A Jewish woman in New York was assaulted on Saturday as part of the so-called
“knockout game,” according to tweets posted by New York City Councilman David
Greenfield and state Assemblyman Dov Hikind.
The woman “didn’t lose
consciousness but was knocked to the ground by an assailant in broad daylight,”
Greenfield tweeted on Saturday evening. The councilman last week requested that
the New York Police Department install security cameras in both the Midwood and
Borough Park neighborhoods as a deterrent to further attacks.
of the ongoing rash of assaults that have left many residents frightened to walk
around our neighborhood alone, I am asking the NYPD to move forward on the
installation of these security cameras as soon as possible,” Greenfield
Greenfield also tweeted that he has spoken with city
councilman-elect Chaim Deutsch of Flatbush in order to formulate a “coordinated
response to the latest knockout attack.”
“Given the random nature of
these attacks and the lack of witnesses, security cameras may be our best chance
of making arrests in these disgusting crimes,” he explained in a
Deutsch, the former head of the Flatbush Shomrim Safety
Patrol, stated that he is working with the NYPD and called on citizens to report
any suspicious activity.
The Borough Park Shomrim will be “issuing alerts
and telling people to be aware of their surroundings once it gets dark, [and]
not to go out by yourself,” group coordinator Heshy Rubinstein told The Jewish
The Jewish newspaper also reported that the Guardian Angels, a
nondenominational community watch organization, will be sending volunteers to
patrol in several Jewish neighborhoods.
“We’re running a full campaign,”
Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa told The Jerusalem Post in an email last
The group posted flyers in affected neighborhoods urging residents
to “stop the knockout game” by following a list of safety tips.
Jewish Week also reported that the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council has
announced a reward of $1,500 in exchange for information leading to arrests in
connection with the attacks.
Last week the Jewish Community Relations
Council of New York, an umbrella organization coordinating activities among
various Jewish organizations in the city, told the Post that it is offering a
bounty of up to $5,000 for such information.
New York officials issued
statements condemning the knockout attacks, with returning police commissioner
Bill Bratton telling the New York Post that the NYPD will go after perpetrators
“We’ll attack trends like knockout the way a doctor goes
after a basal cell before it becomes a melanoma. That’s what we did with the
wolf packs of the late 1980s and early 1990s,” he said.
President elect Eric Adams called the attacks “terror,” The Yeshiva World
reported. “There’s not difference if you fly in a plane into a building or if
you are striking someone because they are walking down the street. Knockout is
not a game. It’s an assault. It’s terrorizing people, and we got to put it to a
Not every politician’s response has been greeted with delight by
New York’s Jewish community, however.
Despite calling for a zero
tolerance policy on the knockout game, councilwoman- elect Laurie Cumbo of Crown
Heights angered many of her soon to be constituents when she posted on Facebook
a letter she had emailed to supporters explaining that resentment of Jewish
success may be a cause of the violence.
Despite significant progress in
intercommunal relations since 1991‘s Crown Heights Riot, many African American
and Caribbean residents of the neighborhood have “expressed a genuine concern
that as the Jewish community continues to grow, they would be pushed out by
their Jewish landlords or by Jewish families looking to purchase homes,” she
wrote. Despite her admiration for the Jewish community, she continued, “for
others, the accomplishments of the Jewish community triggers feelings of
“Expressing, as you have, a sympathy for those who hold the
success of the Jewish community in contempt – as a success ‘not their own’ –
almost rings as an apology for those who are committing violent crimes as a
response to their resentment,” Hikind wrote in a blog post lambasting
“While the sociologists busy themselves analyzing and ruminating
over social trends, our jobs as elected officials should be to protect the
victims and protect the community, not ascribe motivation to criminals.”