‘Liberal vigilantes’ Park Slope Panthers are patrolling upmarket Brooklyn area after a homeless man killed a Golden Retriever by hitting it with a large stick and dousing it in urine
- The group is trying to model itself after the Guardian Angels, the vigilantes who famously kept the New York City subway safe throughout the 70s and 80s
- The Park Slope Panthers hope to serve as a neighborhood watch in Park Slope and Prospect Park, and formed after a homeless man attacked and killed a dog
- The group was formed by Kristian Nammack, 59, a financial consultant who was a member of Occupy Wallstreet and described his politics as ‘left of Lenin’
- At the first group meeting last Saturday, attendees debated whether the name was an appropriation of the Black Panthers’, and how crime was a construct
Residents of Park Slope are organizing a group of vigilantes to patrol their ritzy Brooklyn neighborhood and nearby Prospect Park after a pet dog was murdered by a crazed homeless man in August.
The group is calling itself the Park Slope Panthers, and talks about following the model of the Guardian Angels – which famously kept the New York City subway safe throughout the 70s and 80s by posting red-beret wearing street toughs throughout the lawless transit system.
‘Do we want to organize a community safety patrol, and take our park back? Think what the Guardian Angels did to take back the subways in the 70s/early 80s,’ wrote Panthers organizer Kristian Nammack, 59, in a social media post organizing organizing the group, ‘We may also get to wear cool berets. I’m being serious.’
But inside accounts from the Park Slope Panthers’ first meeting sound less like a group of residents rallying around defending their neighborhood, and more like a wokeness workshop too timid about offending anyone to get anything done.
‘It’s about finding a way that’s non-biased to report these things and have people feel like it’s safe here,’ a Panther named Emily said, according to Common Sense, ‘You don’t want to fall into that stereotype of privilege.’
The group is trying to model itself after the Guardian Angels, the vigilantes who famously kept the New York City subway safe throughout the 70s and 80s
The group was formed by Kristian Nammack, 59, a financial consultant who was a member of Occupy Wallstreet and described his politics as ‘left of Lenin’
Nammack was inspired to organize the Park Slope Panthers after a golden retriever mix named Moose was killed by a homeless man who chased down him and his owner, Jessica Chrustic, 41, early in the morning on August 3.
The man attacked Moose and Chrustic with a large stick, and the dog died days later from internal injuries.
After the incident, Nammack, a financial consultant who was a member of the 2008 Occupy Wallstreet protests and describes his politics as ‘left of Lenin’, decided to organize the group to clean up the neighborhood.
‘In light of people feeling unsafe to use Prospect Park due to recent attacks of both people and dogs, in one case resulting in the death of a dog; and in light of the epidemic of packages being stolen from stoops and lobbies, we want to form a neighborhood watch,’ read a call to action on MeetUp, ‘The goal is to be eyes and ears and to take our neighborhood back.’
But the first meeting of the Park Slope Panthers in Prospect Park last Saturday quickly descended into a confusion of white Brooklynites quibbling over how not to offend each other while tossing around woke jargon.
About fifteen minutes after the meeting started, a trio of twenty-somethings in medical face masks and eyeglasses joined the group to say they weren’t ‘super into abiding by the structure that you’re setting up.’
Another person, white, joined in and asked why the group was appropriating the name of the Black Panthers.
‘There’s two statues of panthers at an entrance to the park,’ Nammack said, pointing the statues out.
To that a woman – also white – responded saying ‘Using the Panthers as your group’s name is kind of abhorrent to me. It feels antithetical to what the Black Panthers would stand for.’
Moose, a golden retriever mix who was killed by a crazed homeless man in Prospect Park on August 3
The mad homeless man attacked Moose with a large stick in the early morning of August 3. Moose died later of internal injuries from the attack
Beyond agreeing on their name, the group also couldn’t seem to agree on what to do about the man who killed Moose, who had recently been seen chasing another woman and her dog yelling ‘Let’s see some action here!’ according to Common Sense.
‘So, it sounds like this person has been pushed out of an unimaginable amount of systems,’ said an attendee, adding that the man was likely ‘neurodivergent.’
Another person – a white woman named Sky – chimed in to debate the very definition of crime.
‘Crime is an abstract term that means nothing in a lot of ways,’ she said. ‘The construct of crime has been so socially constructed to target black and poor people.’