All Things Harlem & Beyond - news, info and newsworthy links
Entries in harlem (40)
My latest cop watch. Ironically I found myself and my work being validated by the cop in charge. Then it was back to business as usual...marijuana arrest... - Joseph Jazz Hayden
This is a video of a typical marijuana arrest conducted by members or the NYPD. Even though possesing under 25 grams of marijuana has been decriminalized in New York State since the 1970's the NYPD continues to make every effort to criminalize people of color for those offenses. This is based on a loophole in that law that states that if that same amount of marijuana is in, "plain site" it becomes an arrestable misdemeanor offense rather than a violation.
Here is a report from the NYCLU on the racial disparities in marijuana arrests in the stat of New York.
NYCLU Analysis Exposes Stark Racial Disparities in Marijuana Arrests in Counties Across New York State
June 6, 2013 — There are stark racial disparities in low-level marijuana arrests in counties across New York State, according to a New York Civil Liberties Union analysis released today of federal crime reporting data from 2010.
The greatest racial disparities occur in Kings County (Brooklyn) and New York County (Manhattan), where black New Yorkers are more than 9 times more likely than whites to be arrested for possessing marijuana. But the problem is not limited to New York City. Enormous racial disparities exist in counties throughout the state, including several of the state’s most populous counties, such as Onondaga (7.75 times more likely), Niagara (7.56 times more likely), Monroe (6.5 times more likely) and Erie (5.66 times more likely).
“In all corners of New York State, police are targeting people of color for marijuana possession arrests,” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said. “Arresting and jailing thousands of people for possessing small amounts of marijuana does not make safer streets. It only needlessly disrupts people’s lives and fosters distrust between the police and the communities they are sworn to serve.”
Statewide, black people are 4.5 times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession. They are at least twice as likely to be arrested for possessing marijuana in 52 of the state’s 62 counties. Nationally, blacks are more than 3.7 times as likely as whites to be subjected to marijuana arrests.
There were consistently large racial disparities in marijuana arrests in New York State between 2001 and 2010. While arrest rates of whites increased slightly, black people shouldered a great portion of the increases in marijuana arrests, with the black arrest rate increasing 26 percent over that time span.
These gaping racial disparities in marijuana arrests exist even though government surveys show that whites use marijuana at higher rates than blacks do.
An American Civil Liberties Union report released this week on marijuana arrests nationwide showed New York leads the nation in marijuana arrests. In 2010, there were 103,698 marijuana-possession arrests in New York State – more than 29,000 more arrests than the state with the second-highest total, Texas with 74,286 arrests. New York’s marijuana arrest rate of 535 arrests per 100,000 people was double the national average and was the highest arrest rate of any state.
“New Yorkers should be embarrassed that our state leads the nation in marijuana arrests,” Lieberman said. “The crackdown on low-level marijuana possession needlessly hurts individuals and families – subjecting them to all sorts of collateral consequences like the loss of student financial aid and job opportunities. Governor Cuomo has pledged to clarify the state’s marijuana laws to bring justice and common sense to drug enforcement in our state. We urge him to keep that promise.”
New York City is the nation’s marijuana arrest capital. Arrests for marijuana possession in the city skyrocketed from only 774 in 1991 – for the lowest misdemeanor offense – to 50,383 in 2010 – an increase of 6,409 percent. The explosion in marijuana arrests happened despite the fact that New York State made marijuana possession a violation in 1977, like speeding or ignoring a stop light.
The number of marijuana-possession arrests in the state annually was consistently high between 2001 and 2010 and increased over the final three years of that time span.
Arresting people for possessing small amounts of marijuana does not reduce serious or violent crime. According to a study by two University of Chicago professors, these arrests only pull police off the streets and divert them into nonessential police work. According to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse and Health, the rise in marijuana arrests has not corresponded with a reduction in the use of marijuana in New York State.
Marijuana possession arrests drive thousands of young men of color into the criminal justice system. It does so at significant taxpayer expense. In 2010, marijuana arrests cost state taxpayers $678.5 million in police and court costs.
“At a time when county governments across New York are cutting services to close huge budget deficits, police should not be wasting scarce resources arresting people for small amounts of marijuana,” Lieberman said.
Marijuana arrests needlessly harm individuals and families. They can affect eligibility for public housing and student financial aid, employment opportunities, child custody determinations and immigration status. Marijuana convictions can also subject people to more severe charges and sentences if they are ever arrested for or convicted of another crime. In addition, the targeted enforcement of marijuana laws against people of color sows mistrust between communities and the police, weakening public safety.
On November 14, 2013 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar came to St. Aloysius school in Harlem to talk to students about his life, his new book and the importance of education. Kareem also fielded questions from the students and made a big impression on the school basketball team.
We at Still Here Harlem Productions/All Things Harlem, support John C. Liu for Mayor of the City of New York.
Allthingsharlem.com is a community based website that is dedicated to providing a voice for the Harlem community and all communities of poor people of color.
After observing and interacting with John Liu for the last five (5) years we are totally impressed with his commitment to resolving the issues critical to fairness and justice in communities of poor people of color. He has been at countless events over these past few years fighting for justice for victims of racial profiling by the NYPD. As a City Councilman and City Comptroller he has made the connections between the money that has been wasted upholding policies of racial profiling rather than building up caring communities. Chief among these issues has been the policy and practice of Stop & Frisk. John C. Liu’s position on this critical issue has been and remains “Don’t mend it, End it!” He is still the only candidate to take this clear and brave position of completely abolishing the policy. The other Democratic candidates for Mayor only promise to reform or tweak the policy of stop and frisk without getting rid of it.
Operation SNUG is a Harlem based organization that addresses youth violence by doing direct action and outreach in Harlem streets. All Things Harlem recently caught up with them doing community outreach in central Harlem.
The Harlem YMCA gives an annual picnic for its members. On this day children were given the chance to climb mountains and they did. What was amazing was their trust in the NYPD officers whose hands their safety was in. This is an example of how the police should serve a community that trust their children to them.
Jazz Hayden asks Raymond Santana if people should be surprised with the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial considering the jury and everyone else involved with the case was white.
A former Sanford, Florida resident speaks about her experience living there and her feelings on George Zimmerman's not guilt verdict in the killing of Trayvon Martin.
Did you know that New York City students are being criminalized for being late to school? This process takes place when the NYPD sets up checkpoints at subway exits that are in close proximity to public schools. They stop the students and ask them a series of personal questions and record that information. This video took place in Harlem, NY at the 135th street station.
Below are a few questions we had and posed in the video. Let us know what your thoughts and feelings are on this NYPD practice. Share your thoughts in the comments section or twitter #schooltoprisonpipeline.
Why are cops stopping students on their way to school when in all public schools there is an officer at the front desk?
This stop took about 10 minutes. Doesn't this practice make students later for school?
Could these stops deter students from attending on days that they are running late?
What is being done with the information collected by the NYPD?
How do parents feel about their children being stopped and questioned without their consent?
Are these students commuting by train because there isn't a good school in their neighborhood?
One of the most disturbing parts of this video is that the students appear unfazed. These police abuses have become Normalized. But this is not normal!
If young suburban students were stopped by police on their way to school you would likely see fear and tears in their eyes. Followed up by outrage from parents and the school board.
Click picture for video.
Tyrone "Alimoe" Evans who was also known as "The Black Widow" passed away last week from complications of a seizure. He was 37. Alimoe was one of the best basketball players to ever come out of Harlem. He was most publicly known for his streetball skills touring with the And1 Mixtape Tour, appearing in cities around the country and on television and video tapes. But anyone who saw him play knows he should have played in the NBA and would have been very successful. Take it from former NBA star, Shaquille O'neal, who said, “He was 6-7. He could handle the rock. He could shoot. He actually had the whole package, and he should have been in the league. Rest in peace, Alimoe. Love you, brother.”
Thanks for the memories Alimoe.
On January 15, 2013 potential Democratic Mayoral candidates debated issues at Al Sharpton's Nation Action Network headquarters in Harlem. The annual event was in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community members and other politician were also in attendance.
The potential candidates included City Comptroller John Liu, Public Advocate Bill Deblasio, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Former City Comptroller Bill Thompson and former City Council Member Sal Albanese. They discussed issues important to the Harlem community like, improving education, the NYPD's stop and frisk policy, and who they would make next police commisioner.
Click on the picture below for video of the debate.
All Things Harlem's take on this debate is that the candidate with the most clear answers to the questions was John Liu. For example, he was the only candidate to make a clear distinction on the issue of stop and frisk saying that he would do away with the policy completely. All the other candidates answers were much more ambiguous but were leaning more towards reforming the program and not ending it.
What do you think about the debate? Do you have a better idea of who you would support in the Democratic primary?
The Standouters - Built by Julius Kroehl in 1857, the fire tower stands 47 feet high and sits in Marcus Garvey Park. It was one of eight in Manhattan. Manned by volunteers, fire watchtowers communicated by Morse code and rang the bell to signal where the blaze was located.
However, by the late 1870s, the widespread use of fire call boxes and the growing number of skyscrapers made the towers obsolete. Many were eventually torn down but the one in Marcus Garvey Park remained primarily because its isolated location and popularity with the community.
Aside from a 1938 modification, which added the acropolis, the base the tower sits upon, it has not undergone any major renovations and has fallen into serious disrepair. With the support of elected officials, Harlem community groups are working to raise money to save this historic landmark.
It's been almost 4 years since Israel's last major acts of military agression against Palestinian's in Gaza. This was All Things Harlem coverage of New Yorkers reaction to this military campaign 4 years ago. What has changed?
Photos: from Rally/March to Israeli Consulate - 01/03/2009
Video: Rally Against Israeli Aggression in Gaza - Harlem State Office Building 01-10-2009
Video: Answer Coalition on Gaza - 01-09-09
When taking the subway at 125th street if you are lucky you will get the chance to witness the beautiful voice of Alethia singing the gospel with an angelic voice that has the stamp of the black church written all over it.
Minister Farrakhan, of the Nation of Islam, did a tour of New York City. He addressed the loss of "community" in Harlem. He spoke of a time when the residents of Harlem didn't lock their doors and how that has changed to a community where we fear one another. Filmed by Jazz Hayden.
Here is a video of some sites and sounds from the African American Day Parade in Harlem on September 16, 2012. Video filmed by Jazz Hayden.
Keep Jazz Free - Delivery of Petitions and Letters Telling DA Cyrus Vance to Drop the Charges Against Jazz Hayden
Delivery of over 2,000 petitions and letters telling DA Cyrus Vance to drop the charges against Jazz Hayden.
EMERGENCY! Jazz Hayden's Freedom is On the Line
Two Urgent Actions to Keep Jazz Free:
THURSDAY: GRAND JURY PROCEEDINGS TO INDICT JAZZ!
Thursday, September 13th, 8:30 am -1 Hogan Place
(near Centre and Worth Streets, around the corner from courthouse at 100 Centre Street; Trains: 4/5/6/N/R to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall; Q to Canal; A/C/J/Z to Chambers)
Join us at the press conference & rally
And earlier in the week...
TUESDAY: CALL-IN DAY TO KEEP JAZZ FREE!
Call Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance's office: Attorney William Darrow, tel. 212-335-9192
Tell Darrow to Drop the Charges Against Jazz Hayden! We want to keep Jazz Free!
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, District Attorney Cyrus Vance has re-affirmed he intends to pursue an indictment at the Grand Jury hearing this Thursday.
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 SEPTEMBER 13!! We need to send a strong message to jurors and the prosecutors as they enter the courthouse: WE STAND BY JAZZ HAYDEN!
CALL THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY ON SEPTEMBER 11!! Take just two minutes on Tuesday to flood their phone lines with one clear message: drop the trumped-up charges against Jazz Hayden! Call Attorney William Darrow at 212-335-9192 and tell him to stop persecuting Jazz for his community service!
Sign Jazz's petition and learn more about his case at www.freejazzhayden.wordpress.com
Shaka Shakur - community activist and member of, The People's Survival Program, speaks to the crowd of supporters and the NYPD outside of the 32nd precinct in Harlem. He emphasizes the importance of using a the video camera as a weapon against police abuse in our community.
Operation S.N.U.G. (“guns” spelled backwards) is a multi-faceted, community empowerment
and youth development approach in response to the increase in gun and gang violence by youth
and young adults throughout New York State.
They held a panel discussion on Malcolm X Blvd on youth violence, police community relations, and Jim Crow. Here is video from the event.