Video: Festival of Fake Police Lights Takes Over Sixth Avenue [Updated]

Bucky Turco
of ANIMAL fame took this video of what looks like a Lubavitcher Hanukkah parade in Midtown Saturday night. The video was shot on Sixth Avenue at 23rd Street shortly after 8 p.m.

“There were dozens and dozens of cars, most of which had their license plates covered,” Turco said via email. “It went on for minutes.”

As you can see in the video, men are corking traffic in SUVs equipped with police lights and sirens. One of the men blasts a Rumbler-type siren when Turco tries to get video of his license plate, which was taped over.

We called the NYPD public information office to ask if the department authorized the caravan, and if people who aren’t police are allowed to disrupt traffic and have vehicles with lights and sirens. We were directed to send an email, which is NYPD’s way of saying “Go away.”

Correction: A representative of Crown Heights Shomrim, Mendy Hershkop, contacted us to say that contrary to Streetsblog’s speculation in the initial version of this post, his group was not involved in this event and never engages in traffic control. “I don’t do it for this reason,” he said. “Blocking off streets isn’t what we’re trained for.” He attributed the actions in this video to Crown Heights Shmira, a separate group.

Photo: Bucky Turco
Photo: Bucky Turco
  • Alexander Vucelic

    agreed – streets SHOULD be for social events, celebrating, and the life of the city. As Long as these religious cultists drove slowly and with extreme caution, it’s a win. Complete streets After all.

    JB Jackson wrote a Essay on the Subject ‘Two Street Scenes’ Landscapes Vol 3, No. 3 Spring 1954. His thoughts are as valid today.

  • Jim

    They force their way through intersections against red lights, obstructing pedestrians from crossing with no prior warning that the ‘event’ is taking place. It’s outrageous and not cool at all

  • Jim

    I think its a pretty egregious and unsafe violation and we shouldn’t tolerate it because bad things are happening elsewhere in the city. They physically push through red lights en masse and block pedestrian traffic with no warning, thats fucked up

  • We’re lucky no one got killed. The schmucks in the Suburbans didn’t even cork the correct side of a one-way street. What an embarrassment to NYPD, letting these morons run wild on the most crowded streets in NYC.

  • Sholom Lipsker

    It was an extremely uncoordinated event mainly due to the fact that the police were understaffed and were unable to hold traffic like was pre arranged so that everything should run smoothly and nobody should have any difficulties

  • cipher

    Each comment you’ve made here is evidence of your idiocy. Did your rabbis tell you to troll this article, or was it your own idea?

    Of course, you’ll accuse me of antisemitism. I’m a Jew, and I think the ultra-Orthodox get away with far too much.

  • Sholom Lipsker

    Which one way street it’s clearly a two way street as you can tell by the the traffic lights and for the skeptics towards the end of the video you can sees a white shuttle bus coming from the opposing lane

  • Kani Goldinson

    The guy who took the video sounds like a idiot! Who asked him to get close to the guys car and try to tamper with it? Rule number 1: whats not yours, don’t touch. It definitely coasted smart aleck Turco a painful ear, and what did he gain? Absolutely nothing. These Shmira guys are a specialized unit which is run by the NYPD known as COP, and i know that for a fact. They have been working together with the departments Highway unit for the past 20 plus years, and sure have experience & know what they’re doing. They get trained by the NYPD, and even ride in marked NYPD RMP patrol cars. Thanks to the Shmira & NYPD for doing their best keeping everyone safe.

  • The name is taken, sorta. Kritikal Ass was a nude bike ride done by San Francisco bike messengers. Which sort of gave way to the World Naked Bike Ride.

  • #NotAllSantas

  • @ddartley – No, not really.

  • I retract the one-way street assertion but the rest of the comment stands. The way this happened was an embarrassment and could have ended very badly.

  • Sholom Lipsker

    It’s an embarrassment to the police for failing to hold traffic for the couple of minutes necessary for the parade to pass (let’s get to the root of the problem)


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