Vigilante Orthodox Jewish Patrol Assists NYPD In Arrest of Five Graffiti Artists

June 16, 2014 | Bucky Turco

Artists adorning walls with their unsanctioned work in Brooklyn should be on alert that it’s not just the NYPD who’s out hunting for them. The Shomrim, an all volunteer force that patrols Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods, helped the cops arrest five people for graffiti in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday. All of the busts happened in Williamsburg — two of them taking place a few hours apart within a couple of blocks of each other — with assistance from the WSPU. According to JPUpdates, detectives from the 90 Precinct “thanked Shomrim for playing a main role in these arrests.”

In recent years, the taxpayer-funded Shomrim have been widely criticized as a vigilante police force that even operates a fleet of vehicles painted in the NYPD’s blue and white color scheme. They’ve been cited for racism, unlawfully detaining people, withholding key information from the NYPD, and outright violence, often leading to charges being dropped against suspects and the arrests of its own members. (Photo: @ShomrimDispatch)