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July 18, 1986 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-07-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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the Piaget Polo.

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Jewish, Black And The Law

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"I've never had any problems from the
Southern aristocracy down here," he said.
"I've never had a line of bad press since
I've been here. The only problem I've had
was a couple of black city councilmen who
subscribed to the old line that racial
discrimination is the reason for every con-
ceivable ill hi the black community. I don't
believe that. I believe we blacks are
capable of creating our own ills without
the assistance of whites.
"Some things do point to black discrim-
ination, but other crimes point to serious
problems within the black subculture itself
and would probably exist if every Cauca-
sian disappeared from the face of the
earth."
Greenberg said he is embarrassed when
a black, a Jew or a police officer is con-
victed of a crime. He said that Charleston
sees crimes among ethnic groups just like
any other city does. Charleston has a
population of about 85,000 with about
300,000 in the metropolitan area. And
because it is a seaport and a Naval base,
Charleston sees its share of embezzlement
and drug trafficking. Interestingly, one of
the vessels involved in the skirmish with
Libya came to port in Charleston the day
of the Jewish News interview with
Greenberg. The city had received two
bomb threats as a result.
"You hardly see Jews involved in such
crimes as homicide, rape and robbery," he
said. "You'll see more blacks committing
violent crimes. Jews are involved in such
crimes as embezzlement; economic-related
crimes. Jews commit far fewer crimes
based on their population proportion. If
you have a higher number of Jews in an
area, you're going to have a lower number
of crimes committed. The Jewish com-
munity is probably more law abiding than
any other ethnic group, with the possible
exception of the Japanese."
Part of the explanation for the drop in
Charleston's crime rate since Greenberg
came to town is his tough attitude toward
repeat offenders. He is given credit for get-
ting the word out that they'll be j ailed, and
jailed for a long time if they're caught
again.
In his first year, the Charleston police
made 3,100 arrests in the city. Last year,
they made 8,200.
"I operate from.a different perspective,"
said the chief. "I'm a cop. And when a guy
snatches a purse, I don't care why he
snatched the purse, it's just that he did it.
He might be broke or his family has left
him or he didn't receive the right type of
toilet training when he was a baby. But
whatever explanation you want to come
up with, psychological or sociological or
genetic, I don't care, he's going to go to
jail. If someone else wants to buy those ex-
planations, let them. I don't buy nothing.
You rob a bank, you get arrested."
And how does he go after repeat of-

fenders? Simple. He confronts them on the
street.
"If you're going to provide real protec-
tion to honest citizens then you have to
confront the dishonest ones. When we see
a guy who has been a convicted burglar
walking down the street, we know that
he's not walking in the same way that you
or I do. He's walking the way a wolf stalks
a lamb. He's looking for opportunities to
commit crimes.
"So you have to say, 'Hey Jimmy! Jim-
my the burglar, isn't it?' We let them know
right up front that we know who they are.
And if someone comes in here and files a
complaint that he was told to move along
by an officer on the street, we punch up
his name and birth date on the computer
and get a rap sheet. I ask him to sit down.
I ask him how he's doing. I shake his hand.
Then I pull out his rap sheet. I say, 'Mr.
George Jones, arrested and con icted for
armed robbery, 1980; arrested and con-
victed for burglary, 1983.' I read off four
or five of them, and then we know where
each other is at. No bull now. You'd be sur-
prised how mellow they become. I say,
`You're George the burglar.' He says,
`Yeah, but I was harrassed on the street.'
I tell him that he's not talking to one of
those liberal probation. officers. I tell him
that he makes a living out of robbing peo-
ple, and we know why he was out on the
street that day."

v

Chief Greenberg rubs elbows with the
military brass at the nearby Citadel
Military College, while reviewing . recent
parade formations.

When it comes to the criminal justice
system, Greenberg is down on lawyers. In
fact, there are several posters in his
Waiting room that poke fun at attorneys.
He admits to having something against
lawyers, calling their profession "dis-
honorable."
"Any profession in which a person can
go out and say anything to make enough
money is bad," Greenberg said. "They'll
argue anything or say anything for money.
I used to be as discouraged as most police
officers about the court system, but to tell
you the truth, I feel a lot better now than
I ever have . . . now that I've given up all

-

JEWELERS

16

Friday, July 18, 1986

INC

oil. V

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS



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