NYPD Takes Immediate Action After Officer Demands Jewish Pedestrian Write On Shabbos


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The following is a FlatbushScoop.com exclusive:

 A troubling incident occurred on Friday night between an NYPD Officer, and a member of Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish Community.

On Friday night, and individual was walking to his home (in the southern part of Brooklyn) and had just crossed a street, when he was stopped by two officers in a marked patrol car. The asked him for his identification. He asked why they wanted it, and the officers responded that they wanted to issue him a summons for J-Walking. He responded that it was Shabbos, and he does not carry any identification with him. The officers responded that if he does not give them an ID, they will be placing him under arrest. He told the officers that he lived a half a block away, and they can meet him at his home and take his ID and write the summons there. They refused, and instead forced the individual to write his name and address on a paper. They told him, if he refuses, they will arrest him. Fearing spending Shabbos in jail, with his family not knowing where he was, the individual followed their orders.

Minutes after Shabbos, the individual reached out to leading Jewish community NYPD Liaisons, who in turn reached out to the top NYPD brass covering the area. As was expected they took the story very seriously, and immediately got to work.

Brooklyn South Chief Joseph Fox,along with the Commanding Officer of the precinct must be publicly commended for their personal involvement, and for taking appropriate action, for many hours on Saturday night. Additionally, members of the NYPD’s Community Affairs Unit were heavily involved, and were busy with this until well past midnight. We have been told that the officers have been questioned, and an investigation into the exact details of the incident is underway.



  1. Was the pedestrian crossing a street in an ethnic neighborhood in which no cars were reasonably expected?

    Is it still common to play frisbee and stickball in NYC streets?

  2. anti-semitism in flatbush, im shocked!

    by the way where was he caught, Avenue J? and therefore it’s called j-walking (for those who don’t get the pun

  3. Since when is spending some time in jail a reason to MECHALEL Shabbos? There was not PEKUACH NEFESH here. The most likely thing that would have happened is that after he got to the police station, a senior officer would have seen the situation and immediately released this person. So this is as much a serious mistake on the part of the Jew involved as much as that of the Goyim. It would seem that the personal comfort of this person was more important than Shabbos.
    Aryeh Zelasko
    Beit Shemesh

  4. Would YWN update its readership of the evolving situation with these police offices.
    While forced chillul shabbos is the major issue, giving a summons for jaywalking, which is never done, is also a problem.
    This whole episode smacks of blatant anti-semitism.

  5. Ayeh Z. אל תדון את חבירך עד שתגיע למקומו. You never know what you would have done in a similar situation. Besides, he took the better choice. The alternative would have been taking a ride in a police car on Shabbos.

  6. To #4, after being involved on numerous missing person searches before, including on shabbos; I can tell you that it is very likely that after his not returning home for a long time, his family may well have contacted shomrim to begin a search. This would involve a lot more chillul shabbos than what he did to avoid it. Let’s assume that he realized that would happen.

  7. metrodriver, writing is a De’oraisa and getting a ride in a car is not necessarily a Derabanan. I believe the thought of his family not knowing what happened to him was his great pressure. Perhaps he wrote with a Shinui.

  8. Yeshivaworld commentator:
    I’m not judging here but you are incorrect. Firstly, one cannot transgress an issue d’array to save others from doing an issur. Second, shomrim would not be doing anything wrong as they would be working under the assumption that it is pikuach nefesh.

  9. BSD Please stop being such strict judges. None of us truly knows what we would have done had we been in the same situation. NOBODY.

    MODERATORS NOTE: If you have a message for YWN, please submit it on the Contact form.

  10. I happen to agree that it would have been best for him to refuse, but why assume he was doing an issur d’Orayssa?

    Maybe he wrote with a shinnui, for instance with his non-dominant hand. Maybe he held the pen in an unusual way, etc.

  11. Where is the dan lekaf zechus? Do you know that he didnt write with a shinuy making it only a drabanan? And might be justified to be able to spend Shabbos as a yid? Please look with a good eye!

  12. I say the guy should be commended with keeping his cool and remembering to write with a shinui even under the pressure of a possible jail trip with nobody in his family having any idea what would have happened. Regardless of whether or not it was the correct thing to do.

  13. Refusing to write was not an option, because there was a realistic possibility that this would have resulted in his spending the night in jail, which is (at least) a Safek Sakanah (he could have been attacked by someone violent, HIV positive, or with Hepatitis C). Even Safek Sakanah would justify the performance of a Melacha d’Oraysa; Kal Vachomer, if it was done with a Shinuy.

    However, the fact that no Aveira was committed is besides the point. It is outrageous that NYC police officers (whose salaries are paid, in no small part, by the tax dollars of members of our community) would not be sensitive to Shabbos observance.