Daily News from New York, New York on December 13, 1995 · 596
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Daily News from New York, New York · 596

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New York, New York
Issue Date:
Wednesday, December 13, 1995
Page:
596
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CO CM A ' i d3 wi mm & m 5 bJ Z m o MIKE McALARY The lesson in hate began 11 years ago. just a block west of the charred cavity that is symbolic of race relations in New York. Then, and now. the ranting protesters included Morris Powell. Then, and now, he saw demons conspiring on W. 125th St At his urging, protesters circled a Korean grocery. The owner of the store, called Ike's, quit the block. The protesters moved on to the next outrage. One day in October 1984. Powell put up his line of racial rant outside the Victory Fish Market just down the block from where Freddy's Fashion Mart eventu ally opened. Morris Powell was carrying a picket sign. At some point. Kim Soo Yea. the 53-year-old wife of the owner, came outside. She tried to grab the picket sign from Powell. He knocked her to the ground, witnesses said, and crushed the woman's skull. Powell, then 44, was arrested on assault charges. One victim of racism described as economics is retired and living in Queens now. The chants have ended for her, but she still hears the ringing. Morris Powell, 55. has moved on, too. He is head of the 125th Street Vendors Association. His rhetoric, merchants argue on 125th St, put a book of matches in a hateful maniac's hand. The wakes for the dead began yesterday. . The daughter of the woman who tell at Powell's hand is still on W. 125th St She has given up the gro eery for the soul food business. She sat yesterday at a table in her restaurant Manna's and looked out the window where she saw ' the smoke rise Friday. "Powell has been spreading his poison." Kim's daughter said. "This has . been coming for a long time. We are all afraid of the protesters. They just -make things up. They will hurt you." Yea looked out her store window at the hole in the city's heart "It is hate," she said. "First my mother. Now. all New York." The jury couldn't reach a verdict, and the assault case against Powell was never retried. His hateful rhetoric festered on 125th St and boiled over at the door to Freddy's last week. Morris Powell said he didn't know the killer. Then he said he only knew him vaguely. But now the city knows that the vendor battle and racism drove the madman to rage. Some merchants on W. 125th St argue that Powell lit the flame in 1984. The haters were only too happy to join him. By October 1994, according to the Amsterdam News, no less a hater than Nation of Islam leader Khalid Abdul Muhammad made a surprise visit to the neighborhood. He stood near Freddy's, shouting. Unlike some of the others that day. Muhammad targeted only white businesses. Anyone in the city who lets this stuff pass without calling it racism is a coward. "Shut them down," Muhammad reportedly yelled. "Run these crackers out of town. Don't be a nigger for the white man." He was chased off the block, witnesses said, by someone from the United House of Prayer for All People. Powell, who likes to call himself a follower of Marcus Garvey. has continued to wage a war against Asians and whites. He was happy to make a lease problem between a black landlord and a black record store into a race case about "bloodsucking Jews." At Powell's office, where they are shamed into silence, no one ventured out into the cold yesterday. They didn't go to a wake, either. "This is all his doing," Kim's daughter said. We moved in the afternoon from one cold to an even more bitter one. Just before 3 p.m. yesterday, the stairs were climbed at Francisco's funeral home on First Ave. The body of Olga Garcia was in a side room. I walked into the place early, expecting a crowd, and wound up in the room alone with the dead teenager. I looked. Oh God. she's just a child. Olga Garcia is too young. At the head of her open gray coffin there was a flower arrangement ' You will always be alive in my heart. The dead girl wore a maroon blouse. In the presence of eternal cold, I dared not look again. . nd this is the journey of one man s 111 hate on 125th St You start with a I woman's cracked skull and wind up with a dead child. Morris Powell should be proud of himself, TIl8 COftiMj f tit ilscistir By SALVATORE ARENA Darty News Staff Writer After 38 years as a lawyer and judge, Harold Tompkins knows a case of life and death when he sees it But in the case of the protest at Freddy's Fashion Mart, he got the case too late to save anyone. "If only I had received the papers earlier," the 63-year-old jurist lamented yesterday in his chambers at Manhattan Supreme Court On Friday. Tompkins sat in his second-floor courtroom weighing an application for a restraining order filed by the attorney for the Jewish operator of the W. 125th St store. As he reviewed the request to restrict African-American protesters picketing the store. Tompkins learned that seven people had just been killed by a crazed gunman who has since been linked to the protest A series of missteps had delayed Tompkins entry into the case. Fred Harari's lawyers filed the motion Thursday but left before it was assigned to a judge. On Friday, attorney Anna Hong delivered the affidavits to Tompkins but left for two hours on another matter. She then sought an adjournment pending the return of a colleague who was out of town. "I'm not going to adjourn it with this affidavit of emergency staring me in the face," said Tompkins. "If someone gets killed over the weekend. I am not going to have it on my conscience, do you understand that?" Minutes later, a visibly upset Hong told Tompkins his worst fears had already been realized. "Are you saying that the store was burned down and people were shot?" Tompkins asked in disbelief. "They have recovered eight bodies," said Hong. Clarification In yesterday's Daily News, the Rev. Al Sharpton was pictured in a video with protesters outside Freddy's Fashion Mart The caption should have made clear that Sharpton has said he was there only briefly and has no knowledge of any alleged harassment or death threats. r i. :.lSEI For vour personalizeH horoscope 1-900-7S6-JOYCE DALY FROM PAGE FOUR ing power might not be on until the next day. Shange would then have to make his own arrangements to get his meter turned on. "You might be a day delayed." the foreman said. Shange decided that he did not need electricity to inspect the damage from the fire next door, and he trudged across the street Police barricades still stood at the scene, and he went up to a pair of uniformed cops in a van. "Not yet," the cop at the wheel said. Shange turned away, stepping past the flowers and photos that had been left in memory of the dead. "I'll call my lawyer." Shange said. By then, Bobby Ramautar's coffin had been carried from the Queens funeral parlor, driven once around his home and on to Lutheran Cemetery. A moment had come during the funeral when his brother, Leonard, raised a photograph in which Bobby was holding a package in red wrapping paper. He spoke of a gift that cannot be purchased at any store. "That package he's holding, that's his life and he gave his life to his family," Leonard said. "He was full of life. He was full of love." . The oldest daughter then took 2-year-old Justin up for a final farewell to his father. Raja, 8 months, sat on his mother's lap, quietly restless with the life his father had given him on this and all his holiday seasons to come. - He was still too young to say even so simple a word as "bye." GRIEF FROM PAGE FOUR merstreet vendor whom police have blamed for the slaughter. Garnette Ramautar, the assistant store manager at Freddy's, left behind a wife, two teenage daughters and two sons, ages 8 months and 2. "That's the tough part," cousin Noel Singh said. In the South Bronx, as many as 1.000 mourners passed through two rooms containing the open coffins of Angelina Marrero. 19, and Cynthia Martinez. 19. Marrero's body lay bedecked in white gladiolus and carnations, some of them sent from Monroe College, where she was a student Her father, Oscar Marrero, said he forgave the mi nn iiin fun tjjf nyiijjj'io VARICOSE and SPIDER VEINS Can Be Treated Without Surgery Selwethanpy It virtually palnlwaand pwlormad In our offices on in ottpt tfenf oaift, 11 in nTlT n n ! 1 I I f Ml I 1 f tit Directed by a Surgeon Board-Certified In Sclerotherapy SOO-ly VTEllS TFT""" murderer who took his daughter's life. "I forgive the people the way God forgives me," he said. At the Ortiz Funeral Home on Willis Ave. in the Bronx, a steady stream of mourners paid their respects to 22-year-old Freddy's employe Mayra Ren-tas. Enormous bouquets of roses and a large cardboard heart flanked the coffin. "I just can't believe she's gone," said Rentas' sister Elmys. - In East Harlem, a wake was held at the Francisco Funeraria Home for victim Olga Garcia, 19. "She was a good girl, a hard worker, with good parents," said her friend Maria Rodriguez. FOR MEM AFID WOMEN Your tf!fillf: starting 3125005 The latest tumescent technique performed by an experienced . plastic surgeon in our private state-of-the-art facility. TARANOW PLASTIC SURGEft 169 East 69th Street. New York, N.Y.!lOO: CALL FOR FREE CONSULTATION (2121 772-21 OC Fa Pceh. Breast Aggregation. Gtycolk AciJ fttb, Skic Grewk & Moles, tyewb am) Facial Surety K : A -M hi r i 4 1 I 1 I

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