Street Roc: Exciting, versatile entertainers who thrill fans, showcase talents

The Street Roc Label has a cadre of diverse, talented musicians who bring individualism to the label.

The Street Roc Label has a cadre of diverse, talented musicians who bring individualism to the label.

By Carmen Glover

An enterprising group of youthful entertainers who cemented a strong bond of friendship while growing up in the Bronx, New York, the birthplace of hip hop, is poised to storm the music scene from their dual base of operations in Atlanta, Georgia and New York City with a plethora of musical offerings under their music umbrella, The Street Roc Label LLC.

Inspired by genres that span reggae, hip hop, R&B and Rock & Roll, the ambitious musicians are passionate about their craft and determined to make an indelible mark in the music industry. Despite having their own unique styles, they are also following in the footsteps of other memorable groups such as Ruff Ryders, which was helmed by DMX and the Fugees, which paved the way for explosive careers for its members Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel.

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With NWA’s biographical film, “Straight Outta Compton,” dominating the movie theaters this past summer and industry buzz building about upcoming releases chronicling the career of Snopp Dogg, sometimes known as Snoop Lion, the Street Roc roster mates see a viable path to carving out a competitive niche for themselves in the industry and solidifying their reputations as serious, conscious, hard-working, savvy musicians and budding entrepreneurs.

But, just like the 1985 blockbuster movie “Krush Groove” told the story of hip hop trendsetters Russell Simmons, Run-DMC and LL Cool J, and enigmatic musician Prince set the stage for independent producing when he left Warner Brothers after a public spat, the Street Roc team members are determined to have ownership of their work and shape the trajectory of their careers, a lesson many musicians fail to learn until they have lost all their earnings to extravagance and flash.

Kristoph Francis developed the name for the record label and takes great interest in the success of all the artists.

Kristoph Francis developed the name for the record label and takes great interest in the success of all the artists. His demo, “Critique Me,” was released in 2014.

Kristoph Francis, 23, one of the label’s co-founders, created the name for the company based on reactions to his childhood musical performances and because the name, Street Roc,”has a nice ring to it.”

“I came up with the name when I was in high school because everywhere we went we had the streets rocking,” he recalled. Francis, who played the Congo drums in church at age 11, describes the drums as instruments that infuse all of his musical repertoire. “When I’m making my beats, I think of the drums because they give me my music sense,” he said, explaining that his cousin plays the bass drums for reggae singer Capleton, who is known for introducing the element of fire to his extraordinarily spectacular shows.

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The Street Roc Label is poised for takeoff after releasing mixed tapes “Divine Adolescence,” in 2012 and “Too Geek’d For The Streets,” in 2013.

Francis said he was influenced to pursue a career in music by Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, his stepfather and a host of artists, including reggae crooner Sanchez, who came around the family often during Francis’ childhood. Meeting Young Jeezy and M.E.M.P.H.I.S. Bleek, who signed Francis’ book of raps, piqued his interest and fueled his drive to hone his musical skills.

As he puts the finishing touches on a mixed tape, which features singles such as “Back Home” and “It’s All Yours,” Francis reminisces about the day he showed his grandmother his homework, which posed the question: What do you want to be when you grow up? Francis wrote “a rapper,” which elicited much consternation and the response: “You can’t be a rapper,” which caused him to internalize his dreams until his adult mind was capable of developing a plan of action to aggressively respond to the tugging of his heart-strings and live his musical truth.

Kristoph Francis is focused on creating beats and taking the label to the fans.

Kristoph Francis is focused on creating beats and taking the label to the fans.

While also having an interest in music, the experience has been somewhat different for Francis’ brother, Malcolm ‘Dolo Pierre’ Jackson, 25, a co-founder of The Street Roc Label. Jackson combines his experience as an actor, songwriter, producer and musical artist to create a career path that is boundless in scope and richly textured with layers of possibilities.

“A lot of my musical and acting experiences come from the church because my mom was heavy in the church and I used to try to join her on the choir and they would let me sing,” he said, a thespian in his own right.

Malcolm "Dolo Pierre" Jackson delivers range as a multi-talented songwriter, producer, actor, musician and performer.

Malcolm “Dolo Pierre” Jackson delivers range as a multi-talented songwriter, producer, actor, musician and performer.

Citing reggae legend Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley and iconic entertainer Michael Jackson as his two greatest influences musically, Jackson strives for range in his music.

“I’ve done reggae, hip-hop, R&B,” he said, while explaining that all of the artists represented by the label “take pride in writing our own lyrics.”

Malcolm "Dolo Pierre" is looking forward to releasing a full album early in 2016.

Malcolm “Dolo Pierre” is looking forward to releasing a full album early in 2016.

Jackson, whose musical talents gained an audience when he participated in the chorus in elementary school and the band in middle school, said that being raised in a household with ‘musically inclined’ parents made a huge impact on his sensibilities.

“Music developed naturally and soon I wanted to record,” he said.  As he continues to follow his heart, Jackson said that he plans to release an EP of “all original music early in 2016,” and strives to achieve the taste of success, which, for him, is “the look on everybody’s faces telling me that nobody has any question about my talents.”

Kristine "Phresh" Walker is the lone female on the label and she cherishes her role as a deep thinker.

Kristene “Phresh” Walker is the lone female on the label and she cherishes her role as a deep thinker.

Kristene “Phresh” Walker, 26, spent the first seven years of her life in the Bronx before relocating to Atlanta, Georgia, where the other members of the label gradually transitioned.

“Once we all came down to Atlanta, it solidified what we were trying to do,” Walker said, describing herself as a thinker.  “I think a lot and I want to bring a lot of thought back into music because back in the day it was more about lyrics and I’m trying to bring it back to that and integrate the message back into music and the rhythm,” she said.

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Walker, whose musical interest was awakened at age 13, also performed in church as a child. A solid artist, who sees her role as akin to Lauryn Hill with the Fugees, is striving to awaken “a more conscious and cultured element to the current crop of music, like Erykah Badu and Missy Elliott.”  For her, being a member of the Street Roc family is comforting.

“The team plays a big part because us being together pushes me to create something that never existed before,” she said. As she continues to promote her mixed tape, “Loud Silence,” which debuted in April 2015, she is also busy working on new music. “Being able to influence others and have a say, gives me a high and pushes me forward,” she said.

Lavar "Stiff Tha Godz" Stiff, is creative and entrepreneurial, a solid combination for success.

Lavar “Stiff Tha Godz” Stiff, is creative and entrepreneurial, a solid combination for success. As he promotes his mixed tape “High Times,” he utilizes concepts he learned while completing all but one semester in undergraduate studies in Business Administration. He hopes to complete his studies soon.

Lavar “Stiff Tha Godz” Stiff, 28, another of the label’s co-founders, was enthralled when he first saw Tupac Shakur having a merry time on MTV in his classic Dr Dre-produced hit “California Love,” followed by a video by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

“When I saw Tupac in ‘California Love’ I knew I wanted to be a rapper. He inspired me and MTV opened up a new gateway for me,” said Stiff, who was 8 years old at the time. “I started acting like I was on stage, like I was performing.”

Once the music bug hit, Stiff began to formulate a plan to make his dream become a reality. But he realized that he was also interested in the business side of the music industry so he enrolled in college and completed three and a half years of a degree in business administration.

"High Time" is an ode to marijuana and its impact on society.

“High Times” is an ode to marijuana and its impact on society.

“As far as entrepreneurship, I was influenced by Master P because he came from nothing to become one of the first Black millionaires just from doing rap. I’m an artist. I write music, I rap and I helped put the label together by forming the foundation,” Stiff said, while explaining that he has a lot of different things that he would like to accomplish, including learning to play the guitar. “For the future, I’m interested in film, movies and incorporating them into the musical aspect, like Michael Jackson and his long-form videos,” he said.

For a fledgling musical entrepreneur who did not grow up around much musical influence, Stiff nonetheless developed an eclectic taste for music and an admiration for genres including reggae, hip-hop, old school R&B, Rock & Roll and Blues by the incomparable B.B. King and Muddy Waters. Yet, Stiff celebrates marijuana each chance he gets and lauds the herb on his recent EP, “High Times,” which was released on September 23 2015, at https://soundcloud.com/stiff-tha-godz/sets/high-times.

Devon "D.O.C" Riley, the youngest member of the label, is eager to make his mark in the industry.

Devon “D.O.C” Riley, the youngest member of the label, is eager to make his mark in the industry.

The youngest member of the group, Devon “D.O.C” Riley, 21, looked no further than two hip hop legends as a template for inspiration.

“Nas and Jay-Z influenced me because they are able to express themselves and the way they deliver their lyrics, they have something to say,” he explained. Riley developed an ear for music from his father, who is a DJ. “I was exposed to music at a young age. I felt the music. I used to be more on the reggae side but as I grew I dabbled into different types of music because I don’t want to be put in a box. My focus is to get people to understand both types of music—-reggae and hip hop,” he said, pondering the musical landscape.

 

Gotham City is DOC's take on the nuances and mysteries of New York City lifestyles.

“Gotham City” is D.O.C’s take on the nuances and mysteries of New York City lifestyles.

Riley, who is very interested in scary movies and hopes to find ways to integrate that interest into his music, is currently savoring success with his new song “Gotham City,” which is available on iTunes.

“People have different views looking out on the world. Music is the way people express themselves and I’m working on a project on duality, to use music to explain everything,” he said.

Alexander “Spazz’ Momon, 26, rounds out the crop of label mates, who function like family by nurturing each other’s independent projects while collectively investing in the success of the label as an entity.

Alexander "Spazz" Momon, is refining his compilations so that he can release his full album on November 1, 2015.

Alexander “Spazz” Momon, is refining his compilations so that he can release his full album on November 1, 2015. His single, “Bon Jour Mary” appears on the “High Times” EP.

“We all went to high school together and we have different styles. My musical style is more energetic and technical, like Busta Rhymes, Eminem and DMX,” he said. After careful thought, Momon, who also holds down a job so that he can pay his bills while building his musical career strategically, explained that he has “been influenced by pioneering rappers such as Kool Moe Dee and LL Cool J.”

“My dad put me on to them and Wu-Tang Clan and my mother used to work in the music industry,” he said, revealing that when he first heard Rhymes’ “Dangerous,” at age 11, he was so captivated by the animation and high-octane flow that he would sneak home early from school to listen to the song over and over. Like his label mates, Momon is hard at work compiling an EP.

“My mixed tape will be ready on November 1 but I recently released the single “Bon Jour Mary” on the “High Times” EP,” he said. As he charges full speed ahead with his musical career, Momon has one objective: “I want people to understand the struggle, the triumph and the love for music,” he said.

As the multi-talented entertainers on the Street Roc Label LLC pour their efforts into a distinctive musical repertoire, they create individual projects and bring new artists along the journey to prominence. While they contemplate organizing a Street Roc tour, the label mates expect to soon hear the sweet sounds of success reverberating from coast to coast and across the globe, as they finally get their career recognition and financial rewards.

Learn more about this prolific, dynamic group of musicians and what’s next in their careers at StreetRocMusic.comOnPointPress.net

Serena Williams on a quest for calendar Grand Slam at U.S. Open

Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates after defeating Russia's Vera Zvonareva in their women's singles tennis match at the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 1, 2012. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes (BRITAIN - Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT TENNIS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates after defeating Russia’s Vera Zvonareva in their women’s singles tennis match at the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 1, 2012. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes (BRITAIN – Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT TENNIS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

By Carmen Glover

The U.S. Open got underway today at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York amid an excited, palpable buzz of anticipation as the most dominant woman in sports, tennis superstar Serena Williams, pursues her first calendar Grand Slam.

While there has been a concerted effort to body shame Williams for her enviable, toned, alluring figure, Williams has been demure, celebrating her recent victories while pointedly ignoring detractors.

Serena Williams said she was having fun in her quest for the calendar Grand Slam at the U.S. Open in an interview with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts this morning.

Serena Williams said she was having fun in her quest for the calendar Grand Slam at the U.S. Open in an interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts this morning.

“I’m having a good time,” Williams said this morning as she spoke to Robin Roberts of Good Morning America, while explaining that she is not subjecting herself to any pressure.

Williams’ valiant effort kicks off tonight as she plays her first round match against Vitalia Diatchenko. Maria Sharapova, who was not expected to offer much of a challenge to Williams, pulled out of the tournament on Sunday, August 30, claiming an injury. For Williams’ legion of fans, there’s only one thing to say: Go Serena!!–OnPointPress.net

 

President Obama launches My Brother’s Keeper Alliance at Lehman College

 

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) participates in a roundtable discussion with young people including Malachi Hernandez (L) and Scott Davis (C), at Lehman College in New York May 4, 2015. While in New York, Obama will also announce the creation of the new nonprofit organization My Brother's Keeper Alliance to help minority youth. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) participates in a roundtable discussion with young people including Malachi Hernandez (L) and Scott Davis (C), at Lehman College in New York May 4, 2015. While in New York, Obama will also announce the creation of the new nonprofit organization My Brother’s Keeper Alliance to help minority youth. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

By Carmen Glover

President Barack Obama took his signature quest of creating opportunities for minority males to Lehman College in the Bronx, on Monday, May 4 where he launched the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBKA) at the City University of New York’s (CUNY) most beautiful campus

The President hosted a roundtable with young minority males to explore the path to success and to extol the over-arching agenda of the MBKA, which is focused on closing achievement gaps that restrict educational and career opportunities for African-American and Latino males.

Students listen to remarks by U.S. President Barack Obama at Lehman College in New York May 4, 2015. During his remarks Monday Obama announced the creation of the new nonprofit organization My Brother's Keeper Alliance to help minority youth. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Students listen to remarks by U.S. President Barack Obama at Lehman College in New York May 4, 2015. During his remarks Monday Obama announced the creation of the new nonprofit organization My Brother’s Keeper Alliance to help minority youth. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

My Brother’s Keeper Alliance is a non-profit that is geared towards providing African-American and Latino males with greater options designed to pull them out of poverty while steering them towards practical career and educational alternatives.

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t matter because you all matter,” President Obama said as he addressed the excited crowd. “You matter to use, to each other and there’s nothing more important to the future of America than whether you, and young people across America, achieve their dreams.”

African-American and Latino males pose for pictures with President Obama at the conclusion of the event at Lehman College.

African-American and Latino males pose for pictures with President Obama at the conclusion of the event at Lehman College.

Among the sponsors and board members for My Brother’s Keeper Alliance are American Express, Pepsi and various professional athletes, active and retired, including former NBA star O’Neal, former NFL star Jerome Bettis and entertainer John Legend, who has been vocal about ending excessive incarceration of African-American males.–OnPointPress.net.

OnPointPress.net’s Editorial Director Carmen Glover earned an undergraduate degree in journalism and a master’s degree in counselor education from Lehman College of the City University of New York.

 

African Diaspora Int’l Film Festival celebrates Black History Month

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New York, February 27, 2015:– The African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) is pleased to announce the Celebrating Black History Month film series at Teachers College, Columbia University from February 27 to March 1. The film series has an international spin that puts the notion of Black History month in the perspective of a quest to critically understand what the Black human experience has been and is in different parts of the world.

A selection of ten films from eight countries will be part of the ADIFF Celebrating Black History Month film series. The program will feature several documentaries about the Black experience in the United States. Stubborn as a Mule by Miller Bargerton, Jr. and Arcelious J. Daniels, an internationally award winning film that presents an eye opening depiction of lesser known historical facts and contemporary commentary regarding the call for reparations for African-Americans. In the process, the film disseminates USA black history that is not taught in most educational systems. Spies of Mississippi by Dawn Porter is an explosive documentary based on a book by the same name that tells the story of a secret spy agency formed by the state of Mississippi to preserve segregation and maintain white supremacy during the Civil Rights Movement.

Linking the US and Africa is the very popular documentary Bound: Africans vs African-Americans by Peres Owino, about the tensions between these two groups and winner of ADIFF 2014’s Public Award for the Best Film Directed by a Woman of Color. The screening of this hard-hitting documentary – that walks us through the corridors of African colonialism and African American enslavement – will be followed by a conversation with Director Peres Owino.

Three historic epic dramas that explore the fight for liberation by colonized and enslaved Africans are in the program: Ninga Queen of Angola by Sergio Graciano about a 17th century Queen who fought for freedom against Portuguese colonialism, Tula, The Revolt by Jeroen Leinders, a film set in Curaçao in the Caribbean during slavery times and Sergio Giral’s classic Cuban drama Maluala, about the Maroons – the communities of escaped enslaved Africans in the 19th century.

Four documentaries complete the series: The program African Leaders is comprised of two documentaries that offer a portrait of two leaders of the Pan-African Liberation Movement: Thomas Sankara from Burkina Faso and Amilcar Cabral from Cape Verde directed by Balufu Bakupa Kanyinda and Ana Ramos Lisboa respectively. The Story of Lovers Rock by Menelik Shabbaz is a musical documentary about Lovers Rock, often dubbed ‘romantic reggae,’ a uniquely black British sound that developed in the late 70s and 80s against a backdrop of riots, racial tension and sound systems. Denying Brazil by Joel Zito Araujo is a documentary that explores the history of the stereotypical representation of Black characters on Brazilian TV and the negative impact of these stereotypes on the Afro-Brazilian identity formation.

For more information about the Celebrating Black History Month film series, to receive screeners and high resolution images please contact Diarah N’Daw-Spech at (212) 864-1760/ fax (212) 316-6020 or e-mail pr@nyadiff.org. Festival web site: www.nyadiff.org. The African Diaspora International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.–OnPointPress.net.

 

 

Iconic singer/musician Jeffrey Osborne delivers flawlessly at BB King Blues Club

 

Singer-Songwriter Jeffrey Osborne was exhilarating in his performance at B. B. King Jazz & Blues Club in NYC on January 23, 2015.

Singer-Songwriter Jeffrey Osborne was exhilarating in his performance at BB King Blues Club in NYC on January 23, 2015.

By Carmen Glover

On Friday, January 23, five minutes after the scheduled 8:00 p.m. show time, the stage at BB King Blues Club in New York City’s Time Square suddenly went dark. Then, from the shadows, the unmistakable voice of iconic singer-musician Jeffrey Osborne filled the room with the sultry strains of “Stranger.”

Osborne sang a capella as he emerged onstage to a surge of lights, screams, followed by the swell of his musicians on horns and drums that took “Stranger,” which he made famous as the lead singer of the group, LTD, to its poignant crescendo. The crowd burst into rapturous singing, waving their hands and dancing along, reveling in the exquisite experience of joining along as Osborne sang with flawless precision.

Greeting the appreciative audience at the song’s conclusion, Osborne said that he “flew in from LA where it’s about 70 degrees warmer than New York.” He talked a bit about his early life in Providence, Rhode Island, his passion for music and his disgust for current entertainers who use disrespectful names for women or whose voices and styles are indistinguishable to fans.

During his performance of "Stay with me Tonight" Jeffrey Osborne took of his shirt to reveal his trim, lithe physique and rippling muscles beneath a taut fitting black T-shirt.

During his performance of “Stay With Me Tonight” Jeffrey Osborne took of his shirt to reveal his trim, lithe physique and rippling muscles beneath a taut fitting black T-shirt.

Osborne then treated the audience to more of his hits from his LTD days including “Love Ballad,” “Concentrate on You,” and ” We Party Hearty” before he belted out his hit “On the Wings of Love,” while couples embraced and danced along. He shared snippets of his background between songs, describing  performing in the past with singers such as Michael Jackson. He also spoke fondly of his long partnership with George Duke, who worked with him on his first three solo albums. Osborne then performed Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World” while also paying tribute to Jazz great John Coltrane.

And then it was time for him to delve further into his musical collection and deliver impeccably on hits such as “Stay With Me Tonight,” as he took the patrons on a journey that spanned hits from his extensive repertoire.  About 9:20 p.m. he delivered his showstopper: “You Should Be Mine” (The Woo Woo Song) to the delight of the patrons. Osborne then mingled with the crowd who eagerly demonstrated their ability to “Woo Woo.”

Jeffrey Osborne

Jeffrey Osborne thrilled an appreciative audience with an exceptional performance at BB King Blues Club in New York City on Friday, January 23, 2015.

Osborne solidified his reputation as a stellar singer, songwriter and musician during the electrifying New York City concert. His voice was as clear as crystal, his dancing was superb and his repartee with the audience was impressive. Spry and svelte at 66, Osborne entertained to perfection in a manner that would put 20- year olds to shame. He was smooth and effortless, showing that substance will always triumph over flash and that entertainers who nurture their talents and take pride in their delivery will be rewarded with a loyal fan base

Osborne was born in a musical family and is the youngest of 12 children. His late father, Clarence “Legs” Osborne, who died when Osborne was 13, was a famous trumpeter who played with Lionel Hampton, Count Basie and Duke Ellington. Osborne was nominated for a Grammy Award and wrote the lyrics for Whitney Houston’s “All at Once.” He has an ardent fan base and his music has appeared on numerous television shows, including “The Bachelor.” If you have never seen him perform, treat yourself to an unforgettable experience with a maestro of R&B, Jazz, Blues and Soul, whenever he is in your town. —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.

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