All Articles Tagged "NYPD"
“Who owns the breast: child or husband?”
This is the tongue-in- cheek yet provocative question raised recently in Street Talk Naija, a Man on The Street sort of Nigerian web series, which you can watch on YouTube. Speaking with both women and men, the responses were pretty evenly split: half of the folks saying that since the primary purpose of the breast was for feeding, it therefore belongs to the children, while the other half argue that since the woman belongs to her husband, he “owns” everything about her, including her breasts.
Of course, while watching this, I had already summarized this to be a trick question. I mean, we all know that the woman owns the breast. After all, it is attached to her body so – husband or not – it is hard to claim ownership of something that is not in your physical possession. Likewise, just because breasts are also mammary glands doesn’t mean that women are not using the breast right if it’s for purposes outside of being a food source for a baby. Some women do get sexual pleasure from their breasts, and in fact, recent studies have found that ni**le stimulation activates the same brain areas as vaginal and clitoral stimulation. How and in what way her breasts are being used is solely up to her. The funny thing is that as obvious of a point as this was to me, not too many people in the video actually echoed a similar sentiment.
Yet before we attribute this to the backwards thinking of some indigenous Africans (because I know how some folks think), we in Western societies too find ways to enforce, albeit subtly, this belief that the use of a woman’s body is not of her own fruition. And it is a major reason why some folks responded with flat out ridicule when Angelina Jolie announced that she had both breasts removed in hopes of preemptively striking against a hereditary and aggressively deadly form of breast cancer. Nevermind her very real health concerns, keeping a pair of perky breasts was deemed by some as much more important. The negative reaction to her announcement should serve as a reminder that the female form, particularly the breasts, are still very much treated as public domain, created for the sole purpose of sexual arousal – regardless if she sees it that way or not.
Such as the case of Holly Van Voast, a Bronx photographer and performance artist, who filed a federal lawsuit against the city of New York for being repeatedly detained, arrested, and on one occasion, institutionalized, for daring to bare her breasts in public. The easy answer is to say, “Well of course what she did was lewd.” However, the same city, which saw Van Voast topless as obscene and sometimes mentally ill, had a completely different standard for men of all body shapes (including breast-size), who are free to walk around topless without repercussions, including the N*ked Cowboy, a pasty-skinned guy who walks around Time Square, strumming his guitar in just a pair of tighty-whities and cowboy boots.
It is also this double standard when it comes to displays of the female breasts, which has inspired Go Topless Day. According to Policy Mic, such a day looks to bring awareness to the need for gender equality in public decency laws, by protesting across the country in – you guessed it – no tops at all. And according to the New York Times, the Van Voast lawsuit, which was filed on the grounds that the public decency laws are bias, might have been the inspiration behind a recent shift in policy in the NYPD, which is now instructing its 34,000 police officers to stop arresting topless women for indecent exposure.
Despite the shift in NYC laws, women who opt to bare their chests still face an uphill battle in having their bare breasts not viewed as criminal or as a spectacle as demonstrated by video of last year’s Go Topless Day in New York City. In it, men followed around a bunch of topless protesting woman, drooling, ogling and taking pictures. Even as these women hope to convey a much bigger message of ending the need to make natural body functions and form dirty or illegal, the reality is that you can’t change the mindset of some, who still insist on putting their own definition on it – at least not right away. Up until the mid-1900s, men could be arrested for going out in public topless. Today, we have Rick Ross and nobody blinks an eye. Perhaps if more women are willing to bare it all in protest of these ridiculous laws, and more importantly, this mindset, it might change how we as a society view breasts. Basically, as a source of many things, from the giver of life and nourishment, to a part of our sexuality, to being the source of nothing at all.
Supporters Of Slain Teen Kimani Gray Express Frustration In Vigil Turned Violent, Family Arranges Another Vigil
While people are sending death threats to Michael Vick, ultimately causing him to cancel his book tour, the NYPD are still out here killing young boys. The most recent: Kimani Gray, a 16 year old from East Flatbush. According to authorities, on Saturday, March 10, Kimani was standing outside a East 52nd Street building near Snyder Avenue in East Flatbush, Brooklyn with a group of friends.
The officers noticed that Kimani distanced himself from his friends when plain clothes police officers emerged from an unmarked car. The officers said they saw Kimani fidgeting with his waistband. They claim that when they attempted to speak to him, he pointed a .38 caliber pistol at the officers.
Both officers fired at Kimani, hitting him in the legs and torso. Kimani was taken to Kings County Hospital but was declared dead on arrival. The officers were treated for trauma and tinnitus, a ringing of the ears.
Reports claim that when Kimani’s mother was informed of her son’s death, she also had to be hospitalized. She was released Sunday morning.
Gray had a criminal record, including charges from breaking into a car, possession of stolen property, grand larceny and rioting.
That’s the police’s side of the story. Witnesses to the shooting claim Kimani was running for his life, telling the cops to stop.
Others obviously felt there was an injustice involved and decided to hold a vigil for Kimani on Monday, March 11. Unfortunately, the vigil, in East Flatbush in Brooklyn moving toward the 67th Police Precinct station, turned a little rowdy. Accounts vary as to how extreme it got. New York Times’ journalist, Charles Blow tweeted: “My twitter stream tells me that it wasn’t a riot but a protest that became ‘unruly’ … “ Other reports claim the vigil turned into a riot when a group of teenagers started throwing objects at police officers, smashed car windows and attacked a pharmacy.
A City Councilman Jumaane Williams, whose district includes the neighborhood where Kimani was killed, called for Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg to visit the community. He told the New York Daily News, “There’s a lot of anger here. This isn’t just from one particular shooting. A whole community has not been heard for far too long.”
A peaceful protest that included community leaders and elected officials was also held on Tuesday night. Dozens of people walked through the East Flatbush neighborhood where Gray was killed.
In response to the violence that erupted during the first vigil, the family has arranged for another vigil at 7pm tonight that will take place at Church Avenue and East 55th Street.
What do you think of this story? Are you more inclined to believe the police accounts or those who claim to have witnessed the incident? What do you make of the vigil turned violent?
“Guns For Greatness” Offers NY Youth Mentorship And Beyonce Concert Tickets In Exchange For Illegal Firearms
Gun buyback programs have become fairly popular in crime plagued cities. They offer all kinds of incentives to the public in an effort to get illegal firearms off of the streets. The latest gun buyback program to garner much attention is being spearheaded by Hip Hop mogul, Michael “Blue” Williams. Michael’s program, which is still awaiting approval from NYPD’s Police Commissioner, Raymond Kelly, seeks to take on the dutiful task of getting illegal guns out of the hands of New York’s youth in exchange for mentorship and tickets to Beyoncé’s highly anticipated “Mrs. Carter Show” concert, reports the Daily News.
“We want to get as many guns off the streets, and if this works, we’d like to support it,” Commissioner Kelly told the Daily News.
“The Beyoncé show is coming to Brooklyn; the Jay-Z show is coming to Yankee Stadium. Our goal is to reach out to individuals who are in my industry, in my world and who I have an association with and get their support. I think we should all work together to help get guns off the streets,” said Williams who is known for managing the careers of Outkast and Cee-Lo Green.
Once Commissioner Kelly approves the program, Williams is hoping to sit down with Jay-Z to negotiate some sort of tickets deal for Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake’s July Barlcays Center performance, in addition to Beyoncé’s August performance. Thus far Williams has raised $75,000 for his “Guns For Greatness” program, which he hopes to officially launch March 23rd at a Brooklyn church.
“This program aims to provide young people with an opportunity to receive guidance and inspiration from committed mentors, an important option that will enable them to experience possibilities other than a life surrounded by gun violence and unnecessary shootings and killing,” Williams expressed in his program pitch letter to Kelly.
Hot 97, IHOP and multiple record labels have already agreed to help out.
This sounds like a really great program. Hopefully it makes an impact.
In other Beyoncé news, shoe designer PMK recently released a custom made Isabel Marant wedge sneaker titled “The King Bey” for the singer, reports ELLE.
Early last month, Bronx native and 7-year-old Wilson Reyes got the shock of his young life when police arrived at his school, slapped handcuffs on him, took him to a local precinct inside a juvenile holding room and interrogated him for hours (according to the New York Post). And they did all this because Reyes was accused of stealing $5.
While this happened at the end of last year, the story became news around NYC recently because the family is in the early stages of trying to sue the city and the NYPD for $250 million for what the family and their lawyer say was a “a complete violation of his civil rights, of his human rights.” And while shock and sympathy was initially going the way of the young child, a kid who says he was the one who got beat up outside of school by Reyes for that $5 is saying that after months of being harassed, bullied and beat on by him because of his weight, the arrest was warranted.
On Nov. 30 2012, it is alleged by 9-year-old Seth Acevedo that as he walked home after school one day, he was punched in the face by Reyes and attacked by Reyes’ accomplice for the money he had on him, $5. Reyes’ accomplice, 9-year-old Javonne McLeod, has actually said that this story is true, according to the New York Daily News. Acevedo claims that Reyes has been harassing him since the school year began, saying “He would call me names. He would punch and kick me. I wish they never took the cuffs off of him….He acts like an animal. People are trying to say, poor Wilson, but he’s nothing but a big bully.”
The money, which was supposed to be used for a school trip that never happened, had fallen on the ground in front of Wilson and two other boys, and one of them scooped it up. Wilson was falsely accused of taking it, and he scuffled with one of the kids…Reyes was handcuffed and verbally, physically and emotionally abused, intimidated, humiliated, embarrassed and defamed,” the documents say. He was then charged with robbery.
“We responded to a 911 call of a robbery and assault . . . Eventually, [Wilson] was taken back to the precinct and placed in the juvenile room. He was charged with robbery. The allegation was that he punched the kid and took his money. He took the money forcibly. The kid came into the precinct a little bit after 3 p.m., and he was out by 7:45 p.m. . . . That’s standard for a juvenile arrest.”
But the family still isn’t buying their story and now they want the world to know what happened. But is Reyes really a victim? Or is he a bully that finally received some hopefully behavior-changing punishment? As someone who has had a nephew be physically assaulted by a bully, I can’t say that I feel any real sympathy for Reyes. And since the robbery charge has been dropped, that young man’s family needs to focus less on trying to get some money from the city and the NYPD and teach their child some act right. But what do you think? Does the family have a case?
Since August, there have been some fairly controversial billboards popping up on bus shelters in the Bedford Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn that are reminding residents that “racism still exists”. Each month, a different form of racial injustice is highlighted by the billboards. Thus far, the campaign ads have tackled issues such as entertainment, smoking, policing, fast food and Black wealth.
This month’s ad is confronting the controversial Stop-and-Frisk tactics of the NYPD, which are highly criticized for their impact on Black and Hispanic men. The attention-grabbing billboard reads:
“Don’t want to get stopped by the NYPD? Stop being Black.”
The organization behind these billboards remain anonymous, but what we do know is that the campaign series is a part of a project entitled RISE. A brief excerpt, which provides background information on the campaign, found on the group’s Tumblr page reads:
“Although public commentary describes the United States as “post-racial”, racism continues to exert a very real and pervasive influence on institutional policies and processes, interpersonal interactions, neighborhood infrastructure, socioeconomic opportunities, media imagery, and more. RISE is a project designed to illuminate some of the ways in which racism operates in this country.”
According to Colorlines.com, although the group maintains their anonymity, New York activists applaud them for their efforts.
“Bed-Stuy, and Brooklyn in general, is going through a very profound transformation and we gotta put that in context [...] For many of the young yuppies and buppies, they see the police playing a positive role and trying to engage in a race neutral dialogue. What the billboard is doing is kinda opening up and exploding this myth that [stop-and-frisk] is taking place in a race neutral light — it’s making people confront it in a very real way. I applaud the effort. If the intent was to shake things up, I think they did their job,” expressed Kali Akuno, an organizer affiliated with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement’s New York Chapter.
Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise
Michael Wright will always and forever be Eddie Kane from “The Five Heartbeats” in my mind, and from his antics Sunday morning they may have a little somethin’ somethin’ in common. According to TMZ, the actor was arrested in New York City for driving while intoxicated — after he ran into a police car.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ … Wright — who starred in the classic movie “The Five Heartbeats” — was trying to park his 1978 black Rolls Royce in Manhattan when he hit the car that had two officers sitting inside.
We’re told the officers went to have a word with Wright and detected an odor of alcohol on his breath. After the field sobriety test didn’t go Wright’s way, the officers arrested him.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ Wright’s blood alcohol level was well above the legal limit.
We’re told both officers were taken to a local hospital to be checked out after the accident.
I wonder if when cops were booking Michael he turned to the camera for his mugshot and went “Diiiiiiinnng”
On a serious note though, I’m going to need him to catch a cab like everyone else in New York City.
From Black Voices
There is a large population of American citizens who call New York City their home, yet are living behind enemy lines. Despite being, in many cases contributing members of society, students and simply normal everyday people, these mostly black and brown men are stopped, searched, harassed, berated and in some cases beaten everyday by the NYPD, the most notorious police department in the United States.
It seems as if America is moving closer and closer toward becoming a police state. Some form of democracy, but a form only for a certain population of individuals, who live in certain parts of town. In the wake of the Occupy movement, which sprouted up in cities throughout the country as well as abroad, incidents involving police brutality have seen a tremendous increase. From the now infamous video of a group of college students, peacefully protesting on campus, being pepper sprayed to multiple videos showing unwarranted police beatings, the outrage most American’s once had about this level of anarchy has just about disappeared.
Read more at Black Voices
From Black Voices
In shocking new audio recording of the NYPD performing a stop-and-frisk of a 16-year-old Harlem student, police officers are heard calling the teenager a “f**king mutt,” and threatening him with repeated violence.
The profanity-laced clip, obtained by The Nation, exposes extremely racist and violent attitudes held by the three plainclothes officers who stopped the student, named Alvin, simply because he “kept looking back” at them.
In the two-minute recording, Alvin is repeatedly heard asking the officers why they’ve stopped him, to which none of the officers provide a legitimate answer. Instead, the officers attempt to intimidate him with threats to “break [his] fucking arm” and punch him in the face.
Read more at Black Voices
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From Black Voices
NEW YORK — New York City officials have apologized for sending a collection letter to a man who was killed by a police cruiser, billing him $710 for the damage his body did to the vehicle.
Tamon Robinson died in April during a police chase in Brooklyn. Officers had caught the 23-year-old digging up paving stones, and he was fleeing on foot when he was hit by the cruiser.
Read more at BlackVocies.com.
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The New York Civil Liberties Union recently compiled the top 10 neighborhoods for NYPD stop-and-frisks. Unsurprisingly, the stops occurred more frequently in minority neighborhoods. After all, 87 percent of those stopped and frisked in 2011 were Black or Latino.
East New York finished first, Brownville the runner-up, Jackson Heights was third, the South Bronx fourth, and in fifth, Williamsburg.
For the full story, visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/black-voices/.
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