Orthodox Jewish Vigilantes In Crown Heights

Here’s a website with the lowdown on Jewish life in Crown Heights:

Lieb Skoblo, a Coordinator in Crown Heights Shmira was convicted of beating a black youth while yelling racial slurs at him.

The newyork Amsterdam News reported; “Reports that Lieb Skoblo, a Jewish youth residing in Brooklyn, New York City, has been found guilty of a racially motivated bias crime…”

Part of his conviction was that a judge banned him from participating in any type of volunteer patrol, yet he is still a member in shmira as well as in the Auxiliary police.

Sarah:  "According to the whoisshmira blog, there are 2 rival factions (shmira and shomrin) in crown heights that provide vigilante patrols, but also hate each other and try to get people from the opposing vigilante group arrested."

From the New York Post:

May 23, 2008 — An Orthodox Jewish vigilante group, under fire in Brooklyn after one of its members attacked a black man, uses "Soviet-style tactics" and continues to operate "outside the boundaries of the law," critics said yesterday.

Shmira – which in Hebrew means "to protect" – has about 100 members who ride around Crown Heights in white and blue patrol cars that resemble NYPD vehicles.

The group, founded in 1968, has increasingly come under attack the last few weeks after one of its members, Yitzhak Shuchat, 25, allegedly attacked a 20-year-old black man with a stick on April 14.

Cops said Andrew Charles, the son of a police sergeant, was the victim of a bias attack.

Shuchat remains at large.

In a case some in the Jewish community claim was retaliation for the Charles assault, two black teens were busted yesterday for the brutal attack last Friday on Alon Sherman, 16.

Basean Parker, 14, was charged with assault and robbery for allegedly beating Sherman, then swiping his wallet, cellphone and bicycle. Cops said the attack was not a bias crime.

Namor Clarke, 16, was charged with robbery.

Investigators traced the stolen phone to Erickson Castillo, 29, who told cops he’d bought it from Parker.

Meanwhile, critics argue that Shmira is nothing but a gang.

In a recent interview with New York Jewish Week, Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes compared the group to the Bloods and Crips.

The blog "Who is Shmira" has put up postings from other Jews who claim the group uses "Soviet-style tactics."

"My father was jailed in Russia by people like [Shmira] . . . and I am not afraid of you, not now and not ever," read one message.

A police official who did not want to be identified said there were concerns that Shmira was "operating outside the boundaries of the law."

"Sometimes, they are helpful," the official said. "Most times, not."

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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