ACTIVISTS CLEARED OF CHARGES LEVELED BY "DIRTY 77TH"

Great news! Not all news is bad news, as Dan Rather use to say, that is, "news by its very definition is bad."

PRESS ADVISORY
-press conference-

Date: March 24, 2005
Contact: Emmaia Gelman (917) 517-3627

BKLYN ACTIVISTS CLEARED OF CHARGES LEVELED BY "DIRTY 77TH"  NYPD OFCRS.
NYPD leveled charges at community organizers in attempt to cover up brutality; judge throws case out.
Civil suit against NYPD will now proceed.

WHEN: THIS AFTERNOON, 4pm

WHO: Vindicated defendants in the "Brooklyn 7" case - educators, prisoners' rights advocates & local organizers beaten & arrested following unprovoked police attack on community organization event - as well as lawyers & supporters.

WHAT: Press conference detailing community organizers' victory over NYPD's trumped-up charges against community organizers and people of color; update on similar case upcoming in the courts.

WHERE: City Hall, Manhattan (Broadway gate)

BACKGROUND:

Late yesterday evening, Judge Burke (Bklyn Criminal Court) cleared of remaining charges seven young people of color, all community educators and organizers, who were attacked by NYPD officers in a racist, violent, politically-motivated raid. The victory, which came on the heels of wildly conflicting police testimony in court, cleared the seven of an average of spurious 10 charges each, including riot, assault on a police officer, menacing and others. Defendants are still recovering from injuries inflicted by police during the raid.

In November 2003, police officers from the infamous 77th Precinct entered a fundraising party for a Brooklyn community organization dedicated to opposing police brutality and the prison-industrial complex. Without provocation, the officers attacked and severely injured attendees, spraying over 100 people with chemical agents. Having attempted to confiscate the sign-in sheet listing all attendees' names, police arrested eight community educators, prisoners' rights advocates and otherlocal organizers.

The 77th Precinct is notorious for corruption including the abuse of police uniforms, shields and guns to commit crimes; illegal intimidation of area residents; and leveling criminal charges against their victims as a method of obscuring police misconduct. One arresting officer on the case is currently under investigation for a separate case, in which he allegedly planted crack cocaine on an arrestee.


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