All Things Harlem & Beyond - news, info and newsworthy links
Entries in court (18)
Following a march from the Bronx D.A.s office to the Harlem State Office Building the supporters of the family of Ramarley Graham gathered to speak out on the failure to indict NYPD officer Richard Haste for the murder of Ramarley Graham. His father, Franclot Graham lays out the families suffering and their demand for justice.
Message From Ramarley Graham's Mother
Dear Ramarley's supporters,
I am not sure if everyone is up to date as to what happened on the last court date but we were not given the impression that a trial will start anytime soon. A trial date was not set due to some " TECHNICALITY". Now, there was no technicality when this murderer illegally gained access to my building, ran upstairs, and kicked off my apartment door and murdered my son. There were no technicality when they were all smirking in my backyard because they did a good job murdering Ramarley in cold blood. There were no technicality when at his first court appearance he was greeted with applaud by his fellow comrades.
ABC, Chan. 7, “HERE AND NOW” – Sun. Nov. 4, 2012
Sandra Bookman talks with Joseph Jazz Hayden, the founder of AllThingsHarlem.com. The website has been documenting some of the stop-and-frisk policy cases against the NYPD -- including Hayden's own case. They will be joined by Hayden's attorney, Gideon Oliver, and Noel Leader, the co-founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care.
On October 26, 2012 Brother Shep had to appear in court to answer a disorderly conduct charge pinned on him following a confrontation with some overly aggressive court officers following a court appearance by Shaka Shakur. The court officer who charged Brother Shep did not appear and the case was postponed.
THIS FRIDAY: PACK THE BRONX COURT HOUSE TO KEEP VETERAN BLACK PANTHER &
ZULU NATION MEMBER "BRO.SHEP" FREE!
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2012
9:00 AM SHARP!
215 E.161st STREET
During the spring trial of activist Shaka Shakur, veteran Black Panther and long time community activist Sadiki "Bro. Shep" Ojore Olugbala was unjustly targeted as a leader in the campaign in support of Shakur and arrested inside of the Bronx Criminal Courthouse. This arrest was made while other court officers were engaged in a heated discussion with activist attorney Michael "Tarif" Warren about the court’s treatment of and disrespect towards Bro. Shaka’s supporters.
Despite winning Shakur’s acquittal, District Attorney Robert Johnson and the courts have decided to make an example of Bro. Shep by attempting to imprison him, contributing to a current city-wide campaign to intimidate the growing movement of both organizers and the victims of police terror by the NYPD.
The prosecution of criminal charges against Bro. Shep shows all too clearly the illegal restrictions on activists demonstrating their courtroom support by wearing political buttons and t-shirts, as well as the harassment of activists expressing their basic civil liberties by leafleting outside of the courthouse. His arrest also raises the question of whether those facing criminal charges in the Bronx can actually receive a fair and unbiased trial, given the close personal and professional ties between the arresting NYS Court Officers and the judges.
Defend Bro. Shep and support the campaign for justice for all those who struggle against police violence and terror. Drop the charges now!
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.
Pack the Court for Jazz Hayden
**THIS THURSDAY**October 11, 8:30am, 100 Centre St - RALLY & PACK THE COURT
Keep Jazz Hayden Free!
We must stand together and stop the criminal "justice" system, NYPD and DA from putting Jazz behind bars for 14 yeas for his courageous activism against Stop & Frisk, police brutality and the New Jim Crow! Film the Police! No Justice, No Peace!
Bring a poster and bring friends. This is an urgent week in the campaign to keep Jazz Free! Despite over 2,000 of us raising our voices, and despite the obviously retaliatory nature of the charges, Jazz is still facing a court date this Thursday, October 11th, that threatens his freedom. Jazz is a 71-year old grandfather and community activist, unflinchingly devoted to defending the people of Harlem and New York from the racist police humiliation and brutality communities of color experience on a daily basis. The NYPD and the courts are using bogus weapons charges to try to silence his cop watch activities and send a chilling message to the rest of us. Jazz is facing a possible 14 years in prison. TURN OUT ON OCTOBER 11!! We need to send a strong message to the DA and everyone who enters the courthouse: WE STAND BY JAZZ HAYDEN!
Sign Jazz’s petition and learn more about his case at www.freejazzhayden.wordpress.com
Watch Jazz's Video Coverage of Michelle Alexander, Angela Davis, Cornel West, Mumia's call-in, Jazz himself, & more speaking at Riverside Church, Fri., Sept. 14, http://www.allthingsharlem.com/all-things-harlem/2012/9/17/end-mass-incarceration-event-at-riverside-church.html
Jazz Hayden along with a large group of supporters packed Manhattan Criminal Courthouse inside and out on the morning of July 31, 2012. They were there demanding that District Attorney Cyrus Vance drop the charges against Jazz Hayden. The charges against Jazz are seen to be retaliation for his filming and scrutiny of police activities in the Harlem community.
The Judge set another date for Jazz's case on October 11, 2012 in anticipation of a grand jury indictment. The grand jury will be convened sometime during September (TBA). The supporters plan to mobilize around both events of these dates.
To keep up with Jazz's case or get involved go to
David Galarza speaks to the importance of filming police activities in our communities to show the truth in whats going on. He describes a recent video he shot of an NYPD officer fondling and body slamming a young teenager. He tells of how the news reported it as a good job by the officer while his video tells a different story.
While David is speaking you will notice that one of the court officers behind him is filming him and the group of supporters. Why? And what will they do with this tape we don't know.
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
On April 18, 2012 supporters, community members and activists came out to support community leader Shaka Shakur in court. The result was that Shaka's case was postponed until May 3, 2012. Please come out and support him for his next court date.
Also as supporters were leaving the the court, court officers attempted to intimidate them by harassing them and issued a disorderly conduct summons to Brother Shep of the People's Survival Program and Universal Zulu Nation while he was trying to leave.
On April 17, 2012 supporters, community members and activists came out to support Joseph "Jazz" Hayden in court. Before heading into court there was a press conference that included speakers, Sarah Kunstler, Robert Gangi, Johanna Fernandez, King Downing, Laura Whitehorn, Lewis Webb and Joseph "Jazz" Hayden.
This was Jazz's third time in court for felony charges he is facing in an attempted retaliation by the NYPD to stop his activist work, which entails filming the police in the Harlem community. Full details here, http://bit.ly/AmEj6y
After only a few minutes in court Jazz's case was postponed to July 31, 2012.
Supporters headed back outside and recapped what happened and whats the next step. They also addressed the long line of people who were heading into court that day. Letting them know that "they are not the criminals" and that its really the system that is criminal.
A man who was heading into court stepped out of the line to tell us his story of how he was wrongfully arrested for carrying his work tools and being stopped and frisked and accused of Felony Possession of a Weapon.
Shaka Shakur another one of our community leaders who is facing retaliation from the NYPD with a case of his own also spoke along with Brother Shep of the Universal Zulu Nation. They further elaborated on the bigger picture of this unjust and racist system that is being used to destroy our communities. Brother Shep urged the audience to go to Washington D.C. next week to Occupy the Justice Department. See occupythejusticedepartment.com for details.
JAZZ HAYDEN & SHAKA SHAKUR WILL CHALLENGE NYPD TERROR "BACK TO BACK" IN COURT THIS WEEK
"PACK THE COURTS ON BOTH TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY"
"KEEP SHAKA SHAKUR FREE"JOIN US AT THE BRONX CRIMINAL COURT IN SUPPORT OF HARLEM & BRONX COMMUNITYACTIVIST BRO. SHAKA SHAKURPRESS CONFERENCE/COURT HOUSE RALLYWEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2012 9:00AM SHARP
9:00AM THE BRONX COUNTY CRIMINAL COURT Part B 215 East 161st Street (near Sherman & Sheridan Avenues) Take the C, D or 4 train to the Yankee Stadium/161st Street Station. or take the BX 6 or BX 13 Bus to East 161st Street & Sheridan Avenue; the BX 1 to East 161st Street & Grand ConcourseBro. Shaka, a coordinator of the Peoples Survival Program in Harlem was arrested at work after a taskforce of police agents raided his apartment in the Bronx with a baseless warrant. In the course of the raid the police also took the opportunity to violate the home of veteran Black Panther Cyril "Bullwhip" Innis under the guise of an alleged search for illegal weapons. Save The Date and come out on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 as we collectively "Occupy The Bronx Courthouse" in support of those who actively fight against Police Terror by the NYPD. Additionally Thanks to the very successful fundraising event organized by CEMOTAP.If you are unable to attend this community fundraiser and you can still contribute to the legal expenses needed to WIN THIS CASE!We ask that you please make out your check or money order payable to our attorney Michael W. Warren with a notation for: The Shaka Shakur Defense Fund and to then Mail Your Support Contributions to Michael W. Warren, P.C..
SAVE THE DATE:
February 29, 2012
Second Circuit Argument in Lynne's Case
Second Circuit oral arguments in Lynne's case will take place on February 29, 2012, at the U.S. Courthouse in Manhattan, 500 Pearl Street. Lynne will not be there but hopes for a massive turnout! More information coming soon!
Who is Lynne Stewart? Lynne Stewart received a 28-month sentence in October 2006. Her lawyers appealed, and she was out on bail until November 17, 2009, when her bail was revoked after the Second Circuit ruled on her and the government’s appeals. Radical human rights attorney Lynne Stewart has been falsely accused of helping terrorists. On Tuesday, April 9, 2002, she was arrested and agents searched her Manhattan office for documents. She was arraigned before Manhattan federal Judge John Koeltl. This is an obvious attempt by the U.S. government to silence dissent, curtail vigorous defense lawyers, and install fear in those who would fight against the U.S. government’s racism, seek to help Arabs and Muslims being prosecuted for free speech and defend the rights of all oppressed people. Lynne’s bail has been revoked, and she is now being held in jail after the Second Circuit ruled on her and the government’s appeals on Tuesady, November 17, 2009. You can read the opinion and other motions to stay below. For more information visit http://lynnestewart.org/ .
Who is Lynne Stewart?
Lynne Stewart received a 28-month sentence in October 2006. Her lawyers appealed, and she was out on bail until November 17, 2009, when her bail was revoked after the Second Circuit ruled on her and the government’s appeals.
Radical human rights attorney Lynne Stewart has been falsely accused of helping terrorists. On Tuesday, April 9, 2002, she was arrested and agents searched her Manhattan office for documents. She was arraigned before Manhattan federal Judge John Koeltl. This is an obvious attempt by the U.S. government to silence dissent, curtail vigorous defense lawyers, and install fear in those who would fight against the U.S. government’s racism, seek to help Arabs and Muslims being prosecuted for free speech and defend the rights of all oppressed people.
Lynne’s bail has been revoked, and she is now being held in jail after the Second Circuit ruled on her and the government’s appeals on Tuesady, November 17, 2009. You can read the opinion and other motions to stay below.
For more information visit http://lynnestewart.org/ .
THE BRONX COUNTY CRIMINAL COURT Part B 215 East 161st Street (near Sherman & Sheridan Avenues) Take the C, D or 4 train to the Yankee Stadium/161st Street Station. or take the BX 6 or BX 13 Bus to East 161st Street & Sheridan Avenue; the BX 1 to East 161st Street & Grand Concourse
The supporters of Shaka Shakur gathered outside of the Bronx Criminal Court after his court appearance to be updated by Attorney for Shaka Michael Tariff Warren on February 15, 2012. Thanks for all who turned out and hope to see you at Shaka's next court date will be on April 18th, 2012. UNITY!
Occupy The Courts!
Bro. Shaka Shakur, a coordinator of the Peoples Survival Program in Harlem was arrested at work after a taskforce of police agents raided his apartment in the Bronx with a baseless warrant. In the course of the raid the police also took the opportunity to violate the home of veteran Black Panther Cyril "Bullwhip" Innis under the guise of an alleged search for illegal weapons.
PRESS CONFERENCE/COURT HOUSE RALLY WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2012 9:00AM THE BRONX COUNTY CRIMINAL COURT Part B
Video of Bro. Shaka discussing his upcoming court case at a press Conference in support Joseph "Jazz" Hayden, another Harlem community leader under attack by the NYPD. January 12, 2012.
Save The Date and come out on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 as we collectively "Occupy The Bronx Courthouse" in support of those who actively fight against Police Terror by the NYPD.
Additionally, Thanks to the very successful fundraising event organized by CEMOTAP; We now only need a balance of $2,500.00 to cover the legal expenses for Bro. Shaka Shakur.
For those who were unable to attend this community fundraiser and still wish to contribute to the legal expenses needed to win this case; We ask that you please make out your check or moneyorder payable to our attorney
Michael W. Warren with a notation for the Shaka Shakur Defense Fund and to then Mail Your Support Contribution To:
Michael W. Warren, P.C.
580 Washington Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11238
For more information contact:
Phone - 212-650-5008
Emails - email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Panthershepcat@aol.com
Directions to Bronx Criminal Court:
215 East 161st Street (near Sherman & Sheridan Avenues) C, D or 4 train to the Yankee Stadium/161st Street Station. BX 6 or BX 13 to East 161st Street & Sheridan Avenue; the BX 1 to East 161st Street & Grand Concourse
A Statment of Thanks and Blessings From Shaka