Identity, Justice

Denounce Police Brutality in New York This Wednesday, Nov 29th

Over the past few days, amidst the flurry of news coverage of police brutality, my inbox has been flooded with cases that are not being covered. It is critical that cases, like the shooting of Sean Bell in Queens, on Sunday, are getting attention and investigation, but we will have to see what justice is on the other side, and we must be a voice in denouncing these acts of police brutality. While Mayor Bloomberg responded, calling 50 shots as unacceptable, unfortunately, the Mayor also would not discuss this as a pattern. Rather, he stated that this was an isolated incident, as opposed to what communities are saying, and what is the reality of daily racial profiling, harrassment, beating and arrests of people of color in New York City.
So let me share a few other stories I’ve received in the past few days that aren’t hitting the media just yet.
That same night–Sunday evening, November 26–Juanita Young, an activist and public speaker in the fight to stop police brutality, was arrested in her own home. She and her family have been targets of police harassment on several occasions, including an attempt to evict her from her home. Her son, Malcolm Ferguson, was killed by NYPD in March 2000, a week after he was arrested for being part of a protest against the verdict in the Amadou Diallo case. She has been a member of the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation since 2000.
An ambulance had been called for Juanita’s daughter. When ambulance came, police also arrived. Juanita asked the police to leave, and the ambulance refused to do anything and called for backup. Eight police arrived, grabbed people, threw Juanita in a room and tried to lock her in, kicked her in the chest and back, and jumped on her. Her daughter yelled at them to stop, telling them that Juanita has asthma, but Juanita was arrested and ended up at Jacobi Hospital emergency room, under police custody. Apparently, family and friends have still not been allowed in to see her.

I also received the following alert from Trans Justice, a Project of the Audre Lorde Project, asking people to join them in protesting police brutality this Wednesday, after white cops beat two Black men on November 1st in the West Village. I give you most of the release as they have already done the work to narrate this–now it’s our duty to act and to denounce what are not isolated incidents, but daily attacks and racial profiling that is still occurring in New York City. You don’t have to be an activist to see this–you just have to be willing to look around and see what’s going on, or what’s not going on in your neighborhoods, and take a minute to acknowledge the issue as an issue–to ask the questions why police aren’t on every corner in Park Slope the way they’re on every corner in Flatbush–and the why has everything to do with race, nationality and class.

On November 1st, at around 4:30am, at the intersection of Hudson and Christopher, various African-American and Latina/o people were approached by a van of police officers and told to move from the corner. Some of these people were patrons of a pizza restaurant who were standing out in front, while others were simply crossing the intersection.
As people began to move away from the corner, a 20-year old African-American female remarked on how disrespectful the tone had been of the female officer who had given the order. The same officer got out of the van and began to initiate an argument with the 20-year-old woman. Within seconds, Officer Toccos, a white male cop, also jumped out of the van and began to shout at the 20-year-old female.
Then without warning or provocation, Officer Toccos pushed the 20-year-old African-American woman twice in her breasts forcing her backwards. A witness at the scene, 23 year old African-American college student Shakur Trammel requested the badge number of Officer Toccos.
In answer to that request, Shakur Trammel was punched in his face. In a fit of rage, Toccos began punching Trammel repeatedly in his chest. He soon threw him on top of the front of the police van and began choking him with his nightstick. A rampage ensued. Witnesses report, that between 4 to 6 cops, mostly white officers, began kicking and punching, Shakur Trammel as he lay on the ground. Throughout the attack, Officer Toccos continuously beat Trammel with his nightstick. Covered with bruises and his left elbow dislocated Shakur Trammel was then thrown into a police van.
During the attack, Trammel could hear the voices of several people yelling for the police to stop and calling on each other to take pictures to document the assault. As many as 20 people, the vast majority of which were people of color, witnessed the attack. Eye witnesses report that the police went into the crowd and began beating another African–American man, believed to be in his 30’s, who was very vocal about his outrage at the police brutality wielded against Trammel. Both men were arrested along with an African–American female who refused to follow the police command for the witnesses to disperse.
Once they arrived at the 6th Precinct, Shakur Trammel told his arresting officer that he was a Transsexual male and wanted to be placed in a separate cell. This request was ignored. Both of the men, in desperate need of medical attention, were initially placed in the same holding cell. Already in the cell were two other men, one Black and one Latino, both injured and bleeding, who reported that the police at the 6th Precinct also assaulted them. After an hour of demanding to be taken to a hospital, one of the four men of color was then taken from the cell by cops armed with a stun gun.
On November 1st 2006, at the corner of Hudson and Christopher, 2 Black men were beaten, one trans and one non-trans, and arrested along with one Black woman, for refusing to stand idly by as a 20-year old Black woman was assaulted by a white cop. Racist police attacks like the one on November 1st are a daily occurrence in working class and communities of color throughout NYC. In the West Village, the 6th Precinct has become notorious for racist, sexist and anti-lesbian, gay, bi and trans violence unleashed particularly against young people of color, the homeless and transgender people. The people of color LGBT youth organization, FIERCE!, has been at the forefront of fighting on these issues in the West Village for several years.
TransJustice of The Audre Lorde Project calls on social justice activists and organizations from across the city to Endorse and Come to an Anti-Police Brutality Press Conference & Picket Line Wednesday, Nov 29th 6:30pm – 7:30pm in front of the 6th Precinct (233 West 10th Street)


13 thoughts on “Denounce Police Brutality in New York This Wednesday, Nov 29th

  1. This is not only police brutality, it’s crass stupidity as well. Down here in Atlanta we had a drug squad just gun down a little 92 year old lady in her home last week on one of those infamous & idiotic ‘no knock warrants’. Naturally like most elderly folks in the neighborhood, she was armed, but only with a revolver. Her 6 shots hit 3 officers, one in the face. All were sent to the hospital. Their 130 or so shots killed her, but only 6 of them actually hit her. The informant who said he had bought drugs at the house later recanted & fled, but this was soon covered up for a few days. That came out last night. The members of this idiot drug squad have been put on suspension, & now the FBI is investigating. I think to a man everyone involved here, including the chief of police is black. I really don’t care if this old lady was cooking crack in 10 gal kettles in her back yard, she does not deserve to be summarily executed for it. As it was it appears she was completely innocent and was protecting herself from unwarranted & violent intruders. These incidents promote disrespect for and fear of the police. It’s simply bad police work, and every professional knows this. Ditto for the NYPD gunning down some guy for bumping their cars while drunk (or whatever). Criminally stupid, and it will make policing all that much harder almost everywhere. Thanks for the note. Cheers, ‘VJ’

  2. Why am I not surprised that a “police brutality” post has made it on to Jewschool. I guess this falls under “Tikun Olam”, huh? Jesus. Having jammed with a cop, and friends with a colleague who’s wife is a cop, I can tell you that the only march that is necessary is one that demonstrate solidarity with the police for the shit they have to put up with day in and day out. Incredible, brave folks these police are.
    And yes Cole, most of the time the police beatings are well deserved.

  3. Sholomanarchy, after the jump, it says:
    TransJustice of The Audre Lorde Project calls on social justice activists and organizations from across the city to Endorse and Come to an Anti-Police Brutality Press Conference & Picket Line Wednesday, Nov 29th 6:30pm – 7:30pm in front of the 6th Precinct (233 West 10th Street)
    It sounds like this is around police attacks other than the killing of Sean Bell, but both are about police brutality, and the media and police are likely to see it that way.

  4. shrtriemel, your comments never cease to amaze me. So exactly when did police beatings become well deserved in US history? Antebellum South? How about the time during Jim Crow? Anytime during the Civil Rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s? Demonstrations against the Vietnam War?

  5. Sorry- the shooting of the 88 year old woman in Atlanta (92 was misreported- not that 4 years make a diff at that point) was likely justified. The police had what they thought to be good information and the woman started shooting at them first. And outside of Texas, I’m not sure there’s anywhere in the US that you’re allowed to shoot an intruder. It’s tragic, but the police action was understandable.
    And what was the true story in the bachelor party case? Originally the news reports were saying that the car he was in/driving had rammed into a storefront and then an unmarked police van or something. Then later reports and maybe the mayor’s comments were that the police response was completely unprovoked. Not that dangerous driving justifies that insane amount of gunfire, but what actually happened?

  6. “hrtriemel, your comments never cease to amaze me. So exactly when did police beatings become well deserved in US history?”
    I didn’t realize we’re discussing history. My assumption, based on the info in this post (and the poster who posted it), is that the police are inherently violent, and we need to do something about it. And I don’t agree. I’d wager that, besides exceptions…and there’s always exceptions, the tazer, beating, gun wound or batton in the face, was well earned.
    The whole “power’s evil” thing is so 1st year university.

  7. shtreimel-
    While it is “so first year university” it is also based on values and ideals. (Which are also so first year university of folks to hang on to after they have ventured into the ‘real world’)
    Mr. S, you miss a major issue: The Police, while most of the time simply profile people of color and let them on thier way and do know shoot to kill, are still in need of being told from time to time to follow the laws they enforce. It is the nature of the beast. Power is intoxicating and will corrupt even the most idealistic first year university lad or lass.

  8. opps sorry for the double post: above should read The Police, while most of the time simply profile people of color and let them on thier way and do know NOT shoot to kill, are still in need of being told from time to time to follow the laws they enforce.

  9. Siviyo, It’s obvious you don’t know what you’re talking about. Police get shot serving warrants almost daily, this time (in Atlanta) they did NOT have a valid warrant, and the entire case is being investigated by the FBI. They gunned her down on purely bogus information, which again is bad policing, and bad for community relations. And it’s also a crime too BTW. And say that people deserved beating is simply besides the point. Unless you’re being arrested, you should not be beaten for almost any reason, and even then you better have probable cause. That’s the law folks. Read it and understand it. We have enough deadly mistakes w/o someone suggesting that we actively court miserable idiocy like that. Cheers, VJ

  10. 50 Bullet’s= 1 stolen life + 2 young men fighting for their life’s and countless other’s being harrassed for no reason.On July 29 2004 our beloved son Dante Pomar was riding his Pocket bike that weight’s around 65 lbs, 2 policemen in a unmarked 4000 lbs Black Impala chassed him and subsecuently Mowed Him Down! Killing him and leaving the scene where Dante layed mortally wounded.As of today we don’t even know the names of this cruel persons.Where is Justice?

  11. Take a look and read at this. Chicago Police Officer responds to a disturbacne by himself and shoots and kills and unarmed citizen with absolutely no cause. The Chicago Police Department then attempts to conceal the murder. The video and the accompanying article explain it all in depth. What are your comments?
    Chicago Police Officer beats female Polish bartender severly after she refuses more free alcohol

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