Archive for the ‘Police Brutality’ Category

On September 27th, several of us went to the Manchester court building to support Jeremy at his preliminary hearing for the charges filed against him by the VCU Police. For those of you who might not know, Jeremy was arrested on charges of slashing 7 VCU car tires, worth $1,330.00, making the charge a felony destruction of property. Jeremy and his public defender, at the hearing, were allowed to see some of the evidence that VCU has against him, and surprise surprise, without having any physical evidence (besides a few pictures of Jeremy AFTER he had been arrested and the picture of a tool confiscated after his arrest), the judge ruled that the case would be continued in a Grand Jury hearing on November 7. The Commonwealths’ attorney, Christopher Toepp, is the same friend of the police who tried to convict those arrested in the Monroe Park Occupation at the beginning of the year, as well as the Defenders in the African Burial Ground protest. He lost both of those cases,  but Jeremy was also told that he specifically requested this trial because “he wants to see it done right” and that he is looking for a felony conviction and jail time for Jeremy.

Jeremy will be sticking with his public defender for the time being, and has been fundraising for the last month or so to raise money for another attorney. Unfortunately, lawyers are unrightfully expensive, and the person he has in mind to represent him requires a $2,500 retainer fee to even start working on the case. Any help would be greatly appreciated, whether it be financial, advice, a friendly word, or  helping to put on a fundraising event to benefit his legal fund.  Also Jeremy has requested that as many people who can attend further trial dates as supporters is essential and appreciated, the more eyes and ears during this ordeal the better.  There has been no word yet as to whether or not Jeremy will be able to attend the Nov. 7 date, as it is usually private to the judge and attorneys involved.

Anyone who wishes to donate can do so using our handy PayPal button on the website, and be sure to specify what you want the money to be used for.

Thanks everyone for your support so far and in the future!

Advertisements

To update on Jeremy’s predicament with the VCU Police:

After the arraignment on Tuesday morning (to which several people from the city showed up in solidarity), Jeremy was released on a $5000 noncommittal bond, and a court case was set for September 27th, at 11 AM. We encourage anyone and everyone who takes umbrage with not only VCU Police, but all police everywhere, to show up to this and any subsequent court cases Jeremy might have to endure. These charges are publicly about a few car tires, but privately there is a deeper trend of police oppression at work. We believe that this trend must be brought to light, and must be talked about openly among all communities in this city, not just those with an anarchist message.

Jeremy is currently exploring other avenues of legal help, and has a couple good leads, but unfortunately a good lawyer for a serious charge is almost never cheap. Jeremy has requested any form of support that interested or sympathetic parties might be willing to donate, be it spreading the word about the case in your home town, sending a kind word or relavent literature to the Wingnut, and of course monetary donations towards legal fees would be greatly appreciated as well (we have a convenient Paypal button on the website… if you tell us exactly where you want your donation to be used, we will make sure it is allocated accordingly.)

After a long and relatively uneventful night of doing Copwatch for first fridays on Broad Street, S and I were ready to make the trek back to the Wingnut to review the footage acquired over the course of the night. It had been an evening of very large groups of very bored pigs, standing in groups of up to ten up and down Broad St., most likely very upset that there were no younger folks of color to push around to pass the time on a Friday night. After a humorous impromptu interview with the 4th precinct commander, Mike Strawder, S and I had made it back to our bikes, parked in front of the New York Pizza restaurant. S had unlocked his bike, and as I bent to unlock my bike, I felt handcuffs close over my left wrist as another pair of hands closed around my right arm. I looked up, and there were at least 15 VCU and Richmond police officers surrounding S and I, and I was promptly told that I was under arrest and that I had a felony warrant out on my head, though they were not, at that moment, very forthcoming about what I the warrant was for. S jumped to his feet and immediately had his camera trained on the officers and myself, and watched as they moved me to an alley “where  no one could see me”. My pockets were searched, my knife confiscated, and my bag taken from me as two undercover agents kept their video cameras trained on me throughout the ordeal.

(more…)

Do you like pie, and wish that you had someone to eat a pie with?

Well here’s your chance! Come out to Sprout at 10pm on April Fools Day (April 1st) to participate in a pie/blind date auction to benefit Anarchist Black Cross. We’ll be auctioning off homemade pies to the highest bidder, and the winner of each bid gets a date with whoever made the pie! Also, for a small donation, anyone will be able to throw a pie at a member of ABC. There will also be a dj providing dance music between pies.

Sprout is located at 1 North Morris Street in the Fan. The event will begin at 10pm. No cover charge. Sprout will have drinks (alcoholic and non) as well as a late night food menu available.

All funds will be going towards an anarchist bail fund, to be used in case any of you crazy folks get into a bind.

For more information, or if you’d like to be one of the pie makers for the event, give us a call at 804-303-5449.

Or shoot us an email at rvaabc@gmail.com

Four of us made a trip to Philadelphia on Tuesday for Mumia Abu Jamal’s hearing.

If you are not familiar with the case, Mumia is  a former Black Panther, general social justice advocate, and journalist known the world over.  He was framed in the early 80’s for shooting and killing a police officer. Even though there is astounding evidence that Mumia did not commit this crime, he remains incarcerated and waiting on death row. Mumia has gone  through two trials in the last 30 years, but both have proven to be unfair. Many believe this is an instance of racism and a case of higher government trying to silence the voice of a prominent activist.

So we arrived in Philly, and were some of the first few people to show up at the courthouse. It was close to 11 and already the streets were lined with all types of police vehicles awaiting the mass of angry protesters. Pretty soon things picked up and people stood in a line to enter the courthouse for the trial. None of us were particularly interested in actually viewing the trial, because we would rather give that opportunity to direct friends and family of Mumia. Also, being forced to be silent and crammed into a small room surrounded by cops makes us uneasy.

 

Our  friend stephen ❤

We happily stood outside with about 200 others and screamed to all of Philadelphia to set Mumia Abu Jamal free. There were many speakers, a couple of whom I was especially excited for were two men I recognized as original Black Panther Party leaders. They were surrounded and protected by a newer, younger, local Black Panther group. It was heartening seeing so many people from different places and all of them screaming continuously for three hours.

There is nothing like screaming “Fuck the police!” with a large diverse group of people. (more…)

October 22nd is recognized as National Stop Police Brutality Day – A Rally is set for 8pm in downtown shockoe slip – bring a sign, wear all black, bring yourself and show support – email duronchavis@gmail.com for details

Meet us at 11th & Main Street!!

Photobucket

Kids Movie – Free kids movies being played via projector every weekend at the Wingnut Anarchist Collective. Starts as soon as it’s dark!

Street Cleanup – Neighborhood cleanup effort aroudn the Wingnut Anarchist Collective. Starts before Food Not Bombs at 10am, followed by breakfast!

Food Not Bombs – Help cook and serve a free community meal! Cooking begins Sundays at 12:30pm at the Wingnut Anarchist Collective. Food is served in Monroe Park on the corner of Belvidere and Main at 4:00pm. Help is especially needed for cleanup at the Wingnut after meal is served! Organizational meetings the first Sunday of the month during cooking. Meetings about the Monroe Park Renovation every Sunday at the park after meal serve! (more…)

Come on out to the Wingnut on Tuesday August 17th at 7pm to learn how to write letters to people incarcerated in prison or jail. We will be focusing on people in Virginia prisons and jails, with a special focus on people from our community of Southern Barton Heights who are locked up.

We will provide addresses, paper, envelopes, and stamps. We will also provide information on how to write prisoners, guidelines, advice,etc.

This will also be a good opportunity to have general discussions about organizing around prisoners and prisons, and issues in Virginia that have recently come to light.

Feel free to bring snacks and friends to share!

Many of you who live in Southern Barton Heights may have seen some of the Wingnuts and other folks in the neighborhood out watching the cops on a pretty regular basis.  For those of you who we haven’t yet had the opportunity to talk with about what we’re doing, here’s a little bit of information about copwatch in general and Southern Barton Heights Cop Watch in specific.  If you’d like to get involved, do so!  Or if you have questions about how to get involved or what you can do to help, email us or stop by the Wingnut.

What is copwatch?
Copwatch is a decentralized network of autonomous organizations spread all over the country.  The purpose of a copwatch group is to monitor and document police activity, with the intention of helping to prevent police misconduct and police brutality.

Southern Barton Heights Copwatch is still in its formative stages, but we do our best to be a highly visible, monitoring presence to as much police activity in our area as we can.  We use such tactics as video taping, camera phones, and note taking to document police activity.

Who can do copwatch?
Anyone can do copwatch!  Any time you see the police stopping someone or interacting with members of our community, grab a camera, video camera, pen and paper, and document what you see.  Try to grab a friend or another person to watch the cops with you, it’s safer.
(more…)

In another case of police brutality and murder by the police, the Norfolk police have shot and killed an 18 year old, Jemarr Hassle. They shot him during a chase. Hassle had no day in court, he had no innocent until proven guilty, and he had no opportunity to live as an adult. Running from the cops is not punishable by the death penalty. Nor were any of the things he was accused of doing. It is unacceptable for the police forces to kill people over chases for non-capital offense crimes. This is yet another example of the police being out of line and abusing their power.

This murder is not an anomaly, it is the predictable result of the police state we live in. Racism, Classism, Sexism, Ableism, Homophobia, Transphobia, and Ageism are all reflected in the behavior of the police, who are the strong arm of the state.  The Anarchist Black Cross is for the aboilition of prisons. We also support prisoners as we can. Prisons are unjust institutions. They perpetuate the problems of our society. And the murder of people by cops is a part of this injustice. We condemn the Norfolk Police and the as yet unnamed officers responsible for this murder.

There has been more information released on this killing. What reports are saying is that Jemarr had fired a shot at  someone he attempted to carjack, or something along those lines. Until anything is confirmed though, the police should still be scrutinized. And regardless, his crime would still not have been a capital offense. Police have many less lethal options that they can use- lord knows they use them on protesters all the time.

Our condolences to the family of Jemarr Hassle.

From the Richmond Times Dispatch:

Suspect Shot, Killed By Norfolk Police

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) – A Norfolk police spokesman has identified a man shot and killed after a chase.

A Norfolk police spokesman says officers have shot and killed a man involved in a chase.

Chris Amos says 18-year-old Jemarr Hassle was shot about 2:20 a.m. Sunday. No other injuries were reported. (more…)