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Entries in reform (1)
By Joseph Jazz Hayden
Still Here Harlem Productions, and its progeny Allthingsharlem.com, committed ourselves to changing the policy of Stop, Question, and Frisk in 2008 when we formed our new media Company. The day we purchased our cameras and computer was the day we began policing the police.
A visit to the Copwatch section of our website or our youtube playlist will place at your viewing a body of stop and frisk footage that was garnered by the fearless and committed group of members of All Things Harlem. Wherever we saw flashing lights in the community we investigated, observed, and filmed. This was not done without pushback by the NYPD. I, Joseph Jazz Hayden, was arrested on several occasions’ and subjected to stop, question, frisk, and arrest. Producer, Paolo Walker also ran into threats and intimidation while filming and monitoring the police, our public employees, without fear.
As the years passed the number of people and organizations involved in “Cop Watch” grew. Politicians began to weigh in and side with the activist and community organizers. The legal community put together a class action Federal lawsuit called Floyd v. The City of New York and won an overwhelming decision for the plaintiffs in the case. At the same time the New York City Council passed two Bills known as the, "Community Safety Act" that addressed racial profiling and civil liability for the police in the form of an inspector general. The federal and City decision revealed the unconstitutionality of the practice and policy of stop question and frisk.
We at All Things Harlem are not entirely happy with the solution side of the court’s and Council’s decisions. What was noticeably absent was a significant voice from the effected communities and personal liability for the police who violate the constitutional rights of citizens. Since we understand that for every action there is a reaction we will wait and observe before declaring the war over and victory for the people.
It is also clear to us that those that were deliberately indifferent to the racist policy of stop & frisk, the district attorneys, judges, and political representatives must be held accountable and their records of deliberate indifference revealed to the public. Silence is consent!
We want to thank all of our followers, supporters, and community based organizations for their support in this struggle. The many days and months rallying and opposing stop and frisk have made us family and committed allies to each other. We must strengthen the bonds we made, not let them weaken. Our battle for power to determine our destiny is never ending---action/reaction---the perpetual dialectics of struggle.
The model of grassroots media that we developed at Allthingsharlem.com is replicable. We want to replicate it all over the state and the country. If you have friends and allies involved in new media please put them in touch with us at email@example.com.
La Lucha Continua!
Joseph Jazz Hayden
Founder of Still Here Harlem Productions Inc.
Director of All Things Harlem