Jewish Brothers on Neighborhood Watch Attack Black Teen, Case Postponed…Again!

Eliyahu and Avi Werdesheim, 24, and 21, accused of attacking a black teen during a vigilante neighborhood watch in November 2010.

There have been numerous comparisons to the Trayvon Martin case, but none of them the same.  All of the cases take from different aspects of it, but the injustices are similar.  Hate is hate no matter how you slice it and Baltimore has a case that stopped just short of a tragedy.

Two orthodox Jewish brothers, Eliyahu and Avi Werdesheim, now 24 and 21, respectively, live in a black and Jewish Baltimore community and acted as vigilante neighborhood watch or Shomrim (in hebrew)  back in 2010.  Their paths crossed with a 15-year old black boy and they attacked him.  According to the Baltimore Sun article in 2010, the 15-year-old reported that the brothers rode up on him in their car and yelled:

“You don’t belong around here.”  When he asked why he was being followed, the driver of the vehicle, who police say was Werdesheim, reportedly said, “You’re the guy from yesterday on Park Heights, you want some problems?”

But the brothers, of course,  tell a more harmless version of the incident.  But the charging documents state that the brothers pulled up next to the young man in a vehicle,  got out and confronted him, the passenger threw him to the ground and the driver hit him in the head with a hand-held radio and patted him down.

Jewish community organizations as well as the NAACP got involved with this case immediately.  The NAACP called for the Shomrim to disband, but because this was an isolated incident, the Jewish members felt that this would not be a good move.  They felt that because of the attacks and robberies on them, they still needed the watch.  It was also found that Avi Werdesheim was never a member of their community organization and was self-appointed.

The attack resulted in the young man’s wrist being broken and of course other multiple injuries. The two are facing a maximum 13-year sentence if they are found guilty of second-degree assault, false imprisonment and carrying a deadly weapon (the hand-held radio).  But, since the case is so controversial and has now been paralleled with the Martin case, they have postponed the court date five times to get an impartial jury.  Monday’s court date was the sixth postponement.

Read more here on this case that looks like it may never see the light of day.

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