Howard Beach bias furor – QNS.com

Howard Beach bias furor


Courtesy of the New York Daily News

A Queens grand jury has dropped all charges against a white Howard Beach man who allegedly threatened to torch a black neighbor’s property in August 2007.

But Kris Gounden, a Guyanese-American, said problems with his white neighbors are only getting worse and he is seeking help from some of the city’s best-known black advocates.

“It’s not safe for me and my family,” Gounden said. “I told the DA yesterday, ‘I need help. Things are getting worse.'”

Councilman Charles Barron promised demonstrations at the property to stop the “ethnic cleansing” of Howard Beach.

“There are enough racists in Howard Beach already – they don’t need a signal from the DA to think it’s okay to hate black people,” said Barron (D-Brooklyn), known for his controversial comments on race.

“This is a message that it’s okay to harass black people in their homes,” said Barron, who called on federal prosecutors Wednesday to investigate the matter.

Gounden is also seeking the help of the NAACP and Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.

Gounden said his neighbors in the Hamilton Beach section of Howard Beach regularly blocked his driveway, dumped garbage and urinated on his property.

“I’ve lost thousands of dollars,” he said. “I can’t just give up and let them take advantage of me.”

Gounden, who moved to the neighborhood in 2006, said the situation escalated on Aug. 11.

A neighbor, Michael Hussey, 19, allegedly threatened Gounden and his family with a baseball bat.

“He said, ‘F— you, n—-r. You don’t belong in here. I will burn this house. I’ll kill all of you,'” Gounden told the Daily News last year.

A police source described the situation last year as “something out of the Deep South, or the backwoods, circa 1950.”

Police maintained a presence outside of Gounden’s house for more than four months.

But Hussey’s attorney, Michael Anastasiou, said it was Gounden who assaulted his client.

“He made racist and hateful comments to Michael’s mother,” he said. “Kris used the race card to try and get back at my client’s family. When all the evidence went before the grand jury, they found – in all their infinite wisdom – that all the charges against my client were baseless.”

A grand jury returned a “no true bill” this month, meaning charges against Hussey will be dropped, said Kevin Ryan, a spokesman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

“The case against him has been dismissed,” Ryan said.

Gounden said the decision was a miscarriage of justice.

“I’ve been harassed since the first day I moved here,” he said. “It’s a lynch mob.”

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