Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Beating of Black Lawyers

BY Mumia Abu-Jamal

No matter who we are, or where we live, folks in Black America have grown up with the lesson of the importance of education as a tool of social mobility.

That's why lawyers are generally so highly regarded in many Black communities, as people who have undergone years of legal education.

But that respect doesn't go far beyond the community. Cops in Brooklyn, New York recently showed what they thought of lawyers by beating them up! Well-known human rights attorney Michael Tarif Warren, and his wife, Evelyn (also a lawyer), were driving down Brooklyn's Vanderbilt Avenue, when they spotted a Black youth being chased by cops across a McDonald's parking lot.

The youngster was tackled to the ground and handcuffed, when the Warrens saw a Sgt. Talvy begin kicking him in the head, the ribs, and stomping on his neck.

The 2 attorneys stopped their car, walked within 10 feet of the beating, identified themselves (as lawyers), and told the cops to stop beating the youth, and simply take him to the nearest precinct.

The Sergeant's response was to shout, "I don't give a f**k who you are, get the f**k back in your car!" The Warrens returned to the car, where Michael began to write down notes of what he saw, and the license plate numbers of the cop cars present.

Before he could finish his notes Sgt, Talvy walks up to the car, and began to repeatedly punch him through the window, shouting "Get out of the car!"

Warren was then dragged out of his car, his clothes ripped in the process. His wife, obviously upset at these events, demanded to know why he was attacked, and was promptly punched in the face by this same cop! Both Warrens were arrested and driven to the 77th precinct and charged with obstruction, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. Within hours hundreds of Brooklynites converged on the precinct, demanding the release of the Warrens. People came from all walks of life, for Tarif has a long history, almost 30 years, of representing people who have been victims of police or prosecutorial misconduct in the city. Groups like the December 12th Movement, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, the International Action Center, and many others quickly mobilized support for the Warrens.

In an interview in the New York Daily Challenge, Evelyn Warren spoke for many people when she said, "We are professionals, if they do this to us in broad daylight on a crowded street, what do they do in the dark when no one is around? That's what I'm concerned about."

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