The shocking revelation of an unsanctioned tunnel under a synagogue in Brooklyn and the peaceful response by police in the face of violence against them at an apparent crime scene is the latest evidence of a racial double standard, particularly when it comes to policing Black people suspected of doing far less, people critical of the situation said in a series of social media posts.
In case you missed it, as many as 12 people rioting at Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters in the Crown Heights neighborhood were arrested on Monday after trying to stop an illegal tunnel from being sealed off.
Video footage from the incident quickly went viral and showed a violent interaction with responding NYPD officers, including physically pushing law enforcement and flipping over tables in a scene with several dozen people present.
Imagine if these were Muslims or a bunch of black folks fighting NYPD let alone illegally digging a tunnel to transport God knows what. https://t.co/qrx1EHkl23
— Kola (@ksjpix) January 9, 2024
Mainstream media coverage is reporting the narrative provided by Chabad Lubavitch, which has sympathetically referred to the people rioting as “young agitators.”
STATEMENT BY CHABAD-LUBAVITCH HEADQUARTERS
The Chabad-Lubavitch community is pained by the vandalism of a group of young agitators who damaged the synagogue below Chabad Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway Monday night.
These odious actions will be investigated, and the… pic.twitter.com/Ysn0jr7FTr
— Chabad Lubavitch HQ (@Lubavitch) January 9, 2024
According to those reports, the tunnel – which, again, was illegally dug – was under the Chabad Lubavitch headquarters and stretched to underneath another nearby property that is also owned by Chabad Lubavitch.
I guess you can get rowdy and slam tables and chairs and fight with nypd unless you’re black. Get shot for sneezing wrong but they can have a whole riot bout some illegal tunnels and it end with an arrest. Nah. Makes sense
— Aiden (@blkroseafterdrk) January 10, 2024
After Chabad Lubavitch ordered the tunnel sealed on Monday, the “young agitators” arrived to prevent the work from being done, resulting in the NYPD being called to intervene.
nypd just letting them carry on and stay in the tunnels if that were black and latino ppl my god they would’ve lost all patience and sprayed and whoever is left would’ve been in central booking
— ˚ altar ✧ ⋆｡˚ ⋆ (@theislandgyal) January 9, 2024
The New York Times reported that “skirmishes with officers” resulted in arrests.
Can u imagine the bloodbath if nypd found black men coming out of a damn tunnel in Brooklyn
— (@bairanyc) January 9, 2024
Beyond the media’s forgiving narrative, the entire situation is both an example of how the police can respond nonviolently to a chaotic situation and yet another instance of the NYPD, in particular, deciding against using force when it comes to suspects who are not Black and brown.
If a Black Church has an elaborate Tunnel System underneath, the entire congregation would be sent to Guantanamo! They’d send in the military, the FBI and the CIA! #ChabadLubavitch #NewYork #Brooklyn #CrownHeights #Schulof770 #tunnel
— BlackInt. (@Globallyblack) January 9, 2024
After all, the NYPD is the same organization responsible for things like brazenly beating a 12-year-old Black girl in her head outside of her middle school for an alleged offense caught on video that didn’t come near resembling the rioting violence at Chabad Lubavitch. That is to speak nothing of the violence waged by NYPD against hundreds of peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters.
Imagine if that was black or Hispanic community people in a church and the NYPD found a tunnel and they start wylin. It’s beatings and who knows there might be killings all in that room.
— Nano (@Nanoooshh) January 9, 2024
The allegations of policing along racial lines are nothing new for the NYPD, which in 2021 was sued by the state attorney general for responding to protesters demanding racial justice with violence and excessive force – none of which was on display at Chabad Lubavitch earlier this week. Data shows a disproportionate number of the protesters arrested were Black.
nypd guns would be blazin if black & brown people were trying to build a fucking tunnel in nyc.. https://t.co/xrur9izGaY
— Emotional Landscapes (@Dallywins) January 9, 2024
Activist Hawk Newsome, an activist who previously brought attention to video footage that showed the NYPD responding violently to Black communities at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, took to Instagram to call out the racial double standard when it comes to policing in New York City.
“Let our Black Asses go and dig some underground tunnel then fight the police when they come to fix it,” Newsome posted Tuesday in a message to his more than 52,000 followers. “Man they would send a swat team to shoot everything in there. But this is White Privilege in action.”
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