Stop & Frisk Practice of NYPD to be Challenged at Trial of “New Freedom Fighters”

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For Immediate Release
April 24, 2012
Contact:  Steve Yip 917 868 6007 Elaine Brower 917 520 0767

When:      Monday, April 30
Press Conference 8:45 am; Trial 9:30 am
       
Where:     Manhattan Criminal Courthouse, 100 Centre Street, on street, trial Room 506
               
What:       Dr. Cornel West and Carl Dix, leaders of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and 18 others to be tried for disorderly conduct arrests protesting NYPD “Stop and Frisk”
 
New York NY – On Monday, April 30, 20 protesters will stand trial on disorderly conduct charges in the first mass trial of Occupy Wall Street-related arrests stemming from an October 21, 2011 non-violent civil disobedience protest of “stop and frisk” policy at the NYPD 28th Precinct in Harlem. 

Defendants include Dr. Cornel West, Princeton University Professor of African Studies;  Carl Dix, Co-Founder of the Revolutionary Community Party;  Randy Credico, social comedian and former director of the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice; Rev. Stephen Phelps, Senior Minister of The Riverside Church; Rev. Earl Kooperkamp, rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Harlem; Prof. Jim Vrettos of John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Debra Sweet, Director, World Can’t Wait; Nellie Hester Bailey of Occupy Harlem and activists from Occupy Wall Street.

“Stop & Frisk,” a policy heavily promoted by Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is also being challenged in court by the NYCLU and Center for Constitutional Rights.  In 2011, the NYPD stopped almost 700,000 people, or more than 1,900 people each day. More than 85 percent of those stopped and frisked are Black or Latino, and more than 90 percent of them were doing nothing wrong when the police stopped them. “Stop and Frisk” is the first step in a pipeline that has ultimately placed 2.4 million in prison.

In a statement Cornel West said:  “We are here - even willing to go to jail - because we love young brothers and sisters of all colors unjustly treated by the NYPD."

Carl Dix, states:  On October 21, we set out to take the resistance to the way the criminal injustice system abuses millions of people to a higher level by putting our bodies on the line to Stop “Stop & Frisk.”  On Monday, April 30, we will carry this fight into the courtroom and put Stop & Frisk on trial.”

The defendants are represented by attorneys associated with the National Lawyers Guild Martin Stolar, Meghan Maurus, Paul Mills, and Ari Brochin.

 

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