Open Thread Weekend 4/1/11

Everyone seems a little pent up – so here’s a weekend OT!

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  • http://Building Jeffrey J Smith

    That is a very sensitive and complex question. I’m far from a legal expert but in the 70’s and early 80’s when violent crime was epidemic in the Heights we did consult several lawyers.

    At the time the anaylsis we recieved was:

    1) New York state unlike many states DOES NOT have a clear
    codified structure of legalally recognized circumstances in which
    self defense is justified. The state has no such structure in statute
    law. Whats often called “black letter law” Becuse of this when an incident occures its up to a district attorney’s office or later a judge to apply the body of built up CASE law on the subject of self defense. In other words, victims have NO hard law to protect them its all up to prosecutors and judges’ caprise.

    This is in stark contrast to many states who, sick and tired of
    violent crime against innocent victims, often women or the elderly,
    have placed exact clear circumstances under wich deadly force can be used against an assailant. In states where this was done an often immediate very sobering effect has been noticed among
    violent thugs. Colorado is a great example of what placing victim’s rights in black letter statute l;aw and taking the decision to persue
    victims out of the hands of say, a county prosecutor or a local judge can do for real public safety.

    Really, that was one of the goals of the getz case; many wanted to
    use the case to FORCE a clear firm landmark court decision on what was and what was not justifyable use of deadly force. They
    failed to force a clear court decision but the political damage to the court system who had turned thousands of violent felons
    loose many times over was done.

    But we stilll dont have a clear central landmark court case and of
    course, we dont have a central statute law. So with every case the prosecutors and courts are free, no matter what anyone says, to take a wide range of actions against a victim who has had to defend their life. Wonderful Albany.

    This is WHY any good defense attorney urges great care in any
    situation which may lead to youre having to defend yourself.
    Because in NY state you really DONT have a structure of law to protect you as in in other states.

    Generally, I have always been counciled by attorneys that:
    1) you must not have provoked the situation
    2) There must be a serious real immediate threat to your life
    3) There must be no way of escape from the situation outside
    of deadly force.
    This is a major point, in a lot of states, the violent criminal is
    on ery different legal ground that in states like New York. First
    is that there is GREAT CARE taken by the less reputable in society when approaching anyone including a woman or the elderly. First because a LOT of women and elderly are simply armed and unlike places like New York, you dont have to make a run for it to avoid wiles of some later on the scene prosecutor.
    Anyone who has walked the streets of say, Denver or Houston late at night knows the stark difference in how bold criminals are
    there as opposed to midtown manhattan.

    But because of the legal structure here and the political atmosphere I urge very great care to avail yourself of the BEST legal advise before any kind of possible incident.

    I would apporach, if I can remember, the, refuse to be a victim program of the NRA I’m sure thier web site still has the contact information. When Betty Gotbaum decided to force all the precint community councils to show the Michael Douglas anti self defense firm we demanded to have equal time, a certian neighborhood association got very upset and the Bklyn Height press did a MAJOR story on the pro-gun/pro victim rights evening at the 84th pct council metteing and the general subject of ownership of guns in the Heights which was peaking right then due to the amount of violent crime. To represent victim’s rights the New York State Pistol and Rifle Association sent Jerry Priser of the West Side
    Gun Range in Manhattan who brought the house down with a great presentation. I guess I would also approach the Gun Owners of America for thier views on what is the current state of
    the law in NY state.

    But I strongly urge to strictly follow the guidence of fully qualified legal council at all times…..

  • Eddy de Lectron

    No you can’t shoot them anywhere on your property, unless they are threatening your life.

  • http://Building Jeffrey J Smith

    Its a LOT more complex than that….

    First of all there are two things which should be said:

    1) there are certian people who should NEVER have a gun or EVER be involved in any kind of personal defense situation if at all humanly possible: POLITIAL OR SOCIAL activists should NEVER become involved in ANY firearms or self defense situation if at all possible because of the VERY REAL posibility of a POLITICALLY MOTIVATED prosecution in the very hostile legal and political atmosphere of NY City.

    2) ANYONE seeking to insure thier situation in a defense of life
    situation should PRIOR to any situation or incident seek the BEST
    POSSIBLE legal advise from a COMPETENT legal defense council with REAL experience in defense-of-life use of a firearm cases AND a defense council who is PERSONALLY SYMPATHE-

    To this end, I STRONGLY suggest that you contact the following
    organizations for guidence;

    The National Rifle Association; Refuse To Be A Victim Program:
    1-800-861-1166 and 703-267-1394 and also try 1-800-672-3888

    The New York State Pistol and Rife Association:
    (they have very effective programs-)

    Gun Owners of America:

    You should seek council from ALL of the above organizations.

    In previous situations in the 84th Pct. when, for example, homeowners in the Vinegar Hill area right next a very high
    crime area were being seriously threatened by violent crime,
    just a few residents agreed to be put in contact with the NRA
    refuse to be a victim program. How fast do you think the word
    of that got out to the street just a few blocks away…Despite
    any denials from those not sympathetic, the effect of the
    “refuse” material and message was immediate and VERY beneficial….even if you ONLY count the morale and how
    legally and street smart it made certain community members
    I saw this program work albeit through quiet and mostly private
    avenues, and I KNOW it has real, positive effects.

  • Peter

    @RamonaQuimby and @karl Junkersfeld, thanks for the feedback about Seasons, looking forward to checking it out next weekend.

  • Andrew Porter

    Nabeguy didn’t mention that a lot of the stuff in front of his house was in Francais. Le livre de Nabeguy est… Now that it’s rained, it all academic.

    I was at Pier One over the weekend. Let’s see: people riding bikes on the pathways and on the grass? Check. Dogs on the grass? Check. People smoking and throwing their butts on the pathways? Check. No Park Enforcement Officers anywhere? Check. Thong Man aka Banana Guy exposing himself to our views? Notably absent. Guess it’s not summer yet.

  • E

    In regards to sketchy man/sweatpants/hood: I have not seen him since last Wednesday, but just keep your eyes open for him, something is off about him/his situation.

  • Laurie

    Does anyone know a Herbert who lives on Montague Street? Is
    the man still around?

  • http://Building Jeffrey J Smith

    Try to get the guy on a phone cam next time you see him or any
    really clearly illegal activity. Then you have a real picture you can share with the police and concerned parties.

  • BrooklynHeights1

    If this “sketchy man” in the sweatpants is a minor , Ie: 17 years of age, as he was described to be between 17-20.. then he should be reported ASAP.. he could be a run away. EITHOR way… he should be reported as a suspicious person. It doesn’t matter if he has not done anything, he needs to be put on the map. Why wait until/even if he deos somthing? What’s the pharse in the subway??… ” If you see something, say something”. Where can he be reported? I don’t think it’s safe for someone to be roaming around scaring people especially in a neighborhood full of children and families as well as people walking alone at any hour. He does not seem like a safe ticket. Let’s try to figure out a way to put him on the map with the local police.

  • http://Building Jeffrey J Smith

    There is a very careful balance here. If you feel someone is suspicious ou as an individual may want to maintain a watch.
    But without any real prob. cause there are serious legal and
    I have to say this, constitutional aspects to reporting a person
    if you have not seen him in an actuial criminal act. The liabil-
    ity exposure alone. There is a very sensitive mix of maintain-
    ing a neighborhood watch and respecting individual rights.
    I am the hardist line advocate of strong anti crime actions
    by average citizens. But bear in mind constitutional rights
    always count.

  • heightsguy

    Sounds like a bit of a moral panic about the person in sweatpants. Maybe he is a jogger winding down. If he is the latest homeless person with psychiatric issues, why assume he is about to commit an atrocity? Maybe he needs a sandwich. The poor and homeless are so stigmatized. No blog in another neighborhood would make such a big deal. Alarm, alarm, a poor person in our yuppie midst. Get out the pitchforks and the torches!

  • David on Middagh

    Photo alert: There is a bicycle chained up at the Cadman Plaza West stairway to the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s under the overpass. Someone has knitted this bicycle a multicolored cozy.

    I think this art project was installed after 6:30 PM this evening. It’s already suffering at one handgrip from birds or other peckers.

  • nabeguy

    @heightsguy, in total agreement. When the “bogeyman” mentality gets the better of us, we all lose.We all have tongues in our heads, and, hopefully, some of us will find the courage to use them to approach rather than shun the less fortunate in our midst. You’d be surprised how a simple “hello” can dispel fear on both sides of the equation.

  • bkday6

    If this were just a homeless person, no one would care. But the fact that many have said that this person makes them uncomfortable and have changed routes home because of him, I’d say that it becomes more of a serious issue. But you go ahead and make yourself feel better by pretending you care about the homeless. Your the same person that walks right by them.