Tags: antidisestablishmentarian, asshats, history, humor, law, media, racism, terrorism
Anyone else remember Bernhard “Subway Vigilante” Goetz?
Back in 1984, he was accosted on a New York subway train by at least three in a group of four black men who intended to rob him (suppose I should give Darrell Cabey the benefit of the doubt, even though he made no attempt to alert Goetz). Goetz produced a .38 Smith & Wesson and shot all four of them — non-fatally, which wasn’t his intent.
The subsequent case against Goetz was a huge media event, which quickly engrained itself into American pop culture. Goetz was eventually acquitted of the crime under New York’s self-defense statutes, although he did serve a few months for having an illegal weapon.
Some twelve years later in 1996, Darrell Cabey was awarded $43 Million dollars in a successful Civil Suit against Goetz. Goetz, of course, filed for bankruptcy.
Even though there are many people who feel Goetz was a racist in using excessive force against his assailants (let’s be honest — that’s what they were), it is widely speculated that this single, highly publicized incident was responsible for the sharp drop in robbery and muggings in 1980’s New York City.
And why on Earth would I be thinking of Goetz today?
Two Pratt Institute students were arrested for planting “fake bombs” around the New York City subway, to rage against the machine, to show of the “farce” that is Subway security … just to prove that they could.
Apparently, umm, they couldn’t.
What they did prove, however, was that a couple of snivelling, priveledged, caucasian children can stuff newpapers into duffel bags and still be arrested.
I’ll bet ol’ Bernie Goetz would have made quick work of these asshats. 😉