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Activists move forward in the fight against police brutality

By Saeed Shabazz -Staff Writer- | Last updated: Mar 31, 2010 - 3:17:10 PM

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NEW YORK ( - "Time to spread the message that we are putting revolution back on the front-burner, as a tool to build a movement to fight the power, to let the system know we are tired of police brutality," stated Carl Dix, co-founder of the Oct22 Coalition Against Police Brutality, and a spokesman for the Revolutionary Communist Party in America.

Carl Dix
“The system is the problem, and cops are part of the system,” Mr. Dix told a gathering of anti-police brutality activists such as William Bell, whose son, Sean Bell was killed by New York City police officers in a hail of 50-shots and Juanita Young, whose son Malcolm Ferguson died at the hands of an undercover NYPD officer in 2000, at a recent forum in Manhattan sponsored by the Revolution Book Store.

The Revolutionary Communist Party called for the forum because of new reports of police brutality incidents across the nation such as the police killing in Essex County, New Jersey of a Black college student, Darnell McNeil on Feb. 7; the Feb. 3 attack by two Yonkers, N.Y. police officers against Black NYPD Sgt. Kenneth Kissiedu; and the Jan. 12 beating in Pittsburgh, Pa. of Black high school honor student Jordan Miles.

Lawrence Hamm
The Newark chapter of the New Black Panther Party recently reported the arrest and alleged police mis-treatment of Lynda Lloyd, a Black Democratic Party district leader on Jan. 27. “As a district leader, if they can treat me this way, what do they do to others who are not,” Ms. Lloyd said during an interview with The Final Call. However, Ms. Lloyd said that she would be taking a proactive stance using her influence to move the Newark City Council to take up the issue, and to hold Newark's police director accountable to the community.

Ms. Lloyd has begun a petition drive calling for an April 13 public forum.

Lawrence Hamm, chairman of the Newark-based organization Peoples Organization for Progress explained to The Final Call why his organization believes that the heat must be turned up against police misconduct. “You talk about Guantanamo, we got torture and murder right here. Cops think they are judge, jury and executioner.”

Anti-police brutality activists have turned up the heat in Pittsburgh even though all charges against Jordan Miles have been dropped. Activists have been able to push forward the “Jordan Miles Public Safety Reform Agenda” with two bills calling for more council oversight of the Pittsburgh police department; and the installing of monitoring equipment in all police vehicles. The bills were introduced on March 16.

Damon K. Jones, northeast region president of the National Black Police Association divulged to The Final Call that on March 20 in Harlem, a coalition of Black police organizations are scheduled to meet to discuss a proposed march against the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 16, 2010.

“It's time for Blacks in law enforcement to stand up,” Mr. Jones said. “The feds have refused to prosecute police officers for violating the rights of Black and Latino citizens such as what just happened with the Sean Bell case. We must demand change and accountability from our government for real oversight on all law enforcement,” Mr. Jones added.

Dept. of Justice spokesman, Alejandro Menyar explained to The Final Call that the department was “very much committed to enforcing civil rights laws”; and used as an example the recent conviction of two New Orleans police officers who plead guilty to conspiring in the days after Katrina-—to cover up killings of civilians.

He also suggested that if one were to go to the DOJ web site and clicked onto the Civil Rights/special litigation link, they would find that the department is presently active in identifying systemic problems in police departments.