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#1281: Legal Education and Assistance Project (LEAP) Announcement (fwd)

From: merrie archer <merriea@yahoo.com>

National Coalition for Haitian Rights
275 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001-6708

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, November 29, 1999
Contact:    Jocelyn McCalla or Merrie Archer
Phone:      (212) 337-0005 FAX:(212) 337-0028

Haitian Organization Launches Community Initiative to Address Police Brutality in NYC

New York, November 29, 1999 - The National Coalition for Haitian Rights
NCHR) is pleased to announce the launching of a new three-year initiative
designed to address the issue of police brutality within the Haitian
communities of the New York City metropolitan area. 
In the wake of the torture of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima by members of
the NYPD in 1997 and other incidents of extreme police brutality in the New
York city area it has become clear that Haitian, immigrant and minority
communities have all shown a strong capacity to respond quickly to such
incidents.  However, efforts to develop a cohesive response mechanism to the
practice of routine brutality against these populations have, as yet, met
with little success. 

NCHR has developed a Legal Education and Assistance Project (LEAP) based on
the specific needs and experiences of Haitian-Americans and their relations
with the police to address the issues of routine abuse and bias.  LEAP aims
- Provide direct legal counseling on cases providing a sound basis for
> advocating a lasting transition to improved police / community relations and
> referrals for other cases;
- Provide cross cultural, civil rights and conflict resolution training to
> Haitian immigrants and interested members of the local law enforcement
> community;
- Publish a diagnostic report on the situation and evolution of police /
> Haitian community relations;
- Organize the basis for an institutionalized response mechanism to routine
> abuse and to create sound relations between the police and Haitian community
> by disseminating information in the appropriate languages and by involving
> Haitian, Caribbean and African American community and organizations in these
> activities. 
The Legal Education and Assistance Project was made possible by a grant from
the Office of Refugee Resettlement for community and family strengthening. 

The National Coalition for Haitian Rights is a nonprofit nongovernmental
organization that seeks to promote and protect the rights of Haitian
refugees and Haitian-Americans under US and international law, and to
advance respect for human rights, the rule of law and support for civil and
democratic society in Haiti.

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