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What You Need to Know About the Peekskill-News 12 Heroin Controversy

News12 Westchester ran a 3-part Special Report called "Hooked on Heroin" detailing the rapidly rising use of and death from heroin among middle-class teens and young adults in the Hudson Valley.  

The first piece in the series featured powerful interviews with families in Port Jervis in Orange County. 

Part two featured an addict from New Rochelle talking about his struggles.

Part three was a drive-along with a Peekskill police officer.

The Peekskill segment sparked a lot of comment. 

"Well damn News 12 saying Peekskill is pretty much all on heroin," said em on Twitter.

"Peekskill new heroin capital check News 12," tweeted mrmikeydee.

However, not every response was negative. "News12WC incredible piece-fight against the heroin epidemic in the Hudson Valley. Officer Basso of the Peekskill Police Dept. incredible," tweeted marklake55.

City officials said inaccuracies in the news story triggered outrage in the community.

"The news 12 report was troubling on many levels," Peekskill Mayor Frank Catalina told Patch.

Catalina said he will dicuss the report and his concerns about the police department's participation in a statement at the City Council meeting tonight,  7:00pm in the Paul Schwerman Conference Room. 

"I will detail the inaccuracies that has triggered community outrage and my personal disgust in both the reporting end of the story as well as the person(s) who authorized it and participated in it on the city side of things," he said.

In addition, on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. March 18, Catalina and Congresswoman Lowey will hold a press conference about grant funds for the South and Brown Street beautification project.  

"The Mayor will be making a statement and inviting the press to walk our wonderful City to see that the depiction in the report is not true," said City Manager Anthony J. Ruggiero.



Ted Kelsey March 27, 2014 at 05:51 AM
The issue is not whether there is a heroin problem in Peekskill, or Cortlandt, or Ossining, or Poughkeepsie, or Yonkers, or White Plains. Schumer has asked that the entire area get designated as a high traffic area and asked for federal support. The issue is with News Twelve and the police. News Twelve showed ordinary people on the street with a voice-over about how heroin was turning them into zombies. News Twelve offered zero factual supports to claims that every traffic stop in town was drug related, and that the assisted living facility was plagued and completely over-run with drug traffic. News Twelve hurt local businesses by implying that our delis, shops and restaurants were fronts for traffic. All without evidence. All without making comparisons to other communities. I grew up in a wealthy Connecticut suburb with its own heroin problem, and you can be sure that it never was depicted in this fashion because of a hyper-sensitive sense of its own reputation. News Twelve abandoned its responsibility as a news provider and singled out the community that was least equipped to defend itself, hurting businesses, home-owners and all residents. Additionally, the police officer forgot his own first responsibility as a Public Servant and defender of the community. I don't know the man personally, but I pray that police remember the true spirit of their calling. The attitude I saw depicted made me sad. This is not the wild west. This is not us versus them, or an action movie. This is a town.
ted bitter March 27, 2014 at 07:50 AM
Thank you Ted for your honest sensible and factual comment.
miguel Robert cook March 29, 2014 at 06:05 AM
Well Well Well you dumb idiots Peekskill and it's decent citizens and it's Diabolical City Gang of Cohorts have gotten a taste of its own medicine. Now it's our children and not the inner city kids dying from drug use. You see we all get a turn Minority children are incarcerated and their lives are treated as nothing. While your white privilege has amounted to the same nothing less. In other words our children aren't exempt from the tragedies of life. Minorities are incarcerated while Caucasians are killed by the use of drugs. It all comes together, now you see and feel what ever parent feels when a child is lost to prison or drugs, we sit around knowing this city is racist, whites don't step up to denounce the wrong, now your property is worthless. You don't get mad with News 12 when they uphold the Racism , by not reporting police brutality, police selling and using drugs. Children being Raped by City employes, and the corruption of city staff. Citizens being targeted by police who think they are above the law. I can go on and on. But basically Our city is plagued by a drug far more deadly then Heroin , the city is plagued with Racism and Corruption. The news reporter should have knocked on doors so minorities could tell their stories of Racism and selective enforcement. Peekskill got what it deserved. Don't complain deal with it , everyone else does. If you want to know just how corrupt Peekskill is review the footage of the cop taking the news reporter on a ride. Who in the hell is he to disrespect people. Now if they portray his behavior on camera, just imagine how people are disrespected when there's no camera. Gun Ho ass cop must be looking for a Reality Show.
miguel Robert cook March 29, 2014 at 06:11 AM
P.S. Peekskill is the Wild West
joshua tanner March 29, 2014 at 05:01 PM
Cook you're last one who should be complaining about racism since you obviously have glee over the idea of white kids dying from heroin. First of all Peekskill schools are only 16% white and 81% black and hispanic. White people have left Peekskill in droves so portraying it as some oppressive white enclave is dumb. Facts are, the illegal immigrants came in and ran circles around everyone as they took up the jobs and businesses and bought up the houses. You don't see them going around down calling each other racial slurs while wearing their pants around their legs while complaining about how racism is keeping them down. People cant have a 70% illegitimacy rate and expect to do well. Indeed any of the racist violence that was in Peekskill the past years has usually came from black youths robbing, beating (one almost died) and shooting immigrants (one who was killed). Peekskill immigrants have been scared of black kids and not the white ones. Still, after all that I have to take sides with the black kids who have been abandoned by the liberal pols who ditched them for immigrants and other agenda groups. They are the Americans and most of them are nice. Resentment is the losers anger Cook. You're only poisoning yourself with it.


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