The Juniper Park Civic Association was the key player in the organization of a protest rally at the Patrol Borough Queens North headquarters located in the same building as the 112th Pct. in Forest Hills on Sunday, April 16th.
The rally was held to voice our opposition to the unceremonious transfer of the newly appointed Captain of the 104th Pct, Joseph Culbert.
Sunday morning, April 16th, was a rainy, miserable morning in NYC and also the Christian Holiday, Palm Sunday. Despite all these obstacles JPCA members and other community leaders from Middle Village, South Elmhurst, Maspeth Ridgewood and Glendale areas were present to show their support for Captain Culbert.
In all approximately 125 people were in attendance including the leaders of a Jewish and African-American community in Brooklyn where the Abner Louima incident took place. Capt. Culbert was assigned to that Brooklyn precinct after this horrible crime and he calmed and assuaged the neighborhood thereby preventing the chaos that could have occurred. This neighborhood never forgot Captain Culbert and they showed that by attending the rally on this cold, rainy Sunday morning.
The media was also present in full force with WNBC-TV, NY1, WINS 1010 Radio, the New York Times, Newsday and many other weekly newspapers. Also present were Council Members Tom Ognibene and Walter McCaffrey. Protesters heard from speaker after speaker voicing very passionately, their total unhappiness and disgust with the sudden, suspicious and inappropriate dismissal of Capt. Joseph Culbert.
Bob Holden, president of the JPCA, along with Chaim Deutsch, president of the Flatbush Shomrim Patrol, organized the event.
Holden and Mike Hetzer, president of Citizens for a Better Ridgewood, worked the crowd with chants such as “Culbert did more for the 104,” and (Chiefs) Tuller & Fong…Where are you?”
Much of the ire from the crowd was directed at Patrol Borough Queens North Command who many feel mishandled the Culbert matter. most feel that the entire matter should have stayed right there on Austin Street.
“The way we have been treated today with no one from the Borough Command meeting with us is consistent with how they have been dealing with police work.” Chiefs Tuller and Fong are simply not around,” said Holden. “Release the tapes,” that's our rallying speech, stop blindsiding the public with this secretive approach to policing, ”
The Juniper Park Civic Association and the other community leaders will take whatever steps that are necessary to get an honest, fair explanation of “policegate” and to have Capt. Joseph Culbert's name cleared from the specter of bigotry.
More protests are planned so that justice will win out over McCarthyism-like tactics employed and practiced by some individuals within the NYPD.