[News] Organizers who monitor police in NYC, arrested

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Wed Feb 9 11:20:25 EST 2005


Greetings,

the brothas mentioned in this e-mail are VERY good friends of mine who are
VERY commited to community activism and protecting the rights of the Black
(New Afrikan) community.

We are very concerned about their safety and are asking that folks call
the 79th precint to inform the police that we are concerned about them and
would like them released immediately.  You don't have to give your name,
but if you let them know the state you're calling from they will quickly
understand that folks all over the country are watching.

The number to the precint is 718-636-6611 (it may be busy a couple of
times, but i have used it and can guarantee that it is the right number).
It will only take a minute, but it could mean a world of difference for
them and their families.  Thanks.

cliff





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
9 February 2005


CONTACT:
asha bandele
Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
(646) 541-9499
[ mailto:asha97 at aol.com ]asha97 at aol.com
[ http://www.mxgm.org ]www.mxgm.org





ORGANIZERS WHO MONITOR POLICE ACTIVITIES ARRESTED



Three members of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Lumumba Bandele, Desaw
Floyd, and Djbril Toure were arrested in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of
Brooklyn just past midnight this morning.  At the time of their arrest,
the three were engaged in the legal monitoring of police activities as
part of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement Copwatch Program.

According to Bandele, he Floyd and and Toure were driving down Greene
Avenue when they heard sirens blaring.  They observed an unusual amount of
police activity on the block. They parked their car, turned on their video
camera and approached the scene when a witness to the events ran past them
stating that the police were beating someone.  Bandele, Toure and Floyd
continued to walk toward the scene when they were stopped by an officer
who told them that they had to leave.  Bandele told the officer that they
had a legal right to observe the activities, and that they were not
interfering with the arrest, only witnessing it.  At that point, the
officer, who was never touched by Bandele, Toure or Floyd placed the
three under arrest, charging them with assault and obstruction of
governmental administration.

"The copwatch program was initiated in 2000 as a response to police
brutality in central Brooklyn," said Monifa Bandele, Lumumba's wife
and a founder of MXGM. "We'd been involved in a year-long struggle to
bring the men who killed Amadou Diallo to justice and felt we had to do
something to respond to the ongoing abuse of Black men, women and children
by police.  They were killing us, savagely beating us, they still
are and they were doing it with apparent immunity.  For Lumumba and I,
as the parents of two small children, this issue had even greater personal
resonance.  Every time he or any of us stand up for some other parent's
child, it's as though we're standing up for our own."

"This arrest is outrageous," states Kamau Karl Franklin, attorney for
the three.  "They were involved in completely legal activities, and the
irony is that their treatment by police underscores the very need for a
program such Copwatch.  We look forward to our day in court because it
will clearly demonstrate the contempt law enforcement too often feels
towards the Black community." Franklin hopes that this unfortunate
event will serve as a catalyst to make significant changes in who polices
Black communities, and how they police it.

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement was officially organized in 1995 as an
attempt to raise awareness about human rights violations in the Black
community. It was part of the coalition of organizations that filed a
lawsuit against the notorious street crimes unit, an effort which
ultimately resulted in the unit's disbanding.




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