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May 25, 2015 / 7 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore’

Jewish Life in Baltimore: Private Guards on Shabbat

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Baltimore’s Shomrim Safety Patrol organization arranged for private security officers to patrol the city’s large Jewish neighborhood on Shabbat in the wake of riots this week.

Baltimore Jewish Life reported, Friday, “We as a community pray for calm and peace to be restored, and that all the citizens of this great city be safe and secure in their neighborhoods and homes.”

Several Jewish businesses and store were looted during the riots following the death of Freddie Gray while he was in prison.

Six police officers have been charged in connection with the death of Gray, bringing out victory marches by the black community but doubts whether the charges will results in prosecutions.

The Baltimore Jewish community is one of the largest and most contiguous in the United States. It also is one of the most religious and most Zionist when it comes to giving money to Israel and less Zionist when it comes to moving to Israel.

Approximately one-third of the area’s more than 100,000 Jews are Orthodox or part of the Hareidi Agudah community, and a large percentage of the others are Conservative or Reform.

There are many pro-Israel voices in the community, especially in the national religious synagogues, one of which is attended by Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin. Like elsewhere, Aliyah is preached more than practiced.

Maybe Aliyah was going through the minds of Jews walking to and from synagogues on Shabbat, but more likely, they were thinking about getting through the day unharmed and not about the day after tomorrow.

Below: Video of riot in Baltimore”

6 Baltimore Cops Charged with Homicide, Murder of Freddie Gray

Friday, May 1st, 2015

The Maryland State Attorney has charged six police officers in Baltimore with homicide – and one with second-degree murder – in the death of Freddie Gray.

Marilyn Mosby, 35, the state’s attorney for Baltimore City, told a news briefing she the charges were being filed because officers did not provide medical help upon Gray’s request.

Gray was a well-known convicted drug dealer and user in the community with a long rap sheet. He was taken into custody but it is not clear why, and placed into a police van.

Sometime during that ride, the van stopped four times and at least twice Gray reportedly asked for medical assistance.

By the time he reached the end of the ride, Gray had suffered a critical neck injury, with his spine nearly severed in half, and had a head wound. He was taken to the hospital and died a week later on April 19.

Peaceful protests were ignited on that day, and grew violent on the day of Gray’s funeral, earlier this week, eventually spreading across the entire country.

Peaceful Protest by Ethiopians against Police Brutality Turns Violent

Friday, May 1st, 2015

A peaceful protest against police brutality by Israelis of Ethiopian lineage turned violent Thursday night when the demonstrators marched on the official residence of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Police used water cannons and stun grenades to disperse several hundred people who posed a threat to security at “Paris Square,” one mile from downtown Jerusalem. At least two police officers and five protesters were hospitalized in the melee, with demonstrators throwing rocks and bottles at police.

The Ethiopian community in enraged after footage emerged earlier this week of policeman beating a soldier from the Ethiopian community for no apparent reason. Original reports said he was told to clear the area because of a suspicious object.

Netanyahu stated Thursday night:

I unequivocally condemn the striking of the soldier from the Ethiopian community and those responsible will be brought to justice but nobody has the right to take the law into their own hands.

Immigrants from Ethiopia and their families are dear to us and Israel is making great efforts to ease their integration in society.

The two police officers who this week beat the soldier, who was wearing a kippa, face suspension, but that does little to reinforce trust in the law enforcement agency that has been rocked by sex scandals and has a reputation for beating up people, especially Jews, and even more so if they are religious or are settlers.

The video of the police assault showed two police officers hitting him mercilessly for two minutes on a street in Holon, adjacent to Tel Aviv. Somehow, the reported suspicious object evaporated from their agenda or simply was a fabrication.

Police brutality is a disease that exists around the world. Just ask the mayors of Ferguson, Illinois and Baltimore.

There was no indication that the police beat up the soldier because he was Ethiopian. Perhaps it was because he was wearing a kippa. Or perhaps it was because the policemen simply found an opportunity to hyperventilate.

Lacking in last night’s protest were settlers, Hareidim, national religious and secular Jews, leftists and right-wing Jews, and Arabs, all of whom have been victims of police brutality.

The protest also had no responsible leader who would have known better than to present a security threat to the Prime Minister’s residence.

The fact that almost all of the protesters were of Ethiopian descent underlined the feeling of racism, although Israeli police do not discriminate between race, creed and color when it comes to brutality.

Some of the protesters showed signs that they can be no less violent than police, with the leader of the Campaign for Equality for Ethiopian Jews telling Yediot Acharonot, “Apparently the streets of Israel must burn like they do in Baltimore, in order for someone to finally wake up. The apartheid regime is back, this time in 21st-century Israel.”

There is no doubt that the Ethiopian community suffers prejudice from some sectors in Israel, especially the elite Ashkenazi power-brokers.

But they are not singled out by the police, and Netanyahu has the chance to reform the police by appointing a Minister of Public Security who, unlike the outgoing minister, who wants to protect the public from investigations of crime and plain ineptitude.

Below is the video of the police attack on the soldier.

98 Cops Hurt in Baltimore, Violence Spreads to US Cities

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

The last evening service at Agudath Israel in Baltimore will start on time at 9:30 pm again Thursday evening, in deference to the curfew that city hall and police hope will keep the peace.

There were concerns about renewed violence late Thursday afternoon after CNN quoted a report by WJLA claiming that Freddie Gray’s neck was broken when his head hit the back of a police van in which he was riding after arrest. The information allegedly came from the Medical Examiner’s report that was leaked to the station.

Up to that point, city officials had been hoping for another march by protesters and what civil activists had been calling another night of “peace.”

At least 98 police officers were hurt in the past week, 43 of them seriously, in violence over the mystery of Gray’s injuries while in custody and his subsequent death. On Thursday, 106 people were released from custody after being arrested during violent rioting.

Malik Shabazz, the former head of the new Black Panther Party is involved in organizing the protests in Baltimore, Fox News reported Thursday. Since Tuesday police have been enforcing a 10 pm curfew that lasts until 5 am in the city. The National Guard — 2,000 troops — and 1,000 supplemental police officers from neighboring counties are providing additional support as well.

But across the United States the protests and civil unrest are spreading – again – as unidentified professional agitators add fuel to the fire, possibly with the encouragement of the “National Action Network” headed by Rev. Al Sharpton.

On Monday, Sharpton appeared in Baltimore and issued a statement that was later posted on his organization’s website. In the statement, Sharpton vowed to schedule a two-day march in May from Baltimore to Washington, “to bring the case of Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Eric Harris to the new Attorney General, Loretta Lynch. Ms. Lynch, in her new role that we all supported, must look and intervene in these cases,” Sharpton contended. “Justice delayed is justice denied.”

http://nationalactionnetwork.net/press/statement-from-rev-al-sharpton-on-the-death-of-freddie-gray-and-his-response-to-requests-for-involvement-in-the-case/

Sharpton insisted that the Freddie Gray case “is not just a Baltimore problem” and said, “It is from Staten Island to Ferguson to North Charleston to Charleston, to here – and we’ve been involved in all of them.”

Speaking at a luncheon in Baltimore, he broadened the focus, adding, “There must be a national response to a national issue.”

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake also appeared at that event, but unlike Sharpton, she promised those in attendance there would be justice. “If we can’t get justice in a town with a black mayor, a black police commissioner and a black state prosecutor, where in America do you think you are going to find it?” she asked.

One wonders about the effect of statements such as those by prominent civil rights leaders like Al Sharpton in spreading the violence to other cities.

In Ferguson, Missouri, violence was again reignited Wednesday night and store owners found themselves clearing up the wreckage of their businesses on Thursday morning. Businessman Sonny Dayan told CNN it was the fourth time the windows to his place had been smashed and his store looted since November 24, 2004.

In New York City, police prepared ahead of time and greeted protesters with flyers as they gathered at Union Square Wednesday evening. The papers provided the protesters with information about the laws, telling them exactly what was permissible and what was not, and what the consequences would be for violating the law. More than 100 would-be rioters were subsequently arrested in the Big Apple as thousands tried to pour into the streets and block traffic, but mostly failed.

From Segregation to Confrontation – No Nostalgia for Baltimore

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

The riots in Baltimore are symptomatic of a world-wide disease that has been spreading for decades: Violence.

I have good memories of a good life in the Golden Ghetto where I grew up in Baltimore but I have no nostalgia, not for the Orioles, not for the peace and quiet in our white-only and Jewish-only neighborhood, not for segregation, not for our black maid and not for integration.

Not even for the Orioles when they beat the Dodgers in the World Series, believe it or not.

Yes, I did write “segregation.” Before 1954, when the Supreme Court ruled against school segregation in the Plessy vs. Ferguson suit, I never questioned the practice. What do you want from an eight-year-old?

Those were the days of law and order, but the deep white hatred of blacks in the south was superior to the rule of law, and it took years of protest marches and the assassination of Martin Luther King before integration in school was accepted.

Jews in my youth in Baltimore, like elsewhere in the Diaspora, always were worried about being politically and socially acceptable. The rabbis, especially the modern Orthodox, Conservative and Reform leaders, always spoke out for the blacks, the same people who rented from Jewish slumlords and worked for minimum wages from Jewish employers who were lucky if their employees showed up for work without being drunk.

Our rabbi marched in Washington in a huge rally for integration. Somehow, he always managed to connect it to the Torah.

Listening to King, one would think that God told the whites in the south, “Let my black people go.” That is what happens when Jews desecrate the Torah to co-exist with non-Jews.

Those were the days of the Limousine Liberals, the rich Jews who were in favor of integration, on condition that it was not in their neighborhood.

Those were the days of peaceful protests. They worked.

Today, they don’t.

There were many blacks in my high school class who studied hard, went to university and became part of the “haves.” Many remained with the have-nots.

When the United States declared “war on terror” after the 9/11 attacks, it was a bit late. It should have started years before and should have been called a war on violence., because violence has been working for decades.

Everyone can come up with his or her own reasons for excuse – liberalism, social media, television, movies and drugs, among others.

Underneath all of them is the undercurrent of “gimme, and if you don’t “gimme,” I will kill you.

Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens has been seen all cross America this week for his rant against violence:

No way. No way. No way can this happen in our city. No. Young kids you got to understand something, get off the streets.

Violence is not the answer. Violence has never been the answer. Freddie Gray, we don’t do nothing for him doing this….

You don’t have any right to do what you’re doing to this city. Too many hard-working people build this city… We know what’s going on. We know the problems. We know there was wrong done. We know we’re not getting the right justice. We know all these answers.

But rioting in our streets is wrong. It’s dead wrong.

 

Lewis is speaking of values. He stated, “It takes a whole village to raise one child. We have to redefine what this looks like. We have to redefine what rebuilding Baltimore looks like. Cause there’s too many people putting real sweat, real tears to make our city a better place.”

His values are not “their” values. “Their” values are violence. “Gimme or violence, take your pick.”

‘Baltimore, We’ve Got Your Back’ in New York

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

A scheduled “peaceful” demonstration of “support” for the family of the late Freddie Gray in New York City’s Union Square on Wednesday morphed into a flood in the street of marching protesters chanting, “We’ve got your back, Baltimore.”

But New York’s Finest were ahead of them, having prepared hours earlier for the event.

Police even distributed flyers at the demonstration warning they would arrest protesters who walked in the streets instead of on the sidewalks and tried to block traffic or other wise disrupt the daily life of the city.

Within the hour, NYPD officers were arresting protesters who poured into the streets of the city, refusing to stay within the designated areas and instead insisting on marching down the streets and blocking traffic.

Unlike the tolerance allowed to protesters after the Eric Garner death in Staten Island, NYPD officers immediately arrested those who stepped into the street. They also set up mesh fences along the curbs of both sides of the streets to keep the mobs from stepping off the sidewalks.

Protesters also reportedly marched in Boston, Washington and other cities across the U.S., according to numerous media.

Baltimore City Curfew Helps Taper Off Riots

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

A 10 pm curfew and strong show of force by thousands of security personnel Tuesday night helped restore order to most of the city, and put an end to riots in Baltimore.

At least one Jewish business owner faced near-total ruin Tuesday night; Harvey Levy of the Baltimore suburb of Reisterstown responded to an alarm and saw his sports store had been damaged and emptied by rioters.

The Agudath Israel synagogue also posted a notice on its door warning congregants its final evening service of the night would be held at 9:30 pm due to the 10 pm curfew.

Two of the three city’s home games between the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox were postponed; a third, scheduled for Wednesday, is to be played at Camden Yards in a historic “first” televised game with an entirely empty stadium. No fans are allowed into the stadium due to security considerations.

The Baltimore police department managed to finally contain thousands of rioters throughout the city by the wee hours of Wednesday morning, with the help of some 2,000 National Guard troops, 1,000 supplemental police officers from neighboring counties and 2,000 civilian volunteers.

Users on Twitter and other social networking sites have been comparing the situation in Baltimore to that in Israel, whose security forces must contend with similar issues in her cities, albeit with Arabs instead of rioting city residents hoping for anarchy.

The situation in the United States, in fact, appears to be developing a parallel process in many ways similar to the Arab intifada that is faced by Israel every few years.

More than 235 arrests were made in Baltimore in the past 24 hours At least 20 police officers were injured, including one who remains in critical condition. The force has been forced to decide how and when to use increased riot control measures such as tear gas, smoke canisters and other security options; issues also confronted by Israel.

An alleged alliance between three national gangs — the Black Guerrillas, the Crips and the Bloods — was formally denied on Tuesday in a statement by the gang members who said the supposed agreement to “take out” Baltimore police was untrue. Gang members were later seen towards sunset organizing into a secondary buffer line spreading out between protesters and police.

Baltimore mother Toya Graham became the most well-known personality in the city on Tuesday: the single mother of six was seen in a video flashed around the Internet chastising her 16-year-old son after spotting him on television among rioters wearing a black face mask. Graham was seen ripping the mask from her son and smacking him around the face and shoulders while chasing and scolding him, forcing him to leave the riots and come home with her. Many news groups and Internet users informally dubbed her “Mother of the Year.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/baltimore-city-curfew-helps-taper-off-riots/2015/04/29/

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