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Crown Heights on the Verge of Big Trouble or Not?

[Photo courtesy gkjarvis/flickr]

The Tower of Fun has been deployed in Crown Heights and there is a heavy police presence, but whether the neighborhood--which erupted in a riot in 1991--is about to explode depends on who is telling the story. Today's Times has a story about how the neighborhood is tense and leads with this: "The streets of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, resembled an armed camp on Wednesday." Which is not the kind of wording that would make people perusing the Corcoran listings and other in the neighborhood happy. (One of the key difference between 1991 and 2008 being real estate values and gentrification.) The trouble started last month when a black was assaulted by members of a private Hasidic security patrol. Last week, a Jewish teen was robbed and beaten by black teens. As for different takes on the situation, the Sun's story says: "As politicians from around the city gather in Crown Heights today to decry rising racial tensions there, some black and Jewish residents there say elected officials are overreacting" and quotes residents saying there aren't going to be any riots. The tense situation, though, shows up in places like the Crown Heights message board, where a rumor floated around about a racial shooting earlier this week.
· Police Are Out in Force as a Neighborhood Simmers with Tension Again [NYT]
· Threat of Another Riot in Crown Heights [Sun]