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NYPD Revenge - Police Arrest Jazz Hayden in retaliation for his Video Copwatch in Harlem

On December 2, 2011 - Joseph "Jazz" Hayden, Founder of, was arrested by the NYPD in retaliation by 2 officers he filmed in an earlier Copwatch this summer.  

Jazz and All Things Harlem are asking for your support with his case and to fight for the right to film and report on the police activity in our communities - which have turned into police states. 

Jazz's next Court Date is January 19, 2012 at 100 Centre Street Criminal Court Part F, 9:30am  Please Come out for a Stop/Frisk and Media Rights Day of Action at the Courthouse. (More Details to Follow)

Here is a letter from Jazz detailing the incident 

 Dear Friends,

I wanted to share this story of these NYPD officers taking revenge on me.  As you might know I make it a habit of filming the many incidents of the NYPD, Stopping and Frisking people in the Harlem community.  On December 2, 2011 when I was leaving my weekly Campaign To End The New Jim Crow Working group meeting at Riverside Church I was pulled over by 2 NYPD officers.  It turned out that it was the same 2 officers I had filmed in a Copwatch, Stop and Frisk incident this summer.  

During the video below you can hear the officer's talking to me and saying that they know who I am and know my background.

At minute, 5:05 the officer can be heard saying, "You done selling drugs yet or what? I know your rap sheet."  Then again around 5:55 the officer can be heard saying, "Go Sell some more drugs Sir.  We know your background, I know who you are."


Flashback to a few weeks ago when I was driving through Harlem and these same officers pulled me over.  As they approached my car and recognized me they said, "hey we know you, you're that murderer."  I asked them why I was being stopped and they eventually said that one of my brake lights was out.  They asked me for my license and registration which I gave them and then I was asked to step out of the car.  I complied and got out of my car but told them that they had no right and no consent to search my car or myself, but that they could pat frisk me.   After I told the officers that, they asked me to go to the back of my car and stand there.  

As soon as I got to the back of my car one officer immediately ignored my statement and went right inside my car and began searching it.  After a few minutes of this illegal search the officer came out of the car and "proudly" presented a Pen Knife (a knife that can be bought at any hardware store or discount store).   I was then arrested for Felony Possession of a dangerous weapon and taken to the 32nd precinct.  Shortly after I arrived there and was being booked, they asked me if I had any medical problems and I told them about my high blood pressure.  I was then taken to Harlem hospital for a few hours where my blood pressure was measured extremely high (163 over 103).  I was kept at the hospital until it subsided and then brought back to the 32nd precinct.  This all took place on a Friday night and I ended having to stay at the 32nd precinct until late Sunday night, without food or medication, when I was finally able to see a judge downtown.  

At the court hearing the prosecution requested that I be held on a bail of 16k.  The affidavit that the NYPD filled out made no mention of my alleged brake lights being out and I wasn't charged with any traffic violations.  The officers cited in the affidavit that they saw me moving my hand on the console in my car and that was their reason for stopping me.  After I showed my legal aide lawyer the videos and work I have been doing on my CopWatch to fight against Stop and Frisk he pointed this out to the judge.  After reviewing the evidence and my record the Judge released me on my own recognizance.  

I am now scheduled for another court date on January 19, 2011.  I am asking you to come to the court and support me if you can against this NYPD injustice.  Community groups including the Campaign to End the New Jim Crow, WBAI and others will be supporting me on this day, please join them.  

Stop/Frisk and Media Rights Day of Action on January 19, 2012 at 100 Centre Street Criminal Court Part F, 9:30am

(More details to follow)


Joseph “Jazz” Hayden



PS: Read the Resolution passed by WBAI's Local Station Board below:

RESOLUTION PASSED  In Support of Jazz Hayden  Former WBAI producer Jazz Hayden -- a co-founder of "On the Count" -- was  stopped in Harlem for a traffic violation Friday night, December 2, 2011.  When he was pulled over, the cops said, "We know you," according to Jazz Hayden.  They were the SAME cops he filmed at a cop watch stop and frisk during the  summer: The cops then proceeded to search his car and arrest him for a pen knife. They kept him for close to 48 hours and asked for $16k bond, but the judge released him on his own recognizance.  Jazz Hayden has a January court date. The WBAI LSB respects and supports Jazz Hayden and condemns such police harassment and arrest. We invite listeners to express their solidarity with Mr. Hayden by coming to court in January, and request that WBAI cover this story.

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    NYPD Revenge - Police Arrest Jazz Hayden in retaliation for his Video Copwatch inĀ Harlem - All Things Harlem - News, Video, Opinion
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Reader Comments (1)

You are our role model, Mr. Hayden. Your actions keep all of us safer from prejudiced authorities. Much blessings to you and a very sincere thank you.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElise Heitikko

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