Day 1: Jury Selection for the Shomrim Trial

A grueling full day of jury selection took place in the New York State Supreme Court today, where six community members are facing serious criminal charges and can face a possible lengthy prison sentence.

The prosecution and the defense polled prospective jurors as to their work and interests in order to determine if they each can function as a fair and impartial judge based on the facts that will be presented during the course of the trial.

History

The six defendants are members of Shomrim who responded to an incident in December of 2007, which took place inside of 749 Eastern Parkway, one of the dormitories where Bochurim who come from Israel to study in k’vutzeh reside. The incident began Erev Shabbos when a group of Bochurim attempted to force another Bochur out of his room. When he showed resistance, the Bochur was attacked.

Later that Friday night, this Bochur, Chaim Dovid Wilhelm, asked one of his uncles if he could stay with him in his house for Shabbos. When asked why he needed a place to sleep when he already had a dorm room, Wilhelm explained that he was being kicked out of his room and that he was afraid to sleep there. Together with two of his uncles, Wilhelm returned that Motzai Shabbos to the dorm and attempted to settle the argument, but the situation grew out of their control. They called Shomrim to assist in settling the dispute.

Two Shomrim members responded to the scene, and after nearly 20 minutes of back and forth arguing, the matter seemed to have been resolved. As the group prepared to leave, the door opened and a mob of angry Bochurim entered the room, led by a cameraman who was filming the scene. The Shomrim members, fearing for their safety and the safety of others involved, called for backup and police assistance.

The group pushed and shoved as over 30 people packed into the tiny room. Shomrim members tried to exit the room, but were prevented from doing so. A brawl broke out and when police finally arrived on scene the incident was under control.

Today

After the incident, a number of the Bochurim, aided by another Crown Heights volunteer patrol group, were taken to the hospital, feigning injury. They then filed police reports against eleven of the Shomrim members who were present. Six of those claims made it to the present court case.

After a tremendous amount of political pressure was placed on the police department and the district attorney, Shomrim was charged with Gang Assault in the 2nd degree, Assault in the 2nd Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd Degree – All charges of felony carrying significant jail terms if convicted.

Today the defendants stand trial in Ceremonial 1 courtroom in the New York State Supreme Court located at 320 Jay Street, before the Hon. Judge Albert Tomei.

Pidyon Shvuim

Yesterday, a collection fund for Pidyon Shvuim was established in an attempt to offset the costs of the trial. Organizers of the fund said that many donations have come in from Crown Heights and Flatbush, as well as from other parts of the world. “We are very encouraged by the amounts that have come in, but we still need more,” said one of the organizers, adding that they have established the site www.ShomrimDefense.com where donations can be made by credit card.

Related Articles:

Shomrim Members were Gang Assaulted while Settling a Dispute
Call for Pidyon Shevuyim as Criminal Case against Shomrim Goes to Trial

22 Comments

  • 2. Out of Towner wrote:

    I’m sure you will all be okay because this case is obviously a fraud on their end.
    A
    Lots
    Of
    Luck!!!!

  • 3. shocked wrote:

    Why can’t some authority in the community force the charges to be dropped? Is there no authority?!

  • 4. terrible wrote:

    the 11 names must be publicized so we can protect ourselves from evil. hashem yerachem

  • 6. not from Brooklyn wrote:

    This is beyond me! I cannot fathom all this what is going on. It is so so sad! All this money(besides all the aggravation) spent when there are so many people without parnosso. A crime. How come there is not more noise coming from the Rabbonim?? This has to stop. The people pressing charges don’t realize how they are playing with fire, rachmono litslan.

  • 7. Shomrim Supporter wrote:

    I’m with you guys,
    you’re awesome, and this world is crazy.

    Letting the crazies get away with MURDER and you volunteers facing jail time

  • 8. sara wrote:

    crazy!! so stupid…. israeli terrorists should not be allowed in the US…. ever!

  • 9. Tzvika wrote:

    Another case of Tzfatim, young bochur PUNKS, AMALEKITES in our midst having no respect for the Shomrim who would never ever assault anyone. THEY WERE LITERALLY FRAMED – AND THE COPS – WHO KNOW WHAT THE BAD BOCHURIM ARE ALL ABOUT – AGAIN FELL FOR THEIR FREEKIN’ PLOT to disdain authority. Shame Shame Shame!!!!!!!!!!!!! Moshiach… Show your mighty hand… Somewhere it’s written “God do not wipe out the evil”, but “make them do teshuva”… NO SUCH THING..> WIPEOUT WIPEOUT WIPEOUT… GO JUMP IN A LAKE YOU BAD BAD BOCHURIM. GET OUT OF 770 AND GET OUT OF OUR LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 10. Sam wrote:

    Last time I checked you can’t try a case without witnesses. So who is making the prosecutions case? I assume it is either not religious Jews or no longer religious Jews.

  • 11. Milhouse wrote:

    Eli, IF it were true that the Shomrim assaulted these people, then it would not be mesirah to turn them in and press charges against them. The victim of an assault is explicitly allowed to masser on his assailant. But that’s only if it takeh happened like that; the Shomrim say they were fighting in self-defense, and if that’s true then there’s no crime and certainly no right to masser.

  • 12. DOWNTRODDEN wrote:

    THIS IS TRULY TERRIBLE JEWS TELLING ON OTHER JEWS GOING TOA SECUALR COURT WHEN THINGS SHOULD HAVE BEEN SETTLED IN A BEIS DIN. WHAT IS OUR WORLD COMING TO. BEFORE ANY PETTY OR EVEN LARGE DISPUTES SHOULD COME A JEWS LOYALTY TO ANOTHER JEW. END OF STORY. THAT IS ALL I HAVE TO WRITE ON THE MATTER . NO MATTER WHERE YOU COME FROM A JEW IS A JEW

  • 13. AGAINST CHILD MOLESTERS wrote:

    if i remember corectley the camera men was assulted as a child and the father was removed from his position in a moisad chinuch . but was never prosecuted for his good dids.
    and now the son is a moiser.
    i think that now that the son is in the belife that police is the way the duty of the kids assulted by his father should be to report the father to the proper athorities.

  • 14. ATT: SAM wrote:

    Actually, the prosecutors are the City and People of NY.
    But the witnesses are in fact: Israeli Bochurim
    Jews with no hearts

  • 15. Avrahom Gilman wrote:

    Hi, please tell us names on both sides so we know who we are dealing with. The names are in the public domain . Are these students who are pressing charges still in the yeshivah and live in Crown heights? I wonder what the Rebbe would say about this. What does the Rosh Yeshivah and Rabbonim say about it. Why does not the Vaad Hahakol make an emergency meeting for the whole community in 770 and tell us the names of the people pressing chages so we can put community pressure on them and stop all this nonsense. Any you Crownheights.info, how about some more info?

  • 16. no more excuses wrote:

    if you go to e-courts (a Web site) you will find the mossrims names, and they are…

    Schneur Rotem – שניאור רותם
    Moshe Gurfunkel – משה גורפינקל
    Yaakov Shatz – יעקב שץ
    Zalman Brownstein – זלמן ברונשטיין

    If you look over the discovery of this case you will find one particular name almost on every page/report and that is…
    Levi Paul Huebner

  • 17. Wasn-t it...... wrote:

    Levi Huebner who guided and advised the 11 bochurim. Just asking……………..

  • 18. may thy live in the bais hachaim loilom wrote:

    this are real goyim hebner is a goy nazi and the mashchistim are not jews
    remember the mashchistim are not jews
    the mashchistim are not jews
    the mashchistim are not jews
    the mashchistim are not jews

    oy rebbe take them away from here and may thy all live a long life with a tumbstone on the head amen

  • 19. stop trying to judge wrote:

    Those of you that keep on asking for more information: if it’s so that you can be the judge in this case, thanks, but there is already a judge on the case!

  • 20. shomrim brother wrote:

    huebner you deserve to burn in hell for trying to put shomrim member who are the ones who give up there lifes/familys/finacial to support there orginaztion for the comunity no matter what the case is think of how much danger these shomrim member get themselves into everytime they go on a call think how much good they have done to crown heights how many lifes they have saved and how without them around the neiber hood will be so much worse thank god for the shomrim around even the police officers that come on the calls will tell you that and will tell you how proud they are about the shomrim members and how the shomrim members are never assulting pepole all they do is catch the victims and wait for the police to come and take care of the rest they will never fight and they are not arm members ever they are trained members and smart members so all those charges that are against them now are all not true charges but the wheel turns and god is out there and has his plans for everthing just remeber that

  • 21. Nissim B. wrote:

    BS“D
    I just received a letter for a donation plea.
    Funny, the letter had only ONE letter of support from a rabbi. The letter stated that Rabbis Osdaba, Shwei and Segal all agreed verbally.
    There are no other rabbinic supporters — why?
    Wouldn’t any organization of worth involved in so serious a matter as Pidyon Shevuyim receive many letters of support?
    I’m not a hater or against Shomrim, but the information (Extensive) and knowledge I’ve gained from much reading and inquiry makes me realize that not every Yid out there loves HaShem or the Rebbe, MH”M,and all his hard work to spread Love between Jews.
    A famous psychiatrist, Ronald D. Lang once said that most of the people in mental hospitals either were never loved or never learned how to love.
    Had I a son,who,G-d forbid, seriously assaulted other Jews I might not feel that 6-7 years in jail was such a bad thing.
    I’m against jail, but that’s’ all this foolish country has (Fines?). There is no flogging, unfortunately.

  • 22. chani wrote:

    emes is not clear when one;s perception clouds it.

    we only recognize what we want to see.

    it is an amazing fact;

    seeing is not believing literally.

    one needs to be a real chossid to see absolute truth in clarity.

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