NY: Muslim Merchants Air Fears



The Rochester Police Department's massive reorganization -
consolidating seven patrol sections into two - went into effect in June
with the goal of reducing crime.

By many accounts, the change has succeeded. But on Wednesday the leader of
a group of Muslim store owners said the revamping has created problems that
need addressing.

"We used to know the officers; now you don't know who is coming when you
call," said Shakeel Cheema, owner of MLK Grand Market at 202 Grand Ave. and
president of the Rochester Muslim Business Association. "You get (police)
who are not familiar with the territory. Eighty percent of the time, you
get someone you don't know. We used to have community policing. To me, it
has changed for the worse."

Cheema and about a dozen other Muslims met with Chief Robert Duffy and
members of his command staff Wednesday to discuss safety issues. The
meeting was in response to the July 30 shooting death of Fadhle Hussein,
who was shot to death inside of Hudson Grocery, a store he owned at 515
Hudson Ave.

After the fatal shooting, Muslim store owners and employees complained that
police leave them vulnerable to violent drug dealers who congregate outside
their businesses.

Wednesday's meeting was the first of what Duffy said would be monthly
meetings with the store owners..

 


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