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Black, Jewish Leaders Meet After Beating

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Eliyahu Werdesheim
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PIKESVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — They are trying to heal and to keep tensions low.  That was the purpose of the meeting Wednesday night between Jewish leaders and the black community after an African-American teen was beaten by a neighborhood watch patrol.

Vic Carter reports both sides shared strong feelings.

Not everyone was allowed inside the meeting and, as a result, those outside expressed the concerns of some residents over the beating of a 15-year-old.

“In fact, I spent three hours counseling a group of 20 young African-American men who were ready to come up here and kick ass and I told them that was not our way,” said one.

That is why black and Jewish leaders met in Pikesville, in an effort to keep the two communities calm.

At issue is the Shomrim neighborhood watch.  An African-American teen says he was walking in the Park Heights neighborhood, approached by security and beaten.  Eliyahu Werdesheim, 23, is charged with assault, reckless endangerment and false imprisonment.

The group meeting Wednesday came to the conclusion that there’s not enough information to determine whether Shomrim should stop patrols.

“We believe that the relationship between the African-American community and the Jewish community is a very important one,” said one man.

More meetings are planned to discuss this issue.  On Monday, black leaders will meet with Shomrim to hear their side of the story and to determine whether there is a need for sensitivity training or whether the group should be shut down.

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