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Black, Jewish Leaders Unite To Condemn ‘Knockout Game’ Attacks

Some Believe Black Man Was Beaten In Retaliation For Earlier Incidents Against Jews
Black and Jewish leaders hold a news conference on Dec. 15, 2013, to denounce the recent spate of "knockout game" attacks. (credit: Gary Baumgarten/1010  WINS)

Black and Jewish leaders hold a news conference on Dec. 15, 2013, to denounce the recent spate of “knockout game” attacks. (credit: Gary Baumgarten/1010 WINS)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s a lot different from the dark days of the 1991 Crown Heights riot.

As 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reported, leaders of the black and Jewish communities joined together Sunday on the steps of Brooklyn Supreme Court to repudiate the violent “knockout game.”

The game — in which youths sucker-punch unsuspecting strangers for kicks — has seen black assailants attack a number of Jewish victims. On Dec. 1, however, Taj Patterson, a 22-year-old black man, said he was beaten by a group of Hasidic Jews in Williamsburg.

Patterson reportedly suffered a broken eye socket, a torn retina, blood clotting, cuts and bruises. The fashion student told the New York Daily News his attackers shouted anti-gay slurs at him. Some, however, believe the beating was retaliation for earlier “knockout game” attacks on Jews by blacks.

“There’s a united voice to say that we’re denouncing violence in any and every way possible,” Tony Herbert of the National Action Network said Sunday.

“We will constantly do everything that we can to ensure that acts of violence such as these will not happen,” said Michael Miller, CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council.

Both sides admitted they must work together regularly, not just when there’s a problem.

State Sen. Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president-elect, is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any “knockout game” assailant.

In 1991, riots tore through Crown Heights after a 7-year-old black boy, Gavin Cato, was struck and killed by a driver belonging to the ultra-Orthodox Lubavitch community.

Three hours later, a gang of angry blacks shouting “Get the Jew!” descended on and fatally stabbed Yankel Rosenbaum, who was visiting from Australia. That was followed by stores being looted, police cars being torches and bottles being hurled in the streets.

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