NYS Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) says he’s shocked that the Vermont State Police have found the terrifying arrest of Rabbi Berel Fink’s family in any way acceptable based on their report that showed no evidence of bias or profiling.
“Who said this was a bias issue?” asked Hikind. “The police video makes it clear that this family was put through an ordeal that was terrifying beyond description. They were pulled over in the rain, reportedly for speeding, but were never issued a speeding ticket, which right away tells you something is odd. It’s also obvious that Rabbi Fink was not trying to elude the police—he was just looking for a safe place to pull over in the rain, and within minutes he did so.
“I watched the video in shock. I could only imagine what this family was going through. Rabbi Fink was clearly confused but he wasn’t resisting the police—nevertheless, he was treated like a terrorist, told to lie on his face on the street and handcuffed at gunpoint in front of his family. And then his son, who was a passenger, was treated the same way. And then his wife! You can hear her crying—she is terrified. These people clearly posed no danger to anyone.
“I object to these findings which exonerate this state trooper on the grounds that this was not a bias issue. Where was the sensitivity? The professionalism? Once this family was stopped, the trooper clearly saw what we all see—a frightened family who did not understand why they were being arrested. Rabbi Fink didn’t think he was speeding—no one in their right mind speeds past a police car on purpose. Once the police had run the plates and saw who they were dealing with, there was no need to take the matter any further. I can’t image this occurring on New York. Months later, this is an experience that has effected the lives on this family. It was just terrifying and so clearly unnecessary.”