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Racial Hucksters Attack Police By: John Perazzo
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, January 10, 2003

Quite a din has arisen in New York City over the recent police shootings of three black men there. The first shooting occurred just after midnight on New Year’s morning in Brooklyn, when a policeman shot 19-year-old Jamal Nixon twice in the back, killing him. Just three hours later and a few blocks away, three officers shot and killed 21-year-old Anthony Reid. The following day a detective gunned down 17-year-old Allen Newsome inside a Harlem apartment building.

Bold headlines in every local newspaper focused on this sudden spike in police shootings at the dawn of 2003, as did the broadcast and electronic media. Angry “civil rights” activists and community leaders also expressed their displeasure over the killings. According to these critics, black New Yorkers remain as vulnerable as ever to the purported volcano of racism ever seething within the city’s police department.   

City Councilman Charles Barron, for one, expressed his doubt that the shooting of Nixon was justified, noting that just prior to his death the young man had been “celebrating” New Year’s Eve – and was thus most likely in a festive, rather than a belligerent, mood. Presumably the fact that Nixon’s “celebration” involved firing multiple gunshots into the air with a group of his friends seemed quite normal to Barron, who made no reference to the fact that Nixon had tried to flee from the police and had ignored their orders that he drop his weapon. Openly dubious of reports that Nixon had pointed his gun at the officers, Barron said, “How does one go from celebrating to suicide? Pointing a gun at police officers when they’re right up on you is suicide.” In short, then, we are apparently expected to believe that while Nixon may have been senseless enough to fire his gun recklessly and indiscriminately into the night, he surely would have understood the impropriety of aiming it at a policeman. It’s an interesting spin.

Of further interest is the fact that Barron never mentioned a key witness’ assertion that Nixon not only had a prior criminal record that included shooting at police officers, but also had just gotten out of prison in November after serving 39 months on weapons charges. Neither did Barron make a big deal about the 26 shell casings that were later found at the site of Nixon’s final New Year’s celebration – five from NYPD guns and the rest from the firearms of Nixon and his fellow revelers.

Lest you have any doubt that Barron’s selective vision is firmly rooted in his own racial prejudice, remember that this is the same Charles Barron who distinguished himself as a guest speaker at a pro-reparations for slavery rally in Washington, DC last summer. At that infamous event, he told an audience of some 3,000 people that he wanted “to go up to the closest white person and say ‘You can't understand this [reparations issue], it’s a black thing’ and then slap him, just for my mental health.” Indeed it is the same Charles Barron who said those words while vendors from the New Black Panther Party, which provided security for the event, sold T-Shirts that read “Kill Whitey” and “How Did We Get To America? Heartless Christian Buyer, Ruthless Jewish Seller.”

The details surrounding Anthony Reid’s death are no more pleasant than those surrounding Nixon’s death. In the wee hours of New Year’s morning, Reid was kicked out of a local nightclub after getting into a fight there. When patrolling police later spotted him firing a gun at a white car and ordered him to drop his weapon, he not only kept shooting, but actually aimed some of his shots at the officers before running away. As he continued to fire over his back at the pursuing police, they shot him dead. Yet notwithstanding his abominable actions, Reid’s death greatly troubled the social watchdogs who unfailingly detect signs of bigotry in every conceivable police interaction with black suspects.

The same can be said of Allen Newsome’s death. Newsome was killed in a police sting operation designed to catch whoever had robbed a Wimpy’s fast-food restaurant deliveryman three times during the previous week. In each of those prior instances, the caller placing an order had specifically requested that the deliveryman bring lots of money so as to be able to make change for a large bill – and then proceeded to rob him at gunpoint. Thus when Wimpy’s received a fourth such call on January 2, the police were notified. An officer disguised as a deliveryman took the food to 601 West 148th Street, the very building wherein one of the three previous robberies had occurred. Once inside the building, he encountered 17-year-old Allen Newsome, who pointed a realistic looking pellet gun at the officer’s head and demanded, “Give me the money. Give me the money.” At that point, the officer’s plainclothes partner, Detective Elpidio DeLeon, emerged from hiding and shot Newsome three times, killing him.

Following Newsome’s death, an unruly black mob assembled at Wimpy’s, harassing the restaurant’s employees, breaking much of its furniture, and accusing its management of maliciously “setting up” the killing. Soon thereafter, Newsome’s relatives joined Anthony Reid’s family at a news conference held at Al Sharpton’s National Action Network headquarters in Harlem. “We are taxpaying citizens that want answers as to what happened and why,” Sharpton said. Now there is even some speculation that local residents may organize a boycott of the establishment.

It is noteworthy that on the very day that Allen Newsome was killed, newspaper reports told about the death of a 15-year-old Brooklyn teenager who was gunned down in a street robbery. Also appearing that day were published accounts of a Queens incident where a Hispanic college student was run over and killed by a man with whom he had previously argued. Because neither of these homicides were perpetrated by whites – or worse yet, by police officers – there was not a whisper of public protest. 

Nor, interestingly enough, did racial agitators like Barron and Sharpton have much to say about the death of 35-year-old John LaGattuta, who was chased down and killed by police while driving a stolen mini-van under an elevated train line in Brooklyn on the evening of January 2. Stuck in rush hour traffic, the fleeing LaGattuta tried to make a U-turn, in the process colliding with several cars and some of the girders supporting the rails above. As seven officers descended upon him, LaGattuta – who had a long arrest record including two incidents where he had tried to run over policemen – continued violently ramming his vehicle into a bus in front of him and a car behind him. It seems that when one of the police shattered the mini-van’s side window, the officer’s gun accidentally discharged and killed LaGattuta. Yet the dead man’s white skin made the story uninteresting to the “civil rights” crowd.

It is most remarkable that the once-noble civil rights movement – which fought for such vital causes as integration, voting rights, and fair housing laws – has degenerated into a parade of opportunistic hucksters ever-prepared to condemn the police for using deadly force against some of society’s most remorseless monsters. But only if those monsters happen to be black, of course. White monsters like John LaGattuta don’t count at all.

John Perazzo is the Managing Editor of DiscoverTheNetworks and is the author of The Myths That Divide Us: How Lies Have Poisoned American Race Relations. For more information on his book, click here. E-mail him at WorldStudiesBooks@gmail.com

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