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DOZENS ARRESTED AT 28th PRECINCT IN HARLEM TO STOP “STOP & FRISK”
Cornel West, Professor, Author, Public Intellectual
Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist Party
Rev. Stephen Phelps, Interim Senior Minister of Riverside Church
Rev. Earl Kooperkamp, Rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
Debra Sweet, Director of World Can’t Wait
Rev. Omar Wilks, Unison Pentecostal Church
Prof. Jim Vrettos, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Elaine Brower, Military Mom and World Can’t Wait
According to the New York Civil Liberties Union, 33 were arrested, including Occupy Wall Street protesters
The NYPD’s notorious program of STOP & FRISK was the target of hundreds of demonstrators who marched from the Harlem State Office Building to Harlem’s 28th precinct this afternoon. At the station, Cornel West, author and Princeton professor, Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party, Rev. Stephen Phelps, interim senior minister of Riverside Church, and dozens of others were arrested in an act of non-violence civil disobedience. Among those arrested and protesting was a large contingent from downtown’s Occupy Wall Street.
Carl Dix said, “We are here today to put our bodies on the line to stop this racist, immoral, illegitimate and unjust ‘new Jim Crow’ from the gateway of stop and frisk to the wholesale mass incarceration of Black and Brown people. We are serious and we will continue until we stop Stop & Frisk.”
Taken up the words of Rev. Phelps of Riverside Church, as arrestees were carried to waiting police vans the crowd chanted, “Stop & Frisk don’t stop the crime, Stop & Frisk IS the crime.”
Following the arrest of the demonstrators at the doorway of the 28th Precinct building, police moved aggressively against a photographer from Democracy Now as he retreated. In addition, Noche, a member of the Peoples Neighborhood Patrol of Harlem, whose stated purpose is to prevent the police from violating the rights of people or brutalizing them under the color of authority, was arrested.
The crowd took off on a march to the 33rd Precinct where they were told the arrestees are being held.
STOP & FRISK – The Reality
According to a New York Civil Liberties Union study, the NYPD is on pace to stop and frisk over 700,000 people in 2011, or more than 1,900 people each day. More than 85%of those stopped and frisked are Black or Latino, and more than 90% of them were doing nothing wrong when the police stopped them.
On August 3, 2011 a Federal Judge rejected an effort by the City of New York to thwart a lawsuit filed by The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) that challenges the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy and practices. In a statement issued earlier this year CCR said that “for many children being stopped by the police on their way home from school has become a normal after school activity and that is a tragedy.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and State Senator Eric Adams called for a federal probe of the policy, saying that it is “emblematic of a police culture that disregarded the civil rights of young black and Hispanic men.”
A Matter of Conscience
A young teacher participating in the civil disobedience tomorrow has written: “ I am doing this for mothers, like my own, who have to raise their sons to be docile and complacent with police injustice, knowing that speaking up only means more trouble… I do this for the youth, like the ones I teach, who are offered no options under this system, treated as criminals the moment they mature, and who have come to see themselves that way. No parent should have to raise their child this way; no child should have to grow up this way.”
Participants will also attend Saturday’s 2:00 pm rally at Union Square, part of a National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation.
Endorsed by: Charles J. Alexander, Ph.D, UCLA Division of Undergraduate Education; Afrika Bambaata and the Zulu Nation; Rev. Luis Barrios, John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Herb Boyd, journalist, author, Harlem NY; Eve Ensler, playwright, creator of V-day; Brian Figueroux, Esq.; Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist; Nicholas Heyward, Father of Nicholas Heyward, Jr. who was killed by police; Sikivu Hutchinson, author; IGNITE (Hunter College); Lawrence Lucas, Our Lady of Lourdes RC Church; Cynthia McKinney, former Congressperson; Efia Nwangaza, Malcolm X Center, Greenville, SC; October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression & the Criminalization of a Generation (NY Ctm); Allene Person, mother of Timur Person who was killed by NYPD; Michael Ratner, President Emeritus Center for Constitutional Rights; Bill Quigley, Loyola Law New Orleans; Mark Lewis Taylor, Princeton UniversityTheological Seminary; Sunsara Taylor, writer Revolution Newspaper and World Can’t Wait Advisory Board; Mary Watkins, Ph.D., psychology professor and author, Santa Barbara CA; Clyde Young, revolutionary communist and former prisoner; Juanita Young, mother of Malcolm Ferguson who was killed by NYPD.