental, I've been wanting to watch The Hebrew Hammer - I like Adam Goldberg, he's funny.

    image
  • Definitely a funny movie. I saw it when it first aired.
  • Atleast they had the balls do something, most people on this board wouldn't have gotten involved other than posting about it the next day.
  • too bad citizens can't be armed too like in those southern states.


    back in the day i know a associate of mines he got held by a group of them. they did well. the guy was up to no good trying to rob a place.
  • King without a crown wrote: Atleast they had the balls do something, most people on this board wouldn't have gotten involved other than posting about it the next day.

    What the fuck ever. Whenever some guy "does something," the police are the first to say, "don't take justice in to your own hands." Can't have it both ways, mon capitan.
  • King without a crown wrote: Atleast they had the balls do something, most people on this board wouldn't have gotten involved other than posting about it the next day.


    if nyc allow citizens to carry guns out in the open and not this draconian gun laws where only cops and criminals carry and some rich guys.

    I think more citizens would get involved.

    "I" heard back in the day some asian kids getting robbed almost every day by a bunch of black kids. cops did nothing. I hear they got a bunch of kids after school and beat the snot out of those kids, they never came back and rob any asian kids again in that area and that time.

    side effect of those kids coming together was some of them formed into a street gang. it was meant to be self protection lol, like most street gangs it started out as such.

    brooklyn back when i was growing up is much like philly now, where the schools did nothing. cops did nothing.
  • Police want the public to get involved by being a good witness,calling 911 or even holding a suspect until responding Officers arrive on the scene. Police don't want people taking matters into their own hands. These guys were alerted to a pervert jerking off in front of children and they followed him in effort to assist the Police. It just so happens this career criminal was armed with a firearm. Maybe he had plans on abducting one of the kids. Who knows, but these guys risked their lives disarming him and in the process were all shot. Don't know too many people who would risk their lives for strangers.
  • September 3, 2010In Protecting Hasidic Neighborhoods, Squads Patrol Without Guns or BadgesBy COREY KILGANNONNY TIMES

    On Thursday night in Brooklyn, a suspect was chased and quickly surrounded by a group of patrolmen in blue uniform jackets who ordered him to halt.
    The man, David Flores, 33, who witnesses say was fondling himself in front of children in a Hasidic section of Brooklyn known as Borough Park, was about to be caught by the men in blue. He began shooting at the men, all unarmed, with a .22-caliber handgun, the authorities said, hitting and wounding four before being tackled.
    Although these streets are in the jurisdiction of the New York Police Department — the 66th Precinct — these patrolmen were not police officers. In fact, two were bakers, one was a dry cleaner and the fourth sells insurance.
    They were volunteers with the Brooklyn South Safety Patrol, a licensed, unarmed civilian group. They wore blue jackets with emblems, but they also wore skull caps and had forelocks of the Hasidic. They yelled in Yiddish as chaos erupted about 8 p.m. on 49th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues.
    Within minutes, the area was swarming with patrol members, who roped off the area with yellow crime scene tape — marked “shomrim,” a word derived from the Hebrew word for guards.
    While few outside the community are familiar with the group, the shooting cast a spotlight on it and its role on the streets. There are similar groups in Brooklyn’s three other ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods: Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Flatbush.
    In Borough Park, the patrol members are as natural a sight as men in black coats and hats. Many area residents are more likely to call the patrol’s hot line number than 911.
    The calls go to the Brooklyn shomrim communications center — a phone in a truck tire repair shop owned by Sam and Mendy Rosenberg. The brothers go from fixing tires to answering about 100 calls a day and then dispatching shomrim responders by radio.
    “We have a faster response than the police, about a minute and a half,” said Mendy Rosenberg, his big hands and mechanic’s outfit smeared with grease. If a suspect is trying to escape by car, he can call upon hundreds of people to block streets and bridge entrances.
    “I can shut down the streets in half of Brooklyn in seconds — instant traffic jam,” he said. “We’ve trapped many perps that way.”
    The Borough Park shomrim was formed more than 20 years ago and informally called the Bakery Boys because the original members were bakers who delivered bread at night and saw a lot of car break-ins.
    The force works out of a small headquarters on 14th Avenue above a hardware store, and the members respond to matters ranging from burglary to shoplifting to missing children. Some drive vehicles with official emblems, but mostly they work — two to a vehicle, like police patrols — in their personal cars, some with lights and sirens, many without. The tools of the trade are a light jacket and a walkie-talkie. They mix Yiddish and police jargon.
    “Our role is to try and get the police to an incident as quickly as possible and make sure they apprehend the perp or address the problem,” said Simcha Bernath, the shomrim’s coordinator. Members do not carry batons, pepper spray or handcuffs, he said, and they try to detain suspects only as a last resort.
    “If it looks like they will get away before the police come, we will try to hold them in a professional way,” said Mr. Bernath, an accountant by trade.
    Brooklyn shomrim groups have not been without controversy, like accusations of vigilantism and actions that stoke racial tensions. In a 1996 case, several members of a Crown Heights group were arrested after they were accused of beating up a black man whose nephew they suspected of a bike theft.
    A police spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said there was a “long tradition” of citizen block watches and citizen patrols, like the shomrim. The department has had a “close working relationship” with them, he said.
    “These are citizen volunteers,” he said, “and so there is always the concern that they keep their own personal safety in mind and that their mission is to kind of be eyes and ears, and radio for the police or call for the police, particularly if there is a dangerous situation.”
    It is not unusual for members to encounter gunfire. In fact, on Monday night the same Borough Park shomrim patrol helped foil an armed bank robbery and was fired upon before helping to track down the robber. But Thursday was the first time that shomrim members were hit, members said. Two remained hospitalized on Friday.
    Police officials said charges against Mr. Flores, who accidentally shot himself in the left arm during the attack, included attempted murder, assault and criminal use of a firearm. The authorities said he had a long history of arrests.
    Some patrol members complained that the police had ignored their report of an encounter with the same man a week earlier, but the police said they had no knowledge of it .
    Regardless, Mr. Bernath said, the shomrim has “a good working relationship” with the local precinct.
    “The precinct is really doing anything and everything to help the community,” he said, adding that the police “act fairly and professionally with the information we give them.”
    Al Baker contributed reporting.
  • like i said too bad citizens can't be armed like in the south!! too bad he isn't dead and now he is going to live on hard earn money of tax paying citizens for a long time. what a waste of resources.
  • King without a crown wrote: Police want the public to get involved by being a good witness,calling 911 or even holding a suspect until responding Officers arrive on the scene. Police don't want people taking matters into their own hands. These guys were alerted to a pervert jerking off in front of children and they followed him in effort to assist the Police.

    Uh, no. A) they didn't simply follow him - they coordinated vehicles to block him off and had foot patrol to close in - if this isn't "taking matters in to their own hands," I don't know what is. B) They we're trying to assist the police? According to the article you posted, it looks like they were frustrated with the lack of response from the police and decided to try to get the job done themselves. That sounds like a nice recipe - authorize a vigilante group to assist the police... only to have the police ignore their requests, pushing said vigilantes to make stupid decisions that result in gunfire. Bravo.
  • I guess you're unaware that Citizens are allowed to affect arrests, but I guess it is a lot safer to sit back and crticize others from the safety of your home or while you sit on your ass drinking lattes at Starbucks.
  • I guess you're unaware that you didn't address either of the points I'd raised.

    That's okay - don't expect much else from you.
  • IANAL, but my general understanding of citizen's arrest in NY state is that it is permissible when the arrestor has directly witnessed a felony or misdemeanor, or has a reasonable belief that the person has committed a felony. It is generally not permitted for misdemeanors when the arrestor did not witness the misdemeanor. The Shomrim were arresting the guy for an act of public lewdness, a misdemeanor, that they did not witness, so it seems that it would not be permissible.

    Can anyone who know more about citizen arrest law shed some light on this? KWAC, I'm assuming you know more about this?
  • in a unrelated city in a unrelated country called canada, a asian store owner got arrested for kidnapping for making a citizens arrest for holding a thief till the cops came.
    instead of arresting the thief the cops arrested the store owner and workers for kidnapping.

    the same thief who came and stole very frequently. so the owners got sick of waiting for the cops to show up way later when the thief already left. so they decided to hold him this time till the cops show up.

    but the two does have common english law behind them.
  • A citizen may make an arrest for a personally observed misdemeanor or any felony. The details of what happened are sketchy, frankly these guys aren't getting paid and are only trying to help keep their Community safe from criminals. Not many people volunteer to patrol their neighborhoods for free without bullet proof vests, guns and handcuffs. These guy put their lives on the line for strangers and in this case they helped capture an armed felon who was possibly preying on young children. I wish these guys patrolled all over the City.
  • King without a crown wrote: A citizen may make an arrest for a personally observed misdemeanor or any felony.

    And when it's not personally observed?
  • I guess the next best thing would be to follow them and await the arrival of Officers to investigate and hopefully not get shot in the neck, stomach or hand in the process.
  • In-vest-ing in Jewish watchmen
    AP

    Last Updated: 5:17 AM, September 7, 2010

    Posted: 3:46 AM, September 7, 2010

    Comments: 2 More Print An unarmed Orthodox Jewish community-watch group will receive five bulletproof vests so that its members can safely patrol neighborhood streets.

    Sen. Eric Adams (D-Brooklyn) says he'll buy the vests using his own funds and donate them to the Shomrim safety patrol. Each costs $400.

    "It's just about giving the civilian patrols the necessary equipment so they can do their jobs," Adams said yesterday.

    Four members of the group were wounded Sept. 2 when a suspect accused of exposing himself to young girls opened fire on them.

    When the patrollers approached the 33-year-old man, he fled and they gave chase. While trying to force the suspect to the ground, he pulled out a weapon and opened fire.


    Benny J. Stumbo
    SAFER: Sen. Eric Adams gives the Shomrim patrol group its vests yesterday. Two of the group's members were hit in the hand, one in the neck and the other in the stomach. All are expected to recover.

    The nearly 100-member volunteer Shomrim group is licensed and works alongside police to patrol Borough Park.

    Adams said yesterday that he hoped to encourage other elected officials to support the group.

    He says five vests will be sufficient for patrols at any given time. But he says it would be best if all members of the patrol had their own vests.



    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/in_vest_ing_in_jewish_watchmen_HHzLZBtvqHm9JAwtyWJ1KI#ixzz0yqJqTPVt
  • KWAC-

    aha ....they are licensed!
    A slightly related question: Is it legal for a normal citzen to wear a bullet resistant vest?

    About 10 years ago, I worked with a kid who was holding people up at gun point. Because he was not a genius, and tended to rob people within 4 blocks of where he lived ....the police caught him, and one of the charges was wearing a bullet resistant vest.

    I don't remember whether the charge stuck, but I rationalized the reason for the "law" as being something that would give potential criminals an advantage against armed police and common citizens.

    Are the members of shomrim being allowed to wear vests b/c they are lic'd security guards? ....or is there no such law against people wearing them?
  • like i said too bad citizens can't be armed like in the south!!

    AW, I guarantee that if you lived in the South "back in the day" you would have quite different thoughts about armed vigilantes. They really took that "yellow peril" thing seriously as well.
  • FYI- I did some digging and believe I have answered my own question.

    Assuming you haven't been convicted of a felony, apparently one can currently legally buy a protective vest in NYS. However, as a result of bill pending in the legislature, this may soon change to restrict the purchase to people who are law enforcement or military. [I assume a lic'd security guard would be covered under this language]
    http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?by=k&qs=body+vest

    However, assuming one is not a felon, even if this law passes, it seems as if one will still be able to wear vests, just not buy them.

    (sillyness indeed)

    Which brings us back to my not-too-bright kid.

    It seems that whether you are a previously convicted felon or not, it is illegal to wear a vest while one is committing a crime.

    ....apparently, should the police or a private security guard determine that lethal force is warranted, the law believes that it should "work".

    Sounds good to me.

    (I'm also told they aren't real comfortable)
  • Try rolling with one of these or these.
  • Carnivore wrote: Try rolling with one of these or these.


    I've never felt the need for one. ....but if they could make one with tassles already installed, they might do really well with Shomrim.

    Hopefully they will won't come into contact with an armed perp anytime soon though.....
  • King without a crown wrote: A citizen may make an arrest for a personally observed misdemeanor or any felony.

    Jerking off in public is a misdemeanor and the Shomrim didn't personally observe it. So they broke the law in arresting him?
  • Carrying a loaded firearm in public, jerking off and shooting people is now illegal in NY. As for the vest thing, civilians may wear a bullet proof vest,however if you wear one during the comission of a violent felony you may be additionaly charged. The charge is unlawful wearing of body armor
  • Mougar wrote: [quote=King without a crown]A citizen may make an arrest for a personally observed misdemeanor or any felony.

    Jerking off in public is a misdemeanor and the Shomrim didn't personally observe it. So they broke the law in arresting him?

    This would mean they broke the law whenever they are utilized to apprehend a shoplifter on behalf of a shopkeeper. Nope. ...that does not seem to be how the law is being interpreted.

    As licensed security guards, it seems they are able to act in the role of a "Gated Homeowner's Association Security Force".

    ...only the "community" in this case is located on public property, not private. ....and, in this instance, it seems to have fluid boundaries.

    (no pun intended vis a vis Sperm)
  • Yeah, yeah - none of this addresses the main concern, "where is the line drawn between security force and vigilante group?" Hey AW - you want to start an Asian security force? How do you think that would go over? I'll volunteer, but only part time (only half Asian).
  • Needless to say, NYC has wrestled with this issue before.

    Historically, the Guardian Angels and the Nation of Islam have both stepped in with patrols when they felt police protection was inadequate.

    Sometimes the patrols had the "blessing" of the police dept, other times the relationship was poor.
  • whynot_31 wrote: [quote=Mougar][quote=King without a crown]A citizen may make an arrest for a personally observed misdemeanor or any felony.

    Jerking off in public is a misdemeanor and the Shomrim didn't personally observe it. So they broke the law in arresting him?

    This would mean they broke the law whenever they are utilized to apprehend a shoplifter on behalf of a shopkeeper. Nope. ...that does not seem to be how the law is being interpreted.

    As licensed security guards, it seems they are able to act in the role of a "Gated Homeowner's Association Security Force".

    ...only the "community" in this case is located on public property, not private. ....and, in this instance, it seems to have fluid boundaries.

    (no pun intended vis a vis Sperm)
    I'm going from KWAC's interpretation, but enforcement is another matter entirely. Clearly that's not how it is typically enforced.

    Either way, I don't want to confuse what's legal with what's right.
  • I agree, there needs to be a clearer line.

    ....in the past, NYC seems to have allowed some groups to form and maintain "citizen patrols", while discouraging others.

    Those who "work closely with the police" seem to be the most successful, but it's vagueness makes it fraught with all kinds of risks.

    For example, if I believe the police are not doing their jobs effectively there is a really good chance I am not going to be able to "work closely with them".

    As a result, do I no longer have my rights to make a citizen arrest? ...would I instead be charged with an offense myself?

    This could have the effect that areas underserved by the police have no recourse other than the police. By being subject to arrest themselves, local citizens would be prohibited from "supplementing the work of the police".

    ....meaning the most organized areas of the city with the best relationships with the police, would be able to supplement their already "good" relationship with the police.

    ...and the other areas of the city would be subject to the officers' whim.
  • WhyFi wrote: Yeah, yeah - none of this addresses the main concern, "where is the line drawn between security force and vigilante group?" Hey AW - you want to start an Asian security force? How do you think that would go over? I'll volunteer, but only part time (only half Asian).


    lol we would be more like walking banks to thugs and robbers.
    last time a group of vigilantes i hangout with after i left turn themselves into a gang and started to extort instead. this thing started out as a self protection group in elementary school in the ghetto.

    only thing that would get me off my ass and do something is something major happening. and some how nyc repeal alot of gun laws so normal honest good citizens can get guns easily. right now only two groups have them. cops and thugs.
  • Shomrim does what cops don't do. At least you can walk in Borough Park at 3am without any fear of being robbed, raped or worse. God bless Shomrim, they protect all law abiding, innocent people of Brooklyn. When was the last time you were mugged by a Hasidic Jew?
    Citizen patrols are needed in all hoods of New York, not just the jewish hoods.
    When we approached black community leaders and offered our help with organizing some black community patrol groups, no one stepped forward! They are afraid to patrol their own hoods cause that would make them prime targets: too much crime have infiltrated their community and almost everyone knows someone who's incarcerated or was incarcerated at some point in the past. You can't possibly patrol a community like that , that would be like going against your own family.
  • Carnivore wrote: Try rolling with one of these or these.


    i'm holding out for the timber wolf version. villains will be SHOCKED by the anti-ballistic layers and AWED by the ferocious erotic force-field.
  • I have no idea whether the first guy on the scene was a Shomrim member, but post this account because it provides an account of an instance in which the Crown Heights Orthodox community came to the aid of a member outside of its community who was also victimized by a member outside their community.

    http://www.crownheights.info/index.php?itemid=29082&catid=23

    Mougar,
    In this instance the Orthodox guy who held/tackled the mugger was first arrested, and then released after his actions were investigated.
  • From the report it's not clear to me whether the Shomrim actually witnessed the mugging, or was able to obviously identify the mugger (guy holding a woman's purse running away from crowd). Either way, I don't have any issue with this kind of action.

    The crime had just been committed, it was clear who the perpetrator was, and if someone wants to risk harm to themselves for the benefit of someone else they're welcome to it.

    I'd be more concerned in the case where it wasn't clear who committed the crime, and the Shomrim just started stopping or tackling everyone on the block "fitting the description" i.e. young black male.
  • Can we assume the Orthodox guy "had the guts" to tackle the guy because he knew his community would back him up if he began to lose?

    .....that's the only way I'd have the nerve to tackle someone approximately my same size.
  • whynot_31 wrote: Can we assume the Orthodox guy "had the guts" to tackle the guy because he knew his community would back him up if he began to lose?

    .....that's the only way I'd have the nerve to tackle someone approximately my same size.

    That seems like a fair assumption. But even if I had a community backing me, I probably wouldn't tackle someone who snatched a stranger's purse. You never know if they have a knife or gun. I may risk it though if they stole my wallet, it's a pain in the ass to get a new driver's license.
  • Now is when I wonder what the difference is between a bunch of unarmed guys cruising around with walkie talkies (Shomrim), and a community of neighbors who will protect me on the basis that they believe I am doing the right thing because they "look like me".

    In the first instance, one could ague the citizens are "activists looking for trouble".

    In the second instance, folks are just going about their daily lives.

    In both instances, I have serious power as a result of being part of the majority.

    P.S. I'm glad they got the mugger. As Shomrim becomes more active, I wonder if it will be able to reduce crime in its local area ....not just catch criminals. I.E. Are criminals bright enough to avoid making their living in areas where they know they will be tackled for mugging someone? ....will the Orthodox community be able to create an area of safety for its members as well as anyone else who happens to be walking thru?
  • I rather see these guys in my hood than a bunch of hangout street corner doing nothing punk ass thugs.
  • This incident yesterday in CH seems like it was handled well by Shomrim:

    CH Info wrote: Crown Heights [CHI] — Three teenagers were arrested Tuesday evening after being followed by a group of vigilant Shomrim volunteers who witnessed them kick in a window and break into a home on President Street.

    The incident began at approximately 10:00 PM, the Shomrim hotline rang with a caller reporting a group of three teens walking on Albany Avenue shouting and throwing glass bottles indiscriminately. A Shomrim volunteer who happened to be just one block over began following them and observed their increasingly disorderly behavior.

    More Shomrim volunteers began arriving on scene to back each other up and continue observing, and at this point only making sure that they don’t do any harm to anyone.

    The group, described as African-Americans in their mid-teens, settled on the front lawn of a home on the corner of President Street and Albany Avenue. Shomrim observed one of the group kick in a basement window and they all went into the house – which happened to be vacant and under construction.

    Shomrim immediately called 911 as well as the owner of the home, swarmed the property and nabbed two of the teens; the third attempted to flee but he was chased and apprehended a half a block away.

    Police arrived on scene and after hearing from Shomrim they took the teens into custody and determined that they were all juveniles and needed a sergeant at the scene in order to make an arrest. He arrived a short while later and gave the order to make the arrest, while thanking Shomrim for their excellent work and professionalism in handling the situation.

    CrownHeights.info later learned that the police called up the teens' parents to have them come pick their children up – since they were all juveniles; one parent refused and told police to send their kid to juvenile detention as they did not want their kid back.

    source: http://www.crownheights.info/index.php?itemid=41590&catid=23#c

    It kind of amazes me that the local kids haven't figured out they should look for unmarked cars containing volunteers, but I can't say I feel particularly sorry for them.


  • June 2013, almost three years later:

    The aformentioned man (the one who is alleged to have engaged in lewd behavior, and then shot at Shomrim members), is now standing trial for shooting them.

    http://crownheights.info/crime/389732/alleged-perv-who-shot-at-shomrim-claims-self-defense/#comments


  • Sept 22:

    Here's a demonstration of what can be accomplished by speaking as a block:

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/09/22/us/ap-us-dismembered-boy-security-cameras-.html?hp&_r=0

    After all, if you were Shomrim, why would you endure the allegations of following only people not from the neighborhood (i.e. not dressed in Orthodox attire, often black....), when it is far more efficient to watch from afar via cameras, and then dispatch Shomrim corps members when warranted?


  • Yay! Warrantless mass-surveillance by an orthodox and sometimes xenophobic religious group's quasi-police force with a long history of racism and harassment of outsiders! No way this will be used in a manner that interferes with others' rights at all! This is yet another thing the found fathers would be down with.


  • Secure Watch 24 actually received the contract, and its logo can be seen on many buildings in Crown Heights and throughout the city:

    This article points out that they monitor over 22,000 cameras in NYC and NJ: http://www.sdmmag.com/articles/87478

    Newguy gets at what seems to me to be the crux of the issue: How closely will these cameras work with the local neighborhood patrols (often referred to as "Shomrim"), and what behaviors/people will be deemed suspicious to the degree that the local patrols are contacted, yet not the police?

    While I perceive fighting surveillance cameras as a losing battle (I think it is just a matter of time before everything we do is monitored and recorded), I would like them to be rolled out in a manner that relates to known crime risks, and in way that does not further blur the line between public and private space.

    On a personal note, I am often followed when I walk my dog thru the Lubavitch area of Crown Heights, and once got up the nerve to turn around and approach the guy in the car following me:

    Me: Hi. Are you following me to make sure I pick up my dog's poop?

    Him: We follow everyone who is not from here, so we aren't accused of only following blacks.

    Me: oh, um, ok.


  • Whynot, I don't think fighting surveillance is a losing battle. Fighting to end it is. I support cameras in public places like streets. I don't support a private which is unaccountable to the general public. Who is watching the watchers? What are the procedures put in place to make the second level watcher accountable to the general public?

    By the way if that guy was following me and said that I'd call 911. I would then give the cops an exact description of him and demand they send a patrol car. The Shorim have no right to stalk a person on public property who is obviously committing no crime.


  • My understanding is that they can follow you, but not stop you unless they witness you commit a crime.

    They are a reality; there is no need to call the police.

    I have been told most of the Shomrim Patrols have at least five (5) cars on streets at any given time. Each of the Orthodox neighborhoods has one.

    Here's the Facebook page for the one in CH: https://www.facebook.com/crownheights.shomrim


  • While you can follow someone in public their are public harrassment laws. http://www.ehow.com/about_6363863_harassment-laws-new-york-state.html "Second-Degree Harassment

    When someone applies physical force to another person, follows that person around in public places or engages in conduct intended to alarm or seriously annoy the person, this constitutes second-degree harassment (New York Penal Code, Section 240.26)."

    Will the NYPD do anything more then tell the Shomrim to move along at best? Of course not but just because your in "their" neighborhood doesn't mean you should putt up with their bullshit. Granted the Crown Heights Shomrim seems to be cooler with young white guys.

    Fight for your rights or lose em!


  • Good luck!

    They could easily argue that they are no more intrusive, annoying and harassing than a Mister Softee guy who follows a group of kids.

    Re: The NYPD. I don't know if you have ever witnessed an incident wherein Shomrim are present before the police; I have seen the arriving NYPD officers greet the Shomrim volunteers at the scene by name.

    If you want to test their response time, you could probably just walk around some of the residential streets singing at the top of your lungs, dressed in your present attire. I suspect that alone would get their attention, and cause them to follow you.

    Pro tip: Don't act so oddly you meet the definition of an Emotionally Disturbed Person.

    Let me know how it goes. Like I said above, why use volunteers to follow people when you can use cameras?

    Cameras are so much better..... they can provide the same (or better) level of surveillance, without the -um- "political" risks.

    If you play your cards right, you might even get government to pay for 'em... Of course, you have something to exchange.


  • Sept 24:

    It seems like the Crown Heights chapter of Shomrim received a call last night:

    http://crownheights.info/crime/402638/holiday-visitor-violently-assaulted-and-robbed/


  • Shomrim seems to be in regular contact with the suspect they confronted this weekend:

    http://crownheights.info/crime/403090/car-thief-confronted-pulls-knife-apprehended-by-shomrim/#comments


  • Note that in this week's instance, a Shomrim member was already following a group he deemed suspicious. Said group then committed a crime.

    Also, it appears as if Shomrim members may already be taking pictures of people it deems suspicious, and storing them for future use. This is within their legal rights.

    http://crownheights.info/crime/405250/gang-of-pre-teen-muggers-taken-down/#comments


  • The camera on Shomrim's RV recently captured photos of a group of men suspected of assaulting jewish residents. NYPD is investigating the incidents as hate crimes.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/alleged-assaults-rock-crown-heights-article-1.1514604


  • Lots of media are now covering the investigation:

    http://crownheights.info/crime/410708/media-coverage-cbs-abc-report-on-knockout-jews-assaults/#comments

    I think it is safe to assume that lots of photos are now going to be taken of people in the "frum zone" that are not Jewish.

    While this may sound like a good idea, I fear that -unlike Shomrim- they may not bother to follow (or take pictures of) everyone in order to insulate themselves from accusations that they only follow (or take pictures of) some.


  • The police get more assertive, especially around the times school lets out:

    http://crownheights.info/crime/411474/police-reports-investigation-progress-and-added-patrols/

    Local African American leaders condemn the assaults:

    http://crownheights.info/crown-heights-news/411790/african-american-leaders-decry-hate-assaults/#comments

    -It is important to consistently declare condemnation, so it is harder for your opponents to accuse you of "silence" and "consent".


  • WhyFi said:

    King without a crown wrote: Police want the public to get involved by being a good witness,calling 911 or even holding a suspect until responding Officers arrive on the scene. Police don't want people taking matters into their own hands. These guys were alerted to a pervert jerking off in front of children and they followed him in effort to assist the Police.

    Uh, no. A) they didn't simply follow him - they coordinated vehicles to block him off and had foot patrol to close in - if this isn't "taking matters in to their own hands," I don't know what is. B) They we're trying to assist the police? According to the article you posted, it looks like they were frustrated with the lack of response from the police and decided to try to get the job done themselves. That sounds like a nice recipe - authorize a vigilante group to assist the police... only to have the police ignore their requests, pushing said vigilantes to make stupid decisions that result in gunfire. Bravo.


    The jury has returned its verdict. They found the man guilty only of gun charges, making me believe that they found it reasonable for him to be in fear of his life.

    http://crownheights.info/jewish-news/413743/shooter-of-4-shomrim-acquitted-of-attempted-murder/#comments

    Being a member of Shomrim is a brave act, indeed.


  • In this incident on Saturday night, it seems as if the suspect would have gotten away if the victim had only depended upon police as a resource.

    http://crownheights.info/crime/416187/barefoot-and-in-frigid-weather-resident-chases-down-burglar/#comments


  • Happy New Year! Shomrim received a call, and seems to have handled it well:
    image
    This morning, a young Jewish man was walking down Crown St. from Kingston toward Brooklyn Ave. while talking on the phone to his soon-to-be bride. Suddenly, the phone was snatched out of his hand by an African-American man and his accomplice.

  • An article that discusses how closely Shomrim works with the 71st Pct.

    image
    On Thursday night, the Commanding Officer of the 71st Precinct, Inspector George Fitzgibbon, invited the volunteers of the Crown Heights Shomrim for a meeting at the police station, to improve coordination with the NYPD over the neighborhoods saf...
    ....very closely.
  • This thread was started after an incident in which Shomrim members were shot after they confronted a man.Today, the man was sentenced to 12 years.
    image
    After beating the main charge of shooting four Shomrim members on a Boro Park street four years ago, David Flores was sentenced Friday by a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge to ...
  • The 71st Pct covers Crown Heights south of Eastern Parkway, and recently honored five Shomrim members for their work:

    shomrim-honord-lead


    http://crownheights.info/crime/426240/five-shomrim-volunteers-honored-by-police/

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