Peaceful Parade Moves Through N.Y. Site of Black-Jewish Clash
A parade celebrating Caribbean cultures drew a huge, mostly peaceful crowd Monday in the tense Crown Heights neighborhood, the scene of recent violence between blacks and an ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect.
Mayor David N. Dinkins, grand marshal of the West Indian-American Day Parade, said the goodwill that enveloped the festive event was not because of the large police presence.
“It is because the people of this community and all communities involved really want a wonderful, grand celebration,” he said. “That’s what we’re going to have.”
At least 1,500 police officers were scheduled for duty, which authorities said was a normal contingent for a parade of that size. Police Lt. Robert Nardoza offered no official crowd estimate.
Tensions in the racially mixed Crown Heights area flared two weeks ago, when a member of the Lubavitcher Hasidic sect who was driving his car struck and killed a 7-year-old black boy playing on a sidewalk.
That sparked smoldering tensions between the two ethnic groups, leading to riots and the fatal stabbing of an Orthodox Jew who was uninvolved in the crash.
The parade stepped off about 1 1/2 hours late, because the mayor was talking to black and Jewish officials at a reception.