Good morning. It is Wednesday. We follow the suspect’s surrender in Sunday’s subway shooting. We will also look at WWII Jewish soldiers who had Christian burials. They are now given appropriate religious ceremonies.
He entered the Fifth District accompanied by plainclothes officers, a 25-year-old man in a white T-shirt and black pants. Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the man, Andrew Abdullah, was the suspect in Sunday’s deadly subway shooting.
“This heinous crime should never have happened,” said Sewell, who called the death of Daniel Enriquez, 48, “every New Yorker’s worst nightmare.” She also said the shooting “was committed by another repeat offender, who has been given full leeway by the criminal justice system.”
Police caught him almost minutes after the train arrived at the Canal Street station, and Abdullah — who had faced several gun-related offenses over the past six years and pleaded guilty to gun possession linked to two gangs in Harlem in 2018 — left. to the street. He was stopped by officers looking for a gunman who was described as wearing gray sweatpants and a black hoodie.
When officers encountered him, Abdullah had taken off the hoodie so that they could see only the orange-red T-shirt that had been underneath and concluded it didn’t fit the description, said James Essig, the detective. They let him go, but when they later saw the T-shirt around the hoodie’s collar on security camera footage, they realized he had been their husband, said John Miller, deputy commissioner for public information.
Police have said Abdullah stunned a car full of passengers on Sunday when he pulled out a 9-millimeter pistol and fired at Enriquez. Abdullah paced and muttered to himself as the Q train crossed the Manhattan Bridge, police said. Abdullah and Enriquez, who was on his way to meet his younger brother for brunch, hadn’t been in contact before Abdullah fired one shot to Enriquez’s chest, police said.
Abdullah slipped into the chaos as the train pulled into Canal Street station and handed the gun to a homeless man, two law enforcement officers said.
Lamor Miller-Whitehead, the bishop of Leaders of Tomorrow International Churches, said he spoke to Abdullah’s relatives when the suspect considered surrendering. He said the family had told him that Abdullah “suffered from mental illness, mental health problems”.
“I said, ‘Let’s get together. And let’s turn him in,'” he said. “And they all agree. Even the young man said, “I’m going to turn myself in.” A surrender was made on Tuesday afternoon, but Miller-Whitehead said officers with guns drawn arrested Abdullah at the Legal Aid Society’s office.
Enjoy a mostly sunny day, with a maximum of almost 70 and a south-easterly wind. The evening will be partly cloudy, with a minimum of around 56 and a light southeast wind.
ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING
Effective today. Tomorrow suspended (Solemnity of Ascension).
Adams is being pressured to address housing issues
“We need to get it right,” Mayor Eric Adams said of the need for a plan to tackle rising housing costs and homelessness.
Shortly after becoming mayor early this year, he promised he would announce a “comprehensive housing plan” within weeks. It is now four months later and no announcement has been made.
Adams has defended the pace – “I know it feels like I’ve been mayor for five years, but I’ve been here for five months,” he said last week. And a staff shortage at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development has slowed the city’s ability to proceed with affordable housing projects.
The details of Adams’ housing and homelessness plans are still being worked out, pending an expected release next month. They will arrive as rents rising and the end of pandemic protection measures will pressure the mayor to address two seemingly intractable problems. About a third of renters have “severe rent burdens,” meaning they spend more than 50 percent of their income on rent, according to a survey of the city’s housing stock published last week. And more than 48,000 people slept in New York City shelters every night in March, according to the Coalition for the Homeless — about 2,000 less than the entire population of Plainfield, NJ.
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Many Jewish soldiers who served in World War II were Christianly buried in Europe. Their relatives often had no idea.
My colleague Liam Stack writes that their descendants are now holding rededication ceremonies and replacing Latin crosses on the graves with Stars of David in Europe to honor the Jewish heritage of their ancestors. They were aided by Operation Benjamin, a group founded by Shalom Lamm, an amateur historian who was struck by a conversation with a friend who had just returned from a visit to the Normandy American Cemetery in France.
The friend said he expected more Stars of David between the rows of white crosses.
That prompted Lamm to do some research. He found that 149 of the 9,500 graves in Normandy were marked with Stars of David. But historians estimate that about 2.6 percent of American casualties in the war were Jewish, meaning many more Jews should have been buried.
He decided to track them down, but how?
He started by randomly selecting a grave – a grave in Normandy with a Latin cross.
“I’m almost ashamed to say how we did this: we took a soldier whose name sounded Jewish,” Lamm said. “We said, ‘Hey, Benjamin Garadetsky is buried under a cross, maybe he’s Jewish.'”
Lamm found the descendants of Garadetsky. He learned that Garadetsky had been a Russian immigrant who lived in the Bronx before his military service and whose parents were buried in a Jewish cemetery on Long Island. After Garadetsky’s grave was rededicated in 2018, Lamm initiated Operation Benjamin, naming the project after him.
Since then, about two dozen ceremonies have been held in cemeteries around the world administered by the American Battle Monuments Commission, which manages 26 cemeteries and 32 memorials in 20 countries and territories.
Alison Bettencourt, a spokeswoman for the commission, said that in the chaos of the war and its aftermath, some soldiers may have been buried under the wrong religious symbols. In addition, many Jewish soldiers chose to continue as Christians because, at the time, dog tags contained information about a soldier’s religious background. Soldiers were given three options: ‘C’ for Catholic, ‘P’ for Protestant and ‘H’ for Hebrew.
“There was a lot of concern among Jewish soldiers that if they were captured and their dog tag marked them as Jewish, they would receive different treatment than the Germans,” said Ben Brands, a historian with the commission.
Some also feared that they would face anti-Semitism from other American soldiers. Barbara Belmont, 80, was 3 years old when her father, Albert, was killed. His dog tags identified him as a Christian.
“There was a lot of anti-Semitism and he didn’t want to be ‘that Jewish soldier’ or whatever,” she said. “He just wanted to be one of the soldiers.”
I made my first of many visits to New York in 1988. I was from Vancouver, British Columbia, which is a small city by comparison, and I loved being in the big city.
I stayed at the Excelsior Hotel on the Upper West Side, a well kept secret among Canadians for its reasonable prices and prime location near the Museum of Natural History.