Though Borough Park is quiet after Tuesday night's fire-and-almost brimstone clash between Hasidim and police over the arrest of an old man who did break the law, tempers are still flaring. Arthur Schick, the 75 year old man whose chatting on a cellphone while driving raised police interest, says the officer who pushed him to the ground said, "This is the way we treat a nigger." Schick also felt that the crowds that protested and set fires behaved badly as well. The police, in turn, defended their actions, though Police Commissioner Kelly did say Chief Esposito admitted to swearing while trying to control the situation, (or, as City Councilman Simcha Felder explained, Esposito said something like "I want heads rolling"..."Get the 'F' Jews out of here. Get the 'F' Jews out of here.") but didn't use racial epithets, instead saying something like, "Get these f---ing people out of here." Oh, and the police say that Schick did yell at the police and instigated others, by saying, "See what they're doing to me!" Well, if you're 75 and being shackled by cops, you probably would cause a fuss.
City Councilman Charles Barron offers that there's a double standard, saying, "If that was in a black community there would have been mass arrests and there would have been mass butt-whipping." Steven Weiss at the Canonist has been wondering if the incident has been called a protest, versus a riot, because the people involved were Jews (for the record, Schick did call it a riot).