The City Of My Birth: Newburgh!

by Ben Hoffman

NEWBURGH, N.Y. — The authorities raided dozens of homes here early on Thursday in a major show of force against the Bloods and the Latin Kings street gangs, whose members have wreaked havoc in this small, troubled city along the Hudson River.

More than 300 officers and agents with the F.B.I.; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and the local and state police began gathering before dawn in a former National Guard armory here. By 6 a.m., heavily armed F.B.I. SWAT teams were breaking through doors across this city about an hour north of Manhattan.

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It was bad back when I was a kid and it’s gotten steadily worse. I remember listening to blacks talk about somebody getting stabbed in their neighborhood. They’d laugh as they’d describe the expression he made while he was dying. They had no regard for human life or property. I’m glad I got out when I did.

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