All Things Harlem & Beyond - news, info and newsworthy links
Allthingsharlem.com's footage was used in this piece at around 1:45 minutes in.
Mellisa Harris-Perry hosted this episode of the Rachel Maddow show. She discussed San Francisco, Mayor Ed Lee's decision to consider implementing the stop and frisk police tactic in his city. Marquez Claxton, Former NYPD Detective and Director of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance was a guest on the show and describes the failure of the stop and frisk policy.
The incident in this video took place in November of 2009 but it is so appropriate for today's situations. Things have not improved since then. All of the purported remedies have proven ineffective. Our experts, academics, social scientist, preachers, and most of all our law enforcement agencies have all proven to be totally ineffective. "Boutique Activism" and "State Intervention" are the problem, not the solution. We need to go back to basics, building caring communities, a sustainable solution that is rooted in caring communities. What is a caring community? That's the discussion we must have.
Read recent stories published on Jazz's case from the Huffington Post, The Socialist Worker, LA Progressive and Black Star News.
click images below for stories
Ramarley Graham's family, along with community members, activists and supporters held the last vigil for Ramarley. This was the 18th of weekly vigils held for Ramarley and represented his age at the time he was killed. Months earlier Ramarley was shot and killed by NYPD officer Richard Haste in his own home. Ramarley was unarmed.
The group marched through the neighborhood in the Bronx before descending on the 47th Precinct. There Student Minister Abdul Hafeez Muhammad of Mosque No. 7 addressed the crowd.
Soon after the group left the 47th Precinct and headed to a local church to hear from more speakers including, The Reverend Al Sharpton, Councilman Jumaane Williams and New York City Comptroller John Liu.
“I Am Ramarley – Please Support the Fight for Justice!”
Thursday, July 19 – 5 PM
749 East 229th Street (btw. White Plains & Barnes)
NYPD Officer Richard Haste murdered Ramarley in his own home on February 2, 2012. Haste has now been indicted by the Bronx Criminal Court.
SPREAD THE WORD!
Killer Mike discusses his disapointment with black leadership in our communities. He also speaks to the killing of Trayvon Martin and stresses the importance of arming yourself and being prepared. This voice and this message are emerging strongly in our communities.
Mumia Abu Jamal addresses the International Socialist Organization at their annual conference in Chicago, . Mumia speaks to the issue of "police terrorism" not "brutality." Also, see more footage from the conference.
Support Jazz Hayden!
Support Joseph “Jazz” Hayden as his next court appearance on July 31, 2012 in Part F at 100 Centre Street in Manhattan. We will be gathering outside the courthouse at 8:30 am.
Dear Friends, Allies and Supporters,
As you may already know, I have a pending case in Manhattan Criminal Court resulting from a bogus stop & frisk by the NYPD from December, 2011. I can unequivocally state that this stop and arrest was in retaliation for my work as a Citizen Reporter aggressively covering police/community relationships in the Harlem community. (To review my body of work you need only go to my web site, www.allthingsharlem.com/copwatch to view four years of coverage of police community relations in Harlem.)
My work on this issue is well known and has been covered by many news organizations, including The New York Times, the Village Voice, the Amsterdam News, the Economist, NY1, Channel 7, Democracy Now, Eyewitness News, WPIX Channel 11, Gothamist, The Brooklyn Rail, The Nation, Newsone.com and the National in Abu Dhabi (Middle East). The Harlem community is well aware of my work, and encourages and supports it.
As you are probably already aware, the racist practice of stop & frisk by the NYPD has gained national attention for its astronomical numbers of unwarranted stops, nearly 700,000 in 2011. Less than 6% of those stopped were charged with any crime or violation of the law. The disproportionate impact on communities of color, specifically Blacks and Latinos (87%), has led to city-wide protest and condemnation in the local and national media.
For every action there is a reaction. Because of my coverage of this racist and ineffective practice, I have been targeted for retaliation. My right as a citizen to cover the police in public places, as they perform their duties (a right recently acknowledged by U.S. Attorney General Holder) has resulted in my being targeted by the 32nd precinct in Harlem.
I am currently facing felony charges – and potentially years in prison - as a result of an unlawful stop and search of my car last December. In July of 2011, I filmed the same officers who later arrested me performing an unlawful car stop in Harlem. You can view that video here:
During the video you can hear the officers 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.” The officers let the men in the car go without charges. But they had other plans for me.
In December of 2011, the very same officers stopped my car and conducted an illegal search. They found a pocket knife and a mini replica baseball bat in the car, and charged me with two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, a felony punishable with two to seven years on prison. My stop and arrest was unequivocal retaliation for my surveillance of these officers and work in the community.
Today I need your help. Please contact Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance and demand that all charges against Joseph Hayden be dropped and that the NYPD be put on notice that citizens have a right to monitor their “servants” as they perform their duties without retaliation. The significance of these cases of retaliation for covering “our servants” extends beyond my case alone. These actions by NYPD raise the larger issue of their role in communities of color, the rights of citizens to monitor law enforcement, and the rights/role of new media in covering the news. What is happening to me has happened to hundreds of thousands of citizens in New York City. Enough is enough!
Send your letter to:
Manhattan District Attorney
One Hogan Place
New York, NY 10013
A sample letter is included below.
If you can make it, please join me at my next court appearance on July 31, 2012 in Part F at 100 Centre Street in Manhattan. We will be gathering outside the courthouse at 8:30 am.
Thanks for your support.
Joseph Jazz Hayden
Campaign to End the New Jim Crow
SAMPLE LETTER TO CYRUS VANCE
Cyrus Vance Manhattan District Attorney
One Hogan Place
New York, NY 10013
Dear District Attorney Vance,
[PLEASE MAKE INCLUDE YOUR NAME, YOUR JOB OR OTHER IMPORTANT AFFILIATION AND HOW YOU KNOW JAZZ]
I am writing today about an urgent matter, the case of Joseph Hayden. Your office has chosen to seek an indictment against him for two counts of Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree. I believe that his arrest was a retaliatory act on the part of the police against one of their most outspoken critics, a long-time neighborhood cop watch activist and police reform advocate.
There is no doubt that Mr. Hayden has a lengthy criminal record. But he has put his past behind him and become an important community activist. He is a longtime member of The Riverside Church Prison Ministry and a founding member of the Ministry’s Campaign to End The New Jim Crow, a group dedicated to combatting mass incarceration and building caring communities. And for the past four years, Mr. Hayden has videotaped police officers as they stop and frisk people in Harlem as part of a neighborhood copwatch program and posted these videos on his website, All Things Harlem.
Mr. Hayden was pulled over for a traffic stop in Harlem in December 2011. When the police approached his car, they made it plain that they recognized Mr. Hayden by statements such as “We know you.” The two officers who stopped him in December were the same officers filmed by Mr. Hayden several months earlier (view the video here: http://bit.ly/NjOZTN). After clearly acknowledging that they knew who he was, the officers unlawfully searched his car, finding a penknife and a small commemorative replica baseball bat. These items are the weapons for which he is now facing felony charges punishable by 2 to 7 years in prison.
During your campaign for District Attorney, you sat down with Mr. Hayden for an interview for his website. During that interview, Mr. Hayden asked you what you would do to stop racial bias and harassment of people of color by the NYPD. You told him that while you “can’t tell the police who to arrest or who not to arrest,” but as District Attorney you would like to assure that “when it comes to us, that we are not making charging decisions that are biased in any way.” You can view the video here:
In light of your commitment to make unbiased charging decisions, I urge you to drop the charges against Mr. Hayden. Given Mr. Hayden’s prominent role in filming the police, it is clear that his arrest was retaliation for his community activities. I also urge you to take seriously the dangers of police practices that effectively silence citizens who dissent. United States Attorney General Eric Holder has affirmed the right to record police officers in the public performance of their duties. By allowing Mr. Hayden’s indictment to proceed, the Manhattan District Attorney casts a chilling effect on this right.
Thank you for your kind attention to this letter.
you can also Sign The Petition
When local activists Christina Gonzalez and Matthew Swaye arrived to attend their local 30th Precinct Community Board Meeting they were surprised to see a picture of their face hanging in the precinct labeling them as "professional agitators."
Jazz Hayden of All Things Harlem caught up with UWUA LOCAL 1-2 Union who were locked out by Con Edison. He interviewed interviewed Union Executive Board Member, Frank Frovola. The Union was out in full force at Con Edison sites around the city. The energy was huge and the labor force was diverse and energized. The workers were locked out and 8500 workers were fired.
thestandouters - With rolling steel gates as his canvas, artist Franco the Great changed the face of Harlem--his murals range from the historic, the uplifting, to the whimsical.
However, in the past decade, soaring rents priced many small mom and pop stores out of the area, and many of the new business coming in threw out Franco's work. Plus, In 2008, new zoning laws required store owners switch over to the "see thru" gates, putting Franco's work in danger of disappearing all together.
Over a 30 year period, Franco painted over 200 murals.
Today, only 25 remain.
Franco and a community of supporters are working to save the rest.
Voices from the Silent March to End Stop and Frisk in New York City on Father's Day, June 17, 2012. All Things Harlem spoke to a diverse group about the march and the NYPD's policy of stop and frisk.
Video From the Event
This video is of the diverse voices you wont see in mainstream media discussing the issue of stop and frisk and the NYPD in New York City.
Full Jeremy Scahill interview with Jazz. Jeremy Scahill says that NYPD's policy of Stop and Frisk should be one of the premiere civil rights issues of the city. He also relates the issue to the global perspective and how our police have become militarized and resemble the oppressive regimes around the world that the United States criticizes.
Scahill's daughter a 5th grader successfully got her entire 5th grade class to sign a petition against stop and frisk. She says that her classmates as young as 12-years-old have been stopped and frisked while just hanging out with their friends.
Jeremy Scahill is national security correspondent for The Nation, and author of Blackwater.
Interview with John Liu. John Liu is the Comptroller of New York City and the only potential Mayoral candidate currently calling for a complete end to stop & frisk, and not just a reform of the policy.
Arrests were made as the the Silent March to end stop and frisk wound down outside Mayor Bloomberg's home in New York City. As some of the remaining groups and people continued to protest and began changing their silence into noise, the massive presence of the NYPD formed up quickly in attempts to stamp out what remained of the march.
With orders coming over the phone from their bosses the chain of command took over and the NYPD management, (the guys in the suits on their phones) informed their captains (the guys in white shirts) to instruct their minions (the foot soldiers in blue) to begin to to clear 5th Avenue and push people onto the sidewalks and in between the barricades surrounding Mayor Bloomberg 's home. They did this by using their normal military apparatus of Motor Scooters, vans, batons, big orange netting, tons of zip tied handcuffs, police camera crew (TARU) etc.
With these tools they still relied on what they know best, brute force and intimidation along with a few arrests in hopes that this would disperse the crowd. In this situation they chose to arrest the biggest baddest most intimidating people of the group first - (young women).
All the while members of crowd chastised the police for their actions and challenged them to think about what they were doing and what they were supporting in their actions.
Jazz marched along with Leaders of The National Action Network, the NAACP, ans Harlem community members to raise awareness about the upcoming silent march against stop & frisk on Fathers Days in Harlem.
Tamika D. Mallory is National Executive Director of National Action Network
Marvin Bing is Northeast Regional Director for the National NAACP
Jazz observed this young man, named Johnny, Washington Heights, New York City doing this creative and unique exercise routine. His creativity was amazing to behold. The reason Johnny given for his workout was that he was "preparing for greatness".
NYPD officer Richard Haste was indicted in the killing of Ramarley Graham and is being charged with manslaughter. Haste is to turn himself in on Wednesday morning, June 13, 2012.
ATH considers this to be only a small step in the right direction, but far from justice. We are seeking a conviction of officer Haste. We also believe that other members of the NYPD need to be held accountable. What of the officers who falsely reported over the radio to Officer Haste that Ramarley had a gun? How can they make this kind of accusation without knowing it for sure? What of all the officers and commanding officers who were part of this "Street Narcotics Unit" that we saw on the scene in the surveillance footage outside Ramarley's Grahams house? Who gave the call that it was ok to kick down his door to pursue him? Is is standard police procedure to kick in peoples doors who are thought to have a gun? Considering they had the entire house surrounded couldn't they have asked for Ramarley Graham to come out with his hands up? These are just some of the questions that need to be asked. Others are responsible for Ramarley's death, not solely officer Richard Haste.
Jose LaSalle, an organizer of the group Stop Stop-and-Frisk informed All Things Harlem that the Graham family would like for the court house in the Bronx to be full of Brothers and Sisters who believe this system isn't designed to protect those who commit crimes against the Human Family. Richard Haste will be at the court house on Jun 13, the court house is going to be full of police officers supporting the murderer Richard Haste. For all those who can make it, we ask you to be at the Bronx Criminal Court at 8:30 Am, there is going to be a conference outside and then we are going into court house to watch Richard Haste get indicted. Lets occupy the courts.
Location: The Bronx Criminal Division is located at 215 East 161st Street, between Sherman & Sheridan Avenues.
Public Transportation: Directions Take the C, D or 4 train to Yankee Stadium/161st Street Station. Take the BX 6 or BX 13 to East 161st Street & Sheridan Avenue; the BX 1 to East 161st Street & Grand Concourse.
NYCLU - 'Stop & Frisk Watch' is an easy and convenient way to hold the NYPD accountable for its actions. You can download it for free at www.nyclu.org/app The app has three main functions: Record, Listen and Report. The 'Record' function initiates your phone's camera. When you are finished recording, the app prompts a survey that you can fill out with any pertinent information regarding the police interaction you witnessed. This file, the video, audio and/or report are sent immediately to the New York Civil Liberties Union. The 'Listen' function turns on your phone's GPS and will alert you if any other 'Stop & Frisk Watch' users have started to film a police interaction in your vicinity. The 'Report' functions prompts the survey even if you didn't film the police interaction. 'Stop & Frisk Watch' also contains 'know your rights' information regarding your rights when you are stopped by police, and your rights to film police. For more information about what you can do to hold the police accountable or to see what the NYCLU has been doing for decades, go to www.nyclu.org
ATH - Yet another case of the NYPD out of control. Even this 69-year-old white Judge couldn't escape this dysfunctional police force that believes it can do anything it wants and get away with it. If this Judge was just a regular citizen he would likely be facing charges of disorderly conduct of trying to assualt an officer.
The struggle will not end with this incremental change, it will only end when we have control over what happens in our communities by having control and accountability over those that claim to represent our interest. We cannot wait decades for tweaking of abusive policies. We need structural change. The police are our servants, not our masters. This is the official report of the pending reform.
NY Times - Cuomo Seeks Cut in Frisk Arrests
By THOMAS KAPLAN
Wading into the debate over stop-and-frisk police tactics, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo plans to ask legislators on Monday for a change in New York State law that would drastically reduce the number of people who could be arrested for marijuana possession as a result of police stops.
The governor will call for the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana in public view, administration officials said. Advocates of such a change say the offense has ensnared tens of thousands of young black and Latino men who are stopped by the New York City police for other reasons but after being instructed to empty their pockets, find themselves charged with a crime.
Reducing the impact of the Bloomberg administration’s stop-and-frisk policy has been a top priority of lawmakers from minority neighborhoods, who have urged Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, to pay more attention to the needs of their communities. The lawmakers argue that young men found with small amounts of marijuana are being needlessly funneled into the criminal justice system and have difficulty finding jobs as a result.
By deciding to get involved in the biggest law enforcement issue roiling New York City, Mr. Cuomo is again inserting himself into the affairs of the city in a way that has been welcomed by some and resented by others. He previously brokered the resolution of a dispute over legalizing street hails of livery cabs, and he ordered the city to stop requiring that food stamp applicants be fingerprinted.
In this case, the governor would be acting against the wishes of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, and in spite of a September directive from the police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, who instructed officers not to arrest people who take small amounts of marijuana out of their pockets or bags after being stopped by the police.
The Drug Policy Alliance, an advocacy group critical of the Police Department’s marijuana arrest policies, found that only a modest decline in the arrests followed Mr. Kelly’s memorandum.
Though the governor’s legislation does not address the high number of stops by the police, it would take aim at what many black and Hispanic lawmakers as well as advocacy groups say has been one of the most damaging results of the aggressive police tactics: arrest records for young people who have small amounts of marijuana in their pockets.
“For individuals who have any kind of a record, even a minuscule one, the obstacles are enormous to employment and to education,” said Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “When it’s really a huge number of kids in the community who go through this, and all have the same story, the impact is just devastating.”
The police in New York City made 50,684 arrests last year for possession of a small amount of marijuana, more than for any other offense, according to an analysis of state data by Harry G. Levine, a sociologist at Queens College. The arrests continued — one in seven arrests made in the city was for low-level marijuana possession — even as Commissioner Kelly issued his directive.
Mr. Bloomberg has opposed ending arrests for the possession of small amounts of marijuana. His administration has argued that the arrests serve to reduce more serious crime by deterring drug dealing and the violence that can accompany the drug trade.
All prior convictions under Bloomberg and Kelly's racist policy and practice should be expunged and the "victims" compensated and apologized to by the City.
Kerry Monay Johnson was entertaining the Harlem residents on Mother's Day weekend when ATH's Jazz Hayden walked by and caught this taste of Harlem. Kerry is a sensitive Brother struggling with cancer but living life one day at a time.