ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

October 31, 2008

2008.10.31: Dirty Cops: NYPD cops eyed in 100 East Coast robberies of cash, coke from dealers

Filed under: Civil Rights,Criminal Justice,Drug Wars,Police Abuse,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 11:06 am

From:  Letwin, Michael
Sent: Monday, October 13, 2008 11:06 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Dirty Cops: NYPD cops eyed in 100 East Coast robberies of cash, coke from dealers

NYPD cops eyed in 100 East Coast robberies of cash, coke from dealers



Monday, October 13th 2008, 12:46 AM

Two NYPD cops are being accused of robbing drug dealers and torturing some of their victims. Ward for News

Two NYPD cops are being accused of robbing drug dealers and torturing some of their victims.

Two NYPD cops – one active and one retired – are under suspicion as part of a violent crew accused of robbing drug dealers and kidnapping and sexually torturing some of their victims.

The two unnamed officers wore uniforms when they acted as “cops” in a crew that shook down dealers for more than 100 kilos of cocaine in at least 100 robberies along the East Coast, sources said.

The real cops changed their collar brass so they would not be wearing the number of their actual NYPD precinct when they betrayed their badges, sources said.

The crew would kidnap their victims either in a police-style car stop or in a home invasion.

The car-stop victims were taken at gunpoint to a remote area, where the robbers demanded to know the location of their cash and drugs, which they resold in New York.

The cops worked with defendants Jose Castro and Asnel Torres, who “applied a pair of pliers to the victim’s testicles, threatening to squeeze the pliers if the victim did not talk,” prosecutors said.

A spokesman for the NYPD declined to comment Sunday.

A dozen members of the crew have already been named in federal indictments in Brooklyn.

But during a Sept. 16 hearing before Brooklyn Federal Judge Judge Nicholas Garaufis, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Goldbarg said she intends to file a superseding indictment, a move promising additional charges and the arrest of the two cops.

Most of the brazen attacks occurred in Queens, upper Manhattan and the Bronx in the past five years. The crew also targeted drug dealers in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida.

The crew used tipsters and surveillance to find their targets, and sometimes followed their victims for weeks to learn their daily routine, according to court documents. They allegedly came for the crimes equipped with guns, handcuffs, duct tape, police lights and sirens.

The NYPD has been stung by a series of scandals involving cops turned crooks.

Five Brooklyn South narcotics detectives have been indicted in a corruption probe amid allegations they used seized drugs to pay off informants. The probe prompted a shakeup of NYPD narcotics brass.

Retired 33-year veteran Detective Athelston Kelson was busted in August for robbing banks in Queens and Long Island.

In both cases, NYPD brass said the problems were isolated lapses.

October 24, 2008

2008.10.24: Troy Davis Article on the Stay

Filed under: Civil Rights,Criminal Justice,Racism,Sentencing — nyclaw01 @ 1:28 pm

From:  Kurti, Rebecca
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2008 1:28 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Troy Davis Article on the Stay

http://www.newsday. com/news/ nationworld/ nation/wire/ sns-ap-georgia- execution, 0,3444098. story

Federal appeals court stays execution of Ga. man convicted of killing officer in 1989
By GREG BLUESTEIN | Associated Press Writer
12:54 PM EDT, October 24, 2008
ATLANTA (AP) _ A federal appeals court gave a last-minute reprieve Friday to a Georgia man set to be executed for the
1989 killing of an off-duty police officer even though several witnesses have changed their accounts of the crime.

Troy Davis, 40, was scheduled to be executed Monday. But the three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals ordered defense attorneys and prosecutors to draft briefs that address whether Davis can meet “stringent
requirements” to pursue the next round of appeals.

Davis’ supporters have called for a new trial because seven of the nine key witnesses against him have recanted their
testimony, and the doubts about his guilt have won him the support of former President Jimmy Carter and other
prominent advocates.

“I’m ecstatic. This movement is building and building and building,” said Martina Correia, Davis’ sister. “This is going
to crumble the justice system in Georgia if they don’t do the right thing.”

Savannah Officer Mark MacPhail was working off-duty as a security guard at a bus station when he rushed to help a
homeless man who had been pistol-whipped at a nearby parking lot. He was shot twice when he approached Davis
and two other men.

Witnesses identified Davis as the shooter, and prosecutors at the 1991 trial said Davis wore a “smirk on his face” as he
fired the gun.

But Davis’ lawyers say new evidence proves their client was a victim of mistaken identity. Besides those who have
recanted their testimony, three others who did not testify have said Sylvester “Red” Coles who testified against
Davis at his trial confessed to the killing.

Coles refused to talk about the case when contacted by The Associated Press during a 2007 court appearance and has
no listed phone number.

Prosecutors have said the case is closed. In court hearings, they said some of the affidavits repeat what a jury trial
already has heard, while others are irrelevant because they came from witnesses who never testified.

Savannah District Attorney Spencer Lawton also said he doubts the new testimony meets the legal standards for a new
trial. And while the recantations may seem persuasive to some, Lawton said, “to others of us it invites a suggestion of
manipulation, making it very difficult to believe.”

Georgia’s pardons board postponed Davis’ execution in 2007 less than 24 hours before it was to be carried out.

Over the next few months, a divided Georgia Supreme Court twice rejected Davis’ request for a new trial, and the
pardons board turned down another bid for clemency after considering the case again.

Then, two hours before his scheduled Sept. 23 execution, the Supreme Court issued a stay, sparking a celebration
among Davis’ supporters gathered outside the state prison. But the court cleared the way for the execution this month
when it decided against giving Davis another hearing.

His supporters have tried to ratchet up the public relations campaign by holding rallies in Paris, Montreal, Brussels,
London and Milan. The European Union’s legislature issued a statement this week warning that Davis’ execution is a
“great risk of miscarriage of justice.”

Lawton, though, contended the real victim of the high-profile campaign has been MacPhail’s family. They have lived
through a succession of legal challenges that have also tested “their faith and hope” since Davis’ conviction 17 years
ago, he said.

“For every minute of that time,” he said, “Officer MacPhail’s family has suffered the agony of uncertainty. “


Filed under: Civil Rights,Criminal Justice,Racism,Sentencing — nyclaw01 @ 12:45 pm

From:  Kurti, Rebecca
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2008 12:45 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS

Hey all,

The 11th circuit court of appeals has just given Troy Davis a stay of execution.  WOW!!!  More details to follow from Amnesty International…


2008.10.24: VIGIL: New Yorkers Say NO to the Execution of an Innocent Man!!

Filed under: Civil Rights,Criminal Justice,Racism,Sentencing — nyclaw01 @ 10:24 am

From:  Kurti, Rebecca
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2008 10:24 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: VIGIL: New Yorkers Say NO to the Execution of an Innocent Man!!



Meet-up in Union Square (south side), Monday October 27th, 6.30-7.30pm

Georgia Death Row prisoner Troy Davis has a new execution date: Monday, Oct. 27, at 7:00 pm.

Evidence of Troy’s innocence exists – and has sparked outrage across the country and across the world. The movement around his case has led it  to be covered in outlets from the New York Times to CBS News.

Twice before — last year and last month — public outcry and the outrageous nature of Troy’s case have led his execution to be halted just hours  before it was set to take place.

And yet Georgia authorities refuse to heed calls to stop the execution, and seem determined to kill Troy on Monday. Please join supporters of Troy  Davis and opponents of capital punishment to make a public statement that the execution of Troy Davis is barbaric and unjust!

For more info, see

October 23, 2008

2008.10.23: great anti-war event this Saturday

Filed under: Antiwar,International Human Rights,Palestine — nyclaw01 @ 12:05 pm

From: Herschel, Lucy
Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2008 12:05 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: great anti-war event this Saturday

***Please note that due to a high demand for advanced tickets (which are not available), we will now be opening the doors at 6pm***

Please forward widely

Resisting Empire
A National Anti-War Speaking Tour by Haymarket Books

co-sponsored nationally by AlterNet, Nation Books and Iraq Veterans Against the War

NYC Tour Stop Details:
Saturday, October 25th, 7pm

New York University
19 West 4th Street, Room 101 (near Broadway)
N, R to 8th Street; B,D,F,V to Broadway Lafayette; 6 to Astor Place; A,C to West 4th Street

Here and around the world, people want to see an end to the Iraq War and a change in the reckless direction of U.S. foreign policy.

U.S. aggression has inflicted a humanitarian catastrophe— from Iraq, to Afghanistan, and beyond—with millions of people killed or turned into refugees.

American troops continue to suffer and die, while schools and hospitals fall apart.

A new resistance needs to be built from the ground up.

To build it, we need to hear the stories the mainstream media refuse to tell: the stories of war resisters, unembedded journalists, and activists.

Resisting Empire starts with us.
Local Speakers
Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejía was the first veteran to publicly refuse to redeploy to Iraq. He is the Board Chair of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), and is the author of a memoir, Road From ar Ramadi (Haymarket Books, 2007).

Michael Schwartz is a founding director of the Undergraduate College of Global Studies at Stony Brook University, and author of the new book, War Without End: The Iraq War in Context (Haymarket Books, 2008).

Jeremy Scahill is is a correspondent for Democracy Now! and the author of the Polk-award winning New York Times bestseller Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army (Nation Books).

Laila Al-Arian
is a freelance journalist and co-author, with Chris Hedges, of Collateral Damage: America’s War Against Iraqi Civilians (Nation Books, 2008). She has written for The Nation, USA Today, United Press International, The Huffington Post, and The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

Sliding Scale Admission: $5/10/12
The New York City stop of this tour is co-sponsored by the NYU Radical Film and Lecture Series, Iraq Veterans Against the War-NYC, AlterNet, Nation Books, Campus Anti-War Network-NYC and Hunter College, Military Families Speak Out-NYC, Adalah-NY: The Coalition for Justice in the Middle East, Military Project, NYCoRE, International Socialist Organization and World Can’t Wait
For more information or to endorse the NYC tour stop, please contact jenroesch@gmail. com.  For more information about the national tour and a full list of speakers and tour stops, please see www.resistingempire .org or contact 773-583-7884.

October 21, 2008

2008.10.21: TONIGHT – Campaign to End the Death Penalty Organizing Meeting

Filed under: Civil Rights,Criminal Justice,Racism,Sentencing — nyclaw01 @ 12:21 pm

From:  Kurti, Rebecca
Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 12:21 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: TONIGHT – Campaign to End the Death Penalty Organizing Meeting


Join the Campaign to End the Death Penalty TONITE for an organizing meeting focussing on the fight for Troy Davis.

Tuesday, Oct. 21 – 6 PM

St. Mary’s Church — 521 West 126th Street (btw. Amsterdam & Broadway)

************ ********* ********* ********* ********


Strategizing for Troy Davis: Organizing against the execution; poster making for Thurs. rally

The Anti-Terrorism & Effective Death Penalty Act and implications for Troyʼs case

CEDP Annual Convention: “Working to End the Death Penalty” – Chicago

Prisoner Letter-Writing

October 20, 2008

2008.10.20: CORRECTED ANNOUNCEMENT – Oct 23 – Take Action for Troy Davis!!!

Filed under: Civil Rights,Criminal Justice,Racism,Sentencing — nyclaw01 @ 5:20 pm

From:  Kurti, Rebecca
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2008 5:20 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: CORRECTED ANNOUNCEMENT – Oct 23 – Take Action for Troy Davis!!!


Fellow Abolitionists,

As you may know by now, the State of Georgia has set an execution date of October 27 for Troy Davis, ignoring
overwhelming evidence of his innocence.

Amnesty International has issued a call for a Global Day of Action set for October 23rd, in conjunction with a large rally
at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta. The rally will begin at 6 PM.

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty supports this inititative and is encouraging all of our members, supporters
and allies to display their opposition to Georgia’s plans on that day.

Day of Action NYC:

US Supreme Court denies justice for Troy Davis & lifts stay of execution!

What: Demonstration for Troy Davis

When: Thursday, October 23rd at 5.30 PM

Where: 33rd Street and 8th Avenue – SE corner (NYC)

Who: Campaign to End the Death Penalty, Amnesty International. List in formation.

Why: October 14th, the US Supreme Court denied Georgia death row prisoner Troy Davis’ request for a new trial.
The decision was a cruel answer to Troy and his family who were hoping the Court would review the facts and
circumstances surrounding his unjust conviction. Troy was convicted without physical evidence — instead, the case
against him relied on witness testimony. However, since his conviction 7 of the 9 witnesses have recanted their
testimony at trial.

Troy’s case has become an important battleground for all those who are concerned about the unfairness of a legal
system that routinely sends the poor and minorities to prison without due process. Concerns about Troy’s case have
prompted a wide range of individuals from across the world to call for a halt to his execution. From former President
Jimmy Carter to Rev. Desmond Tutu, people concerned with justice have been organizing on Troy’s behalf.

JOIN US! Join the tens of thousands who demand justice for Troy Davis!

Demonstration this Thursday, 33th Street and 8th Avenue – SE Corner (NYC).

************ ********* ********* ********


Chairman Gale Buckner
State Board of Pardons and Paroles
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SE
Suite 458, Balcony Level, East Tower
Atlanta, Georgia 30334-4909
Telephone: (404) 657-9350
Fax: 404-651-6670 and (404)651-8502

Or fax or email a message through Amnestys Web site: http://amnestyusa. org/troydavis

Thurbert E. Baker
Office of the Attorney General
40 Capitol Square, SW
Atlanta, Ga 30334
Phone:(404) 656-3300
Fax:(404) 657-8733

Spencer Lawton, Chatham County District Attorney
Chief Assistant District Attorney David Locke
133 Montgomery Street
Savannah, Georgia 31401
Phone: (912) 652-7308
Fax: (912) 652-7328 or (912) 447-5396

October 17, 2008

2008.10.176: ow to support anti-war veterans attached by cops

From: Herschel, Lucy
Sent: Friday, October 17, 2008 3:45 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: how to support anti-war veterans attached by cops

just one quick follow up to my last e-mail:

A message from IVAW:

———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— —-

So what can YOU do about it? My fellow veteran brothers need you. We
need to call the NY police department and ask them why they would
trample IRAQ WAR VETERANS exercising their FREEDOM SPEECH in a
peaceful manner. Is this the way members of the military who don the
uniform and make an oath to defend the constitution, America, and it’s
people are treated? We MUST NOT ONLY hold the Police Department
accountable but the Presidential Candidates as well for allowing this

Below are the numbers. Call now and anytime until November 10th when
the court date is set for the detained veterans. Stay posted for a
possible action then.


Public Information Office
516-573-7138 (24 hour)
516-573-7118 FAX

And the complaint line

Call 516-573-7000 and ask to be connected to the Desk Officer where
the incident occurred (Hofstra University).

NC Police Internal Affairs Unit: 516-573-7120
NC District Attorney’s Office, Special Investigations : 516-571-2100
NYS Attorney General, Civil Rights Division: 1-800-771-7755

Thank you for your continued support,
Wendy Barranco
IVAW – Los Angeles
Combat Medic
OIF 05-07
Tikrit, Iraq


2008.10.17: Anti-war veterans brutalized by cops outside presidential debate

From: Herschel, Lucy
Sent: Friday, October 17, 2008 2:09 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: Anti-war veterans brutalized by cops outside presidential debate

View original article here:

Activist News


Lucy Herschel and Hannah Wolfe report on how police met antiwar dissent with batons and horses at the last presidential debate in New York.

October 17, 2008

WHILE BARACK Obama and John McCain were getting makeup touchups for their Wednesday night debate at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, N.Y., police outside made sure that the voices of antiwar veterans wouldn’t be heard.

Officers of the Nassau County Police Department reacted with reckless violence to a protest organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) outside the debate site. Among several people injured in the assault, former Army Sgt. Nick Morgan was knocked unconscious and his cheekbone broken when he was trampled by a police horse.

“We were there to force the issue that the leaders of this nation are not listening to or are not caring about veterans,” said IVAW member Matthis Chiroux, who was among several veterans and activists arrested. “And they couldn’t have done a better job of proving us right. They stomped my friend Nick’s face into Jell-o. I put this on both candidates, on the major press and on the Nassau County police.”

The IVAW had sent a request to the debate moderator that they be allowed to ask their own questions of the candidates at the Hofstra event, but this was ignored–and so the third and final presidential debate passed without an antiwar voice being represented.

That night, IVAW organized a nonviolent demonstration to request entry into the debate. Marching in uniform and in formation, IVAW members led several hundred activists to an intersection in front of the Hofstra campus gates–where they were confronted by an army of mounted police and riot cops.

Ten IVAW members were arrested, apparently for no more than insisting on their right to be heard. Mounted police then pushed the crowd back onto the sidewalk, recklessly pulling their horses around and at times backing them into the crowd. The police continued to drive protesters back, pinning the crowd up against a fence.

Riot cops reached past the IVAW members at the front of the crowd, grabbing protesters behind them and dragging them into the street. A mounted cop leapt with his horse onto the sidewalk and trampled protesters, including Morgan.

Chiroux said the police took Morgan aside and bandaged him, but then placed him in a truck with other arrestees to go to processing and detention.

“He was incoherent, he couldn’t even say his name,” Chiroux said. “He had blood running down his face. We kept telling the police he needed immediate medical attention. One officer said, with a smirk, ‘Get him to say it. He has to say it.’ I said, ‘He can’t even /talk/!’ The officer said, ‘Tough luck.’

Finally, we said, ‘Nick, you have to say I need to go to the hospital.’ We got him to say it, and they took him in.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

CHIROUX SAID that while they were detained, he and his fellow IVAW members were verbally harassed by police. “They called us traitors, cowards, idiots,”

he said.

Three women IVAW members who had been arrested were handcuffed to a bench, and “the male officers kept coming closer to them, verbally sexually harassing them,” Chiroux said. “One kept holding up Marlisa’s ID to her face and saying, ‘Wow, you look like you came out of a Barbie magazine.'”

Morgan was brought back from the hospital, still incoherent and in great pain. He was left chained to a bench for five hours without further medical attention, Chiroux said. IVAW members repeatedly asked officers for their names (they weren’t wearing badges) or to contact lawyers–they were refused on all counts.

When most of the IVAW members were finally released at 2:30 a.m. (according to reports, one vet remained in custody as this report was written), they went, still in uniform, to a nearby diner–where the same group of cops who had detained them were eating.

Chiroux went up to them and asked again for their names. One officer “got up in my face,” he said, “screaming and waving his finger at me and saying, ‘I’m gonna kick your ass if you keep asking that.'”

The IVAW members say they wanted to ask Barak Obama if he would support soldiers who refuse to serve in Iraq, since in the past, he had called the Iraq war illegal. They also wanted to question John McCain about his votes to cut veterans benefits.

“Neither of the candidates have shown real support for soldiers and veterans,” said Jason Lemieux, a former sergeant in the Marine Corps and a member of IVAW who served three tours in Iraq.

“We came here to try and get serious questions answered–questions that we, as veterans of the Iraq war, have a right to ask–but instead we were arrested. We believe that the time has come to end this war and bring our troops home, and we will be pushing for that no matter what happens in this election.”

IVAW members thanked activists for coming to support the march and for enduring the police violence.

“For many of our members, this was their first protest,” said Hannah Fleury of the Campus Antiwar Network, which mobilized chapters from as far away as Boston for this protest. “Now that we see what we’re up against, we’re going to fight even harder on our campuses to end the war, and to support the veterans.”

The New York Civil Liberties Union is asking for an immediate investigation into the use of horses at the demonstration. “It is shocking that someone who served his country would be treated so disgracefully by the Nassau County Police Department,” Tara Keenan-Thomson, director of the group’s Nassau County chapter, said in a press release.

As Chiroux said, “Both candidates claim they support veterans. And this is how we got supported last night: by being pushed back, trampled and arrested.

“We demonstrated to the country and the world that democracy is not dead in the United States–that the people in the U.S. still ultimately hold the power. They can try to force our voices to be silent, to block us out of the media, but we won’t let these people shut us down.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Material on this Web site is licensed by, under a Creative Commons (by-nc-nd 3.0) [1] license, except for articles that are republished with permission. Readers are welcome to share and use material belonging to this site for non-commercial purposes, as long as they are attributed to the author and


October 15, 2008

2008.10.15: Troy Davis Execution Date

Filed under: Civil Rights,Criminal Justice,Racism,Sentencing — nyclaw01 @ 6:11 pm

From:  Kurti, Rebecca
Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 6:11 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Troy Davis Execution Date

The DA apparently wasted no time in going to court to get an execution date. We now have 12 days to make as much noise as possible about the injustices of Troy’s case.

____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
http://www.ajc. com/metro/ content/metro/ stories/2008/ 10/15/davis_ 1016_web. html

Execution date set for Troy Davis

The Atlanta Journal-Constitutio n

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Troy Anthony Davis, convicted of killing an off-duty police officer in 1989, is to be executed Oct. 27.

The date was set after a Chatham County judge signed a warrant Wednesday afternoon setting the time frame from
Oct. 27 through Nov. 3 for the execution.

This is Davisʼ third execution date in little more than a year.

Last month, just two hours before he was to die by lethal injection, the U.S. Supreme Court stopped his execution so
it could decide if it would hear Davisʼ challenge based on the recantations of seven of the nine witnesses who testified
against him.

On Tuesday, the court without explanation refused to hear the appeal.

Davis was condemned to die for the Aug. 19, 1989 killing of Savannah police officer Mark Allen MacPhail. The 27-
year-old father of two was working off duty when he was shot in the parking lot of a Burger King restaurant.

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