Fox News breaks the news that Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden has put True-See Allah, his director of community engagement/strategic partnerships, on leave to investigate an anti-Semitic statement he made in a 2016 interview.
Fox News reports Hayden did not put Allah on leave because of his social-media comments in support of anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, but because of the way, in a 2016 interview, he described a Jewish businessman who hired him to manage a sneaker store at the Washington Park mall on Martin Luther King Boulevard:
So I did a couple of temp jobs and then Minister Don had a, I want to say, a colleague, um, an acquaintance," he said. "I ain't gonna call him a friend 'cause he's a Jewish guy that's got short arms and deep pockets, but he was basically in charge of bringing Reebok to the Washington Park Plaza.
The Globe and Fox News report that officials of the New England chapter of ADL met with Hayden earlier this month after Allah said in a podcast interview last September, that "it's my job" to get the current leader of the Boston Nation of Islam access to top public officials in Boston, and in public, unlike past "back-door" meetings he blamed on "the misperception from the Jewish community" about Farrakhan.
In the 1980s, Allah, then known as Troy Christopher Watson, was a member of the Castlegate Road gang. After being jumped by a member of the rival Intervale gang in 1989, he convinced a member of another gang affiliated with Castlegate to attack the guy, the member used a gun and left the victim paralyzed. As he served an 8 1/2-year prison sentence for armed assault with attempt to murder, Allah turned his life around, got a bachelor's degree and converted to Islam.
In 2014, he successfully sought a pardon from Gov. Patrick and the Governor's Council, with supporters who included the victim's wife, state Public Safety Secretary Andrea Cabral, then Suffolk DA Dan Conley, former BPD Superintendent-in-Chief Daniel Linskey and Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins, all of who argued he had not only turned his life around but was doing good work. At the time, he had spent several years working for Tompkins as director of a program that counseled inmates at the South Bay House of Correction before their release.