Gangs and Terrorists: Partners in Crime.
By Sgt. Lou Savelli, NYPD (retired)
You could still smell the odor of the burned towers of the World Trade Center all the way to the East Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn weeks after the attacks. On the corner of Clarendon Road, a few feet from Flatbush Avenue, it was business as usual. Haitian Mafia Crips were spread out across the four corners looking for Five-Oh. People were heading home in the darkness after a long day at work in Manhattan. They seemed almost oblivious, or frightened, to the gang colors and apparent drug dealing as they scurried across the street homeward like mice racing to a hole in a wall when the lights go on. "There's a hand to hand!"
clamored Detective Paul Rossi, lead investigator for the case. His voice resounded with some confusion over the tac radio about a drug deal that just went down on the corner. "Male black, blue Colorado Rockies cap, blue North Carolina jersey, blue jeans and white and blue KSWISS sneakers"
, he continued.
Before he could make another radio transmission, I cut him off. "Unless he's dealing for our subjects, disregard the Crips on the corner! We're here for the Palestinians in the grocery store. They are our targets! We have a new mission, now!"
The radio immediately became silent as we continued our surveillance on an alleged Palestinian funding cell working for an unnamed foreign terrorist group. As tough as it was to stand down on a ground ball drug deal by gang bangers, most likely armed with hand guns, my unit and I were now reassigned to work terrorists in the wake of the 9-11 attacks. After spending several days at the World Trade Center searching through the rubble and learning the names of several fellow officers who were killed, it was an assignment I accepted immediately and with great aggression. Yes, aggression! I was pissed and I couldn't wait to get my hands on anyone remotely connected to Bin laden.
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