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Open Letter to Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes from the Jewish Leadership Council in Crown Heights

letterhead.gifThe political and media outrage following the alleged attack by Jewish boys in Crown Heights on Mr. Andrew Charles leaves the Jewish community shocked and anxious. We will not let a one-sided story be told. We will not curl-up in fear while our families are terrorized.

Friday, April 25, 2008
20 Nissan 5768, Sixth day of Passover – The Festival of Freedom

The Honorable Charles J. Hynes,
Kings County District Attorney
350 Jay St. Brooklyn, New York, 11201

Over the last months, members of the JLC have repeatedly met in your office, concerned that the armed muggings and bigoted harassment against the Orthodox Jewish community continue unchecked. This is in sharp contrast to the attention to justice you’ve shown to the recent allegations against an Orthodox Jew by an African American.

The past year has been a year of nightmares for our community: On July 8th, Mr. Moshe Kozlovsky was mercilessly beaten with pipes and bottles in the neighborhood. On August 22nd, Yechiel Rappaport was attacked by 4 members of the African American community resulting in the loss of 5 teeth. 16-year-old Mendel Chesney was attacked on Yom Kippur and beaten to within an inch of his life, putting him into a coma. A community blog documented 34 instances of assault by black teens on the men, women and children of Jewish Crown Heights—in one case, against a 73-year-old grandmother!

This week you announced a Grand Jury investigation into allegations against members of our community. If this is a new level of commitment towards prosecuting criminals, Jewish or black, we support your efforts 100%. If, however, your office has scurried to react because the alleged victim is the son of a police officer and the alleged assailant is an Orthodox Jew, we take issue with not having equal protection under the law.

As for the actual charge against boys in our community: The police department’s handling of the issue was outrageous if not illegal. Officers of the 71st Pct. used a fictitious hostage charge to break into the Ezagui family home at 2 AM. When 20-year-old Aaron Ezagui—not the alleged attacker—asked if the officers had a warrant, he was arrested on trumped-up OGA charges, put into solitary confinement, chained to a wall—effecting a sleep-deprivation tactic—and forced to urinate while standing in his cell like an animal!

This was a detestable miscarriage of justice and a blatant abuse of the democratic legal system. If you were looking for justice, the violation of Aaron Ezagui’s civil rights and the police misconduct would be under investigation.

As members of the Orthodox Jewish community, we do not condone violence and we do not support attacks like those alleged by Mr. Andrew Charles. We do however point to the violence against Orthodox Jews in which you have thus far refused to show the same level of commitment, and we firmly appeal to you to treat our plight with the same concern for justice.

After a decade or more of calm, our community once again lives in fear. The murder of Mr. Efraim Klein in 2006, one day before he was to celebrate his son’s wedding, remains unsolved. This week’s assault during the Passover holiday in Rochester Park on a member of the Orthodox Jewish community has not resulted in any arrests though the perpetrator was immediately identified.

It has been a tough struggle to have our fear brought to the attention of the highest-ranking officers in the NYPD and city government—but it has happened, and we will do all we can to ensure we are never again painted as the unprovoked aggressors in a long history of victimhood in which we sat idly by.

We will tell our story and we will see true and unbiased justice served.

In the name of the Jewish Leadership Council,
Barry Sugar.

[Original story reported HERE on YWN]

14 Responses

  1. It’s about time. Even though we are in Golus, we still need to speak up for ourselves. This by no means justifies the “beating” a black received from a Jewish person (note the quotation).
    Now that it is after the sad fact that we had someone commit a crime, nevertheless, we need to make sure out side is heard.

  2. Exactly what I’ve been saying on the previous thread on YW!

    When it comes to Jews, we are expendible for the authorities. Attack us freely; and charge us on trumped up charges.

  3. to mr illini07… so you say “jews (“yidden” in my 4th grade level language)are EVERY BIT JUST AS capable….” see article “crown heights man beaten by…” post #4..did you read this laundry list of VICIOUS assults by not yiden (“jews” in your language) and you have the audacity to say the above…oy by the way mr sinisent excuse me for using such sophistcated word, audacity,vicious, which is way above our 4th grade level.. just wante to reinforse OUR post #14 on thet article mr illini07..

  4. Now, that’s a good writer. (Hopefully this letter will raise the bar somewhat on the quality of letters posted here.)

  5. Mr # 4,please learn to spell so we can understand what you are trying to tell us.Also,please make sense.
    Why is it OK for Jewish thugs to beat up a Black person who did nothing to them? This is wrong and a chillul Hashem. Why does that act make some Yidden proud? There should be a public protest against this behaviour when done by one of “our own”A letter of protest, as written above,well written,will hopefully be addressed by our political leaders in a peaceful way.Even when our people suffer we still maintain our dignity. We are in golus,and Hashem will remind us. We cannot depend on “bossor v’dom” but “kee im l’yad Hashem”.In order to merit this,we must not cause a chillul Hashem.

  6. to mr illini07… so you say “jews (”yidden” in my 4th grade level language)are EVERY BIT JUST AS capable….” see article “crown heights man beaten by…” post #4..did you read this laundry list of VICIOUS assults by not yiden (”jews” in your language) and you have the audacity to say the above…oy by the way mr sinisent excuse me for using such sophistcated word, audacity,vicious, which is way above our 4th grade level.. just wante to reinforse OUR post #14 on thet article mr illini07..

    Written by a 3rd graderComment by jent1150
    not by the TIDE guy

  7. Do they need to riot in order to get their side heard? Letters like this need to be placed full page in the NY Times and NY Post. What an outrage. They should get the ACLU to sue here. Tell them to call Dershowitz.

  8. It’s very clear that the cops and the DA’s office aren’t truly interested in “justice” it’s all about revenge.

    Had the roles been reversed (Rabbi’s son beaten by a black teenager) and a grand jury convened, they’d be whining “special treatment for the Hassids” and “DA Hynes is a coward for caving into the Hassidic pressure”.

    OGA = License to arrest for NO GOOD REASON. (Cop runs out of real reasons to arrest somebody he can always cry OGA and who would be the wiser?)

  9. Remember when the Jewish community “leadership” got up at the press conference with the NYPD and justified the shooting of Gidone Busch?

    What goes around comes around!

  10. On [unofficial] behalf of the Crown Heights community, thank you YW for posting this and thank you all for your support. I’ve been told that this letter was sent to several media outlets, but it is up to each of us to spread it virally, send it to friends, post it on blogs, tell our neighbors: There are libels being made against our nation and it is our job to set history straight. We cannot ever let the media fall back on this story as a substantiated incident of violence on the part of the Jewish community.

    With regard to the actual story: Andrew Charles and his friends threw rocks at a couple of bochurim who maced them and ran. Charles claims they came back with friends in an SUV and beat him. This has NOT been verified. He was NOT able to pick out his “assailant” in a police lineup. The registered owner of the SUV DID come down to the police station with his lawyer but refused to make a statement (I don’t know further details of that incident).

    The NYPD came crashing into the Ezagui home yelling “do you have a hostage in there!?!?” A community member later asked the local police commander if he’d ever heard of such a preposterous and flimsy premise… was there a precedent of hostage-taking in Jewish Crown Heights? The commander shrugged it off.

    Everything we do to bring these issues to light helps Klal Yisroel retain–or regain–its defiant pride: We are not your playthings; we are not your pets; vra’au kol amei haaretz ke shem Hashem nikra [aleinu], v’yaru [mimenu]!

    Shalom Chaver,
    Good Yom Tov

  11. I hope the community is helped and the situation is not made worse by this libel incident. This letter is very well written and shocked me at the severity of the situation.

  12. It’s incredibly sanctimonious of the 73rd precinct which harasses the Crown Heights Jewish community, and fails to protect them in their times of need, as well documented with the many cases of assault and other violent ARMED crimes against the local community. Yes, I forgot to mention Reb Efrayim Klein, a Crown Heights’er who had been murdered two years ago (a ehrliche yid driving his car, nebach the day before his sons chassunah, fatally shot), with no ‘leads’ to his murder to date.

    And then when an unsubstantiated alleged incident by a Jew against a black, allegedly armed with Pepper spray , (I wonder why a white or Jew in Crown Heights, would care for pepper spray, since the community was ‘safe’ and ‘peaceful’ until this alleged incident occurred), the political establishment completely throws the Jewish people of Crown Heights under the bus (as if they had not done so already prior to this incident). Hashem Yishmor!

    If the Litvish community ever wished to reach out to us in our time of need, with legal assistance, civil protest etc. now is the time. The blacks stick together, so should us Yidden.

  13. If the Alleged portrayal of the assault by the black is accurate, then let the guy who perpetrated the crime, pay for his crimes, otherwise, Halacha as well as common sense dictates that the Yid was innocent (if not, probably was the true victim).

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