kings-plaza

Eleven people turned out at a rally in front of Kings Plaza on Saturday to protest what they’re calling “Justice Reversed,” following the news that hate charges were dropped in a recent case in which black teens allegedly assaulted a white couple while shouting racial epithets.

It was a subdued protest that drew far fewer participants than anticipated, with more than 100 people saying they would attend the event on Facebook, yet less than a dozen showed. The group stood by the Flatbush Avenue entrance, guarded by nearly as many police as there were protesters, and commiserated about the perceived injustice and the safety of the community.

“I missed the [assault] by five minutes. I was walking home with my daughter and it could have happened to anyone,” said Linda Baker, the Mill Basin native who organized the rally. “It’s a hate crime. They screamed racial slurs and it goes both ways. In this neighborhood and in society it just seems to be only recognized when hate is against a minority and hate is not recognized against the white race. It’s ridiculous already.”

The protesters quietly and peacefully handed out fliers to passersby of all backgrounds about the attack, declaring in big, bold font “HATE CRIMES HAVE NO COLOR!!!!”

The group took issue with the news the week before that a grand jury decided to drop hate crime charges against Kashawn Kirton, 18, and Daehrell Finch, 17, two suspects that police arrested in connection with an assault of a couple near Kings Plaza on October 14 that authorites believed was racially motivated.

Kirton and Finch, along with two minors, were arrested shortly after the attack, in which Ronald Russo and his wife, Alanna, were attacked by a large group of black teenagers. The couple, both white, were reportedly subjected to racial epithets, with the suspects allegedly yelling “Get those crackers!” and “Get that white whore!”

The incident happened as the victims, stopped at the intersection of Avenue U and East 58th Street in their car. The group of African-American teenagers was crossing the street against the light, and Russo honked his horn. After one of the teens kicked the car Russo got out to assess the damage, and that was when he and his wife were attacked.

Although frustrated by the dropped charges, Baker and others at the event agreed that the details of the case were unclear, and that the grand jury may have had good reason to drop the charges. But they said they were bothered more by the lack of media coverage and outrage from elected officials about similar cases, and said it was indicative of what they believe is an unfair application of bias charges.

“We don’t know the whole story. Maybe they dropped the case because the guy got out of the car and started screaming racial epithets. And if he did then all bets are off as far as I’m concerned,” said John Lore, a Marine Park resident. “I’m very disappointed towards the lack of coverage. This Barney’s thing,” he said, referring to the tabloid frenzy over alleged discrimination at Barney’s and Macy’s retail outlets, “as far as I’m concerned, nothing’s been proved, everything’s an investigation. But what happened with these two people was real, that was very real, and it was deeply personal.”

“If the roles were reversed I’m quite sure this would’ve made headlines and it would have been on the cover of the Daily News. That Barney’s situation is minuscule compared to this,” Lore said.

Many at the rally said they had hoped elected officials would attend. Assemblyman Alan Maisel walked past the protest and talked to police officers, but did not stop to speak with protestors. Sheepshead Bites caught up with him, and he said he was unaware of the group, noting that he was there to attend a rally for Bill de Blasio that occurred earlier in the day. He was not recognized by the protesters.

Asked about the case, Maisel expressed confusion at its cause, or why protesters wanted to hear from elected officials.

“I didn’t bring the case to the grand jury. I didn’t see the evidence. I recommended they try to reach out to the district attorney,” Maisel said. “But what the police say is that the individuals that were attacked did not report any bias when they were questioned initially.”

He added: “I’m not sure what they’re protesting against. Certainly, I don’t know why they’re protesting here. They should protest on Joreleman Street or Adams Street,” where the courthouse and district attorney’s offices are located.

The victims in the case, Ronald and Alanna Russo, were invited to the protest. Baker said she was told through others that they did not want any publicity in connection to the case.

Calls to the district attorney’s office had not been returned as of this writing.

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  • bruce b

    I’m not understanding a few things in this case. I understand that these two youths were mis-identified. So what about the real alleged perpetrators? The group consisted of more than 2 kids. And, were ALL charges dropped, meaning assault and hate, or just the hate crimes charge?
    I’m against hate crime laws. They make no sense. They’re applied selectively, politically, and seem to be applied depending on who screams the most. And, to me it’s a blatant violation of the 14th amendment.

    • BrooklynBus

      I read the same thing as you did and am just as confused. Nothing has been written about the other perpetrators. Maybe those hate charges still stand and there has been some misunderstanding by the protestors. This needs to be cleared up so we know exactly what is going on here.

      • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

        It has been extremely hard to find out more information about this case. Part of the reason you don’t hear about the others involved is that they’re all minors. The PD and DA are generally very protective on information about minors (understandably so). The only ones I can speak about, and really not much more than what I’ve already published, are the two named in the article.

    • Leroy Inggers

      This means that if you are a Black N1gger…you can do as you pleeeeezzz!! Whitey gots no rights no mo n’ sheeeyyyytttt!!!!

  • Y.

    SHAMEFUL

  • Tuth

    Too bad there was no media coverage to announce the rally like there is every time Al Sharpton decides to have one of his hatefests.

    • levp

      1. Create your own organization;
      2. Get as many members as Al Sharpton’s National Action Network does;
      3. Complain about the media.

      Not the other way around!

      • Tuth

        I guess by this logic I can’t comment about corrupt politicians either and lack of their prosecution without first becoming a corrupt politician myself….

        • guy

          That makes no sense

        • levp

          There is a faster and easier way when it comes to politicians: vote.

  • Bklyniter

    Hopefully something like this never happens again but if it does, just let the kids/teens cross the street. Even if you have a green light the pedestrian ALWAYS has the right of way. If you do beep and they get angry and kick your car….don’t get out. Keep your windows and doors locked and pull away then pull over and call 911. This is Brooklyn. lets use our street smarts.

    • BrooklynBus

      Since when does the pedestrian have the right of way if crossing against the light. I’m not saying you shouldn’t avoid an accident, but I see nothing wrong with blowing the horn for him to get out of your path. By saying pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way, means they are allowed to cross the street or higway anytime and anywhere they feel like it.

      • levp

        Technically, you are correct about the light:

        New York Vehicle & Traffic – Article 27

        § 1150. Pedestrians subject to traffic regulations. Pedestrians shall be subject to traffic-control signals as provided in section eleven hundred eleven of this title, but at all other places pedestrians shall be accorded the privileges and shall be subject to the restrictions stated in this article.

        § 1151. Pedestrians’ right of way in crosswalks. (a) When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk on the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, except that any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overpass has been provided shall yield the right of way to all vehicles.

        http://law.onecle.com/new-york/vehicle-traffic/VAT01150_1150.html
        http://law.onecle.com/new-york/vehicle-traffic/VAT01151_1151.html

        However, the larger point about using your street smarts still stands.

        • BrooklynBus

          Agreed.

    • Tinman

      If a pedestrian crosses against a red light it’s called jaywalking and it’s AGAINST the law!

  • Matthew Schless

    Oops: ‘minuscule’ not ‘miniscule.’

    • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

      Don’t be ignant.

  • elaine louey

    How many non-whites were at this protest? None? Figures.

  • winson

    Oh, it’s a hate crime if white people attack black people, even if no racial slurs were made, but it’s not a hate crime if black people attack white people even if racial slurs were clearly made? What a big case of double standard

    • jeff

      THIS^^^^^^ Word.

  • BigBadMamaJama

    Re: the war on whites:

    http://whitegirlbleedalot.com/

  • Nate Higgerson

    Hopefully something like this never happens again but when it does, just
    let the savage and feral n1ggers cross the street. Even if you have a green light the n1ggers ALWAYS have the right of way. If you do beep and they start to chimpout and they kick your car….don’t get out. Keep your windows and doors
    locked and pull away then pull over and call 911. This is n1ggerfuxated Brooklyn.
    lets use our street smarts. N1ggers are uncivilized savages and you CANNOT reason wit them!!!!

  • Dmitriy Em

    you know one of the problems with “hate crimes legislation” is that they don’t deter hate based violence just like the death penalty doesn’t deter crimes of passion. As seen here all racists/homophobes/antisemites need is a accomplice(s) or a weapon and then attacks happen. You see it here in nyc where there were more anti-lgbt incidents this than in the last 2 years, including the case of one man murdered by being shot point blank in the head in the west village.
    Hate crimes legislation is a pile of horse-shit that millions have been wasted on in pursuit of “feel good liberal values” that in reality you can’t shove done people’s throats when you need to most.

    • guest

      u might have a point there. Similarly, has anyone noticed how often you hear the “N” word now? More than ever. It’s been shoved down people’s throats not to use it, and the result is, I hear it almost every bus ride I take.

      • Murry

        I’ll bet, you don’t hear it from Caucasians. The people that use the “N” are black teenagers. There will be no extensive coverage of this incident because Al Sharpton and the rest of these self serving politicians would be marching over the Brooklyn bridge ”AGAIN’ . Besides, that story would not increase N.Y. newspaper revenue.

  • Janen

    There was no coverage , people like myself did not know a thing about it. I wish I did I WOULD have been there. We need to organize against this type of crime otherwise it will just get worse and politicians will turn their heads as they are always do when it is black crime against whites. There have many of these incidents but nothing has been done. I applaud those people who had the guts to do something about it. Shame on the politicians in this area,maybe we should remember this when election time comes around