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#3302: This Week in Haiti 18:5 4/19/00 (fwd)
"This Week in Haiti" is the English section of HAITI PROGRES
newsweekly. For information on other news in French and Creole,
please contact the paper at (tel) 718-434-8100, (fax)
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"Le journal qui offre une alternative"
* THIS WEEK IN HAITI *
April 19 - 25, 2000
Vol. 18, No. 5
AN OPEN LETTER TO BROOKLYN DA CHARLES HYNES
FROM FAMILIES WHO LOST LOVED ONES TO POLICE BRUTALITY:
YOU DIDN'T PROSECUTE THE COPS WHO MURDERED OUR CHILDREN.
BUT YOU ARE PROSECUTING PEOPLE STANDING UP TO POLICE BRUTALITY
Nicholas Heyward, Jr.... Frankie Arzuaga... Patrick Bailey...
Yong Xin Huang... William Whitfield... Aswon "Keshawn"
Watson... Gidone "Gary" Busch... Anibal Carrasquillo, Jr....
Anthony Merisier... Shu'aib Abdul Latif... Earl Black... These
are just a few of the innocent people murdered by police officers
in Brooklyn. DA Charles Hynes either refused to present the case
to the grand jury or failed to indict the cops who murdered them.
On March 25, thousands of people filled the streets outside of
Holy Cross Church in East Flatbush to pay their respects to
Patrick Dorismond - yet another unarmed Black man shot down by
the NYPD. Nicholas Heyward, Sr., whose son, Nicholas Heyward,
Jr., was shot down by a housing cop in 1994 while playing with a
toy gun with bright orange markings, said, "I did not understand
the purpose of having so many police fill the streets of East
Flatbush for a funeral of a man they had murdered days before.
You do not murder a man and then send the same people to dictate
where people can and cannot walk or stand. This was a funeral.
The police should not have been there."
Police attacked the crowd outside the church. Mourners were
beaten, pepper-sprayed, and knocked to the ground. At least 27
people were arrested, and some were charged with felonies. Errol
Maitland, a reporter from WBAI who was covering the funeral, was
among those arrested and brutalized. It is amazing how willing DA
Hynes is to file charges against these people who had come to
mourn the death of Patrick Dorismond but yet is unwilling or
unable to prosecute cops who murder innocent people.
DA Hynes closed the case of the cop who murdered 13-year-old
Nicholas Heyward, Jr. without ever presenting it to a grand jury.
Nicholas was killed in the stairway of the building where he
lived while playing cops and robbers with some friends. DA Hynes
claimed the stairwell was dimly lit and that the officer was on a
911 call. Later, the officer's own testimony contradicted this -
he said the staircase was well-lit and that he was on a routine
patrol. But DA Hynes refused to re-open the case.
When the families of Anibal Carrasquillo, who was fatally shot in
the back by a Brooklyn cop, and Yong Xin Huang, who was thrown
through a glass door and shot in the head by a Brooklyn cop, went
to the DA's office to demand that justice, Charles Hynes instead
had the victims' mothers arrested.
Some people say that police brutality comes down to a few
isolated incidents. But we know this is not the case. The book,
Stolen Lives: Killed by Law Enforcement, documents over 2,000
cases of people killed by police and other law enforcement agents
throughout the US in the 1990's. And this is just the tip of the
iceberg. Our children are just a few of the people in this long
list of victims.
Less than a week after Patrick Dorismond's funeral, two young
Black men, Tasheen Bourne and Andre Fields, were shot down by
police in Bushwick, Brooklyn, under highly suspicious
circumstances. Cops claim that the victims were robbing them
using toy guns that looked real. People accused of having toy
guns are executed in the streets by police, while cops who kill
people with real guns are set free to kill again.
DA Hynes' response is to launch a campaign to remove toy guns
from store shelves. As Nicholas Heyward, Sr., said, "Cops
mistake all kinds of innocent object for guns, so they claim.
While they're at it, why not take wallets, key-chains, candy
bars, cell phones, and beepers off the shelves? All of these
objects have been used to justify police shootings, here and
around the country."
To bring charges against the people who were at Patrick
Dorismond's funeral is an uncivilized and cowardly act by a man
who claims to represent justice. We demand that all these charges
be dropped and that the DA's office instead prosecute the cops
who murdered our children.
Nicholas Heyward, Sr., father of 13-year-old Nicholas, Jr., shot
to death by a housing cop in 1994
Dave & Lillian Flores-Muniz, parents of 15-year-old Frankie
Arzuaga, shot to death by cops in 1996
Milta Calderon, mother of 21-year-old Anibal Carrasquillo, shot
in the back and killed by police, 1995
Family of Yong Xin Huang, 16 years old, shot in the head and
killed by a cop, 1995
Kevin Bourne, father of 19-year-old Tasheen Bourne, shot and
killed by cops in Bushwick, Mar. 31, 2000
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Please credit Haiti Progres.