All Things Harlem & Beyond - news, info and newsworthy links
Entries in retaliation (5)
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
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.