East Harlem drug haven thrives as police turn a blind eye
The East Harlem drug shelter continued to operate freely Sunday, with some officers simply looking the other way as if nothing was happening as outcasts attempted to rob and harass residents in broad daylight.
The owner of Pizza 2 Go on East 125th Street, Saber Saifullah, told the New York Post about his outrage at having to chase away a drug addict who tried to rob a 15-year-old girl outside his restaurant on Sunday about 10 yards from a police officer.
“The policeman is standing there, the drug dealer is standing there,” Saifullah said.
“I’ve been here for 20 years handling this, never like this,” he said of the out-of-control scene. “[Los drogadictos] They see the good people come here to buy, and they take their food, they take their money.”
Likewise, another addict could be seen dropping his pants on Sunday and injecting himself next to three New York police officers, without any of them intervening.
The New York Post revealed about this Manhattan block on Saturday, it reported on outdoor shooting galleries with several dozen sleepy-looking drug addicts wandering the stretch of Park Avenue begging or stealing money.
Critics of this situation blame liberal criminal laws, including New York State Governor Kathy Hochul’s move that decriminalized the use and possession of hypodermic needles. Citing the new law, police officers were ordered not to arrest addicts who inject in public.
“I called 911 every day,” said local street vendor Ali You. “It’s for the same reason, drug overdoses. All the time they are robbing people here, then they buy the drugs, then they are falling in the street and overdosing right there.”
“On weekdays this is like a drug market here, right here on the street,” You said. “People can’t even walk down the street because they keep saying ‘sorry, sorry’, and while they are begging, someone else is stealing from them.”
“The police are here every day,” he said. “The undercover police… are here often. They stop a lot.”
“But there are too many,” he said about the addicts. “They are always fighting, and more are always coming.”
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