James Blake’s false arrest bolsters claims of Blacks as police targets

Retired tennis star James Blake was falsely arrested and physically assaulted by overzealous NYPD cop who refused to identity himself while working undercover.

Retired tennis star James Blake was falsely arrested and physically assaulted by overzealous NYPD cop who refused to identity himself while working undercover.

Poised and self-assured, retired tennis star James Blake has shared his harrowing experience of being aggressively body-slammed on a Manhattan side-walk outside his hotel and falsely arrested by an undercover police office who refused to identify himself.

The police officer was part of a group of undercover officers who zeroed in on Blake while he lounged in the hotel waiting for his ride to the Tennis Open. Saying that he initially planned to keep quiet about the embarrassing incident, James said he changed his mind after discussing the matter with his wife, a publicist.

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Blake, who left Harvard early to pursue his professional career in tennis, rose to the rank of fourth in the world before retiring from the sport after the U.S. Open in 2013. While in New York from his home is San Diego, California, to enjoy the festivities at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Blake was arrested by NYPD undercover officer James Frascatore, who was seeking to apprehend a criminal for allegations of credit card fraud.

James Blake being body slammed by an overzealous undercover NYPD officer.

James Blake being body slammed by James Frascatore, an overzealous undercover NYPD officer, who has reportedly had four complaints made against him in a five month span, for use of excessive force.

While NYPD Police Commissioner and New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio  have issued apologies, the renegade cop, who has had four complaints lodged against him by the Civilian Complaints Review Board, has not. Meanwhile, Blake has made it clear that he wants more, particularly to ensure that Blacks who lack the resources and name recognition that he has, can also be assured of recourse when police run amok. In a statement Blake said:

“Extending courtesy to a public figure mistreated by the police is not enough,” Blake said he plans to “use my voice to turn this unfortunate incident into a catalyst for change in the relationship between the police and the public they serve. For this reason, I am calling upon the City of New York to make a significant financial commitment to improving that relationship, particularly in those neighborhoods where incidents of the type I experienced occur all too frequently.”

Aug 28, 2013; New York, NY, USA; James Blake (USA) in his match against Ivo Karlovic (CRO) on day three of the 2013 US Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 28, 2013; New York, NY, USA; James Blake (USA) in his match against Ivo Karlovic (CRO) on day three of the 2013 US Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Bratton quickly dismissed race as a motivating factor in the arrest, stating “I don’t think race was a factor. The rush to put a race tag on it, I’m sorry, that’s not involved in this at all.” But Blake, speaking to the New York Daily News on Wednesday, after the incident begged to differ.

“In my mind, three’s probably a race factor involved, but no matter what, there’s no reason for anybody to do that to anybody,” he said, explaining that he was standing in his hotel lobby after just finishing answering questions from a reporter and responding to text messages, when he saw the person in shorts running towards him. James said he smiled, thinking it was someone who he attended school with in the past.

Hot-headed NYPD Police Officer James Frasatore.

Hot-headed NYPD Police Officer James Frascatore.

For countless Black men and women across the country, police brutality, whether it’s illustrated by use of excessive force and false arrest as in Blake’s case, or unprovoked murder of unarmed citizens like Eric Garner and Sandra Bland, the pain and fear are real. Blake said when he was being held on the floor of the hotel lobby he said to the officer: “I will cooperate fully with you but do you mind telling me what this is all about, I think you have the wrong person,” but the discourteous, poorly trained officer told him to keep his mouth shout, to which Blake replied “I’m scared.”

It is a blessing that Blake was not murdered and that he lived to tell the tale, but for far too many African-Americans the outcome is a dead body and police officers covering up their dastardly deeds. In fact, Bratton said no report was filed about Blake’s arrest and that, as the commissioner, he learned of the incident by reading the Daily News.

James Blake tells his story to Robin Roberts on Thursday morning.

James Blake tells his story to Robin Roberts on Thursday morning.

Blake has vowed to speak out more about the issue, and, speaking to ABC’s Robin Roberts on Thursday, he said: “I’d like an explanation for how they conducted themselves because I think we all need to be held accountable for our actions, and police as well.”

It is hoped that Blake’s experience will result in meaningful police reforms, but it’s unlikely that much will change because the cycle has become all too predictable: police misconduct, public outcry, words are issued to placate the masses and then another person is assaulted or murdered while Blacks scream and ask: When will it stop?

In the meantime, Frascatore has been stripped of his badge and gun, and placed on desk duty. However, just from this incident alone it seems that kicking him off the force is the only practical solution. He is not a good representation of any police department and New York City certainly does not need another hot-headed, impulsive cop on the force as it tries to fight its well-earned reputation of being a cadre for racist, irresponsible and abusive police officers.–OnPointPress.net.–

 

While NYC mourns cops’ murders, anti-police brutality protests must continue

Ramos and LIu

NYPD Police Officers Rafael Ramos and WenjianLiu were murdered at point blank range on Saturday afternoon by longtime criminal gang member Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who traveled from Baltimore to commit the crime.

As they sat in their marked patrol car near the Tompkins Houses in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, on Saturday afternoon, New York City police officers Rafael Ramos, who is Latino and Wenjian Liu, who is Asian, were shot at point-blank range by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who traveled to New York City after shooting and wounding his girlfriend in Baltimore, where he had led a life of crime. After murdering the officers, Brinsley then committed suicide.

According to posts on his social media page, Brinsley had threatened to kill police officers in revenge for the murders of unarmed African-American males Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. As the facts emerge, they tell an irrefutable tale: Brinsley, a gang member who embraced a life of crime, acted alone and had no affiliation to any of the families whose loved ones were killed by police officers. While the misguided ambush of the police officers must be loudly condemned in every corner of society, Brinsley’s action should not diminish the worthy cause of the #BlackLivesMatter movement which seeks to bring attention to the scourge of police officers across the nation murdering unarmed African-Americans and Latinos. Ensuring the safety of all innocent lives is the responsibility of a civilized society.

Baltimore gang member Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot and wounded his girlfriend before traveling to New York City on Saturday where he murdered two police officers as they sat in their patrol car.

Baltimore gang member Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot and wounded his girlfriend before traveling to New York City on Saturday where he murdered two police officers as they sat in their patrol car.

At OnPointPress.net, we mourn the brutal and cowardly murders of officers Ramos and Wenjian. At the same time, we will always mourn the deaths of unarmed African-Americans and Latinos at the hands of police officers. In our view, no life is more important that the other, therefore all lives must be valued equally.

In that vein, we mourn the murders of: Amadaou Diallo who was executed by police officers in a hail of 41 bullets in the Bronx; Anthony Baez, who was choked to death in the Bronx by officer Francis Livotti because Baez’ football hit the officer’s patrol car; Patrick Dorismond in Brooklyn, New York;  Sean Bell who was celebrating his bachelor’s party before he was gunned down by a team of police officers in Queens, New York; Eric Garner who had broken up a fight and was merely standing on a corner in Staten Island, New York; Michael Brown, who had broken the law but did not deserve to die for it in Ferguson, Missouri; John Crawford who was shopping at a Walmart in Ohio; Tamir Rice who was playing with a toy gun in a park in Ohio, Trayvon Martin, who was walking home with candies when a thuggish, police-obsessed George Zimmerman objected, Ezell Ford, in Los Angeles, Akai Gurley, who was talking the stairs in Brooklyn, New York due to a malfunctioning elevator, Oscar Grant, who was trying to get home to his daughter in Oakland, California and the many other unarmed African-American and Latino males and females who are routinely brutalized, harassed and murdered by the very police officers who are sworn to protect and serve them.

We mourn all deaths, and we wait with interest for comprehensive, nationwide reforms to be implemented that will strengthen police-community relations, change the tone of police interactions with Blacks and Latinos to demonstrate respect rather than intimidation and racism, and we look forward to the day when Blacks and Latinos can confidently view police officers as agents who are there to protect them, like they protect Whites, and not murder them with impunity, as is often the case. So as we mourn the unfortunate murders of these innocent officers, we urge the anti-police brutality protests to continue spreading the word that “BlackLivesMatter so that the changes that we seek will become a reality–OnPointPress.net.

#BlackLivesMatter movement mobilize national marches vs. police brutality

New Yorkers hosted the "MillionsMarchNYC"

New Yorkers hosted the “MillionsMarchNYC” which had a strong, vocal turnout.

By Carmen Glover

On Saturday, December 13, several thousand protesters gathered at multiple sites across the country, united in one message: Rally against police brutality. The overall aim was to bring awareness to the scourge of police officers murdering unarmed Black men and boys while grand juries refuse to indict the officers for the murders. The protesters chanted and carried signs stating: “I can’t Breathe,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Stop Police Brutality” among others.

The largest march took place in New York City. Dubbed “MillionsMarchNYC” and organized by several young protesters and media mogul Russell Simmons, the “MillionsMarchNYC” started at Washington Square Park before the group marched uptown, shutting down fifth avenue, sixth avenue and Broadway. The protesters were joined by rapper Nas and music executive Kevin Liles as they marched. A 28-year-old Baruch College professor was arrested for assaulting a two police officers as the group splintered and marched across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Justice For All Rally in Washington DC.

Justice For All Rally in Washington DC.

The second largest march took place on the Freedom Plaza in Washington DC. That march was organized by civil rights groups such as the NAACP, National Urban League, the National Action Network and various youth-themed groups, helmed by young activists who have been vocal on the issue of police brutality.

The DC march was called “Justice For All” and “March Against Police Violence” and was attended by the parents and relatives of well-known victims of police brutality including Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother; Michael Brown Sr. and Leslie McSpadden, parents of Michael Brown; Katiatou Diallo, Amadou Diallo’s mother; John Crawford Sr., father of John Crawford Jr; the partner of Akai Gurley and the mother of his child; Samaria Rice, Tamir’s mother. “March Against Police Violence featured speakers from the affected families.

Protesters stage die-in

Protesters stage die-in

“You kept this alive for all the families. We love you all,” said Brown, as he surveyed the crowd. “My son was just 12 years old, a baby, my baby, the youngest of four,” said Rice. “This is a great moment,” said Gwen Carr, Garner’s mother.

The group then marched towards the congressional building, joined by notables such as director Spike Lee with his daughter, and New York State Junior Senator Kirstin Gillibrand.

Protesters gathered in multiple cities over the weekend to protest against police brutality.

Protesters gathered in multiple cities over the weekend to protest against police brutality.

Smaller marches took place in Ferguson, Missouri where Brown was killed by police officer Darren Wilson, Boston, MA and Oakland, CA where 21-year-old father Oscar Grant was killed on the Bart train by police officers. More marches and acts of civil disobedience are expected as protesters demand action, such as assigning a special prosecutor in any case involving a police officer, even if death of the victim does not occur–OnPointPress.net.

Ongoing protests, demands for action, only routes to meaningful change

People protest nationwide against police brutality.

People protest nationwide against police brutality.

On Saturday, December 13, various civil rights groups will gather in Washington, D.C, to demand a national response to the spate of murders unleashed on unarmed Black men and boys by White police officers, and the refusal of largely White grand juries, impaneled by White district attorneys, to indict the officers. Some supporters will march to protest against vigilante members of the public who also kill Black and Latino residents  without provocation. While still others will march to highlight members of the Black and Latino communities killing each other in a show of disregard for their lives.

Protesters in New York City march and demand change.

Protesters in New York City march and demand change.

As people of all races and backgrounds continue to take to the street en masse, blocking streets, highways, malls, businesses and municipal buildings, politicians have begun to take notice. Also, supporters in countries as far-flung as India, France and England have held solidarity protests, holding aloft banners with the timeless message: “Black Lives Matter.” There must be no tiring in the quest to elicit meaningful change in how Black and Latino people are routinely targeted and dehumanized by police officers who are sworn to protect them. The dichotomy in police relationships between the White community and Black/Latino communities require a national overall in policing strategies.

Protesters marched in 1936 for the same issue as they are marching today.

Protesters marched in 1936 for the same issue as they are marching today.

President Barack Obama’s recent request to Congress for $75 million to fund body cameras for police officers, while noble, hardly inspires comfort, given the fact that the unholy alliance between district attorneys and police officers rendered two videotapes of Eric Garner’s chokehold murder by Staten Island detective Daniel Pantaleo unpersuasive to a predominantly White grand jury. However, it is a step in the right direction. New York Mayor Bill deBlasio’s joint announcement with his police commissioner Bill Bratton that all 35, 000 New York City police force will immediately undergo re-training is also a good step, despite the cries of hysteria espoused by Petrolmen Benevolent Association( PBA) President Patrick Lynch.

“Re-training the police force on new ways of dealing with the public and better use of force will reduce these tragedies,” deBlasio said over the weekend.

Protesters stage die-in at Grand Central Station in New York City to express outrage that the grand jury failed to indict the officers who used an illegal chokehold to murder Eric Garner.

Protesters stage die-in at Grand Central Station in New York City to express outrage that the grand jury failed to indict the officers who used an illegal chokehold to murder Eric Garner.

But those steps are just the beginning of what will be a long journey towards the type of systemic change that is necessary for Blacks and Latinos to feel safe in their homeland of America, the land of the free. It is unacceptable for Blacks and Latinos to be victimized, harassed, assaulted and murdered with impunity by police officers who run the streets like lawless gangs who answer to no one. This must stop. The anguish that is felt by the families of Garner, Amadou Diallo, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, Ezell Ford, Oscar Grant, Sean Belll, Anthony Baez, Abmer Louima, Patrick Dorismond, Jordan Davis and countless others across the country needs to be assuaged.

Black and Latino children grow up fearing the police who are sworn to protect them.

Black and Latino children grow up fearing the police who are sworn to protect them.

The trauma experienced by members of the Black and Latino communities when an innocent life is cut down by police officers whose primary responsibility is to protect but whose presence engenders fear, last a lifetime.  Police brutality targeted towards Black and Latino communities need to stop and the protests, marches and acts of civil disobedience are vital actions that must be taken to keep the issues in the public consciousness.–OnPointPress.net.

BREAKING: Staten Island grand jury fails to indict in Eric Garner case

NYPD Detective Daniel Pantaleo, in the green shirt, used an illegal chokehold that squeezed the life out of unarmed Staten Islander Eric Garner. The grand jury chose not to indict on December 3 even though the medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.

NYPD Detective Daniel Pantaleo, in the green shirt, used an illegal chokehold that squeezed the life out of unarmed Staten Islander Eric Garner. The grand jury chose not to indict on December 3 even though the medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.

By Carmen Glover

Despite the Staten Island medical examiner ruling Eric Garner’s death a homicide when NYPD detective Daniel Pantaleo applied an illegal chokehold that squeezed the life out of him on July 17, the grand jury that heard the case from September declined, on December 3, to indict the officers involved in Garner’s murder.

Protesters stage die-in at Grand Central Station in New York City to express outrage that the grand jury failed to indict the officers who used an illegal chokehold to murder Eric Garner.

Protesters stage die-in at Grand Central Station in New York City to express outrage that the grand jury failed to indict the officers who used an illegal chokehold to murder Eric Garner.

Peaceful protesters immediately gathered at various pubic locations throughout New York City to express their outrage. There was a die-in staged at Grand Central Station, one of the busiest train hubs, as police officers kept watch from a distance and said there “will be no arrests,” if the protesters remained peaceful. Meanwhile, protesters gathered in Time Square, Union Square and in front of the ABC News Studios shouting; “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe!,” the words that Garner gasped out as Pantaleo applied the illegal chokehold that caused his death.

People gather outside the funeral service for Eric Garner  at the Bethel Baptist Church in Brooklyn July 23, 2014. Eric Garner, 43, died last week as police  tried to cuff him for allegedly selling bootleg cigarettes on a Staten Island sidewalk.  AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARY        (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

People gather outside the funeral service for Eric Garner at the Bethel Baptist Church in Brooklyn July 23, 2014. Eric Garner, 43, died last week as police tried to cuff him for allegedly selling bootleg cigarettes on a Staten Island sidewalk. AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Pantaleo released a statement offering his “condolences to the family,” and saying he felt “bad that Mr Garner lost his life,” but adding that he does not go to work to cause anyone their life.

President Barack Obama said that “We will continue to go at it until there is a strengthening of the relationship between the community and law enforcement,” while New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio, arriving late for a press conference, as usual, said that “We are grieving and we are in pain,” as he stood surrounded by a phalanx of city officials including New York City Public Advocate Letitia James.

Congressman Hakeen Jeffries, joined by the New York congressional delegation that included Rep. Gregory Meeks, Charlie Rangel and Joseph Crowley, called the non-indictment “a disgrace.” The failure to indict begs the question: Since the medical examiner ruled Garner’s death a homicide, who exactly committed the homicide, if not Detective Daniel Pantaleo who was captured on videotape in the act?--OnPointPress.net.

When police officers run amok, Blacks and Latinos feel the pain

police

Oklahoma Police Officer Daniel Holtzclaw, 27, was charged on August 29 with raping, sexually assaulting and forcing a stream of low-income African-American women to perform sex acts.

Scholars and pundits often ponder the chasm between the negative views that Blacks and Latinos tend to have of police officers versus the overwhelmingly positive views held by Whites and Asians. But for members of the first two communities the reason is clear: Blacks and Latinos suffer disproportionately when untamed police officers run amok and the American highways and byways have corpses as evidence of the grim, haunting, heartbreaking reality that there is a war on minority families by unruly cops.

Darren wilson

Ferguson, Missouri, Police Officer Darren Wilson has been in hiding, on paid departmental leave after gunning down unarmed African-American teen Michael Brown on August 9, roiling the city and the nation.

Summer 2014 has been particularly brutal for Blacks and Latinos at the hands of police officers. Littered across the law enforcement landscape is a rogues gallery of out of control police officers who shoot and kills Blacks and Latinos with impunity. Afterwards, they retreat to their hiding places like schoolyard bullies who start the fight and then high tail it off the premises when confronted by any able opponent.

North Carolina Police Officer pulls over unarmed African-American man, asks for his license then unleashes a barrage of bullets when the man reaches in his vehicle to comply with the officers' orders.

On September 4, South Carolina Police Officer Sean Groubert pulls over unarmed African-American man, Levar Jones, asks for his license, then unleashes a barrage of bullets when the man reaches in his vehicle to comply with the officers’ orders.

South Carolina Police Officer Sean Groubert, 31, was arrested and fired after unleashing a fusillade of gun shots on African-American motorist Levar Jones who was complying with Groubert's request to produce his license after a routine traffic stop.

South Carolina Police Officer Sean Groubert, 31, was arrested and fired after unleashing a fusillade of gun shots on African-American motorist Levar Jones who was complying with Groubert’s request to produce his license after a routine traffic stop.

From robbing residents in Long Island, New York, as part of a drug gang, to imposing an illegal chokehold in Staten Island to kill Eric Garner, lawless New York cops have a template for illegal conduct that they do not seem eager to shed, after cockily embracing the Teflon persona for years, a persona that was in full bloom under former mayors Rudy Guiliani and Michael Bloomberg.

March against police brutality.

One of many marches across the country against police brutality. President Obama said recently that police brutality “corrodes” the American society.

The grand jury in Garner’s case convenes today, Monday, September 29. In Ferguson, Missouri, officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown and left his body splayed in the street for almost a day, like he was a wild animal undeserving of respect. The grand jury in Brown’s case is not expected to return a decision until next year.

Unarmed 18-year-old teenager Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson, Missouri on Saturday, August, sparking uproar and riots.

Unarmed 18-year-old teenager Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson, Missouri on Saturday, August, sparking uproar and riots. Brown was scheduled to begin college two days after his murder.

Speaking on Wednesday, September 24 at the UN General Assembly, President Barack Obama mentioned Brown’s shooting, saying “It left the city divided.” Addressing the Congressional Black Caucus Awards Dinner on Saturday night, September 27, the President said that police targeting of the black community makes it “difficult for the people who need the police the most to trust them.’ He also said that “a culture of mistrust exists between law enforcement and the African-American community” and “young men of color are targeted by the police for walking while black,” among other things.

Police officer who choked eric garner

Daniel Pantaleo, New York City detective who choked Eric Garner, 44, was placed on modified duty but has not been charged in the homicide.

Sexual predator police officer Daniel Holtzclaw in Oklahoma City was recently fitted with an ankle monitor and charged with the crime of preying on vulnerable African-American women ranging in age from late 30’s to late 50s. According to the charges brought against him in court on August 29, evidence showed that Holtzclaw raped some of the women and forced others to perform sexual acts on hi as a regular part of his daily routine.

Residents in Ohio voice their anger that the police officers who shot and killed an African-American male as he examined a toy gun in a Walmart Store was not indicted.

Residents in Ohio voice their anger that the police officers who shot and killed an African-American male as he examined a toy gun in a Walmart store was not indicted.

How on earth do police officers expect to be respected or trusted by the Black and Latino communities when they face the repercussions of police misconduct?

Los Angeles Highway Patrol officer mercilessly beat bipolar African-American woman.

Los Angeles Highway Patrol officer mercilessly beat bipolar African-American woman.

The decision by outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to launch an investigation into the Ferguson police force for repeated violations of the civil rights of Blacks and Latinos is a great first step. Hopefully the investigation will quell this disgraceful blue code by unsavory police officers who believe that they function above the law that they are sworn to uphold. Is it any wonder the rap group N.W.A.’s 1988 hit “F the Police” became such a huge inner city anthem and has faced resurgence in response to wanton police brutality against a specific segment of American society?

New York City Police Officer throws pregnant woman to the ground, belly first, leaving her a bloody mess, before placing her in handcuffs because she tried to intervene as they beat her unarmed teenaged son.

New York City Police Officer throws pregnant woman to the ground, belly first, leaving her a bloody mess, before placing her in handcuffs because she tried to intervene as they beat her unarmed teenaged son.

Whether it is coercion of minors like what transpired with the Central Park Five, or the unwarranted killings of Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Anthony Baez, Oscar Grant, John Crawford, or countless other men across this country by lawless cops, it’s time for residents to rise up and say: Enough!–OnPointPress.net

New York’s anti-police brutality march highlights national plight

Marchers voice anger against police brutality.
Marchers voice anger against police brutality.

According to estimates, more than 4,000 demonstrators marched peacefully on Staten Island in New York on Saturday, August 23 to seek justice for victims of police brutality across the nation. The marchers gathered early, many arriving via buses, eager to voice their displeasure against the national scourge of police brutality that disproportionately targets African-American and Latino males, many of whom are unarmed.

Protesters march in Staten Island while police provide security.
Protesters march in Staten Island while police provide security.

Shouting various slogans to honor the memories of specific victims, the marchers expressed themselves in an orderly manner, with the full support of police officers and honorary marshals who kept the crowd controlled. “I can’t breathe,” some yelled, shouting the last words heard being uttered by Eric Garner, the Staten Islander who was killed when police officers subjected him to an illegal chokehold.

Marchers share their anti-police brutality messages in New York on Saturday, August 23.
Marchers share their anti-police brutality messages in New York on Saturday, August 23.

“Hands up, Don’t shoot,” others shouted, in honor of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, whose murder at the hands of police in Ferguson, Missouri, has roiled the nation for two weeks with Ferguson only returning to a period of calm after the visit and public support from U.S Attorney General Eric Holder, who shared his “humiliation” at being targeted by police in the past due to his skin color.

March against police brutality.
March against police brutality.

The New York march was an important reminder that a united response is required in order to consistently attack police brutality. The date for the march was symbolic as well. Organized by Garner’s family and the Reverend Al. Sharpton, the march occurred exactly 25 years after African-American teenager Yusuf Hawkins was brutally beaten with bats and murdered by a mob of white young adults in Bensonhurst. Despite the time that has elapsed since Hawkins’ murder, black men and boys continue to be unjustly targeted by police officers and other segments of society for harsh treatment, often leading to death. Marching, organizing and coordinating efforts for change are vital tools that must be utilized consistently to address this attack on black life.–OnPointPress.net

Across the USA, residents unite to honor victims of police brutality

Highway Patrol chief Ron Johnson eased tensions among the protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

Highway Patrol chief Ron Johnson eased tensions among the protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

By Carmen Glover

Across the United States residents gathered to peacefully protest police brutality in a National Moment of Silence on August 14 at 7:00 p.m.‎ Below are images from select cities.

#NMOS14 at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

#NMOS14 at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

The NMOS14 campaign was organized via social media and quickly gathered steam.

#NMOS14 at Union Square in New York City.

#NMOS14 at Union Square in New York City.

Among the many names invoked at various NMOS14 events were Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old murdered by an unnamed police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, which has sparked nationwide protests; Romarley Marley, Eric Garner, Sean Bell, Anthony Baez and Amadou Diallo who were unarmed when they were killed by police officers in New York City; Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager who was killed by overzealous neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in Florida and Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old father who was killed on New Year’s Eve in Oakland, California, inspiring the award-winning movie “Fruitvale Station.”

#NMOS14 in Houston, Texas

#NMOS14 in Houston, Texas

The NMOS14 protesters came together after President Barack Obama took a break from his vacation to address the nation about Brown’s murder and the ongoing clashes between police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. US Attorney General Eric Holder also released a statement expressing concern about the situation in Ferguson. Shortly afterwards, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon held a press conference with county executive Charlie Dooley and Captain Ron Johnson, both African-Americans, at his side.

Unarmed 18-year-old teenager Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson, Missouri on Saturday, August, sparking uproar and riots.

Unarmed 18-year-old teenager Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson, Missouri on Saturday, August, sparking uproar and riots.

During the press conference, Nixon announced that he spoke to both President Obama and Attorney General Holder and that he was placing Ferguson’s security in the hands of the Highway Patrol, under Captain Johnson’s leadership. Johnson informed the gathering that he “grew up in Ferguson” while Dooley siad he was “saddened” by what he has seen since Brown’s death. Johnson walked with the protesters, talked to them and the media, and soothed the anger that had erupted when the Ferguson police force deployed officers in riot gear, SWAT teams, tear gas and military weapons to intimidate, harass, bully, beat and arrest the residents and media.-OnPointPress.net.

Immediate reforms are needed to combat police brutality in NYC

eric gatner

Eric Garner stands on a Staten Island corner selling loose cigarettes before being put in a chokehold by undercover NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, and his partners, who squeezed his life out of him despite his repeated gasps of “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.”

In yet another incident of policy brutality, an unarmed African-American man, father of six, grandfather, son and husband is dead, murdered at the hands of the New York Police Department (NYPD). According to two explosive videos obtained by the New York Daily News that have been making the rounds, Eric Garner, 43, was standing on his usual corner on Staten Island, New York, where he is often seen selling loose cigarettes, which is considered a low level crime in New York City.

Eric Garner's family, including his children, wife and mother.

Eric Garner’s family, including his children, wife and mother are angry and sad about his death.

Mind you, Garner, was no saint, having had numerous brushes with the law for misdemeanor offenses. However, in this instance, all he was doing was standing at the corner, unarmed. According to published reports, he had exchanged numerous text messages with his wife, Esaw, telling her that he was “good” and would “be home early.” She, in turn, told him what she was preparing for dinner.

Garner's heartbroken wife collapses

Eric Garner’s heartbroken wife, Esaw Garner, collapses at the National Action Network (NAN) on Saturday. She is supported by the Reverend Al. Sharpton and Rev. Daughtry.

As the tapes unfold, Garner is surrounded by about five officers who try to arrest him. He is heard stating to them: “I didn’t do nothing. What did I do? Don’t touch me!” He is then overpowered by the NYPD crew, who threw him to the ground in a chokehold, which is an illegal form of restraint. He was heard gasping “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” Eventually he crumples to the ground, his life squeezed from him in heartbreaking fashion. Protesters have taken to the street to peacefully but angrily denounce this open season on black men and boys.

Eric Garner's family sit with the Reverend Al. Sharpton at the NAN headquarters in Manhattan.

Eric Garner’s family sit with the Reverend Al. Sharpton at the NAN headquarters in Manhattan.

Speaking at the National Action Network (NAN) headquarters on Saturday, Garner’s wife said: “They snatched my heart out of my chest. It’s like I’m an empty shell right now.” She collapsed onstage, tears racking her body, when the Reverend Al. Sharpton said: “An unarmed man was subjected to a chokehold and he’s no longer with us.”

Members of the community march in search of justice for Eric Garner.

Members of the community march in search of justice for Eric Garner.

A chokehold is a specific way of wrapping a police officer’s arms around a person’s neck to restrict breathing. It often leads to death and as a result it was discontinued in New York City several years ago. Sill, it is evident that the rogue officers used this illegal tactic in taking Garner’s life. Addressing the media on this weekend New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton said of the incident: “It’s defined in the department guidelines that this would have been a chokehold.”

Eric Garner with his family, including his grandchild.

Eric Garner enjoying an outing with his family, including his grandchild.

Mayor Bill de Blasio delayed his family vacation to Italy by a day to speak to the Garner family and Garner will be buried on Wednesday  While officer Pantaleo has been stripped of his gun and placed on desk duty, this is not enough. And while Internal Affairs is investigating, along with the Staten Island District Attorney, it is clear that immediate reforms are needed to protect innocent civilians, particularly African-Americans from ruthless, overzealous police officers who keep murdering black men and boys. Enough! It’s time for this war on black men and boys to come to an end.–OnPointPress.net.