Haredi New York City Councilman David Greenfield falsely accused Brooklyn D.A. Charles J. Hynes' rival Ken Thompson of wanting to "target Jews." Thompson, Greenfield said to assembled reporters and haredi rabbis, “should scare you." Standing just a few feet away, listening intently, was Hynes, who did nothing to distance himself from that awful, race-baiting lie. (The rabbis were and still remain silent, as well.) And then this week, just days after that deplorable incident, Hynes refused to distance himself from it again. Here's what he said, and here is why what he said is a lie.
Originally published at 11:13 pm CDT 8-14-2013
Michael Powell writes in the New York Times:
…[New York City Councilman David] Greenfield, who represents Midwood, Borough Park and Bensonhurst in Brooklyn, attacked Kenneth P. Thompson, who is black and the opponent of Mr. Hynes in the Democratic primary. He “should scare you,” the councilman said at a news conference.
“He said he’s going to target the Jewish community,” Mr. Greenfield said as Mr. Hynes stood next to him, barely blinking. “That’s something that quite frankly is shocking. It’s outrageous, and it’s unacceptable.”
No doubt that would be outrageous, if it were true. It was not.
In January, NY1 interviewed Mr. Thompson, and he promised one standard of justice for every community.
Who, he was asked, is getting different treatment?
“Certain defendants in the Orthodox Jewish community” are being treated differently, Mr. Thompson said. “You can’t withhold the names of defendants who are accused of molesting children.”
Mr. Thompson’s recital of the facts was accurate. Mr. Hynes — as a matter of policy — obtained indictments and even convictions of Orthodox Jewish sexual abusers without ever naming them publicly. No other district attorney in the city allows such a practice, and many Jewish critics, including some brave ultra-Orthodox dissenters, say this only deepens the culture of secrecy and shame that pervades these communities.
Mr. Hynes knew this. But when he was asked at a debate on Tuesday night if Mr. Thompson had threatened to target the Jewish community, he shrugged.
“You know, David Greenfield said he was at two meetings and at one meeting Mr. Thompson said he would be very aggressive about prosecuting Jews,” Mr. Hynes said. “I have great respect for David Greenfield and if he said that’s what he heard ...”
Mr. Hynes’s voice trailed off.…
Powell got the truth-challenged Greenfield on the phone and asked him about his lie – a lie Greenfield had intentionally compounded by tweeting late in the day after the press conference, after it initially failed to get the attention in the haredi community he apparently hoped it would have.
Greenfield tried to wiggle his way out of it.
“He singled out my community. To say that one community is treated better creates animosity,” Greenfield said in his own defense.
Powell pointed out that Thompson had referred to “certain defendants,” not to the entire Jewish community, and what he said was fact.
Greenfield then insisted that Powell had an advantage over him because Powell had listened to the interview more recently than Greenfield had.
A race-baiting lie based on Greenfield’s own claim of false memory (a claim that is itself almost certainly a lie) – this is what Brooklyn’s scandal-ridden District Attorney Charles J. Hynes says he accepts as true.
Is it surprising his prosecutions are falling apart?