We look forward to the day when the residents of the Baisley Park Houses will believe the police officers from the 113th Precinct are on their side.
That day is not here yet.
Earlier this month, two men riding in a car near the houses were arrested because police believed they were dealing drugs. The police say that when officers tried to remove 33-year-old Corey Crichlow from the car, they saw him swallow what was believed to be crack cocaine.
According to police, Crichlow resisted arrest and shoved one of the officers to the ground. A second man, 27-year-old Raynard Fields, got involved and both men were arrested, the NYPD said. As word of the arrest spread, a group of 40 protesters gathered and then marched nearly a mile to the precinct house. When they arrived, they were met by police in riot gear.
Something is wrong with this picture. The relationship between the police and the people living in the Baisley Houses is far from what it should be. This is a tough part of town and local residents should be happy to have a strong police presence to protect them from people who would sell drugs to their children, carry guns and beat someone just to get an iPhone.
But apparently that’s not the case.
A.U. Hogan, president of the Baisley Park Houses’ tenant association, said he joined the march in an effort to keep the residents from breaking out in violence.
“I figured if I walk with them and calm them down, they’re not going to fight the police officers,” he told our reporter. “It was a struggle to calm some of the residents down and to make sure there were only two people arrested.”
Leroy Gadsden, president of the Jamaica branch of the NAACP, said “people feel like they’re getting picked on again. You’ve got an army of officers coming across the street trying to calm people down coming with clubs like they want to bust people’s heads open.”
The commander at the 113th should see the demonstration as a sign of how much work needs to be done. Until the people are convinced the police are on their side, this part of Queens will not be safe for anyone.