June 22, 2000
As I write this, the number of women claiming to have been attacked during the June 11 wilding spree in New York City's Central Park has risen to 53, while the number of perpetrators has fluctuated from an estimated 60 at one point, to 33, and presently back up to 42. Nineteen men have so far been arrested, one of whom was eventually cleared and released from custody. Amidst the charges and counter-charges that have flown back and forth, one has been notable by its absence: That the attacks were racially motivated. Race is the 800-pound gorilla no one wants to talk about. But all the tiptoeing around it merely underscores its ubiquity.
Yesterday, police arrested Alexander Eraide, of Queens, and a 15-year-old youth whom they refused to identify, in the attacks. Thus do they join the following list:
- Dellon Evans, 17, Queens
- Tremayne Bain, 23, Brooklyn
- David Rowe, 24, Hempstead, L.I.
- Steven Burt, 32, Jersey City, N.J.
- Isaias Lozado, 19, Queens
- Manuel Vargas, 18, The Bronx
- Imanuel Nunez, 18, The Bronx
- John Taylor, 24, Far Rockaway, Queens
- Jason Commissiong, 20, Brooklyn
- David Garcia, The Bronx
- Roberto Camacho, 18, Inwood, Long Island
- Julio de la Cruz, 22, North Bergen, N.J.
- Isaiah Forbes, 18, Queens
- Marc Daniels, 21, Irivington, N.J.
- Leslie Marcano, 19, The Bronx
- Jensen Soto, 16, Brooklyn
- Trevor Britton, 29, Brooklyn
- Lonnie Hopson, Rockaway Beach, Queens
Every single one of the 33 suspects -- those under arrest, as well as those still at large -- is black or Hispanic. A decisive majority is black. (Odd, considering the event was Puerto Rican.) So naturally, the first New York Times dispatch spoke of an "excess of testosterone." Had a white mob set upon black women, we would be hearing about many things, but testosterone would not be one of them. And in the case of a white mob, the Times would not have initially refused to publish the photographs of suspects still at large that the police had released, along with a plea by Police Commissioner Howard Safir for help from the public in bringing the suspects to justice. It must have been short on space that day. The "newspaper of record" only deigned to publish the photographs after every other New York daily already had.
At this point, the story is that the men went on a wilding spree from about 2:00 p.m. until 6:30 or so, in broad daylight, in a park full of tens of thousands of visitors, with a thousand or so police officers within shouting distance (4,000 of New York's Finest, or ten percent of the entire department, were on hand for that day's Puerto Rican Day Parade). The perpetrators sprayed women with water, before proceeding to rob them, rip their clothes off of their bodies, grope their genitalia, and in several cases, manually rape them (forcing their fingers into unwilling women's vaginas). In the case of a French couple visiting the city, the mob held down the husband, who could see half-a-dozen members strip his wife naked, and then take turns jamming their fingers into her.
Immediately after the first arrests on Sunday, of Tremayne Bain and David Rowe, we heard Bain and Rowe's families and friends protest that it couldn't be them. We have since heard many such protests.
Some Hispanic leaders -- led by Bronx Borough President Fernando "Freddy" Ferrer -- were quick to condemn the attacks, and to call on all New Yorkers, but especially Hispanic New Yorkers, to cooperate with the police to help bring the perpetrators to justice.
Not surprisingly, initially no black leaders made similar pronouncements. Then, five days after the attacks, on June 17, the Rev. Al Sharpton, seeing which way the winds were blowing, denounced the attacks, and announced that he would be holding men-only teach-ins on the proper respect for the female of the species. However, neither Sharpton, who on June 13 announced a dubious lawsuit, nor any other black leader, ever called on "the community" to help bring the malefactors to justice.
Why, you might ask, should black leaders make such pronouncements? Because the attacks had a clearly racial character; they continued a history of racial attacks on white women; and because black leaders are well aware of the tradition among many blacks (including perhaps a majority of black New Yorkers) of celebrating attacks on white women, they reflected on all black New Yorkers.
Feminist organizations were quick to protest. NOW, in particular, organized a protest on Sunday, June 18, in which its supporters attacked ... the police!
To a Martian, or someone unfamiliar with feminist organizations' craven cowardice in response to racist assaults on white women, attacking the police instead of the perpetrators, might seem evidence of mass psychosis. The problem for NOW is, that none -- as in zero -- of the perpetrators was white. After all, feminist organizations complain always of "privileged, white, heterosexual male behavior," especially in the comfort of college campuses. Had one of the 60 thugs been white, NOW could have singled him out for its wrath. Unfortunately, no "privileged, white, heterosexual males" had had the decency to accommodate feminists by attacking at least one white female. As recent history has shown, a black man could rape, murder, and dismember a white woman, and write a note calling for "death to all white bitches," and no feminist organization would decry black racism.
Feminists see themselves in alliance with black and Hispanic groups, an alliance that has been profitable in terms of power, propaganda, lucrative lawsuits, set-aside programs and discriminatory policies favoring women. However, it has also exacted a terrible price. For while white women have stuck to the bargain, blacks -- who have profited as much from it as the white women have -- have not. And so, blacks (especially black women) -- civilians and leaders alike -- routinely stab feminists in the back, by celebrating black violence against white women, whether in supporting wife-beater and wife-butcher O.J. Simpson, and cheering his 1996 acquittal of killing his wife, Nicole (since Ron Goldman was to feminists a non-person, he never entered into their calculations); by not only turning the young black men who gang-raped and beat almost to death a young woman in the 1989 Central Park Jogger case into folk heroes, but in engaging in a year-long campaign of public vilification against their victim; and in refraining from any criticism of the men who attacked white women on June 11, while roundly condemning the majority-white police force.
Every time such an assault takes place, white feminists are forced to eat crow by blacks' -- especially black women's -- embrace of the attackers. And white feminists have proved yet again -- as they did through their unflinching support of serial sexual abuser Bill Clinton -- that there is no depth to which they will not sink, to avoid criticizing those whom they perceive to be their political allies.
Virtually all of the victims were white. At a protest sponsored by the National Organization of Women last Sunday, seven days after the attacks, Rep. Carolyn Maloney proclaimed that, "these victims were different ages, different races and countries, but they were all women and that singled them out for these attacks."
Wrong, Congresswoman Maloney. To my knowledge, all but one of the victims were white. The exception was Brooklynite Jasmine Gonzalez, 25, who is Hispanic. Gonzalez has also charged that officers from whom she sought help ignored her. Gonzalez, who has produced a blood-stained Puerto Rican flag that she says she used to stab one of her would-be attackers, has cooperated with police.
At the NOW event, leaders of NOW and other feminist organizations spent most of their time excoriating the police, rather than the criminals, for the rampage. The majority of NYPD officers are white; upper-middle-class, white feminists do not fear white men, but live in terror of black men.
Some Hispanic feminists at the rally denounced "machismo," apparently unaware that it is the tradition of machismo that leads Hispanic men to go to the aid of women under attack in numbers wildly disproportionate to men from all other ethnic groups in New York. The lack of machismo does not lead to a reduction in attacks on women, but to a reduction of feelings of the obligation to protect women from attacks.
NOW President Patricia Ireland released a statement arguing, "A woman should not have to plead with local law enforcement to be protected from vicious, gender-based violence. The recent horrendous attacks in New York City's Central Park and the reports of outrageous police indifference must spur political action. Congress must pass the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act to extend hate crimes protection to women and pass the reauthorization and expansion of the Violence Against Women Act.
"The Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act would improve access to federal resources to assist local and state law enforcement officials in better investigating and prosecuting bias-related crimes. It would also extend coverage to gender, sexual orientation and disability, and eliminate the requirement that the victim be engaged in a federally protected activity such as voting. The Violence Against Women Act would fund training for police and other law enforcement and court personnel, among other things.
"Conservative members of Congress are sitting in Washington tossing around rhetoric while every day women across the country face gender-based violence," Ireland said. "The Central Park attacks have received national attention, but the problem remains."
"Perhaps with enhanced resources and training, police on the scene in Central Park would have been better equipped to respond immediately to allegations of sexual assaults in progress.
So, the answer is to burn the Constitution, and make sexual attacks on women (but NOT sexual attacks on men) federal "hate crimes." Since the Central Park attackers were all black and Hispanic, and blacks and Hispanics are in practice routinely exempted from prosecution under hate crimes statutes, Ireland's demands would have had no effect on the Central Park attackers. (Her incongruous reaction is reminiscent of Vice-President Gore's recent announcement that the shooting of seven youngsters by the son of a gang enforcer in the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., showed the need for mandating trigger locks on all guns.) Indeed, it was the pressure exerted by groups like NOW, in concert with minority politicians, against enforcing existing laws against black and Hispanic lawbreakers, that caused the fear and institutionalized restraint of police in Central Park. Police let the mob "vent," to avoid the sort of racial confrontations that NOW and its feminist allies have always supported. Thus, it is NOW and other feminist organizations who bear a large part of the responsibility for what transpired in Central Park.
The only point I can see in Ireland's proposal is as a source for soft, federal patronage jobs for middle-class women -- "training."
I sought to broach these issues with the folks at NOW. Val Henning, of NOW's press office, told me that, "The only people at NOW allowed to speak for the organization are those elected by the people" -- President Patricia Ireland, and executive vice-presidents Kim Gandy and Karen Johnson. Henning, who was unfailingly polite, then called back, asking "what constituency does Toogood Reports serve?" I answered, "I really wouldn't know," thinking to myself that I had always written for an "audience" of everyone who could read the language I was writing in at the moment, not for a "constituency.
That was the last I heard from NOW.
At NOW's protest last Sunday, its leaders heaped scorn on the NYPD. Of course, the cops did it. They put guns to those young black and Hispanic men's heads, and forced them to attack all those white women. Most feminists have damned the NYPD for its inadequate response to the wilding. But for the last couple of years, whenever black activists damned the NYPD for being too aggressive, New York feminists either dutifully performed their role as black supremacists' amen corner, or at the very least maintained a respectful silence.
In the most celebrated case of "police brutality," that of the shooting death of Amadou Diallo, the four officers who tragically but accidentally shot Diallo were looking for the most brazen serial rapist in the city's history. The women of the Bronx were in a state of understandable hysteria, and everyone in The Bronx demanded action.
All this was conveniently forgotten, the moment the first of the "41 shots" whizzed in Amadou Diallo's direction. The most notable cases of amnesia were the collective cases of the good people of The Bronx, and of New York feminists, respectively. The Bronxites immediately remembered that they hated cops more than they did serial rapists. And white feminists immediately remembered that they hated whomever "minorities" hated, including white feminists.
Three weeks after the Diallo shooting, police arrested Isaac Jones, for possession of property robbed from one of the victims of the Bronx Rapist, the worst serial rapist in New York history. On April 7, a relieved Isaac Jones confessed to being the Bronx Rapist, who had committed 39 rapes, dozens of armed robberies, and sundry other crimes against 51 different women over the previous five years.
Isaac Clark closely resembled Amadou Diallo, and even lived in Diallo's Soundview neighborhood in The Bronx. But instead of praising the police for protecting women, feminists damned "the job" for fictitious "racial profiling." Feminists' loyalty was with just the sort of thugs who would rampage through Central Park on June 11. And let me tell you, the feminists are shocked.
Hearing me speak constantly of white female victims, you may be asking, But what about the two black victims? To which I say, What black victims?
In less than 48 hours, Ashanna Cover and Josina Lawrence, of Somerset, New Jersey, were able to round up a high-priced attorney, get the most high-profile "civil rights" leader in the nation on their side, file a multimillion-dollar lawsuit, and hold a press conference. But somehow, they never found the time to cooperate with the police.
On Tuesday, June 13, Ashanna Cover and Josina Lawrence announced that they were suing the City of New York for $5 million each for its failure to protect them. At their press conference, Cover and Lawrence were accompanied by their spokesman, none other than the Rev. Al Sharpton, racial arsonist and hoaxster extraordinaire. By Wednesday, the NYPD brass said it was already poking holes in the two women's stories. (Radical attorney and radio host Ron Kuby was quick to point out that due to legal technicalities, none of the lawsuits by women claiming to have been ignored by police will have any legal standing.)
Having Al Sharpton as one's spokesman automatically brings with it a credibility problem. When the NYPD brass sought to interview the women, and have them look through mug shots of all the officers on duty in the area where the women said the first two cops they encountered brushed them off, the women refused to cooperate. Shades of Tawana Brawley.
When Al Sharpton's most famous charge claimed, in 1987, to have been gang-raped by a group of off-duty state police troopers in Dutchess County, he instructed her to refuse to cooperate with law enforcement officials. Brawley couldn't cooperate, because she hadn't been raped! Neither by troopers nor by anyone else.
Criminals are creatures of habit. When I hear the same m.o. used by the same "mope," over twelve years later, a light goes on in my head. Besides, who ever heard of a real crime victim refusing to cooperate with the police?
I didn't see any black women on the videotapes so far released to the public. None of the other victims or witnesses has identified Cover or Lawrence. Neither Cover nor Lawrence has identified any attackers who assaulted them, nor any of the police officers whom they insist refused to help them. Can you say, "Quick, sealed, tax-free, cash settlement"? Since they haven't filed a police report, they can't be charged with perjury, filing a false report, or obstruction of justice. And no one has been charged with fraud for bringing a false civil case in the State of New York since Lincoln was president. And even if Cover and Lawrence were to file charges, there is an unwritten rule in New York, according to which black females instigating racial hoaxes are released from any obligation to obey the law. Just ask Tawana.
Personally, I'd like Ashanna Cover and Josina Lawrence to prove that they were anywhere near the island of Manhattan on the day of the attacks, before hearing any more from them.
As far as I can see, we have here a case in which dozens of white women were assaulted, and robbed of their dignity, because of the color of their skin, and two black women who want to get paid, based on the color of their skin.
If feminist leaders responded to the wilding with demagoguery, most black leaders preferred silence. The same leaders who for the past two years had never missed an opportunity to excoriate the NYPD (read: Rudy Giuliani), and blame it for an imaginary campaign of "racial profiling" against black men and boys, felt no outrage against the Central Park wolfpack. Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, and Harlem councilmen David Paterson and Bill Perkins, and worst of all, once gracious -- turned-vindictive ex-Mayor David N. Dinkins, so quick to attack Mayor Giuliani in the past, were silent. That these elected leaders did not attack Giuliani, is due to his having withdrawn from the Senate race against Lady Hillary! They have nothing to gain against a sick, lame-duck mayor, even if he is a white, male Republican. That black leaders did not condemn the violence is because New York's black leaders do not lead, but rather follow the mob. That's one of the main reasons -- George Will notwithstanding -- that race relations are so bad in New York, and elsewhere, too.
Many black folks will tell you the Central Park case is all about "race," but not the way I mean race. Take Mrs. Hattie Bryant. Please. Mrs. Bryant's son, Anthony, was wanted for the attacks, and turned himself in last week. And Mrs. Bryant knows why: "He's big and he's black." That's why they arrested him. He should sue everybody, starting with New York's Finest.
While he's at it, Anthony Bryant had better sue the amateur videographer who taped him at the scene of the crime, so that the police would know to seek him, as opposed to any other randomly chosen "big, black man." And he'd better sue the crime victim who positively identified him as one of her attackers. And most importantly, he'd better be sure to sue, and press criminal charges, as well, against the detectives who figured out that the crime victim had misidentified her attacker, whom the detectives said bore a striking resemblance to Bryant, and who had at one point stood next to him as the two passed each other at the crime scene, going in opposite directions.
Either Dave Goldiner and Edward Lewine, the Daily News reporters who spoke with Hattie Bryant, forgot to write her expressions of sympathy for the 50 white female victims, or their editors deleted those expressions from the reporters' final copy. But one thing the reporters and editors remembered to include was Hattie Bryant's verdict on guilt in the attacks: "The cops were the ones that was wrong. They shouldn't have turned their backs on the people."
The cops did it. Got it?
Hattie Bryant's criticism was echoed by Pat Taylor, the mother of arrested suspect John Taylor. Taylor is charged not with having touched any of the women (though he admits having thrown water on some of them), but rather with having been part of a gang that trapped one of the assault victims. Taylor was charged based on the legal principle of "acting in concert," whereby someone who helps a group commit crimes, and does nothing to stop it, is just as guilty as the group's most aggressive member. Mrs. Taylor's response was, "You're holding my son accountable for what the police shoulda did?"
It is understandable that Mrs. Taylor should look askance at the notion of "acting in concert," for it, too is one of many legal principles that are only "supposed to" be applied to white folks. In 1989, when a white mob cornered black teenager Yusuf Hawkins in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, and a member of the mob, Joey Fama, shot and killed Hawkins, many members of the mob were initially charged under the principle of "acting in concert." At the time, black New Yorkers couldn't get enough of "acting in concert," because it was never used against blacks.
I have lived in New York City for 15 years; during most of that time, racist black-on-white attacks have been an everyday affair. I have fought off, endured, or bluffed my way out of several such black mob attacks myself. And yet, only in one trivial case have I heard of blacks being charged with bias crimes against whites, and until the Central Park rampage, I had never heard of blacks being charged with having acted in concert.
Yesterday, a Manhattan grand jury maintained that tradition, refusing to take action against John Taylor.
Eric Adams is one black leader who was not afraid to speak out on Central Park. Adams explained that Rudy Giuliani had caused the riot, due to the Mayor's cuts in after-school programs and summer jobs. Adams ignored the fact that the economy is so flush, that jobs in businesses are wanting for workers this summer. And what on earth would after-school programs have to offer hardened street thugs, most of whom had stopped going to school many years ago?
But what do I know? Eric Adams is an expert on race. An NYPD lieutenant, and founder and head of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care (as opposed to "100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Don't Care"), a few years ago, Adams criticized City University of New York Board of Trustees Chairman Herman Badillo for not having married "his own kind." Badillo, who is Puerto Rican, had had the temerity to fall in love with, and marry a Jew. (The Badillos enjoyed a long, happy marriage that unfortunately ended with Mrs. Badillo's tragic death from cancer a couple of years after Eric Adams' attack.)
Recently, a veteran NYPD officer told me of when Adams became an NYPD supervisor. Adams had a black, female subordinate. A single mother, the woman used to bring her small child to the office. All was well, until Adams found out that the child's father was white, whereupon he forbade the woman from bringing the child to the office any more. White NYPD officers have been terminated for much less.
And as late as two years ago, Eric Adams demanded that a federal civil rights investigation be opened on the Tawana Brawley case. Not to investigate, and possibly charge Brawley with making a false police report, and obstruction of justice. Rather, Adams was still insisting that Brawley had been raped! But what do I know? Eric Adams is the race expert.
But keep this in mind: Since Rudolph Giuliani's first election victory, in 1993, black supremacist Eric Adams has been one of the most influential, and certainly the most persistent voice calling for the handcuffing of the NYPD, or at least of white NYPD officers, and undermining morale on "the job," as New York cops call police work. When police were aggressive, Adams was the first to damn them. And when they backed off, he was, again, the first to damn them. Adams said that any NYPD officer who didn't respond immediately to reports of the Central Park wilding "should be terminated." This is the same Eric Adams who has demanded that black officers who fail drug tests NOT be terminated.
Adams must be pretty confident either that no black cops are in danger of being disciplined for the Central Park attacks, or that he has the muscle to prevent black cops from being disciplined.
The only major community leader to show any public virtue in response to the attacks was Bronx Borough President Fernando "Freddy" Ferrer, who condemned the attacks three days after they occurred:
"The sexual attacks on women in Central Park, Sunday, June 11, were hideous, vicious, depraved and dehumanizing.
"As a New Yorker, a Puerto Rican, a husband and a father, I am outraged by these crimes. There is no possible rationale for this kind of animal behavior. I am equally outraged by press reports that New Yorkers seeking help from police were ignored during the commission of these crimes.
"We must use all the tools at our disposal to see that the perpetrators of these despicable acts answer to society for this mindless rampage.
"Public officials have a responsibility to speak out and condemn these heinous crimes and urge anyone with with knowledge of them to step forward to see that justice is done for the victims....
"Our city has been stained and degraded by these events, and public officials must bear the responsibility to rectify and heal, as much as humanely possible, the tremedous physical and psychological scars that the victims have suffered.
"These events should shock the conscience of every New Yorker, whatever their heritage, and especially shock Puerto Ricans and Latinos, because these crimes were committed during the very day New Yorkers were celebrating the hard work, the sacrifices and the contributions we have made to our society.
That's called leadership.
At the same press conference on Wednesday, June 14, Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez, who heads the Hispanic Federation, affirmed, "When the leaders of a community say, 'Not in my house you won't,' it's a very powerful message.
On the black side, we got Al Sharpton initiating a lawsuit, and Eric Adams blaming Mayor Giuliani.
On Friday, June 16, Sharpton announced that he would lead male-only teach-ins on the need to respect women, but that was just his fine sense kicking in of when it's time to jump on the bandwagon. Make no mistake: It's Freddy Ferrer's bandwagon; Rev. Al is just along for the ride.
Granted, Ferrer has not given up on his dream of becoming New York's first Puerto Rican mayor. In recent years, he has lost some intra-Hispanic political skirmishes in The Bronx, the point of which still eludes me, and more to the point, lost a number of journalistic patrons. While I am sure that Ferrer's political hopes motivated him to take his stand, had he followed the worn script of recent New York minority politics, he would have engaged in race-baiting demagoguery, instead of moral leadership.
A correction of the reporting on Ferrer's statement is necessary. On Friday, June 16, Daily News reporter Martin Mbugua wrote "At a press conference in Central Park on Wednesday, Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer said the 'mindless, dehumanizing attacks' fit the definition of hate crimes." When I asked Ferrer's press secretary, Javier Gomez, about the "hate crimes" statement, Gomez said that Ferrer wasn't talking about the Central Park rampage at all, but rather about a knife attack by a group of Hispanics on four Hasidim the night before the parade that left one Hasid in critical condition. While it's possible that Gomez was spinning the story, since I've caught Mbugua misrepresenting a story in the past, and have no history with Gomez, I'm willing to give the latter the benefit of the doubt this time.
Gomez responded to the charges by police of a double-standard at Hispanic and black ethnic parades, "Actually, it is our understanding that there is no double-standard, when it comes to police presence. The Borough President is very disturbed by press reports that police ignored victims, and has called for those allegations to be aggressively investigated. We don't want anyone to be discouraged from attending the parade in future years or next year. We definitely expect alternative measures next year, just to ensure that everything runs smoothly. But the Puerto Rican Day parade is a family event, and what happened Sunday is a disgrace."
The moment I heard about the June 11 attacks, I thought of another wilding attack, on April 19, 1989, which until the new attacks had been the most notorious such incident in the city's history. That would be the Central Park Jogger case, in which a white woman was beaten almost to death, and while unconscious, gang-raped by a black and Hispanic gang led by then 15-year-old Yusuf Salaam. (The main players, however, were black.) That case also was not treated as a racial case by the media or the authorities. The rapists were all convicted and served lengthy prison terms.
After the June 11 attacks, veteran police officers told reporters at the New York Times, New York Post, and Daily News that a racial double-standard obtains, whereby officers working the Puerto Rican Day parade and black (Labor Day weekend) West Indian Day parade are ordered to ignore the open drinking of alcohol and smoking of marijuana, so as to avoid conflicts with "minorities," even as they are pressured to engage in extreme vigilance during the St. Patrick's Day parade.
The most thorough report by far of such charges was conducted by the Daily News. Reporters Maki Becker, Bill Egbert, Tara George, Melissa Grace and Roberto Santiago fanned out immediately after the parade, and found 28 different officers from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx who would speak to them, albeit under condition of anonymity. Officers contended that in contrast to the rigorous enforcement at the St. Patrick's Day Parade, "a softer tone has been taken at ethnic events like the National Puerto Rican Day and the West Indian Day parades, where public drinking and marijuana smoking produce more warnings than arrests.
"A 38-year-old officer based in The Bronx said his bosses normally are more concerned with parades running smoothly than antagonizing revelers by enforcing misdemeanors. 'I've seen people smoking weed at the Caribbean Day parade, and they [the bosses] say lay off doing anything,' he said. 'They just want things to run smoothly."
In his June 15 column, Daily News writer Stanley Crouch, one of the only black writers in New York to frequently defend the NYPD against charges of racism, particularly in the Amadou Diallo case, wrote, "Some cops have said they have been told to handle the Puerto Rican and West Indian parades differently from others to avoid conflicts that could result in negative political consequences.
"There is, of course, a departmental investigation going on to find out whether the charges of deliberate inaction are true. If so, heads should roll.
"Even more disturbing, however, is the idea that anybody in a position of authority would tell cops to go soft on crime because 'those people' might start rioting. Any commanders responsible for such policies should be dismissed immediately. They truly don't get it."
And yet, this is the same department that was charged, in a report that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released five days after the Central Park attacks, with the engaging in the "racial profiling" of blacks and Hispanics. The Orwellian report even claimed that the Amadou Diallo case, in which the four officers involved were acquitted of any wrongdoing, was a case of racial profiling, which would make it a lynching.
As Mayor Giuliani noted, "Once again, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has embarrassed itself by releasing a report that bears no relation to reality. The commission has held only one meeting, conducted over the course of a single day." Last spring, it was revealed that commission chairwoman Mary Frances Berry had donated $250 to Hillary Clinton's senate campaign, which constituted a clear conflict of interest. Berry refused to recuse herself.
And yet, when it comes to press relations, the NYPD tends to be its own worst enemy. For example, when I called about the Central Park case, an officer who identified himself as "Pierre Braun" blew me off with, "The boss said you can't get a statement if you don't have press credentials." In over five years of writing about the NYPD, I'd never needed press credentials to get a statement before; credentials are only issued to a tiny fraction of journalists writing for the largest, most well-connected outfits. So I called a colleague of Braun's with whom I had a good working relationship, and got through to a supervisor, Lt. Biegel, who told me, "The Mayor and the PC [police commissioner] have already responded to that, and we're not putting out any official comment."
I think I've got it. The NYPD, not amateurs, produced the phony videos that made it look as though mobs of black and Hispanic young men were attacking white women. The white women who pressed charges against dozens of men of color were in on the conspiracy against black and Hispanic males, along with the media outlets which published the still photos from the videos. If, in fact, any sexual assaults were carried out, the perpetrators were all "privileged, heterosexual, white males."
Seriously, the charges of racial double-standards at ethnic parades are just the tip of the iceberg. Far from being guilty of "profiling" black and Hispanic men, the NYPD -- and New York prosecutors -- are in fact guilty of giving preferential treatment to Hispanics, and especially, blacks. But this preferential treatment does not occur twice a year, at the Puerto Rican Day and West Indian Day parades. It happens every day of the year.
In January, 1991, I was attacked on a rush hour, Brooklyn-bound Lexington Avenue subway train by a gang of three blacks and two Hispanics. Police who caught most of the gang released them, explaining that with one exception, whom they did arrest, the members they'd caught hadn't punched me, while the one who had done most of the punching had gotten away. "Acting in concert" didn't apply, not in that case nor in a similar one in June, 1993.
A white, NYPD detective I spoke with at the transit bureau that night in January, 1991, acknowledged that the attack was obviously racially motivated, a "bias" crime" as far as New York's laws were concerned, but "there are some things you can't say," due to the political climate. The detective also reported that such racially motivated attacks by blacks against whites occur every single day in New York City.
The media and the city's PR machine notwithstanding, the climate has gotten considerably stormier in the intervening nine-and-a-half years.
Just imagine, if no one had bothered to tape the events in Central Park on June 11.
Originally published in Toogood Reports.