“I asked the cops to stop the looting,” shouted Stanley Schatel, the 44-year-old owner of Nice and Pretty, a badly damaged women’s sportswear store at 1245 Broadway in Williamsburg. He looked around the store, a scene of devastation. Empty boxes were strewn around and almost all of his merchandise was gone. “A lot of police came right to this corner. The people asked them to stop the looters. But they didn’t do nothing to them,” said Jose Gonzales.
“If you have X number of police and 5 times as many people who are violating the law in a certain area, obviously you can’t arrest everyone,” said the mayor.
excerpt from Steven Weisman NYT 7/16/77