Hynes and His ‘Haman’

Orthodox Jews, Angered Over Recent Cases, Up in Arms Against Brooklyn D.A.

"Hynes is a very caring D.A.," she maintains, "and the community knows it. The recent incidents are not going to influence Boro Park's feelings toward Hynes." White says she was particularly impressed by the way Hynes handled the Crown Heights riots.

However, following the Freilich case, Hasidic leaders who attended the trial are alleging that one of Hynes's aides made anti-Semitic comments during his summation. Last week, the Jewish Presspromised to print portions of the summation—which is currently being transcribed—in upcoming issues, allowing readers to "judge for themselves the appropriateness of some of his comments." Last year in another controversial case that left the Orthodox community in a state of fury, the same aide allegedly made comments in private to a prominent rabbi and to his lawyer that were construed as anti-Semitic. The lawyer on that case, Roger Adler, told the Voice, "I was shocked when the aide made comments that sounded like more personal attacks on my client than intellectual discourse regarding his innocence.

After Freilich was indicted last year, Orthodox leaders reached out to black Brooklyn assemblyman Clarence Norman—a close friend of Hynes's—beseeching him to share their concerns with the D.A. The Hasidic community has made other unorthodox alliances regarding Hynes. Park Avenue Synagogue rabbi David Lincoln wrote to Hynes asking why he took such an aggressive stand against Freilich, whom he described as "an outstanding man." Lincoln told the Voicethat Hynes has spoken at his synagogue at least once, "but I think he has lost some credibility over this matter."

Andrew Stettner, executive director of Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, agrees. "We are disappointed with the D.A. Across the board in the Jewish world—and in the Asian and black communities—there is a widespread feeling of injustice." JFREJ has been organizing events at which secular and religious participants have united in support of petitioning Attorney General Janet Reno to investigate the Busch case.

In the aftermath of the Busch and Diallo cases, the United Jewish Appeal's Young Lawyers Committee met two weeks ago with Reverend Calvin Butts of Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church and Gidone Busch's brother Glenn Busch, a New York-based lawyer. "In my brother's case, Hynes never indicted," Busch told the group. "We need independent prosecutors in police brutality cases."

On March 5, Congressman Jerrold Nadler reproved attendees at a UJA professional breakfast in Manhattan for not putting more pressure on the Justice Department to help the Busch family, implicitly criticizing Hynes's office.

"There are certainly questions that have gone unanswered," he said, such as, "What went wrong in this investigation?"

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