Taj Patterson after his beating.

Detective Posed as Jewish Victim To Trick Hasids Into Sharing Surveillance Video of Beating

Residents of the Hasidic neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, refused to help police investigating the 2013 gang beating of a black gay man by Orthodox Jews, an NYPD detective testified in open court August 30.

According to accounts of the trial published in the New York Post and the New York Daily News, a police detective told the judge that residents initially lied to him when he asked for surveillance video that might help crack the case.

Stymied, police then had a Jewish detective pose as a robbery victim and approach the residents on his own. “We were then able to get the videos,” Detective Eric Sanchez said, according to the Daily News.

The testimony came on the second day of the Brooklyn Supreme Court trial of Mayer Herscovic, a 24-year-old Hasidic man facing felony charges in connection with the December 2013 gang beating of Taj Patterson.

Patterson suffered facial fractures, retinal damage, and was left nearly blind in one eye after being attacked by a group of Orthodox Jewish men as he walked home through Williamsburg after 4 A.M.

Prosecutors described August 29 how Patterson banged on a passing car for help. The woman in the car called 911 but refused to let Patterson in, telling the 911 operator that there were “too many of them.”

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at nathankazis@forward.com or follow him on Twitter, @joshnathankazis.


Josh Nathan-Kazis

Josh Nathan-Kazis

Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.

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Detective Posed as Jewish Victim To Trick Hasids Into Sharing Surveillance Video of Beating

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