We’ve all heard of the Crown Heights race riots. So, what does this episode in Brooklyn sound like to you?
Hundreds of Borough Park residents rushed the 66th precinct station house chanting “No justice, no peace” to protest what witnesses say was the rough treatment of a…business-owner by police.
Two garbage fires were set during the melee, which stretched for several blocks and closed numerous streets. Police, however, were able to contain the crowd by 9:30 p.m. and no injuries were reported.
Police sources say the protest was sparked after officers approached 75-year-old…who was talking on his cell phone while double-parked in front of his family-owned bakery on 16th Avenue at around 6:30 p.m.
When police attempted to handcuff Schick, two other…men tried to step in. A crowd then formed, and the scene quickly grew unruly.
Protesters threw garbage and hundreds of residents blocked the street around…Bakery.
Sounds like a riot to me. But I removed words in the above indicating it’s about a Hasidic man who got arrested and Hasidim leading the action; if they’re Jews, it’s a protest and not a riot, seemingly.
Who else calls it a protest? The New York Times, with a lede describing “a protest last night by hundreds of Orthodox Jews, who surrounded a police station house, chanted ‘No justice no peace,’ lighted bonfires and set a police car afire.”
The New York Daily News also called it a protest, though they did call the Hasidim “angry mobs.” They also provide more details:
They set fire to old magazines, fruit boxes and other trash up and down the avenue.
Firefighters raced to put out at least seven blazes and water down the streets.
Demonstrators smashed the windows of one police cruiser and torched another by throwing a gasoline-soaked rag into its backseat.
The NYDN does note that “riot police” were dispatched, but falls short of calling the action a riot.
The New York Post calls it a protest.
So, how did these papers refer to what black residents of Crown Heights did in August 1991?
NYT (8/25/91): “the riot.”
NYP: No archives from before 1997 on Nexis, but repeated subsequent mentions of “Crown Heights riots.”
NYDN: No pre-1995 archives, but similar repeated subsequent mentions of “Crown Heights riots.”
UPDATE: Joshua Micah Marshall writes: “And once you set a police car on fire, isn’t that a riot?” One would think so.