Catherine Fung, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn discussed on Weekend Edition Saturday

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Looting they're trying comparisons to vigilante groups WNYC's Catherine Fung reports in sheepshead bay every night about a hundred volunteers get in their cars and drive around until five in the morning they call themselves holding down Brooklyn south and they say their goal is to deterrent during they're all men a mix of local business owners and residents and they came under scrutiny earlier this week after a letter on a local Brooklyn news site said they were quote armed with illegal weapons including baseball bats cofounder David Brodsky says that's not true no I do not drive around with the bat have I ever heard of any of our guys are driving with a bac no we say that the weapons are our eyes and our phones he drives along commercial streets like eighty sixth street in Bensonhurst and Fifth Avenue in bay ridge listening to the police scanner and keeps his eyes peeled for activity he deems suspicious people out past curfew cars without license plates he says if he sees something he stays in his car and called the police Brodsky says his group isn't political it's about safety but she said bay business leader Steve Batterson disagrees he says the community doesn't need civilian patrols there haven't been lootings or vandalism here and the risk of racial profiling is one he doesn't want to take managing in a white jeep said berry what are markets come through at night and they see them the chance of them overreacting it's definitely there and it's scary it shouldn't be a few miles away Bensonhurst resident Cindy W. R. it says she finds comments from the group's online supporters menacing and reassurances from the co founder don't make her feel any safer honestly even though one person might genuinely be there just to stop looting I don't think other people have that mentality the ones that are gonna you know join this little she owns a business and the Bronx and she says there residents are looking out for storefront by asking people not to vandalise it Catherine Fung WNYC news support for NPR comes from member.

Coming up next