... Contact: Steve Yip, 917-868-6007 Elaine Brower, 917-520-0267 Day Two of Stop - Stop and Frisk Trial In the largest political protest trial in some time,Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2012View Source
Steve Yip, 917-868-6007
Elaine Brower, 917-520-0267
Day Two of "Stop - Stop and Frisk" Trial
In the largest political protest trial in some time, 20 defendants in the "Stop Stop and Frisk" case prepare for day two of their misdemeanor trial for disorderly conduct in Manhattan Criminal Court. Yesterday, the courtroom was filled with supporters who booed when the charges of the defendants were read. During the day, the defendants heard testimony from a TARU officer on scene that day, including testimony from the commanding officer of the 28th Precinct, the site of the civil disobedience action that day.
What is at stake is that the city authorities cannot, and will not, allow any challenge to their "Stop and Frisk" policy which continues to deliver devastation to Black and Latino communities in New York City. It is described by Carl Dix, one of the initiators of the "Stop Stop and Frisk" campaign, as "a form of social control" reminiscent of "Jim Crow segregation and lynch mob terror" and "a pipeline to racially targeted mass incarceration." Cornel West, who co-issued the call for the campaign, said, "This is part of the fightback with any attempt to treat [black and brown sisters and brothers] unjustly and immorally." At the pre-trial press conference, speakers included Rev. Dr. Emery Ailes of the Convent Avenue Baptist Church, and City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, who represents East Harlem and parts of the south Bronx.
On Tuesday, May 1st, the defense plans to have many of the twenty defendants, who come from a cross section of demographic, and political and religious backgrounds, take the witness stand to testify to the reasons for their actions of October 21st which delivered a bold wake up call.
Judge Robert Mandelbaum earlier denied a defense motion for a 'justification defense.' This is a "necessity" argument that the defendants' actions are trying to prevent a greater harm. In other words the defendants have identified the NYPD practice of “stop & frisk’ as harmful. The defendants and their lawyers say that if they've done anything illegal, their nonviolent, civil disobedience actions taken on that day were for the greater good in face of the social devastation of the racist and illegal NYPD "Stop and Frisk" practice.
Defendants include Rev. Stephen Phelps, interim Senior Minister of The Riverside Church, Rev. Earl Kooperkamp of St. Mary's Church in Harlem, Professor Jim Vrettos of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Elaine Brower and Debra Sweet of World Can't Wait, Nellie Bailey of Occupy Harlem, and Randy Credico, former director of the William M. Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice, and many others.
“Stop & Frisk,” a policy heavily promoted by Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is also being challenged in court by the NYCLU and Center for Constitutional Rights. In 2011, the NYPD stopped almost 700,000 people, or more than 1,900 people each day. More than 85 percent of those stopped and frisked are Black or Latino, and more than 90 percent of them were doing nothing wrong when the police stopped them. “Stop and Frisk” is the first step in a pipeline that has ultimately placed 2.4 million in prison.
Youtube of Monday's Pre-trial Press Conference: http://youtu.be/c76zZn6B7VsSeO
Steve Yip, P.O. Box 941, Knickerbocker Station, New York, New York 10002-0900 * 866-841-9139 x2670, yipzzz@..."If you don't have a poetic spirit -- or at least a poetic side -- it is very dangerous for you to lead a Marxist movement or be the leader of a socialist state." -- Bob Avakian, 1990