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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 16, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta Wednesday, May 16, 1973 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 41 New York ghetto inhabitants also live in fear A Reuler correspondent .spent a week in the black ghettoes of New York City and found that while white reaction to crime in the streets centres on suspicion of blacks, the inhabitants the ghettoes also live in fear. By LARS-ERIK NELSON NEW YORK (Reuter) When they come down the street, wearing sneakers, hands jammed in then- denim trousers or the pockets of black, fake-fur jackets, with the funny, puffy billed caps perched sideways or back- wards on top of their Afro haircuts and their eyes hard- harder than a 15-year-old's eyes have a right to street-wise New Yorker gets out of their way. The street-wise New Yorker Is the scared New Yorker. The hard-eyed youths are all over New York. They in- vade subway trains in gang robbing the passengers, Jesse James- style during the seven min- utes it takes the A train, The Eighth Avenue express, to get from 59th Street to 125th Street, the main street of Harlem. They prowl outside the su- parmarkets, watching through the windows for women who receive substantial amounts of change. They wait outside the banks when the welfare cheques are cashed. In white areas of the city, the hard-eyed kids in snea- shoes, the police call conspicuous. Plainclothes anti-crime teams spot them and Mow them, waiting for them to strike. When they do, they are caught, thrown to the ground, handcuffed and arrested. But in black areas of the city, they are not con- spicuous. The anti-crime teams are virtually pow- do you follow a population? And in black areas, the hard-eyed kids strike just as viciously as they do against whites. Various black militants and nationalists over the years have tried to direct the frus- tration and violence of young blacks against whites only. And robbers will say to their victims "I'm only doing this because of what white honkies have done to me and my the mugging of a white becomes a blow for jus- tice. MENACED BY KIDS A group of black youths who surrounded me during a post-midnight riot in the Queens ghetto of South Ja- maice were pathetically eager to explain how their throwing of bricks and bottles was jus- tified retaliation for the shoot- ing of a 10-year-old black boy by a policeman. One youth told me defiantly: "And any white man that comes through here, we drag him out of his car and stomp him half to death. Hit him so bad that if he don't get straight to a hospital, he'll die. "Why shouldn't we? It's re- taliation." When the chips are down and he really needs money for drugs, or new clothes, or food, or just a movie, even the "socially conscious, politi- cally aware" mugger will rob an elderly black woman on a lonely Harlem side street. The young man who re- gards himself as a black Robin Hood when he holds up a white man will, when he gets desperate, hide in a stairwell on a Friday night, and rob a black man coming home from work with his pay. He will steal and sell his fa- ther's car radio, his older brother's tape recorder. This is the reason for a phe- nomenon that astonishes many outsiders the f irst time they visit some of the poorer Harlem tenements: even members of a family put locks on the doors to their rooms. Last year, an election year in which the Democratic par- ly did its best to depict Rich- ard Nixon as the. enemy of peace and progress and civil rights, a black woman living in the ghetto was quoted by a black writer as saying: "My main enemy isn't Rich- ard Nixon. My main enemy is the male, black teen- agers." KIDS HATE POLICE The young black criminals regard the police as their enemy in a war. This view, born of decades of oppression that a few years of relative understanding have done little to soften, is reinforced by so- called black exploitation films, in which black heroes defeat and outwit and over- power venal, corrupt, brutal white policemen. Eighth Avenue from 113th to 118th street is virtually off limits to police. The Amsterdam News, a black-owned weekly news- paper, said in a front-page editorial, "To a Cop on his "Be assured that the loud- mouthed vocal minority on the corners who boo and jeer you when you lock up a crimi- nal are not representative of the hard-working people watching from their apart- ment who are afraid to come down on the corner for fear of being mugged or robbed. "The vast majority in our communities want to come back to the streets of Harlem. They want to sit on their stoops again when the sun is shining. They want to stroll down the avenues unmolested. They want to attend prayer meetings at night. In short, they want to liberate them- selves from the jails of their own homes.' NO MAJOR ARRESTS Police make scores of ar- rests every day for possession of drugs. But they seldom manage to get major or even relatively minor dealers. If they do catch an addict pusher, he can avoid a prison sentence by checking into a rehabilitation centre. It's hardly worth the effort of making an arrest. Prostitution arrests are rare. The vice as "the pussy occasional raids. But there is some public sentiment for al- lowing the girls to ply their trade. Prostitution is a better outlet than rape in a commu- nity where large numbers of single men live alone. There were 117 homicides last year in the 28th precinct, one of three central Harlem police districts. None made the front pages and there was no public pressure to solve them and no public recogni- tion for the detectives who did solve them. Yet detectives who tracked down the killers of a white university professor and a pretty school teacher found their pictures and names splashed in the newspapers. The white community over- looks the crime, from the petty thefts, the public drink- ing, to the street-corner stabbings. Yet a case could be made to demonstrate that because the white man over- looks the crime in the ghetto, he beaomes the victim of crime by ghetto dwellers on the prowl. of all games of summer for some can have its moments of poijsh, above Little Leaguers are a Newspaper Snapshots Awards winner for Albert Katuyama of Honolulu. On the other hand, there can be game-stopping moments which major leaguers never know, below by Leo M. Johnson of Flint, Mich. Suburb is tough town By BRUCE HANDLER NOVA IGUACU, Brazil (AP) This suburb of Rio de Janeiro is fast gaining a repu- tation as one of the toughest towns in South America. Stories of crime and viol- ence in Nova Iguacu appear almost daily in newspapers throughout Brazil. Some recent highlights: armed men tried to hold up the fare collector on a city bus. Eighteen of the 20 passengers pulled out guns, shot one of the robbers dead and wounded the other. truck driver called for help after a daylight stickup. Passersby converged on the fleeing gunman and beat him to death. local resident strangled a prostitute he had been living with and stuffed her body into a septic tank, following an ar- gument. A jury acquitted him, on grounds he was "defending his honor." Nova Iguacu "death a vigilante group said to be made up of off-duty po- licemen, killed 250 local un- derworld figures in a single year, delivery man was held up at gunpoint by a man rid- ing a horse. CHIEF DEMURS "Nova Iguacu has been I ho victim of a campaign of sen- says Police Chief Luiz Gonzaga. "Of course we have crime. But our rate is lower than that of Rio or New York." He did not, however, give the rate figure for Nova Igu- acu. A notice outside the chief's door asks citizens to blow the whistle on "disorderly per- sons, bumbs, drug addicts, people walking around armed, robbers wanted by the author- ities, numbers racket head- quarters and bordellos." Located 15 miles from downtown Rio, Nova Iguacu grew in population from in 1920 to in 1950 to today. People from all over Brazil streamed into the city to find work in the pros- perous Rio area. Public serv- ices could not keep pace. As a result, Nova Iguacu today lacks paved streets, piped-in drinking water, tele- phones, schools, hospitals and police protection. LURED BY PROSPERITY "Nova Iguacu is an El Do- said Gonzaga, 47, a thin, soft-spoken father of eight who has devoted nearly half his life to police work. "Where there is progress, (here is crime. Criminals are attracted to Nova Iguacu like moths to light. "You'd need the entire Bra- zilian army to get rid of all the crooks here." Gonzaga's force is made up of about 100 inspectors and patrolmen and seven police vehicles, most of them usually in the repair shop. When citizens come to po- lice headquarters to file a complaint, sometimes the only way they get an officer to investigate is to take him to the scene of the crime in a taxi. The complainant pays the cab fare. The police station in one district of the city, called Queimados, population has no telephone. "If something important happens in Queimados, the assistant chief there comes over here and tells Gonzaga said. "Things are Gonzaga said. "In the past year, we have eliminated 'death squad' activities by OO.D per cent. The great ma- jority of the people of Nova the police law-abiding citizens." What about instances in which residents have taken the law into their hands by beating up suspected rob- bers? "Latin Americans are im- the chief explained. "Those things will happen.' 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