Monday, February 6, 2012

NYPD Gone Wild

As we celebrate the NY Giants Super Bowl victory, we are troubled to see that the New York City Police Department appears to have stepped up its efforts to terrorize and intimidate communities of color in our city.

Bronx Beating

Last week, the NYPD was caught on video viciously kicking and beating a young Black man in the Bronx.
Three of the cops are then clearly shown repeatedly pounding Reed — kicking, punching and beating him their batons. Another officer, slightly obscured by the others, appears to hold him down.
The NYPD has offered no explanation for the brutal attack on the young man. In fact, last week, the young man was being held on assault charges.

To add insult and injuries to the initial injuries, the NYPD attacked one of the men who begged them to stop the beating.
When they surrounded me and looked at me with gloves on, I knew what was going to happen. I just had time to pull my glasses off. And by the time I did that, it was 'boom' [with a punch]. I did [put up my hands] like that to shield my face immediately. I tried to protect my face," said James. "I'm shielding my face and this is exposed. He uses his right leg and stomps me here.
The attack on the original victim was compounded by an attack on a witness. It is both frightening and infuriating. These attacks cannot be permitted to continue.

Shooting of Unarmed Man in the Bronx

In an outcome far worse than the savage beating of the young man mentioned and the witness discussed above, the NYPD shot and killed an unarmed young Black man in the bathroom of his home in the Bronx.
They're outside for some time in the front. They go to the back, and for several minutes this young man is apparently inside the house. And for several minutes there, outside the house, I don't know what they're doing there in terms of communicating with their command, or if they are talking about what's going on. What's clear, though, is that there was enough time for them to reflect on what is happening and this tragedy should not have happened.
The dead man's six-year-old brother and grandmother were in the home at the time of his killing, and, once again, a witness became a victim.

The grandmother was held against her will at the local police station for seven hours after her unarmed grandson was killed by the police in his home.

[The victim's grandmother] was taken to the 47th Precinct station house on Laconia Avenue and held for seven hours, said Carlton Berkley, a friend of the family’s who said he had retired from the police force as a detective in the 30th Precinct, in Upper Manhattan. Mr. Berkley added that [the victim's grandmother] was forced to give a statement about what happened.
“She gave it against her will,” Mr. Berkley said. “She didn’t want to speak to the police.”

A pattern emerges. A young Black man is killed or abused by the NYPD, and the witnesses to the killing or abuse are abused by NYPD.

If we don't end this pattern immediately, the NYPD will escalate its attacks on our communities, and the deaths and injuries from their attacks will mount.

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