Black community and civil rights leaders in Baltimore are calling for a Jewish neighborhood patrol group to be disbanded pending an investigation after one of the patrol’s members was charged this week with assaulting a black teenager, reports the city’s Sun. Fearing racial unrest, Jewish and black leaders are planning to meet next week to discuss long-standing concerns. Both groups have lived in the neighborhood for decades, but they respectively claim the north and south quadrants of the Northern Parkway corridor.
The alleged assault by a member of the Shomrim neighborhood patrol is “a horrific situation, and quite frankly, this kind of activity has caused riots in other parts of the country,” said the Rev. Cortly “C.D.” Witherspoon, a pastor working to organize the meeting. “What we need to do is fully explore this with the community and ease their fears, to ensure that this is not a culture.” The Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, meanwhile, condemned Shomrim as a “violent fringe group” and said it would “not stand by and allow our children to be victimized.” A spokesman said Shomrim would not disband or be deterred in its work.