The New York Daily News has uncovered information that reveals a violent assault of a gay New York City man in 2013 was covered up by police. The attack left the man badly injured, with “a broken eye socket and a torn retina blinding him in one eye.” The attack was carried out by 5 men who are Hasidic Jews, and that’s where things get complicated.
According to Graham Rayman and Rich Schapiro, of the Daily News,
‘Investigators knew the license plate number of one of the assailants and even had four witness statements, according to records obtained by The News. But within 24 hours, cops in the 90th Precinct classified the attack as a misdemeanor and inexplicably marked the complaint ‘final, no arrests, CLOSED,’ records show.’
The New York City Police Department only reopened the case after being begged to do so by the victim’s mother. And, at that, only 3 of the 5 men, all of whom were known to police, were formally charged. The situation has come to light while investigating corruption in the NYPD relationship with the Hasidic leaders.
The men were apparently at least mostly members of a citizen’s police group run by the Hasidim. Their stated job is to watch for criminal activity, and occasionally make citizen’s arrests.
Hasidic Jews are members of some of the most strict sects of Judaism, and some of the most strict Hasidim live in Williamsburg, the area where the attack took place. They do not necessarily see crimes the same way as police, seeking instead to align their community with their interpretation of Jewish law. Important to Jewish law is the preservation of reputation — hence, often, there is a resistance to allowing arrests.
This cover up incident comes in a large context of similar cover ups, from child sex abuse cases to domestic violence cases. The tendency to cover up crimes is not unique to the ultra Orthodox Jews of Brooklyn, but can rather be viewed in an even bigger context. There are crimes, real crimes that are covered up by the radical Islamic communities of the world. And, as is much too familiar to Americans, there is an historical epidemic of child abuse carried out by Catholic priests.
The relationship of the special interests of organized religion to government often produces a coziness to crime like has been shown in this case.
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Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video from Raw Story.