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another frivolous Jewish lawsuit

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  • thekoba@aztec.asu.edu
    The death of an unlikely Jean Valjean, a retired Jewish businessman, who stole a loaf of bread from an upscale north Scottsdale shopping center, has spurred
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 4, 2002
      The death of an unlikely Jean Valjean, a retired Jewish businessman, who
      stole a loaf of bread from an upscale north Scottsdale shopping center,
      has spurred yet another frivolous lawsuit by the ADL. That Fry's Food
      Store, located at 90th Street and Via Linda, is frequented by Jewish
      customers, so I find it difficult to believe that Larry Melsky was singled
      out by a guard who allegedly had connections to a white supremacist gang.
      Still, the ADL seem to think there's publicity to be had and money to be
      made. The following story appeared in the wednesday 4 December 2002 edition
      of The Arizona Republic on page B3:

      GROUP FEARS ANTI-SEMITISM IN DEATH OF SHOPLIFT SUSPECT

      By Emily Bittner

      The Anti-Defamation League is saying that a shoplifting suspect killed in
      a scuffle at a Fry's Food Store in October may have been targeted because he
      was Jewish.

      The family of Larry Melsky filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Fry's
      last week, citing police reports that detailed the White supremacist
      activities of security guard Ronnie Michael, one of the four men who
      detained Melsky.

      The ADL, an international group dedicated to exposing anti-Semitism,
      stopped short of calling the fatal confrontation a "hate crime," saying
      the only evidence now was Melsky's Jewish heritage and Michael's
      reputed history with racist gangs, including the Gilbert Devil Dogs.

      "You can't take those two independent facts and determine this was a hate
      crime," said Bill Strauss, ADL regional director.

      But the ADL wants more information and says it will press for the quick
      release of a report into Melsky's death. Scottsdale police say that
      document will not come out for another month.

      Melsky, a retired salesman, wore a Star of David outside his shirt, said
      his daughter, Rhona Melsky. He died two months ago in a hospital after
      guards handcuffed him in a hallway of the Fry's at Shea Boulevard and
      90th Street [address incorrect, I have seen that intersection, and there
      is no Fry's there, it is further south at Via Linda --K.W.] Melsky, who
      hit his head in the fight, was empty-handed.

      Police interviewed all four security guards the night Melsky was injured
      but have released the transcripts of only two of their interviews. Michael's
      was not one of those.

      Strauss said the ADL will offer Melsky's family and lawyer the
      organisation's investigative expertise on White supremacist groups.
    • thekoba@aztec.asu.edu
      ... Dear Eric, I suppose no one is absolutely clear on the facts of the case, except the four guards (who would, of course have an interest in depicting the
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 4, 2002
        >I'm not quite clear on the facts of this case, let
        >alone the silly white supremacist claim.

        Dear Eric,

        I suppose no one is absolutely clear on the facts of
        the case, except the four guards (who would, of course
        have an interest in depicting the incident in a manner
        that exonerates them) and whatever other shoppers may
        have been nearby. Suffice it to say Larry Melsky
        entered Fry's late one night in October and was taken
        out with a head wound and dying.

        The guards claim that he had a shopping cart full of
        groceries and tried to sneak out. When Melsky saw the
        guards approach, supposedly he abandoned the cart, taking
        only a loaf of bread as he tried to flee.

        >They say he died in a scuffle and they say he was
        >handcuffed in a hallway. So was he handcuffed and
        >then beaten to death allegedly, or did he die after
        >being handcuffed from brain damage or haemorrhage?

        He died after being handcuffed and removed from the Fry's
        to a hospital. The guards allege that he accidentally
        hit his head on a wall during the struggle and that
        this was how the mortal injury happened. I don't know
        if any other injuries were found on his body or if the
        wound was consistent with that explanation. Evidently
        it's still under investigation by the Scottsdale Police.

        >Anyhow, there were four guards there. Apparently one
        >of them had some connection to a supposedly white
        >supremacist gang (and "white supremacist" might only
        >mean white pride -- Black and Mexican groups regularly
        >go in for that sort of thing without being considered
        >"racist," but anyway . . . ).

        The Devil Dogs are known to be a white racist gang, but
        association is not so clear cut. Arizona statutes allow
        someone to be classified as a gang member based on such
        nebulous things as social association with someone who is
        a member or wearing certain kinds of clothing. It's
        possible Michael had no further connection than that he
        was a friend of someone who was in the Devil Dogs.

        >Is the ADL implying that the cops withheld the record
        >of their interrogation of Ronnie Michael in order to
        >protect a "white supremacist gang"? Come on!
        >
        >I think the main thing is that the ADL has to convince
        >the world that there's such a thing as anti-semitism
        >that needs to be combatted. So they have to grasp at
        >straws. It will be interesting to follow this. It
        >might turn downright funny.

        I'm laughing already. It is sad that someone, whatever
        his religion, had to pay the ultimate price for what cannot
        have been more than shoplifting, but that the ADL raises
        the spectre of anti-Jewish hate crime over it is laughable.

        >A year ago or so in Dallas there was a case where some
        >Jew screamed "hate crime" because somebody left a
        >pig's head on his doorstep one morning. It was one of
        >the lead stories on the local evening news with all
        >sorts of liberal head shaking and tut-tutting about
        >how low some people are to want to intimidate poor
        >innocent Jews. Of course there was file footage
        >broadcast from other cities and other times showing
        >swastikas painted on doors, etc.
        >
        >The cops were called in but dropped the case the next
        >day. It seems the Jew had bought some meat or
        >something from a guy but then failed to pay him, or to
        >pay him what he expected to be paid. The cops
        >questioned the suspect and became convinced that the
        >man didn't even know that his adversary was a Jew.
        >The pig's head wasn't a reference to his Judaism but
        >to his not paying for meat.
        >
        >I wouldn't be surprised if this Melsky was another one
        >full of chutzpah who pulled some stupid stunt and in
        >this case was made to pay for it.

        I suppose I can't entirely dismiss the possibility that
        this was a staged hate crime that got out of hand (i.e.
        that Melsky shoplifted so that he could be roughed up
        and sue the store on grounds of "bias-caused assault).
        It does seem very strange that this apparently prosperous
        and financially secure man would try to steal a few
        groceries.

        >Like those apologists for liberal Zionism who were
        >e-mailing me the other day. They invade Palestine,
        >set up a Jewish state, then scream "racist!"
        >"anti-Semite" if you try to boot them out.

        Yes, it could be something like that on a smaller scale.

        Does this mean there isn't a problem of excessive force
        by store security? No, that problem certainly exists,
        and this may have been a case of excessive zeal by store
        security rather than a simple accident.

        Comradely,

        Kevin
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