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Entries in stop and frisk (13)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
La Lucha Continua!
Joseph Jazz Hayden
Founder of Still Here Harlem Productions Inc.
Director of All Things Harlem
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.
John Jay College held a forum on Stop & Frisk and this is a presentation of their research and findings. Here is yet at another example of research, facts and finding showing just how unjust this policy is. What will it take for us to end this practice?
Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson has been facing community criticism over a perceived flip flop on the issue of stop and frisk. The video below from Occupy the Bronx shows that criticism spilling over at a rally in the Bronx held in support of Reynaldo Cuevas and his family. Reynaldo Cuevas was recently shot and killed by the NYPD. Cuevas was inside the Bodega he worked in when it was being robbed and when he ran out for safety an NYPD officer shot and killed him thinking he was one of the perpetrators. Full Coverage at Occupy the Bronx.
Occupy The Bronx wrote, "Reynaldo Cuevas Relatives, Friends, Community Members and Event Organizers fed up with the political shenanigans politician's play especially when relating to the practices upon communities of color by the NYPD refused the presence of Assemblyman Eric Stevenson who arrived at the event uninvited with media support and afew ex-cops turned community activists geared up to grab mainstream media spot light."
Days after his conflict with the community members took place, Assemblyman Stevenson sat down with Jazz Hayden of allthingsharlem.com to clarify his view on Stop & Frisk and where he stands. Let us know what you think of his response and this issue as a whole.
We have gotten to know "Nycresistance" from his work videoing police incidents in our communities over the past few years. If you haven't had the chance to view any of his work you need to take a look. He is a true fighter for justice and truth and All Things Harlem commends him to the utmost. His work further reveals the depth of the misconduct, harassment and human rights abuses of the NYPD carries out in communities of color.
Make sure to check his great videos on his youtube channel or his blog.
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.
This past Thursday, May 17, video footage from allthingsharlem.com's was used during a debate on Stop & Frisk on NY1 show Inside City Hall.
NY1 - With the New York City Police Department already on pace to break last year's record for the number of New Yorkers stopped and frisked, Inside City Hall’s Errol Louis debated the pros and cons of the procedure with Glenn Martin, the Vice President of Development and Public Affairs for The Fortune Society and Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
Winding down a 4 day memorial to Manning Marable at Riverside Church in Harlem, Angela Davis gave a presentation on Stop & Frisk, the School to Prison pipeline, and racism in the criminal justice system.
Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Executive Director of the Schomburg Library in Harlem, spoke on the issue of Stop andFrisk from an historical perspective at a Panel at Cuny's Black Studies Progam.
part 1 of 3
Jazz Hayden and the Fight Against Stop-and-Frisk
An unlikely activist's battle with the NYPD's frisky business
By Graham Rayman, Photographs by Lyric Cabral
Village Voice - Hayden, a longtime Harlem community activist, films stop-and-frisks and then posts the videos to the Internet as part of his Copwatch program. Hayden plans to sue the NYPD for improper stop and arrest after he was pulled over by police in December.
The 70-year-old Hayden, whose given name is Joseph, is a longtime community activist in Harlem. In a past life, he was a street hustler who served three years in prison in the late 1950s for drugs, was falsely accused in the late 1960s in a high-profile shooting of two police officers in the politically turbulent year of 1968, was convicted of money laundering in the 1970s, and served 13 years in prison from 1986 to 2000 for manslaughter after a traffic dispute turned fatal.
Hayden has spent the past four years irritating police officers by videotaping them as they stop and frisk people in Harlem in a program he calls "Copwatch." He often posts the videos on the Internet. For most of that period, he encountered little more than annoyed cops, but recently, his activities might have caught up with him.
Last summer, Hayden filmed two plainclothes officers during an evening car stop. The exchange between Hayden and the officers was contentious, even though the two motorists who were stopped were let go without charges.
At least one officer was aware of Hayden's past, because at one point, he can be heard saying: "You done selling drugs yet or what? I know your rap sheet." And then later, the tape shows, the same officer can be heard saying: "Go sell some more drugs, sir. We know your background. I know who you are."
Then, on December 2, as Hayden drove away after a meeting at Riverside Church, the same two officers stopped him, searched him, and arrested him for possession of a penknife. "We know you," one of them said.
"These guys knew who I was," Hayden says, calling it "NYPD officers taking revenge on me. . . . It was clear retaliation."
Chris Woods, a 35-year-old security guard, happened to be walking by and witnessed the police stop Hayden. "He didn't say anything offensive or abusive to the officers, but that wasn't good enough for them," Woods says. "That he was talking with them seemed to make them more furious. The whole thing shouldn't even have been a criminal matter."
What probably should have been a minor incident became 48 hours in holding cells and a felony weapons charge against the activist. Hayden's arrest has also become something of a cause in Harlem.
Among other events, Hayden's allies organized a protest at the Manhattan Supreme Court on January 19, one of his court dates. The protest was attended by elected officials and activists. The board of the radio station WBAI, where Hayden was once a producer, passed a resolution in support of him.
In 2010, the NYPD, in a campaign touted by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly as a key element in the war on crime, stopped more than 600,000 people throughout the city. From 2004 to 2009, police stopped 2.8 million people; the largest age group is males 15 to 19, following by males ages 20 to 24. Just 9 percent of the stops resulted in an arrest. And in 2011, the police were on pace for 686,000 stops—a new record.
In the 2010 Voice series "The NYPD Tapes," police supervisors in the 81st Precinct in Bedford-Stuvesant order cops to make a quota of one or two stops per tour. Police Officer Adil Polanco, who was assigned to a Bronx precinct, said similarly that there was a stop-and-frisk quota there. If those orders are typical for most precincts—and that appears to be the case from the tapes and Polanco's statements—then quotas are a key factor in fueling the rise in stops.
Even so, Kelly has said repeatedly that the stops keep people from carrying weapons, drugs, and other illicit items on the street. He said it again most recently in a December 11 affidavit filed as part of a lawsuit: "Stops serve as a deterrent to criminal activity."
He has been backed on this by Mayor Bloomberg, the New York Post and Daily News editorial pages, and commentators including the Manhattan Institute's Heather Mac Donald, who tied the stops to the crime decline and declared that the campaign "saves minorities' lives."
And yet the campaign has spawned ongoing opposition not only from elected officials and activists but also from regular New Yorkers. Last September, police stopped and handcuffed Counciman Jumaane Williams and an associate at Brooklyn's West Indian Day Parade.
Williams raised a fuss, which led police spokesman Paul Browne to claim that someone had punched a police officer during the incident. Williams called that claim a "bald-faced lie," and Browne hasn't uttered another word about it since.
But aside from public opinion, there's a major cost to the campaign in actual dollars. Over the past couple of years, the number of lawsuits filed by New Yorkers alleging improper stop-and-frisks has continued to grow. There might be some element of lawyers seeing a new area in the always-busy police-litigation business, but the rise also indicates a frustration among New Yorkers with the practice.
In the month of January alone, more than three dozen lawsuits alleging improper stop-and-frisks were filed, based on a Voice reading of the complaints. Extrapolated, that means that the city could be sued more than 400 times this year alone just on improper stops.
Community members, social activists, religious and political leaders all came together outside of the Manhattan Supreme Court for a press conference in support of Joseph "Jazz" Hayden and to rally against the NYPD's racist practice known as Stop and Frisk.
Jazz was a recent victim of retaliation by the NYPD when he was arrested by the same 2 officers he filmed last summer during a Copwatch. He has been out filming police activity and Stop and Frisks in Harlem for the past 3 years and posting these videos to youtube(playlist) and allthingsharlem.com. For full story and detail behind the arrest view here - http://bit.ly/AmEj6y.
The court decided to send Jazz's case to the Grand Jury and his next court date will be on April 17, 2012. Please come out again and support him on this day. More details will follow.
All Things Harlem - Video Coverage
Stop and Frisk and police abuse are a global issue and seem to have played a roll in the London riots.
BBC - Darcus Howe, a West Indian Writer and Broadcaster speaks to BBC the London riots. He informs BBC about the bad relationship between the police and the youth community and tensions building over time. Mr. Howe, speaks of how his own grandson says he can't count the amount of times he has been stopped and searched.
Mr. Howe also has to put the BBC reporter in check at the end of this interview for her rude line of questions.