The Bronx Is Burning

We’ve been watching and wondering for months as Freddy’s home borough simmers. The relationship between County Leader Jose Rivera and his predecessor, Roberto Ramirez — Freddy’s top advisor — is one of the great mysteries of city politics. And the feuds among the clans around them — Diazes and Arroyos and Espadas, not to mention Riveras — are Shakespearean.

It had to explode under Freddy at some point, and when he appeared to switch sides on the Amadou Diallo shooting and criticize the prosecution, he tossed the first match, because Bronx D.A. Bob Johnson seems to have taken Freddy’s remark personally.

Johnson must have been pretty angry today when he sent out a statement defending his indictments. Raising eyebrows all over town, he concluded with a veiled reference to Freddy’s changing position on the death penalty and, as we read it, to a 1997 incident Freddy would probably prefer to forget, when the then-Borough President called the police shooting of Kevin Cedeno an “execution,” then backed off.

“While I consider Mr. Ferrer to be a friend, who also was an excellent Borough President, my recollection is that this is not the first time that he has changed his position on a significant case or criminal justice issue,” Johnson’s statement says.

Wow.