West Side Rag » Police Explain Animal Remains Found in Riverside Park


Posted on December 31, 2021 at 11:49 am by Carol Tannenhauser

Photo by Shinya Suzuki.

By Carol Tannenhauser

On Tuesday, December 28, after getting into Riverside Park close to West 83rd Street, an Upper West Side lady (who prefers to stay nameless) occurred upon a sight that “saddened and disgusted” her.

“…an animal had been chopped up or dismembered and left on a plate,” her husband defined in an e mail to West Side Rag. “I called 311 to report it, but thought it might be important to also let local media know.” His concern was that there’s “a person extremely dangerous to animals walking around out there in our neighborhood. We don’t want this to happen again.”

On Wednesday, December 29, one other reader wrote in.

“Warning, the attached photo is real and awful,” learn an e mail from a second lady, who additionally selected to stay nameless. (We selected to not present the photograph.) “Was walking my friend’s dog in Riverside Park near 84th Street and discovered a plate with four dismembered dog legs. Called 311 and police. Not sure if the cops will come, but you all need to know.”

A name to the NYPD’s press workplace supplied solutions.

“It’s related to Santeria,” Detective Denise Moroney advised West Side Rag, in a cellphone dialog. “The animal legs were from a goat, not a dog or cat. They came from a butcher. The responding officers could tell by the cuts. Parks came and took them away.”

Santeria is an Afro-Caribbean faith based mostly on beliefs and traditions originating in West Africa, with some Roman Catholic parts. “It grew out of the slave trade in Cuba,” in keeping with the BBC.

“One of the principal forms of devotion in Santeria is animal sacrifice,” US Courts explains. “Sacrifices are performed at birth, marriage, and death rites; for the cure of the sick; for the initiation of new members and priests; and during an annual celebration. The sacrificed animal is cooked and eaten at some ceremonies.”

The observe is authorized — a landmark 1993 Supreme Court choice declared it so.

“The issue was whether local city laws directed at animal sacrifice as part of the Santeria religion violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment,” US Courts defined. “Justice Kennedy concluded that the local laws violated the Free Exercise Clause because they were designed to persecute or oppress a religion or its practices.”

Animal sacrifices should, nevertheless, be humane.

“Every state has enacted animal cruelty legislation that provides for criminal penalties. Thus, even though a state cannot flatly prohibit animal sacrifices, the state can mandate that the practice occur in a humane manner. Practitioners of animal sacrifice who do not adhere to the state requirements can be criminally prosecuted.”

Santeria was dropped at the United States through the Nineteen Forties by Cuban immigrants. “It has been estimated that approximately 10 million individuals in the Americas are adherents,” in keeping with the Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion. “Somewhere between half a million and five million of them are located in the United States. It is believed that approximately 50,000 adherents reside in South Florida. In addition, there are also large clusters of practitioners in New York City, New Jersey, and Connecticut.”