En Español Know Your Rights
Source: Make the Road New York
Subject: Immigration
Type: Press Advisory

Students, Community Members and Elected Officials Rally TODAY Unlawful Arrest of Local Teens

CONTACT:

Lurie Daniel-Favors 917.326.0615
Oona Chatterjee 347.268.1892
Kevin McCall 646.584.7148, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff to Councilmember Charles Barron


Dozens
of students, community members and elected officials will rally TODAY
in front of the 83rd precinct to ask that charges be dropped against
unlawfully arrested teens



With
the court dates of nearly 40 wrongfully arrested youth imminent,
students, parents and concerned community members will rally outside
the 83rd precinct today to demand that charges against them dropped. 
City Council member Charles Barron, members of the newly-formed Student
Coalition Against Racial Profiling (SCARP), and concerned community
members will join many of the young men who were arrested in late May
in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, on their way to a deceased
friend’s funeral. 

 

Despite
widespread media attention, community support and numerous eyewitness
testimonies which contradict the NYPD’s account of events, Brooklyn
District Attorney Charles Hynes has refused to drop the charges. Many
of the students return to court this week for their first court
appearances since arraignment. The Coalition further requests a public
apology, and that Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly commit
to dialoging with the Bushwick community to end police misconduct and
racial profiling.

 

"We
are calling for District Attorney Charles Hynes to drop the charges,"
said Council member Barron.  "These young people were unable to mourn
their friend’s death because of ongoing police harassment in our
communities. We must demand that all the charges be dropped."
 

The
community insists that this is only the latest example of the targeting
of youth of color by the NYPD. Local teacher Tabari Bomani stated,
"This is one of the worst cases of police racially profiling innocent
people in recent years and the media has largely ignored the true
story. We can’t allow this to be pushed under the rug."



Oona
Chatterjee, Co-Director of Make the Road by Walking, a community
organization supporting the student founders of SCARP and those who
were arrested, said, "it has amazed me how quickly the powers that be
have rushed to condemn these young people.  From Police Commissioner
Ray Kelly’s public statements to the editorial pages of the Daily News,
responsible adults have jumped to pronounce these young people guilty,
with no concrete proof.  Our organization believes that these young
people are owed much more respect than that. When the NYPD makes a
mistake, it should admit that mistake."

 

Press
conference organizers highlight data gathered by the New York Civil
Liberties Union — in 2006, over 94% of stop and frisks by the 83rd
precinct and 90% of stop and frisks citywide resulted in no summons
issuance or arrest.  "This is how our community’s young people
experience the police.  They are stopped regularly, and often without
reason," said Chatterjee.

 

WHEN:     4:00 PM, TODAY, Monday, July 9, 2007
WHERE:   480 Knickerbocker Ave at Bleeker St. Bushwick, Brooklyn

 

Photo Opportunity