On the 5 Month Anniversary of Eric Garner’s Death, New Yorkers DIE-IN and RISE UP, Pressuring de Blasio and Bratton to Act on Specific Demands

Growing Movement for Police Accountability and Racial Justice Continues to Draw New Yorkers into the Streets and Intensify Pressure on Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Bratton

New York, NY— To mark the 5 month anniversary of Eric Garner’s death at the hands of the NYPD, New Yorkers held die-ins citywide tonight in his honor and rose up on the streets for police accountability and reform. These events happened simultaneously in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx at 6 p.m., and are part of the highly coordinated #11Days of Action organized by #ThisStopsToday and Communities United for Police Reform (CPR).

New Yorkers from across the city participated and made their voices heard, including leaders and members of Make the Road New York, VOCAL-NY, Justice Committee, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, Picture the Homeless, New York Communities for Change, Drug Police Alliance, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Brotherhood/SisterSol, El Puente, and the Peace Poets.

The growing movement for police accountability and racial justice continues to intensify pressure on Mayor de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner Bratton, and other public officials to implement specific, concrete reforms to end abusive and discriminatory policing.

Those involved in #ThisStopsToday and Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) want elected officials to act on 11 key demands for the 11 times Eric Garner said, "I can’t breathe."

"For too long, there have been double standards in place for police officers involved in incidents of brutality and misconduct. New Yorkers have overwhelmingly come together in record-breaking numbers to say #ThisStopsToday. It's time to heed the calls for substantive policy change, including timely and meaningful accountability in order to begin restoring community trust in the NYPD. Police should protect lives, not endanger them,” said Priscilla Gonzalez, Director of Organizing of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR).

"Five months ago, Eric Garner was killed by the NYPD, on camera, for the whole world to see. Despite this, none of the officers involved in his killing were indicted and five months later, we still find ourselves asking, 'where is the justice?' Today, in a collective, citywide die-in, we mourn all the lives lost to police violence and demand that all discriminatory and abusive policing stop today!," said Alyssa Aguilera, Political Director of VOCAL-NY.

"We are conducting these actions in honor of Eric Garner and to say, 'This stops today!," said Loyda Colon, Justice Committee Co-Director. "Like DA Donovan in Staten Island, DA Robert Johnson in the Bronx has continually failed to hold killer cops accountable.  If District Attorneys cannot do their jobs, it's time for them to go.  We need Governor Cuomo to sign the executive order called for by the Attorney General and then move quickly to pass permanent legislation to establish a special prosecutor for cases of police brutality."

"The Million Hoodies Movement for Justice is committed to the eradication of racial bias and police brutality throughout our justice system," said Million Hoodies Movement for Justice National Policy Director Pete Haviland-Eduah. "Our demonstrations, which stand in solidarity with those that have been marginalized because of the color of their skin are not just a moment in time, but part of a greater movement in our history to reform a justice system which does not work the same for everyone. We are committed to seeing this through until the credo 'Liberty and justice for all' rings true for all people."

"The police have criminalized me just for being homeless. The reason for actions like this is simple: we are tired of being bullied by cops that don't realize that homeless and Black lives matter. They've been corrupted by the power that they have, and they've been brainwashed into the erroneous notion that they are the top of the food chain. Of course, they are nothing more than Bill de Blasio's personal army, a pack of dogs that are pointed at us," said Chris Gardella, Picture the Homeless.
 
We're joining New Yorkers around the city to amplify the demand to end abusive and discriminatory policing practices. Today, we echo Eric Garner's statement this stops today. These destructive policies are breaking up families across the country with little accountability.  We can build healthy and safe communities only when we place dignity and respect in the center of our policies and policing practices. This stops today," said Kassandra Frederique, New York Policy Manager, Drug Policy Alliance.
 
“Today, we join our fellow New Yorkers in raising awareness and our voices to end the abusive and discriminatory policing practices in our state. On the five-month anniversary of his passing, we echo Eric Garner's statement and demand that this stop today. We ask that our communities be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. We will rise up for Latinos and immigrant communities all across the state who have been victims of police brutality. This stops today,” said Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel, LatinoJustice PRLDEF.

"Today being the fifth month since Eric Garner's killing by Staten Island Officer Danny Panteleo and others, we challenge Mayor De Blasio and Commissioner Bill Bratton to end the Broken Windows Policy that not only lead to this but continues to criminalize our young people for enjoying their neighborhood. In this upcoming holiday season, justice is the best gift they can give to his grieving family and others who still have not received it," said Julien Terrell, Brotherhood/Sister Sol.

"El Puente's mission has and continues to be invested in elevating the voices of Youth Leaders in the movement toward Peace and Justice. This is an important time in our nation's history where we really need to keep our ears, minds, and hearts open to what the youth have to say about what real change looks like. Supporting and investing in their growth and agency is supporting and investing in a brighter future for us all," said Jana Lynne Umipig, El Puente.

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#11Days of Action: de Blasio, Bratton Now Facing 11 Days of Action on Garner

Media Contacts:
Dan Morris: 917.952.8920, thisstopstoday.press@gmail.com
Manny Vaz: 347.674.7935, thisstopstoday.press@gmail.com

For media inquiries specifically about today’s 4pm action, please contact: Nikita Price: 585-748-0751, nikita@picturethehomeless.org.
 

#11Days of Action: de Blasio, Bratton Now Facing 11 Days of Action on Garner

Growing Movement for Justice Escalates Campaign for Police Reform and Accountability

First Action Today at 4 p.m. in front of 52 Vanderbilt Avenue (between 44th & 45th St, near Grand Central Terminal)

New York, NY— As he was being killed by NYPD police officers, Eric Garner said, “I can’t breathe” eleven times, and now a large coalition of organizations that helped turn #ICantBreathe and #ThisStopsToday into national rallying cries for a growing movement for justice is announcing #11Days of Action: eleven days of actions and events to mobilize New Yorkers to intensify pressure on Mayor de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner Bratton, and other officials to implement real police reform and accountability measures.

More details on #11Days of Action will be posted at www.thisstopstoday.org. Organizations involved in planning and executing these actions and events include: Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) members, such as Justice Committee, Make the Road New York, VOCAL-NY, Color of Change, New York Civil Liberties Union, Center for Popular Democracy, Jews for Economic and Racial Justice, New York Communities for Change, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Brooklyn Movement Center, Bronx Defenders, Brotherhood/SisterSol, Picture the Homeless, New York City Anti-Violence Project, Audre Lorde Project, FIERCE, Peoples Justice and other partners, including: Million Hoodies, Freedom Side and El Puente.

The first action to kick off #11Days of Action will begin at 4 p.m. *today* in front of the Manhattan Institute of 52 Vanderbilt Avenue (between 44th & 45th St, near Grand Central Terminal). For media inquiries specifically about the 4pm action, please contact: Nikita Price: 585-748-0751, nikita@picturethehomeless.org.

The actions today will be led by homeless people harmed by discriminatory “broken windows” policing and also include a community conversation of Harlem young people.  #11Days of Action will conclude on Saturday December 20 and include a town hall with families that have lost loved ones to NYPD police brutality and violence. Check www.thisstopstoday.org and @ThisStopsToday for updates.

Below are 11 demands to #ChangetheNYPD from organizations involved in #11Days of Action:

On the streets, in community centers and on social media, the following 11 demands will be amplified in the days ahead:

1)    Mayor de Blasio should insist on full accountability for all NYPD officers responsible for killing Eric Garner and Akai Gurley and all officers who brutalize New Yorkers.

2)    Department of Justice should convene grand juries to federally indict officers responsible for the killing of Eric Garner, as well as other NYC cases such as Ramarley Graham.

3)    Governor Cuomo should issue an executive order directing the Office of the Attorney General to serve as special prosecutor in cases involving civilians killed by police officers.

4)    Governor Cuomo should veto legislation (S7801/A9853) that would allow New York police unions to make police disciplinary policies subject to contract negotiations.

5)    New York City should end the NYPD Commissioner’s exclusive authority over disciplinary decisions for officers in cases of abuse, misconduct, excessive and deadly force.

6)    Mayor de Blasio should end broken windows, and other discriminatory and abusive policing practices. This includes enforcement of low-level offenses, discriminatory arrests for violations (non-criminal offenses) and enforcement of possession of small amounts of marijuana; blanket surveillance of Muslim communities; and political activists.

7)    Mayor de Blasio should work with the City Council to pass the Right to Know Act to protect New Yorkers’ rights and improve daily interactions between NYPD officers and New Yorkers.

8)    Court-ordered stop-and-frisk Monitor Zimroth and Mayor de Blasio should give organizations led by and for communities impacted by discriminatory and abusive policing a formal role in NYPD reform.

9)    The Department of Justice should launch an investigation into broken windows policing and the use of force policies and practices of the NYPD. 

10) NYPD Inspector General Philip Eure should issue a report on use of deadly and other excessive force, to include review of disciplinary outcomes in these incidents. 

11) The NYPD should publish quarterly and annual reports of summons and misdemeanor arrests, as well as use of force, based on race, gender, age, precinct, and other demographic data.

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Below are statements from some of the organizations involved in planning #11Days of Action:

“Last week’s decision by the grand jury not to indict Officer Pantaleo disappointed me, saddened me, angered me and frightened me all at once.  I live in a nation where laws do not treat people of color as equal. I live in a nation where black and brown boys cannot walk around without feeling like targets. I live in a nation where a 20-year old can be stopped over 100 times by the NYPD for absolutely no reason... I am that 20-year-old" -- Keeshan Harley, Youth Leader of Make the Road New York. "To win systemic change and end hyper-aggressive policing in our communities, we must sustain protests and continue to escalate. For the next 11 days, lets commit ourselves to #ShutItDown and say #ThisStopsToday."

"New Yorkers, especially the families who have lost loved ones to the police, have endured far too many incidents of NYPD use of excessive and deadly force with zero accountability," -- Loyda Colon, Co-Director of the Justice Committee. "We are demanding independent, competent investigation and prosecution of cases of police brutality and killing. We are launching these 11 days of action to say,'police violence stops today, change starts now!'"

"The protests that have erupted across New York City are not just moments of outrage, but a mandate to our government that abusive and discriminatory policing must end once and for all. Hear our demands and know that the movement is only getting stronger." -- Alyssa Aguilera, Political Director, VOCAL-NY

"For each time Eric Garner repeated his cry of distress - "I can't breathe" - we the people will be in solidarity and show this is what democracy looks like!" -- Darlene Bryant, Picture the Homeless

"New Yorkers have taken the streets for days now. Together, we have demonstrated that we are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve justice,” -- Jonathan Westin Executive Director of New York Communities for Change. "We demand full accountability to the for all NYPD officers responsible for killing Eric Garner, Akai Gurley and all officers who brutalize New Yorkers."

"Jews for Racial and Economic Justice stands in firm opposition to broken windows policing and the atrocious violence that police target at communities of color. We are united as a multi-racial Jewish community in extreme condemnation of the racism at the foundation of policing in this country." -- Marjorie Dove Kent, Executive Director, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice

"The New York City Anti-Violence Project supports the 11 demands as part of the #ThisStopsToday 11 days of action for police accountability. The 11 demands create greater safety for all New Yorkers, especially LGBTQ people are disproportionately targeted and impacted by police violence and ensure the NYPD are held accountable for their actions.”-- Shelby Chestnut, Co-Director of Community Organizing and Public Advocacy, the New York City Anti-Violence Project

"In New York City and across the country, LGBTQ youth of color are on the front lines of struggles to fight the broken windows policing practices that killed Eric Garner and the profiling and discriminatory policing practices that killed Mike Brown - because we are among their targets," -- Chris Bilal, campaign staff at Streetwise and Safe (SAS), an organization focused on the policing of LGBTQ youth of color. "We are fighting for these 11 demands in solidarity with all members of Black communities, and because our survival as LGBTQ youth of color depends on it."

“Community Voices Heard stands with the 11 days of #ThisStopsToday actions as a beginning to an end of police brutality and harassment of people of color.  We acknowledge that the people will prevail against these current injustices.” – Joseph Mpa, Member Leader, Community Voices Heard

"El Puente believes that 'justice and liberty for all' really means for All! It is time for all who believe in our American creed to make this declaration real." -- Luis Garden Acosta, El Puente Founder & President

"In highly policed communities like East Harlem and the South Bronx, New Yorkers are routinely harassed, ticketed, and arrested for low-level offenses, particularly if they are appear to be homeless, transgender, or a drug user which is why NYHRE joins the call to demand that This Stops Today!"-- Mike Selick, Participant Action and Education Coordinator at New York Harm Reduction Educators (NYHRE)

"The bold protest actions across the country are not only to demand justice for Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and all the countless Black lives lost to police violence, but to expose white supremacist state violence as a major contributor to the acute domestic human rights crisis in the US. If it wasn't obvious before, it is now-- US government has no credibility nor ascendancy when it comes to human rights." -- Jackelyn Mariano, Bayan USA

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#ThisStopsToday: After No Inctment in Garner Case, Outraged New Yorkers Demand Full Accountability for NYPD

For Immediate Release: December 3, 2014

Media Contacts:

Dan Morris. 917.952.8920

Manny Vaz. 347.674.7935

 #ThisStopsToday: After No Indictment in Garner Case, Outraged New Yorkers Demand Full Accountability for NYPD and Plan Massive Action in Foley Square

www.thisstopstoday.org

New York — New Yorkers across the city are outraged that there was no indictment of officers involved in the killing of Eric Garner, expressing the need for full accountability and systemic reforms. They plan to come together at Foley Square tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. to say:

#ThisStopsToday.

There is growing national outrage over the systemic lack of accountability for the killing and discriminatory and abusive targeting of people of color by the police. Eric Garner, Ramarley Graham, Mike Brown, Akai Gurley, John Crawford, Tanisha Anderson, Tamir Rice, and many others whose lives were lost to police brutality and violence are not isolated incidents. We must connect the dots across these incidents of police brutality and violence to end abusive policing and ensure that all lives are protected equally.

In a unified voice, New Yorkers are communicating four key demands to ensure #ThisStopsToday:

1) Full accountability for all officers responsible for Eric’s death, and all officers who brutalize and abuse their power in our communities

2) An end to NYPD's discriminatory "broken windows" policing

3) A Department of Justice investigation into the use of force policies and practices of the NYPD and full investigation into the killing of Eric Garner

4) Governor Cuomo should veto Law S7801/A9853, so the police are not the only ones responsible for policing themselves

New Yorkers want systemic and substantive change at the NYPD to ensure people of color are not targeted by the police with aggressive, broken windows policing. More training for the police is not the real problem here, and it is not an adequate solution.

“No indictment sends a clear message that police are above the law. From Ferguson to Staten Island and across the country, we are facing a national crisis. For too long, double standards of justice and accountability have existed that allow law enforcement to act with impunity when brutalizing and killing unarmed people.  New Yorkers, particularly communities of color who bear the brunt of discriminatory and abusive policing, are coming together to say #ThisStopsToday. NYC cannot continue to tolerate police brutality and misconduct,” said Priscilla Gonzalez of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR).

“The failure of DA Donovan to secure meaningful indictments of those responsible for Eric Garner’s death is one of many examples of a systemic lack of accountability for officers who kill and brutalize, which allows abusive policing to continue,”said Loyda Colon, Co-Director of the Justice Committee.  “The cases of Ramarley Graham, Mike Brown, Iman Morales, Sean Bell, John Crawford, and Jayson Tirado are just a few of countless other examples. New Yorkers and people across the country are sick and tired and we are rising up.  Tomorrow’s action is in no way the last you’ll see from us.”

"As I waited anxiously for the Eric Garner verdict, I reflected on my own interactions with the NYPD in my neighborhood of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. As a young Black man who has been stopped and frisked over 100 times in the last six years, I realized that at any moment during my interactions, my life could have also been stripped away," said Keeshan Harley, youth leader at Make the Road New York. "The Grand Jury’s choice not to indict Officer Pantaleo who was responsible for Eric Garner's death, reaffirms for young men like me that our lives aren't valued."

"The disregard for black lives by our criminal justice system is absolutely abhorrent. We all saw the video, Eric Garner was killed in broad daylight for no justifiable reason. We are deeply saddened by the lack of justice for Eric and his family, but will not let this outrageous verdict deter our efforts to end police abuse once and for all,” said Alyssa Aguilera, Political Director, VOCAL-NY

“People everywhere have once again been let down by the judicial system as they failed to prosecute a police officer, whose excessive force led to the death of an unarmed man,” said Pete Haviland-Eduah, National Policy Director for the Million Hoodies Movement for Justice. “This failure has given the ugly face of broken windows policing tactics and racial bias space to reveal itself once more for the world to see. With each breakdown in the system, we become more empowered as a community; with each case of marginalized black and brown bodies, we come together, as one to demand the respect, dignity and rights we deserve. We stand with the family of Eric Garner along with the Staten Island community as we remember a man whose life was cut too short by antiquated policing tactics and work through non-violent direct action to seek meaningful solutions to ensure this does not happen in our streets again.”

“The failure of the Staten Island Grand Jury to file an indictment in the killing of Eric Garner leaves New Yorkers with an inescapable question: How will the NYPD hold the officers involved accountable for his death? And what will Commissioner Bratton do to ensure that this is the last tragedy of its kind? Unless the Police Department aggressively deals with its culture of impunity and trains officers that they must simultaneously protect both safety and individual rights, officers will continue to believe that they can act without consequence,” said New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman.

"We send our deepest condolences to the Garner family, who join thousands of families who in mourning the death of loved ones as a result of police violence and impunity,” said Marbre Stahly-Butts, from the Center for Popular Democracy. “Today's decision is emblematic of the bias and dysfunction within our criminal justice system. Police violence is endemic and its eradication requires a nationwide commitment by law enforcement to be held accountable, including meaningful protection and oversight in every aspect of policing from training to discipline.”

"Today's refusal by a NYC grand jury to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantalleo for choking Eric Garner to death highlights the inability of local officials to hold officers fully accountable for senseless violence perpetrated against Black and brown folks and underscores the need for our federal leaders in government to intervene. Officer Pantaleo was caught on camera choking Garner to death, but even when video is involved the wheels of justice don't seem to move when black people are hurt or killed by police. Our deepest condolences are with Garner's family and we are prepared to continue to organize alongside them and grow a nationwide movement against violent policing," said ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson. "More than 42,000 ColorOfChange members raised their voices and demanded justice for Eric Garner and an end to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s Broken Windows policing tactic. We will not sit silent as Black folks like Eric Garner are profiled, targeted, and killed by police and their killers are allowed get away with murder. We are calling on federal officials to do what Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan could not; bring Garner’s killer to justice, hold the department accountable for its discriminatory policies that put Black folks in danger and set a higher standard of policing nationwide."

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Website: www.thisstopstoday.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/832643866757953/

Twitter: @ThisStopsToday

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#ThisStopToday: Big Action at 5:30pm. Day After Garner Verdict

For Immediate Release | December 3, 2014

Media Contacts:

Dan Morris. 917.952.8920. thisstopstoday.press@gmail.com

Manny Vaz. 347.674.7935. thisstopstoday.press@gmail.com

 

#ThisStopsToday: Big Action at 5:30 p.m. Day After Garner Verdict

#THISSTOPSTODAY ACTION in Foley Square at 5:30 p.m. the day after the grand jury decision is officially announced unless the decision is announced on Friday (the action would take place at 1pm on Saturday). 

www.thisstopstoday.org

New York, NY— Today a number of organizations from across the city together announced that New Yorkers will participate in a #ThisStopsToday action in Foley Square in Lower Manhattan on the day after the grand jury decision is officially announced in the killing of Eric Garner.

Groups involved in planning and organizing #ThisStopsToday include: Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) members: Justice Committee, Make the Road NY, VOCAL-NY, Center for Popular Democracy, Color of Change, Jews for Economic and Racial Justice and other partners, including: Million Hoodies, Freedom Side.

Dozens of organizations have endorsed the action and related demands described below.

Regardless of the outcome of the grand jury’s decision, New Yorkers from every borough will come together to say #ThisStopsToday—the very words Eric Garner himself uttered the day he was stopped and killed by NYPD officers after the use of a chokehold that is banned in the NYPD’s own patrol guide. The encounter that resulted in Eric’s death is considered an unlawful stop by many, based on witness accounts that Eric Garner was stopping a fight prior to being stopped by police, not selling “loosies” as claimed by the NYPD. 

In Foley Square, New Yorkers will demand full accountability for all instances of NYPD excessive and deadly force, including in the case of Eric Garner; and an end to broken windows and other forms of discriminatory policing.

There is growing national outrage over the lack of accountability for the killing and discriminatory and abusive targeting of people of color by the police. Eric Garner, Ramarley Graham, Mike Brown, Akai Gurley, John Crawford, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson and many others whose lives have been lost to police brutality and violence are not isolated incidents. As protests across the country have made clear, connecting the dots across these incidents of police violence is critical to making systemic change and cultural shifts required to end abusive policing.

In a Unified Voice, Speakers at #ThisStopsToday Will Communicate Four Key Demands:

1) Full accountability for all officers responsible for Eric’s death, and all officers who brutalize and abuse their power in our communities

2) An end to NYPD's discriminatory "broken windows" policing

3) A Department of Justice investigation into the use of force policies and practices of the NYPD and full investigation into the killing of Eric Garner.

4) Governor Cuomo should veto Law S7801/A9853, so the police are not the only ones responsible for policing themselves.

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Website: www.thisstopstoday.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/832643866757953/

Twitter: @ThisStopsToday

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