ACTION ALERT: More police violence against queer and trans folks in NYC

PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY

At the Sylvia Rivera Law Project’s after-party following its fifth
anniversary celebration last night, two members of the community were
violently arrested and others were pepper sprayed by police without
warning or cause. The two folks who were arrested remain in police
custody and should be arraigned tomorrow. (More details of the
incident can be found below in the press release.)

We ask that people show up tomorrow, Thursday, starting at 9:30am and
continuing throughout the day to call for the immediate release of and
the dropping of charges against the people who were arrested. The
arraignment court rooms are at 100 Centre St (Directions: No. 4 or 5
train to Brooklyn Bridge Station; No. 6 train, N, R or C train to
Canal Street; No. 1 train to Franklin Street; M1, M6 and M15 bus lines
are nearby. 100 Centre Street is one block north of Worth Street,
three blocks south of Canal Street.) Ask for directions to the
arraignment rooms at the info desk when you enter.

For more information or to receive updates via email or text message,
contact Jack (post comments here on this blog).

PRESS RELEASE:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Police Brutality Strikes Fifth Anniversary of Sylvia Rivera Law Project

NEW YORK – On the night of Wednesday, September 26, officers from the
9th Precinct of the New York Police Department attacked without
provocation members of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and of its
community. Two of our community members were violently arrested, and
others were pepper sprayed in the face without warning or cause.

The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (www.srlp.org) is an organization that
works on behalf of low-income people of color who are transgender,
gender non-conforming, or intersex, providing free legal services and
advocacy among many other initiatives. On Wednesday night, the Sylvia
Rivera Law Project was celebrating its fifth anniversary with a
celebration and fundraising event at a bar in the East Village.

A group of our community members, consisting largely of queer and
transgender people of color, witnessed two officers attempting to
detain a young Black man outside of the bar. Several of our community
members asked the officers why they were making the arrest and using
excessive force. Despite the fact that our community was on the
sidewalk, gathered peacefully and not obstructing foot traffic, the
NYPD chose to forcefully grab two people and arrested them. Without
warning, an officer then sprayed pepper spray across the group in a
wide arc, temporarily blinding many and causing vomiting and intense
pain.

“This is the sort of all-too-common police violence and overreaction
towards people of color that happens all the time,” said Dean Spade,
founder of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. “It’s ironic that we were
celebrating the work of an organization that specifically opposes
state violence against marginalized communities, and we experienced a
police attack at our celebration.”

“We are outraged, and demand that our community members be released
and the police be held accountable for unnecessary use of excessive
force and falsely arresting people,” Spade continued.

Damaris Reyes is executive director of GOLES, an organization working
to preserve the Lower East Side. She commented, “I’m extremely
concerned and disappointed by the 9th Precinct’s response to the
situation and how it escalated into violence. This kind of aggressive
behavior doesn’t do them any good in community-police relations.”

Supporters will be gathering at 100 Centre Street today, where the
two community members will be arraigned. The community calls for
charges to be dropped and to demand the immediate release of those
arrested.

- END -

8 Responses to “ACTION ALERT: More police violence against queer and trans folks in NYC”


  1. 1 belledame222

    Jesus. Are you okay, Jack?

  2. 2 Anthony J. Kennerson

    Just another fine example of the “Criminal Just-Us System”, I guess….

    If you aren’t White, male, rich, to the right of Rush Limbaugh, or any combination therof, then I guess that you are fair game to be abused by authority.

    Goodness gracious.

    Anthony

  3. 3 Jack

    I am okay now, especially now that the folks are out! Thanks for asking.

  4. 4 sky

    Hello,

    I wanted to inform you of a video that was recently posted on YouTube.

    It is of a few white young men in New Zealand who are harassing and assaulting a trans woman of color for being transgendered.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_v0DYUcatUs

    I wanted to bring it to your attention as I am sure it is of interest.

    Sincerely

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