Stabbing and shooting at 770 Eastern Parkway - Brooklynian

Comments

  • edited December 2014
    From above link:

    "The incident began unfolding at around 1:30am when a Black man entered the synagogue sanctuary in the Lubavitch World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway and confronted a group of young rabbinical students while carrying a large switchblade style knife.

    The man appeared to be disturbed and was visibly agitated according to multiple witnesses. The attacker spoke with the men for a minute when he suddenly pulled out a knife and stabbed one of them in the neck. The victim fled out the main doors of the building and collapsed on the sidewalk in front of 770.

    The victim was identified by friends as 22-year-old Levi Rosenblat, who is from Beitar Ilit, Israel and in the states studying in ‘Kvutzeh’.

    As the victim and witnesses fled the synagogue they called out for help and police officers responded within seconds and confronted the suspect still inside.

    Cellphone video reveals the NYPD police officers exercising extreme restraint, repeatedly ordering the suspect to drop the knife all while he is asking others around him if they “want to die tonight”.

    At one point it appears that the man drops the knife and the incident concludes without any further bloodshed, but as officers move in to take the suspect into custody he quickly lunges for the knife and once again begins threatening officers.

    As the suspect made a move towards police he was shot once in the chest and dropped to the ground. Police then move in an cuff him.

    In the meantime Hatzalah volunteers were outside 770 treating the victim and once the suspect was restrained they were called in to treat the stabber, who was now the victim of a gunshot wound.

    Both victim and assailant were rushed to Kings County Hospital and were both initially listed in critical condition. The victim was later ‘upgraded’ to stable – year still critical – condition. The suspect succumbed to his wounds and died at the hospital.

    The suspect was identified as a 50-year-old man, but his name was being withheld pending his families notification."


    Videos of incident. Warning: Violent, disturbing content






  • edited December 2014
    Needless to say, lots of media is being devoted to this incident:

    "I will kill the Jew! I want to kill the Jew!" a witness heard the attacker yelling as he entered the 24-hour religious center.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/student-stabbed-chabad-lubavitch-crown-heights-article-1.2038761

  • Conflicting reports about whether or not the attacker was shouting "kill the Jew".
  • edited December 2014
    Yes, there are:

    A Chabad spokesman said that witnesses reported that the man said “Kill the Jews” but police said the man might have shouted, “I will kill all of you.” One witness told the Post that the man did not talk about killing Jews.

    http://nypost.com/2014/12/09/cops-shoot-stabbing-suspect-inside-synagogue/
  • Very unfortunate event. Have not watched the video. Do not want to see it. If the comments section of Crown Heights Info is any indication, I hope there are some competent leaders capable of diffusing what seems to be a very tense situation.
  • Indeed.

    I think my most realistic fear is that a vocal minority of Lubavitch members will be successful in making all persons entering 770 EP (or even nearby it) go thru some kind of a security screening.

    Such a screening would destroy what has been a sacred, peaceful place for the long term.
  • Such a screening would destroy what has been a sacred, peaceful place for the long term.
    Destroy is a bit strong a word. Heightened security would be put in place but no one is going to be inspecting every person entering. 

    Parenthetically, whether or not the attacker was saying anything about Jews, the attack was clearly about Jews. He came to a synagogue for the express purpose of killing Jews. No question about that. 
  • edited December 2014
    770 certainly is a very attractive target to people who hate jews, hate religion, want to make the news, etc.

    I find it hard to imagine that it could be effectively secured without destroying what I believe to be the essential aspects of it. As a result, I don't know that the police can (or should) do more than they already are.

    The next Shomrim meeting will likely be filled with very scared people, and tense.

  • One can say that anyone who does something that will get them in the news does it for the purpose of getting themselves in the news. This man allegedly stalked the synagogue earlier in the day and then returned to stab people inside it. Those people are Jews. Having said all that, he was bi-poplar according to NYT and that is also a factor. Still, he didn't go into a church or a mosque. 

    Perhaps a stronger police presence (on foot in front of the building, not just in the station where the officer was sleeping) and also 24 hours. They could also hire private security for 24 hour surveillance. 

    Not sure any of this would destroy anything. I am not quite sure what the reference to "essential aspects are". It is a synagogue. 
  • edited December 2014
    I have also concluded this attack purposely targeted against Jews.

    I suspect that the vast majority of the people who use 770 would welcome an increased police presence.

    As a result of it being a synagogue, I view the presence of security as potentially destroying far more than it would in other locations.

    For example, had this attack happened at Empire Kosher, I would perceive the victims as likely being targeted as a result of being Jewish ....but an increased security presence there does not strike me as potentially having the same impact.

    770 has always struck me as a sacred oasis, a place where there are occasionally heated disagreements between jews, but not violence between jews and non-jews. To me, security would constantly remind people that the outside world is not far away.

    ...that there is no oasis.

    ...that a man was violently stabbed there, and another was killed there.
  • Many holy and unholy spots all over the world have high levels of security. Some of those places you might call an 'oasis' (libraries, religious places, museums, etc.). The heightened security is something people get used to and does not detract from the the 'oasis' to which you refer. 

    Of course, on a universal level security does affect our liberties but that is just the reality of the world we live in. It is not exclusive to religious places. 
  • edited December 2014
    Whether or not the guy was an anti-Semite, I'm far more concerned about how we deal with the crazy in our community. Stopping the crazy should happen way before the guy is walking in the door with a knife. 

    After all, he was crazy in his apartment that morning,he was crazy in the supermarket last week, and he was crazy on the subway, at the park, and as he went through the neighborhood. He didn't snap and go crazy. My guess is that he's been on a long, slow ride to crazytown for a long, long time.

    We need to develop better ways of identifying these folks, getting them treatment and intervening before the guy says "I'm going to pick up a knife today and go kill all of you (or you Jews)" or whatever the hell he was actually doing.

    Putting in metal detectors in 770 is about treating the symptom and not the illness. 
  • edited December 2014
    Update on the victim - His condition has recently deteriorated. He has been placed in an induced coma after doctors discovered internal bleeding that is putting pressure on his brain. He will be undergoing emergency surgery in Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan shortly.
  • edited December 2014
    Many holy and unholy spots all over the world have high levels of security. Some of those places you might call an 'oasis' (libraries, religious places, museums, etc.). The heightened security is something people get used to and does not detract from the the 'oasis' to which you refer. 

    Of course, on a universal level security does affect our liberties but that is just the reality of the world we live in. It is not exclusive to religious places. 
    It makes me sad when places that have not historically had such security, conclude that it is needed.

    It especially bothers me when some religions (or, for that matter, "identities") need it, yet others do not.

    In light of local and world events, I have been impressed that 770 has been as "open" as it has been. I suspect that its pre-Dec 8th status is in light of many people passionately wanting more security, yet others being passionately opposed to it.

    I hope that the latter wins again.
  • edited December 2014
    Whether or not the guy was an anti-Semite, I'm far more concerned about how we deal with the crazy in our community. Stopping the crazy should happen way before the guy is walking in the door with a knife. 

    After all, he was crazy in his apartment that morning, he was crazy in the supermarket last week, and he was crazy on the subway, at the park, and as he went through the neighborhood. He didn't snap and go crazy. My guess is that he's been on a long, slow ride to crazytown for a long, long time.

    We need to develop better ways of identifying these folks, getting them treatment and intervening before the guy says "I'm going to pick up a knife today and go kill all of you (or you Jews)" or whatever the hell he was actually doing.

    Putting in metal detectors in 770 is about treating the symptom and not the illness. 
    Agreed.

    And if I might add, the pendulum seems to have swung too far in the direction of "cost savings" under the guise of preserving "civil liberties".

    I have a hard time believing that our stated motivations match our actual intent.

  • Update on the victim - His condition has recently deteriorated. He has been placed in an induced coma after doctors discovered internal bleeding that is putting pressure on his brain. He will be undergoing emergency surgery in Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan shortly.
    Sorry to hear.

  • when treating a problem, both the symptoms and the underlying causes have to be addressed. it is not an either-or. 

    and, while you guess that he has been the crazytown ride for a long time, that guess may or may not be correct. even if it is correct, no amount of mental health care can prevent someone from snapping and doing something like that (anti-semitic motivations aside). 

    i do agree that i don't like seeing people who's sole motivation is to increase the security apparatus (be it police, military or otherwise) jumping on an opportunity like this. the fact that he was bi-polar is clearly a factor and, in my opinion, does not warrant turning the synagogue into a full scale fort-knox. 
  • edited December 2014
    The overlap between criminal activity and mental illness has always been large. I think it is safe to say it was in his case:

    "Police say Peters was emotionally disturbed and had a documented history of mental illness. He had been arrested 19 times since 1982, most recently in 2006 for drugs."

    http://crownheights.info/chabad-news/463328/identity-of-770-attacker-revealed/#comments

    I am with you, I do not want to live in a world where we are always prepared for the worst. I have grown cynical of security.

    I view a lot of it as theater, and feel there are far better places we could be spending our resources.
  • also, to homeowner, if you wish to approach it from the root cause, it would be a mistake to only look at the mental illness. plenty of mentally ill don't kill. and plenty more that do, don't target jews. 

    if you want to peel away the layers, and it needs to be done, you can't pick a convenient place to stop. the layers are many and complex and very real. 
  • Gun owning jew here.

    What pisses me off is that all police aren't equipped with non lethal ways of subduing perps (tasers, pepper spray) . If this was a "sane" guy looking to murder, I'd cheer this ending. But sounds like he's unstable and that makes this unfortunate all the way around.
  • edited December 2014
    agreed.

    Tasers seem to hold the most promise in these situations, but are by no means perfect.

    Mental health advocates have been lobbying the politicians and the NYPD to create Crisis Intervention Teams for years:

    http://csgjusticecenter.org/mental-health/media-clips/councilmembers-rosie-mendez-brad-lander-jumaane-williams-and-margaret-chin-join-ccit-nyc-coalition-on-the-steps-of-city-hall-to-call-for-a-resolution-to-improve-police-responses-to-911-calls-involv/

    Needless to say, they would not solve all of the problems either....

  • edited December 2014
    Gun owning jew here.

    What pisses me off is that all police aren't equipped with non lethal ways of subduing perps (tasers, pepper spray) . If this was a "sane" guy looking to murder, I'd cheer this ending. But sounds like he's unstable and that makes this unfortunate all the way around.



    It really is just ridiculous that this isn't standard in the US.  But it's not because many - if not most - Americans prefer that such a person be shot and killed as opposed to simply dispossessed of the knife and arrested.  In most of the US, "hey, that's what he gets" is a far more common response to this type of incident than a lament he couldn't simply be pepper sprayed.

    America has an extremely violent culture and most of its citizens - even in many left-leaning cities and regions - are totally cool with that extreme violence being channeled through their institutions.  Thus, a widespread deference to gun-happy policing, to flattening 3rd world villages to kill a couple targets, to ridiculous drug laws, to the brutal, sadistic, massive gulag we have built, to the death penalty, and so, so much more.  
  • edited December 2014
    @blue_apple, I'm not saying that the man might not have harbored ill will towards the sons and daughters of Abraham, rather that it doesn't matter if he did or did not. Our approach to treating and dealing with the mentally ill should be based on their illness, not their proclivity to fixate or attack only x group. Just as with the tree-branch breaker who was going through the neighborhood, what's clear from his actions is that he was sick, and that the cycle of violent episode, arrest, incarceration, release, and repeat is not an solution, just as the placing of metal detectors or the barring of doors at a house of worship isn't a solution either.

    My concern is that someone who hates you today could hate me tomorrow for just as specious reasons. I'd rather that we focused on getting him off the streets no matter how his illness manifests rather than claim the violent anti-Semite is dangerous, but the violent arborist is not. 
  • edited December 2014
    Whether or not the guy was an anti-Semite, I'm far more concerned about how we deal with the crazy in our community. Stopping the crazy should happen way before the guy is walking in the door with a knife. 

    After all, he was crazy in his apartment that morning,he was crazy in the supermarket last week, and he was crazy on the subway, at the park, and as he went through the neighborhood. He didn't snap and go crazy. My guess is that he's been on a long, slow ride to crazytown for a long, long time.

    We need to develop better ways of identifying these folks, getting them treatment and intervening before the guy says "I'm going to pick up a knife today and go kill all of you (or you Jews)" or whatever the hell he was actually doing.

    Putting in metal detectors in 770 is about treating the symptom and not the illness. 
    /thread.

    A crazy guy was allowed, through lack of resources given to mental health care, to walk in and stab a guy practicing his religion. I'm not at all sure this is a religious thing instead I'm more willing to believe this is simply a crazy guy with knife thing. Based on what I've read apparently he may or may not have been yelling about Jews during the attack. At this point we need to sit back and see what the NYPD can piece together. I'm, despite my mistrust of the NYPD, willing to say the cops were justified in shooting him.

    It also seems that many of the comments to the story whynot linked are slightly more tempered in racism and calls for violence then usual. Some still scare me and are racist as ever. I'm also saddened but not surprised to see this guy compared to the recent protests by a couple commenters.

    I'm sure we all wish for a speedy and complete recovery for the victim.
  • edited December 2014
    When one becomes severely mentally ill, my ability to take their motivations at face value diminishes.

    In other words, it becomes very hard for me to apply logic to figure out the motivations of someone who is not acting logically.

    So, while I find it likely he was motivated by a hatred of Jews last night, I am not certain he has always hated them.

    And, if he were still alive, I am not certain he would not hate someone else for some aspect of their identity a month from now.
  • There is a lot of conjecture and speculation here. Let's clarify what we know: a, he was mentally ill b, he went to kill Jews in a synagogue.

    Why he went to kill Jews is unknown. Perhaps he was hearing a voice that told him to. We might never know. But it is an independent factor of him being mentally ill. 

    See the piece in the NY Post with a profile of the attacker. The whole thing is a tragedy and perhaps not preventable. Perhaps there are adjustments needed in mental health care, violent criminals who suffer from it and how police are trained to deal with them. All that not withstanding, this is seemingly a freak event. A tragedy for all involved. Plain and simple.
  • edited December 2014
    @blue_apple I never read the post and I advise you to take everything they post with extreme skepticism. If they tell you the sky is blue you'd better verify it elsewhere. 
    We still don't know what caused him to go on his rampage.

    @morralkan The least restrictive environment comes from the horrors of mental institutions before the 1970s. For many many years one could drop off a relative call them crazy and they would receive torturous "treatments"  and live in small crowded and often poorly lit rooms. Until they died from combination of illness caused by their environment, improper nutrition and the "treatments." You really should read some about the history of mental health care in this country its a fascinating and depressing as well as scary topic. 

    Its not like the doctors today want to release mentally ill people into the streets. There aren't enough beds in facilities to house everyone. Even if they do commit someone there likely isn't enough funding to ensure proper follow up care and therapy. You're really doing the whole issue a dsiservice by saying its an "obsession" with improper treatment. 

    @homeowner I think the topic of mental illness might warrant its own thread. 
  • edited December 2014
    I find this article in Hamodia "The Daily Newspaper of Torah Jewry" to be quite balanced:

    http://hamodia.com/2014/12/09/crown-heights-reacts-attack-770/

    In my mind, orthodox jews are connected enough to each other that they are affected by incidents against them throughout the world, and Crown Heights has been perceived as a relatively safe place to be.

    This article furthers my perception.
  • @newguy88, that was my point. We only know what we know: he was bipolar and he went to kill Jews in a synagogue.  there was nothing to verify. it was a general profile about the attacker, his mental illness and his family/neighbors. similar reports were in all the papers. 

    @sunnyfriday why do we need to pick symptoms or causes. Surely the correct way is to deal with both. this idea of taking sides about whether to address one or the other is a mistake. think about any problem you have successfully dealt with in your own life and you will find both were needed. 
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