Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Black in America

Nonviolence as Compliance by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Rise of the New Black Radicals by Chris Hedges

Rethinking Michael Eric Dyson’s Attack on Cornel West:The Perils of Being a Public Intellectual by Henry A. Giroux

Domestic Terrorism, Youth and the Politics of Disposability by Henry A. Giroux


Justice in New York while black - The story of Kalief Browder:

Background: "But New York continues to be the only state other than North Carolina that prosecutes ALL youth as adults when they turn 16 years of age." And if convicted the youths can/are sent to adult prisons. —Raise the Age | NY
Under New York’s juvenile justice system a child as young as 7 can be arrested for a crime, and a 16-year-old is automatically charged as an adult.
New York is one of only two states to ignore the latest neurological research underscoring the fact that 16- and 17-year-olds are still children developmentally. Their brains will not be fully formed until age 25, and they lack the ability to control impulsive behavior by focusing on its consequences. —Time for Justice for Children in New York by Marian Wright Edelman
Before the law by Jennifer Gonnerman

Watch: Explosive Footage from Inside Rikers Jail Shows Guard Beating Teen Accused of Backpack Theft (video)

Kalief Browder, NYC Teen Jailed For Years With No Conviction, Says Rikers Guards 'Starved' Him by Christopher Mathias


PROP (Police Reform Organizing Project) email Report:

As we send this mailing, the troubling events unfolding in Baltimore remind us of just how pressing and prevalent the problem of abusive policing is in our city and nation. While standing in solidarity with the people of Baltimore who seek real justice and meaningful reform, we will persevere with our efforts in New York to achieve sweeping and needed changes in discriminatory NYPD practices.

Here are several more stories that PROP has gathered in preparing its soon to be released compilation of vignettes recounting New Yorkers’ difficult encounters with the NYPD’s quota-driven ‘broken windows’ policing:

At 2:30 in the morning at the Canal Street station in downtown Manhattan, police officers arrested 3 New Yorkers at the same time: a young white woman charged with having her foot on a subway seat -- although there were no other passengers in the car; and 2 young black men, ages 18 and 19, charged with walking between subway cars. The police locked up the woman and one of the teenagers for about 5 hours in a holding cell in the subway and released them with Desk Appearance Tickets, meaning that they would have to show up at arraignment court at a later date. The police held the other teenager overnight because they found an outstanding warrant on his record. As she was leaving the lock-up, an officer told the woman not to worry because the court would dismiss the charge against her.

NYPD officers denied an epileptic man his medication while detaining him in a holding cell, resulting in 2 seizures and hospitalizations before he was taken to Brooklyn central booking. The man was traveling in a friend’s car on their way to pick up his prescribed anti-convulsant medicine when an unmarked NYPD sedan pulled over their car. Two officers said that they saw smoke coming out of the car’s windows, and asked the men to get out of the car. The men complied. Two other officers arrived at the scene and searched the vehicle, not finding any contraband or illegal substances. One officer then searched the man and found scissors, money, and medication. The 23 year-old man explained to the officer that he had the scissors and money because he is a barber and that the medicine was prescribed for his epilepsy. The officers mocked the man and took him to the 75th precinct in East New York, Brooklyn. The officers put him in a holding cell and refused to provide him with his medication although he informed them that the medicine and the papers proving that he is an epileptic were in his backpack and jacket pocket. The man had a seizure and was taken to the emergency room where he was handcuffed to a bed. He did receive medication while in the hospital. The hospital discharged the man on the next day, and police took him back to the precinct where officers again denied him his medication. He had another seizure and was hospitalized again. When he woke up in the hospital, he noted that he had scars and cuts on his tongue apparently from his seizure in the cell. From the hospital police took the man to central booking. At 3PM on the same day he learned that the Brooklyn district attorney declined to prosecute the case and he was released.
A Bronx junior high school teacher, a middle-aged Latino man, explained his anger at and frustration with the police. Officers regularly harass 12- and 13-year black and brown students as they get off the bus and head for school. The officers push them around a bit and ask for their identification but don’t arrest them. However, the officers do arrest the parents for standing outside the school while waiting for their children’s dismissal. If the mothers won’t cross the street, the teacher explained in disbelief, the cops arrest them for standing in a no-standing zone.
A Brooklyn public defender working in night court on a Saturday night reported that not only did the police arrest four of her clients, all black men, on a fare-beating charge, but that the court sentenced three of them to jail time on Rikers Island. One man was sentenced to jail for 20 days.

An African-American man was walking home with a bag of dog food in Brooklyn when three plainclothes officers grabbed him, accused him of swallowing drugs, and tackled him. After a strip search in the precinct and a series of forced and invasive medical tests over two days at Interfaith Hospital, no contraband was found. The hospital billed him $9,500 for its services.

When an African-American woman asked a police sergeant why she was stopped, he said to her, “Because I can,” a statement that doesn’t appear in the NYPD’s official stop-and-frisk policy.