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Urban Culture News Hip Hop Demands Justice 4 tha People
Hip Hop Demands Justice 4 tha People PDF Print E-mail
Written by Davey D ID3463   
Tuesday, 20 March 2007 03:22

Hip Hop Demands Justice 4 tha People - An Update on the Sean Bell Indictments with hip hop activists Rosa Clemente and Autumn Marie; Interview by Davey D

In this interview Hip Hop activists Rosa Clemente and Autumn Marie of the group People’s Justice give an in-depth breakdown of what took place and what these grand jury indictments really mean. As was pointed out during our interview, an indictment does not mean a conviction. In addition, for police officers to shoot 3 unarmed men 50 times is an assassination and an assassination attempt. We should not mince words.

During our interview we talked about the pattern of police terrorism and suppression that seems to be occurring all over the country. Hip Hop activists Rosa and Autumn offer up some compelling practical solutions to fight back.

Rosa talked about the commitment many people within the Hip Hop generation have made to seeing that justice is served. Both her and Autumn talked about the rallies that have been taking place every week and the large number of groups that have come together to form a coalition. This incident has galvanized a lot of people and apparently it’s a different day in NYC.

These acts of brutality are seemingly going down everywhere from Pittsburgh to Seattle to San Francisco. Fortunately people are fighting back and having impact. Big shout out to One Hood in Pittsburgh, Hip Hop Against Police Violence in Texas, Dred I Movement in Seattle, PUEBLO in Oakland, Ella Baker Center in San Francisco, the P.O.C.C., the New Black Panther Party, Malcolm X Grass Roots Movement and all the other organizations that have come out to try and put an end to this long standing problem.

Yesterday a New York City grand jury indicted 3 of the 5 police officers involved in the tragic shooting death of Sean Bell. The charges levied were manslaughter and reckless endangerment. For those who don''t know, Bell was shot last November just hours before his wedding when he and 3 friends left a bar where they had a bachelor party. According to reports, 5 plain clothes officers approached the men's car as they left the establishment and did not identify themselves. Fearing that they were gonna get carjacked, Bell and his friends tried to drive off at which point officers shot at the trio 50 times. One cop named Mike Oliver let off 31 bullets.

The cops claimed the men had guns and they feared for their safety so they shot off all those rounds. I guess the police training they were supposed to have received either has drastically changed or has been upgraded where they tell officers to shoot all those rounds even when they ARE NOT being shot at. The end result was Sean Bell, a father, son and husband to be, was killed. His friends wound up in the hospital. It was later discovered that all the men were UNARMED. The police tried to flip the story and claim there was a fourth man and that the trio somehow got rid of the gun in the mists of all that shooting. Along with the police were all sorts of apologists who write for these major newspapers and like to do a lot of brown nosing were they actually went out and tried to blame the victims. At the end of the day what we come to see is that the Sean Bell assassination by NYPD as just another unfortunate example of police terror that can strike anyone of us at any time.

In this interview Hip Hop activists Rosa Clemente and Autumn Marie of the organization People's Justice give an indepth breakdown and analysis of the whole situation. They have been on the ground from day one, organizing, attending all the rallies and vigils and going to the courthouse to hear the indictments and see the family who had to endure being in the same room as the police who killed their son. The pair provide excellent on the ground coverage of what took place and what these grand jury indictments really mean.

As was pointed out during our interview with these Hip Hop activists, an indictment does not mean a conviction. In addition, for police officers to shoot 3 unarmed men 50 times is an assassination and an assassination attempt. We should not mince words. During our interview we talked about the pattern of police terrorism and suppression that seems to be occurring all over the country. Rosa and Autumn offered up some compelling practical solutions to fight back. They also provided historical understanding as to how the police have behaved in the past and how we need to look at police culture and what it does f to those who join the force.

They also talked about the influence of the police union-the P.B.A. Police Benevolent Association. As a union they yield the real weight and according to Clemente and Marie they defend the cops no matter what they do. In fact after the indictments came down, the PBA leadership was on TV blaming NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg for tainted the jury because he publicly raised questions as to why someone would shoot unarmed men 50 times. Clemente noted that they came up with a chant to describe the PBA that is used at rallies. It goes:

PBA is the KKK

How Many Kids Have You shot today?

Rosa talked about the commitment many people within the Hip Hop generation have made to seeing that justice is served. Both her and Autumn talked about the rallies that have been taking place every week and the large number of groups that have come together to form a coalition. They also talked about how the leadership that has formed around this is very different then what we see on TV with traditional leadership. People are galvanized and not willing to sit back and let justice slip away. Apparently it's a different day in NYC and that's a good thing.

Read Davey D’s entire article HERE and listen to the interview below.


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Urban Culture News Hip Hop Demands Justice 4 tha People

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