Victory for Jazz Hayden!
By: Brian Jones
Facing up to 14 years in prison for 2 felony counts of weapon possession discovered during a traffic stop, Joseph “Jazz” Hayden emerged from court this morning with an ACD (Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal), a small fine, 5 days of community service.
Anyone who has followed this case knows that the charges were bogus. The “weapons” were a small pen knife and a miniature commemorative baseball bat. In reality, these charges were nothing but retaliation for Jazz’s activism to expose the brutal reality of the NYPD’s “Stop and Frisk” policy.
The ACD and community service really only serve to allow the District Attorney to save face. The fact is every day is community service for Jazz, which is why so many people showed up time after time to these court appearances. Jazz is a 71 year old activist who has been doggedly documenting police behavior in Harlem. His case has been discussed widely in the media.
Outside the courtroom, Jazz smiled and thanked his supporters. “This victory is because of y’all,” he said, “your protest, your phone calls, your petitions, and your presence here. I love you.”
The feeling is mutual.