The NYPD has no new information on the December 1st beating of a black gay college student by a gang described by witnesses as a hasidic street patrol. The NYPD has made no arrests and apparently no progress – even though the attack was witnessed and photographed. Here's why.
News Analysis: The Story behind The Story Of The Taj Patterson Beating
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
About 4:30 am on December 1, a black gay college student, Taj Patterson, was walking home from a party. At the edge of the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, Patterson was allegedly jumped by a gang of hasidic (or non-hasidic haredi) Jews dressed in clothing that had police-like shield emblems.
Those attackers violently beat Patterson as they yelled anti-gay slurs.
The attack was witnessed by a city bus driver and others who reportedly took pictures of the attackers and their vehicles and provided descriptions to police.
Almost three-and-half months have passed but no arrests have been made and the NYPD has issued no updates.
Ten days ago, I decided to find out for myself.
I called the NYPD Press Relations and asked for an update on the Taj Patterson beating in Brooklyn.
The press officer did not know who Patterson is or anything about the case.
I told him it took place in Brooklyn at about 4:30 or 5:00 am. Patterson is black and gay. His attackers appeared to be white, hasidic and part of a hasidic street patrol, probably Shomrim.
What precinct?, he asked.
The 90th, I told him.
The press officer spent a couple minutes doing a computer search and then told me there were no updates.
Why would there be no arrests when there are multiple eyewitnesses along with photographic evidence? You allegedly have pictures of their cars and even the license plates, I said.
The conversation went dramatically downhill from there.
The crux of the press officer's response was that there are lots of possible reasons, and we have to make sure we arrest the right people.
So why no official update?, I asked.
Send an email to the DCPI email asking for an update and I'll check with the commander and get back to you, he responded.
I asked him to confirm the email address for me. It matched the one I used in the previous administration. I thanked him, ended the call and sent the email, knowing it was very unlikely he would respond to it.
That was 10 days ago. Complete silence. No email response. No phone response. No update.
The 90th Precinct has the reputation of being the most corrupt in Brooklyn.
The NYPD has a reputation for intentionally misleading media and for refusing to share public information with reporters it dislikes, especially when that dislike comes from previous reports – like mine on the Howard Frank murder case, for example – that embarrassed the NYPD.
Past that, odds are, the people who carried out this beating are likely Shomrim members, and the last thing the NYPD wants is to arrest key members of an organization that knows where many bodies are buried.
So, like co-dependent spouses in a long-term toxic relationship, the NYPD and Shomrim stagger about enabling each other's bad behavior and moaning to their best friends about it.
Taj Patterson was beaten because he is black, gay and was in the wrong place at the wrong time. And now he is being denied justice because of the NYPD's toxic relationship with his attackers.
And that, sadly, may turn out to be how this story ends.
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