Brooklyn Police Arrest Rabbi For Letting His Three Kids Walk To Candy Store

P. Gardner Goldsmith | May 13, 2020
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Remember those happy memories “old” people used to offer? They were those classic “Ahh, the good ol’ days” comments, like, “When I was a kid, we CRAWLED to school, on steaming OBSIDIAN – AND WE LIKED IT!”

Well, it appears that the unfounded worries of paternalistic COVID-Crackdown bureaucracies might see us remembering the “Olden Days” by saying, “When I was kid, we used to… step outside without POLICE PERMISSION! We used to leave home without our electronic tether or ‘Contact Tracer’!”

The trend seems plausible, given a news report from Reason’s Lenore Skenazy, who writes that Brooklyn cops on May 10 arrested local Rabbi Noah Chakoff because he allowed his three children to – HORROR! – walk to a local store.

A Brooklyn dad who let his kids walk a few blocks to the local store was arrested on Sunday morning and charged with endangering the life of a child.

Everyone knows we can’t have THAT! Why, this is COVID Crackdown America! Who in the WORLD would allow his kids to walk a few blocks to the store?

(T)he ordeal began when New York City police stopped the kids—ages 11, 8, and a 2-year-old in a stroller—as they were simply heading to their local bodega (a small candy-and-everything-else store).

No, no, no. It’d be different if they were going to vote, or something important like expanding the power of the state, sure. But, CANDY? How can the government allow that?

Reporter Noah Goldberg writes in The New York Daily News that the police even sent an ambulance to the scene. Is there nothing more pressing a New York City EMT might need to attend to? Are kids to be considered so neglected, endangered, or rabid, that they might require emergency medical care by merely being outside?

It looks like “helicopter parenting” has been replaced by “over-zealous policing” in virus-frightened Brooklyn. Heck, given that NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio recently swooped down like a male Valkyrie to break up an outdoor Jewish funeral, it’s surprising that this trio wasn’t considered a “too large public gathering” and set upon by ol’ Billy Boy himself.

Sure, one can imagine becoming concerned when seeing three kids aged 11 years and younger unaccompanied on a local street. But that doesn’t require a cop, or an arrest, or a danged EMT visit.

And Rabbi Chakoff’s lawyer agrees.

‘I can understand them stopping the children, just to ask a few questions,’ Chakoff's attorney, Jason Goldman, tells Reason. ‘But obviously I don't agree with them charging the rabbi and keeping him for hours and hours while everything was going on with the pandemic.’

And Reason reports that Rabbi Chakoff was taken to the local precinct and central booking.

His wife, eight months pregnant with their ninth child, tried to bring her husband the holy items used for prayer, but these were not given to him.

Classy. Very classy.

Then the police presented the case to the prosecutor, but, thankfully, the prosecutor opted not to proceed with charges.

So the kids were taken, the father arrested, the pregnant mom forced to drop what she was doing to try to help, while time was eaten, tax cash burned, and police kept the man caged for eight hours.

As Skenazy writes:

The reason, Goldman added, is because letting your kids go to the store is not actually against the law. On the contrary—it's perfectly normal behavior.

If only cops harassing innocent families was a little less normal.

It seems that now -- as politicians more and more often put police in the unsustainable position of carrying out COVID Crackdown orders to shut businesses and punish people for engaging in perfectly normal activities – this seems to be a growing worry in America.