Sunday, November 11, 2012

From the Desk of Carl Dix

November 11, 2012


The trial of the four (4) Stop-and-FriskFreedom Fighters in Queens -- myself, Jamel Mims, Morgan Rhodewalt and Robert Parsons -- will resume on Tuesday, November 13.  It has been a wild ride.  Through almost three weeks in court, we’ve had one juror arrested in the court building and another dismissed because she was horrified to hear that a fellow juror had been arrested.  The trial has been postponed twice due to extreme weather.

The prosecution has almost finished putting on its case.  They have yet to put on ANY evidence that ANY police activity was obstructed or that ANY members of the public were denied access to the precinct by the protest last November 19.  I’m not exaggerating here.  Our attorneys walked the commander of the 103 Precinct through everything he said his precinct did.  They asked him if any of those functions hadn’t happened because of the protest, and he said no.  (His exact words were, “Not to my knowledge.”)  They also got him to admit that he had created a frozen zone around the precinct to which no one was to be admitted without the permission of the police, and that NO members of the public asked to be admitted during our protest.  Yet the four of us are facing a year in prison for Obstructing Governmental Administration and Disorderly Conduct.

This underscores what the Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN) has been saying since this trial began: “…what is being put on trial here is nothing less than the ability and right to stand up and say NO MORE to the racist policy of Stop-and-Frisk.”

It is important that, when the trial resumes on Tuesday, there are many supporters of the Stop-and-Frisk Freedom Fighters in the court and that many, many people are paying attention to what happens in this case.  The defendants will begin testifying on Tuesday.  We will speak to why we were willing to risk arrest to protest Stop-and-Frisk, and through this we will be putting Stop-and-Frisk on trial.  I am writing to ask you to do all you can to help shine a spotlight on this outrageous prosecution.
  • Spread the word on this sending this message, linking to our trial blog, posting on Facebook and tweeting about it. 
  • Come to Queens Criminal Court 9:30 am Tuesday, 125-01 Queens Boulevard, Kew Gardens.  (Take the E or the F train to the Union Turnpike/Kew Gardens stop) and bring people with you. 
  •  Contact your ties in the media and encourage them to cover this important trial. 
Another important thing you could do is to help us meet the mounting expenses ($10,000 and rising) of fighting this legal battle.  Keep your eyes open for the new date for the “Evening in Support of the Stop-and-Frisk Freedom Fighters” and to “Raise the Roof on Their Legal Expenses,” which was postponed because of Hurricane Sandy.  You can donate on line here or see information on how to donate via check.  All donations are tax-deductible.

The Stop-and-Frisk Freedom Fighters have more cases coming up.  There are nine (9) more defendants facing trial for the protest in Queens on November 19, 2011, and there are 13 people facing trial for the Stop-and-Frisk protest in Brooklyn on November 1, 2011.  Also Noche Diaz faces trials in Manhattan and the Bronx where he was arrested while observing the police brutalizing people.  This case in Queens is critical because it's the first trial where the authorities have aimed to hit people with serious jail time for protesting Stop-and-Frisk.  Your support is needed to defeat this outrageous prosecution.

Thank you,

Carl Dix