Mayor DeBlasio was probably busy preparing for his inauguration when hundreds of teens stormed Kings Plaza Shopping Center last week, smashing candy jars, looting, engaging in “knockout” assaults, and beating up security guards in an open-invitation attack that forced the mall to close during its lucrative, post-Christmas day of sales.
Don’t hold your breath for any outrage or arrests. DeBlasio didn’t address the mayhem on Twitter and didn’t return several calls for comment. What could be more important than addressing a terrifying act that traumatized hundreds of innocent shoppers on the eve of his watch?
Mayor DeBlasio won a landslide victory because he promised to protect vulnerable populations, and create a city where middle-class families could live, work, and raise their children. Yet he blew his very first opportunity to call for good citizenship and show he cared about the rights of law-abiding civilians.
The city’s new top official should have addressed the mall melee because of its enormity, and its capacity to inspire copycats attacks — or worse — if left unchecked.
The planned social assault, advertised on social media, is a stark reminder that we are a heartbeat away from returning to the loathsome times of 20 years ago, when coddling law enforcement policies emboldened criminals, crumbled communities, inflamed neighborhood race wars, prompted the middle class to pack up and leave, wrecked tourism, and left the city a stinking rat hole where louts lorded over the law-abiding.
The writing is on the wall. The knock-out attacks, in which young people attempt to randomly cold-cock strangers with one punch, have increased in recent months: a woman was punched in the head in broad daylight last month, as she walked with her young daughter in Midwood. A month earlier, cops arrested a 13-year-old African-American boy for a knockout attack on a 12-year-old boy in Crown Heights. That same month, an elderly Russian woman was thumped in the head by a young thug as she walked to her senior center in Canarsie.
The Kings Plaza incident caps the pandemonium. The mall, ironically, was where the NYPD conducted a terror drill in November, in response to the Kenyan shopping center mass shootings two months earlier that killed 67 people, likely not thinking that teen thugs at home could pose a threat as dangerous.
Safety is king, and Mayor DeBlasio needs to be emotionally equipped to confront schizoids who hold society hostage. He should mince no words in calling out lawless behavior, and stand firmly in solidarity with law-abiding New Yorkers — Gotham’s largest defenseless community — if he is serious about his wish for “One New York, Rising Together.”
©2014 Community News Group
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