ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

March 26, 2007

2007.03.26: Re: LAS Staff Statement for Sean Bell

From: Susan Morris
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2007 4:50 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Re: LAS Staff Statement for Sean Bell

THIS IS A FIGHT THE LIVES OF OUR CLIENTS – THE POOR PEOPLE OF NEW YORK – PRIMARILY PEOPLE OF COLOR.  THEY ARE LITERALLY DYING IN THE STREETS.

“ANY DEFENDANT”???

“ANY DEFENDANT”???

Are you kidding me??????

We fight against the government’s abuses of our clients.

Get it straight.

>>> Noha Arafa 3/26/2007 4:30:33 PM >>>

Is there anytime Letwin sends out an e-mail that you don’t feel inclined to reply to? We get it ok.  If you don’t like it, don’t sign it.

>>> [O.] 3/26/2007 4:08 PM >>>

i think it is unbecoming and improper for for a defense organization to try to prejudice a case against any defendant even if we dont like them.if people are going to sign it they should not put their legal aid affiliation.

>>> Michael Letwin 3/26/2007 1:49 PM >>>

[To sign the following public statement, please reply to this message by Friday, March 30]

Justice for Sean Bell

March 26, 2007

The undersigned New York City Legal Aid attorneys and support staff believe that the indictment of three police officers, for the fatal shooting of Sean Bell in a hail of 50 bullets, is too little and too late.

Sean Bell joins a long list of young men of color infamously murdered or assaulted by the NYPD, including Amadou Diallo, Patrick Dorismond, Anthony Baez and Abner Louima. Yet police officers are almost never indicted – let alone convicted – for their crimes.

Police shootings, and the systemic failure to effectively prosecute their perpetrators, shows that the problem is not a “few bad apples” in the NYPD.  Rather, they are the predictable result of a criminal justice system that – as a matter of deliberate policy – systematically targets communities of color for search-and-destroy arrest sweeps, widespread criminalization and inhumane drug sentences.

Under the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations, there has been an explosion in the number of racially-discriminatory stop-and-frisks.  The vast majority of these do not result in an arrest, and most that do are for such charges as riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, open alcohol containers, walking between subway cars, and marijuana possession.

These illegal stops generate criminal records for hundreds of thousands of people of color, and are often accompanied by false accusations, physical threats, beatings, torture, or worse.

Such injustices cannot be ended by tinkering with existing policies.  Genuine solutions must include:

1.  Firing Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

2.  Vigorous prosecution, by a special prosecutor, of police officers – especially commanders – who commit or condone the crimes described above.

3.  An end to militarized police operations against young people of color.

————

Initial Signers (Affiliations for Identification Only):

Charles Billups

CDD-Brooklyn

Chairperson, The Grand Council of Guardians

Antonia Codling

CDD-Bronx

Affirmative Action Representative

ALAA/UAW Local 2325

Lisa Edwards

Former V.P. (HCLO)

ALAA/UAW Local 2325

Lucy Herschel

Civil Division

Delegate, 1199/SEIU

Michael Letwin

CDD-Brooklyn

Former President

ALAA/UAW Local 2325

Susan Olivia Morris

CDD-Brooklyn

Former Sgt.-at-Arms

ALAA/UAW Local 2325

Magda Rosa-Rios

Alternate V.P. (HCLO)

ALAA/UAW Local 2325

Steven Terry

CDD-Brooklyn

Azalia Torres

CDD-Brooklyn

Former Sr. Attorney & ACLA Representative ALAA/UAW Local 2325

 

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