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Man in a witch’s hat brazenly smokes suspicious looing pipe on the streets of Manhattan

This new video recorded Friday morning on the streets of New York City shows a man openly smoking something out of a suspicious looking pipe. 

The shocking clip was taken outside of a MedRite Urgent Care center along 6th avenue in one of New York City’s most bourgeois neighborhoods, Chelsea. 

As the clip begins, the man is in the midst of smoking whatever is in the pipe for nine seconds. A pedestrian walks by busy on his phone and apparently oblivious to the smoking man. 

The man, clad in a skin tight Adidas sky blue zip-up sweater with a red shirt protruding underneath, skin tight yoga-style pants and of course, a witch’s hat, waits two seconds before sucking on the pipe for the rest of the video. 

The promotional picture behind the man seems to advertise that the urgent care clinic is a safe place to bring children. 

In New York City, more than 2,060 people died of drug overdoses last year, the most since reporting began in 2000. 

The shocking clip was taken outside of a MedRite Urgent Care center along 6th avenue in one of New York City’s most bourgeois neighborhoods, Chelsea

As the clip begins, the man is in the midst of smoking whatever is in the pipe for nine seconds

As the clip begins, the man is in the midst of smoking whatever is in the pipe for nine seconds

A pedestrian who walked by was busy on his phone and apparently oblivious to the smoking man

A pedestrian who walked by was busy on his phone and apparently oblivious to the smoking man

New York City’s famed Garment District, few blocks north of where the June 24 video was recorded, was referred to as a ‘shooting gallery’ for heroin, according to a September 2021 New York Post feature. 

Former FBI Special Agent Manny Gomez told the Post that NYPD officers have been ‘effectively ordered’ not to arrest brazen drug users as possession offenses of even heroin are regarded as non-bail. 

This means that offenders are back on the streets shortly after their arrest. Michael Alcazar, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice told the Post: ‘New York City has become the city of the ‘The Walking Dead.’

According to statistics from the NYPD’s 10th precinct, that oversees Chelsea, it is one of the safest neighborhoods in the city. 

There have been two murders and five rapes in the neighborhood this year. In 2021, there was one murder and five rapes during the entire year. 

Robbery’s have increased significantly in the area, as in 2021 there were just 50 for the whole year, in 2022, there have already been 70. 

Felony assaults, burglaries and grand larceny are also on an upward swing. 

In one of his final acts as the Mayor of New York City, the deeply unpopular Bill de Blasio opened the city’s first supervised drug injection sites in November 2021. 

The two sites are located far from the Chelsea neighborhood where Friday’s video was recorded and where celebrities such as Nicole Kidman, Harrison Ford and Cameron Diaz all own homes. 

The average rent in the neighborhood for a one-bedroom apartment is $5,370, according to Zumper. 

The drug centers are in historically crime ridden areas East Harlem and Washington Heights. Both locations offer a space for drug addicts to use drugs while also providing HIV testing and counseling.  

De Blasio said in a statement at the time: ‘After exhaustive study, we know the right path forward to protect the most vulnerable people in our city. Overdose prevention centers are a safe and effective way to address the opioid crisis.’

In their first three months, the sites in upper Manhattan’s East Harlem and Washington Heights neighborhoods halted more than 150 overdoses during about 9,500 visits — many of them repeat visits from some 800 people in all. The sites are planning to expand to round-the-clock service later this year. 

The centers are operated by the nonprofit OnPoint NYC. 

‘It’s a loving environment where people can use safely and stay alive,’ says Sam Rivera, the executive director of OnPoint NYC. ‘We’re showing up for people who too many people view as disposable.’ 

CORNER Project at 500 West 180th in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City

CORNER Project at 500 West 180th in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City

Nyhre New York Harm Reduction Center in the East Harlem neighborhood, both centers were opened in one of Mayor Bill de Blasio's final acts in 2021

Nyhre New York Harm Reduction Center in the East Harlem neighborhood, both centers were opened in one of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s final acts in 2021

A man utilizes the narcotic consumption booths at a safe injection site at OnPoint NYC on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022 in New York

A man utilizes the narcotic consumption booths at a safe injection site at OnPoint NYC on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022 in New York

Brooklyn Republican Nicole Malliotakis has called on the DOJ to shut down New York City's drug centers

Brooklyn Republican Nicole Malliotakis has called on the DOJ to shut down New York City’s drug centers

New York City’s only Republican in Congress, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, has pressed the Justice Department to shutter what see sees as ‘heroin shooting galleries that only encourage drug use and deteriorate our quality of life.’ 

While one homeless New Yorker who has battled addiction for 10 years and overdosed 18 times was quoted by Politico as saying: ‘I think I would be dead if it wasn’t for this facility.’ 

According to Drug and Alcohol Dependence, an academic publication on addiction research, drug use centers in Canada and Australia have reduced overdose deaths and led to a reduction in AIDS/HIV among addicts. Although, the centers have been accused of facilitating drug trafficking. 

Similar centers have been proposed in cities such as San Francisco and Denver but have yet to come to fruition. In January 2021, the opening of such a center in Philadelphia was blocked by federal judges. 

The U.S. has been contending for years with a boom in opioid use and deaths, fueled at first by increased prescribing, including newly available painkillers, in the 1990s and then by heroin and illicit fentanyl. 

Nearly 500,000 people nationwide died of opioid overdoses from 1999-2019, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the epidemic only worsened last year.

The CDC estimates there were more than 93,300 overdose deaths in 2020, up nearly 30% from the prior year’s number.

Photos show the current situation in Portland, where homeless people and addicts are on full display in public shooting up drugs or passed out in broad daylight

Photos show the current situation in Portland, where homeless people and addicts are on full display in public shooting up drugs or passed out in broad daylight

Decriminalization of hard drugs in Oregon has led to Portland, shown here, becoming an 'open air drug market' and overdoses skyrocket

Decriminalization of hard drugs in Oregon has led to Portland, shown here, becoming an ‘open air drug market’ and overdoses skyrocket

In 2020, the state of Oregon’s voters democratically voted to decriminalized the possession of hard drugs. This has led open air drug use in cities such as Portland. 

Those found in possession are subject to a $100 fine but that’s get waived if they contact a hotline. According to a KATU-TV report, of the nearly 2,000 people who received citations in 2021, just 91 called the hotline.  

Oregon’s Secretary of State Shemia Fagan said at a 2022 hearing on the situation: ‘In many communities in Oregon we’ve seen the problem with drug addiction get worse,’ reports Oregon Live.


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