2003-07-11 / Columnists

On The Beach

With Beverly Baxter
As They Keep Law And Order on Our Streets and Beaches
On The Beach With Beverly Baxter As They Keep Law And Order on Our Streets and Beaches

With Beverly Baxter
As They Keep Law And Order on Our Streets and Beaches

Though much has been taken, much still abides; and for a small town where everybody knows your name, and your pain; for a town that has lost so much, you would think that an innocent 4th of July beach party to honor those whom we lost on 911 as well as to raise funds for their families would at the most be crashed by inclement weather—not a throng of nearly 50 armed police.

I was deeply hurt to hear of the horror imposed upon my neighbors by our very own police department. I agree that even the tragedy and agony of 911 and the sincere occasion of a community’s need to purge its grief and put it into the most genuine and noblest of actions by raising money for its neighbors does not mitigate one’s adherence to the law. However, when our parks department, within just the past two weeks, posts new restrictions on our use of the beach and boards and then states in its press release that these restrictions will be mildly and selectively enforced, one can only fathom where the "selective" common sense was when the police, acting on those rules, chose to break up the beach party, randomly search and confiscate coolers, and arrest those who voiced their outrage.

These were good decent sound Rockaway families who got together for a good cause. You will not find any one of these people on any given day staggering on the beach or boardwalk in front of the beach bar in full view—-and consent of the police who man that post and preside over from on top of a lifeguard stand on the boardwalk!
  The harassment and arrest of Mr. Knott and his group seems to have been an excessive enforcement of the law. If emotions reached the point of combustion, it was not merely or entirely due to the effect of the brew in the noon-day sun; but rather, the poignant fact that these day-to-day law abiding citizens were gathering with "a few" to help the families of the nearly 100 neighbors whom we all lost; of whom many were firemen and police officers. I would ask that these particular policemen remember this...as they keep law and order on the streets and beaches of New York.

***Happy Birthday wishes to Billy Schmand.

See you...On The Beach!

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