14 years ago today, 22 year old Amadou Diallo was shot at 41 times by the police in the doorway of his apartment building in the Soundview section of the Bronx. Amadou was unarmed and a recent immigrant. His murder sparked widespread protest against the NYPD, and has become symbolic of the mistrust between the police and communities of color. In October, the officer who initiated the shooting was reunited with his gun. This fact adds to an increasing sentiment that the NYPD’s practices are in opposition to the best interests of most New Yorkers. In the past year, the relationship between New York and the boys in blue has deteriorated drastically, particularly in communities of color.
- Violently target the LGBTQ community.
- Collaborate with Immigration through Secure Communities, a program that instills fear in immigrant communities by threatening deportation for minor infractions such as broken tail-lights.
- Encourage Stop-and-frisk, targeting men of color and shuffling them in and out of the prison system.
- Keep arrest records of thousand New Yorkers on internet, for anyone to see. These files are supposed to be private.
- Use illegal quotas to raise the number of people arrested, whether or not those people were doing anything wrong.
- Allow police to raid houses and squash protests, sometimes violently.
- Lead to wrongfully arrests of tenants inside their own homes through Operation Clean Halls, even after the program was deemed unconstitutional in the Bronx .
- Often ignore or excuse police who lie under oath.
- Discriminate against the Muslim community through spying on elementary schools and tracking what grocery stores sell halal food.
- Allow officers to enter schools and allow children to be handcuffed.
While we recognize that many NYPD officers support and work towards the best interest of the community, most are required to participate in the policies listed above. These tactics instill a dangerous fear of law enforcement and dissuade us from standing up for ourselves and our communities.
Often when organizing in buildings, particularly in the Bronx, we hear that tenants are afraid to speak out against the horrible conditions that they suffer. Some tenants are afraid of the landlord, some of their immigration status. As organizers, we work to empower communities, facilitate them coming together and facing something seemingly frightening together. Through organizing, demonstrating, and demanding changes, we can change the police system into the empowering body that it should be, into something that will uplift our communities.
Join Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice TODAY to honor Amadou Diallo’s life and to END police brutality and racial profiling:
Who: YOUTH MINISTRIES FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE
What: Amadou Diallo Rally & Prayer Vigil
Where/When: 6:00 PM – Meet at Youth Ministrites for Peace and Justice, 1384 Stratford Avenue, Bronx NY
6:15 PM – March Starts
6:30PM – Prayer Vigil Starts @ Amadou Diallo’s Home, 1157 Wheeler Avenue, Bronx, NY 10472
For more information, click here.