Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Meanwhile, Back in Yonkers

Today was a weird day. I woke up to a text message from my upstairs neighbor, informing me that a local jewelry shop and mom-and-pop pharmacist were broken into. She also sent me a cell-phone video, which I won't be posting because it could help pinpoint the location of the recorder, who took the video from a nearby apartment. The local coverage is pretty good, obviously the thefts were committed by professionals who knew what they wanted to grab (cash, jewelry, opiates). It did not occur, as ABC's headline indicated, 'in overnight Yonkers protests'. Thankfully, the actual coverage is much better, and our local city council member handled the situation well:

"This was not done by protesters, this was done by criminals, unfortunately. They came in, they looted a jewelry store, they went into the pharmacy. These people, who are business owners, people who, they've been closed for moths just to come back and have something like this done. So it's very, very sad."

The whole crime spree took under five minutes, with about a dozen men in a small convoy of cars hitting the area, smashing the glass pharmacy door and using a stolen SUV to ram through the jewelry store facade.

I combined errands with a bit of 'scouting', and spoke to some of the local merchants. Everybody stressed the idea that this was a crime of opportunity that had nothing (besides being timed to coincide with the police being stretched thin) to do with the local protests, which were peaceful. Sure, the guys who run the liquor store (I needed to replenish my Tullamore Dew supply) were boarding up, but nobody was freaking out. On a happy note, the local Chinese takeout place had reopened, so I bought some lunch and left a tip that they told me was too big ("No, you've been closed so long, I'm so happy to see you open.").

Again, everybody was cool about the protests, but then again, this is a heavily immigrant community, and a lot of the older folks remember The Troubles, so they're not the sort of people who are cool with the gas and 'rubber bullets' flying. As much as I love Stiff Little Fingers, I sure as hell don't like see my fellow US residents living through one of their songs:

This wouldn't have happened on a normal night, pre-civil unrest and COVID-19. Usually, with all of the bars on the street, there are a fair number of people out and about at 4:15AM.


Anathema Device said...

Rubber bullets which are fully lethal however they're described, should be banned outright. They are too dangerous to use on a civilians population, and it's outrageous to be using weapons of any kind against peaceful protestors, however noisy they are.

Using unbadged, unidentified and unidentifying riot-gear wearing anonymous thugs as enforcers should also be completely illegal, but that's the kind of thing the mango menace thinks is just fine for the peons.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

It's really appalling to see how the police have escalated the violence, attacking peaceful protestors.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that defunding and demilitarizing our police forces is the way to put an end to this brutality.