There were dozens and dozens of cars, most of which had their license plates covered so they couldn't be read and reported. Crown Heights Shmira street patrol members in SUVs illegally used police lights and sirens to block traffic. And the NYPD did absolutely nothing to stop it while it was happening and refuses to answer questions about this illegal behavior afterward.
Above and above right: one of the Chabad menorah vans with its license plate taped over so the numbers can't be read, 12-12-2015 (Photo credit: Bucky Turco)
Updated 2:14 am CST 12-17-2015
Bucky Turco of ANIMAL fame took this video of what looks like a Lubavitcher Hanukkah parade in Midtown Saturday night. The video was shot on Sixth Avenue at 23rd Street shortly after 8 p.m.
“There were dozens and dozens of cars, most of which had their license plates covered,” Turco said via email. “It went on for minutes.”
As you can see in the video, men who appear to be Shomrim are corking traffic in SUVs equipped with police lights and sirens. One of the men blasts a Rumbler-type siren when Turco tries to get video of his license plate, which was taped over.
We called the NYPD public information office to ask if the department authorized the caravan, and if people who aren’t police are allowed to disrupt traffic and have vehicles with lights and sirens. We were directed to send an email, which is NYPD’s way of saying “Go away.”
Correction: A representative of Crown Heights Shomrim, Mendy Hershkop, contacted us to say that contraryto Streetsblog’s speculation in the initial version of this post, his group was not involved in this event and neverengages in traffic control. “I don’t do it for this reason,” he said. “Blocking off streets isn’t what we’re trainedfor.” He attributed the actions in this video to Crown Heights Shmira, a separate group.