Sean Bell Indictments: Huge Defeat

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Criminal Procedure Law § 190.25 provides, “A grand jury is a body consisting of not less than 16 nor more than twenty-three persons.� Criminal Procedure Law 190.25 provides, “Proceedings of a grand jury are not valid unless at least sixteen of its members are present.� Four grand jurors were MIA. The failure of a grand jury to comply with the law is fatal to the indictment.

 
The title of the late attorney Louis Clayton Jones' book, Enough is Enough! sums it up best. 

Before the grand jury ended its deliberations, I had already concluded that the indictment of any assassins in Sean Bell et. al. could be dismissed under Article 210 of the Criminal Procedure Law and it is an ace in the hole.  
         

This is worse than Amadou Diallo. When then Gov. George Pataki realized that Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson had made a clean presentation to the grand jury and that a hard-nosed, Black, female jurist would be presiding over the criminal trial, the case was quickly removed to a judge in Albany who, we have discovered, participated in ex parte communications. For Pataki, this judge was the perfect fit.
           
The Bronx grand jury charged each of the four assassins of Amadou Diallo for not only murder in the second degree but also for acting in concert. This indictment exceeded Sean Bell et. al. Without his intervention, Pataki feared that these assassins were going to be sentenced to prison for life.
           
There is an unwritten law in New York that cops serve no prison time for killing a Black person. See Eleanor Bumpurs, Mary Mitchell, Yvonne Smallwood, Alberta Spruill, Michael Stewart, Patrick Dorismond, Timothy Stansbury, Ousmano Zongo, Amadou Diallo and, now, Sean Bell. It would take an encyclopedia, at the very least to list the victims.
      
Bell et. al. will encourage Black people to engage in exercises of futility. It will be good for media ratings. Similarly, Diallo was good for media ratings. In the end, the Black community was exploited. Blacks need justice. We should not be used as media pawns.
      
Sean Bell et. al. is a step back from Amadou Diallo. Compare the Diallo indictment. This means that no one will be going to prison. If you know anything about syllogisms, with the major premise reflecting historical experiences, the conclusion is obvious.
      
If you fail to learn from the lessons of history, you must repeat those lessons. Sean Bell means that Diallo was a failure and that leading Blacks went AWOL in Brawley. The foundation for Diallo was Brawley and the foundation for Bell is Diallo. This is called the domino theory. When you fail in one case, you will fail in all of them.
      
In the legal system, the caption, in a criminal case, reads, The People of the State of New York. The victims are all of the residents of New York including you and me. The actual victims are of no moment and many cases are prosecuted without testimony from the actual victims. See the Central Park jogger case.
       
If New York wanted to allow a particular victim to have standing, it would allow for the victim to participate in the prosecution of the case. See, for example, JoAnn Little. A white jailer sought to rape her and he ended up leaving this world. Compare the Duke rape case.
      
If victims are supposed to call the shots, why do we need leaders? In the past, we have looked to leaders like Malcolm X, Frederick Douglass and Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. for answers. Today, we are without a leader until the police decides to become judge, jury and executioner.
      
When Malcolm X was assassinated, Sister Betty Shabazz was not called upon to lead Blacks. Similarly. Sister Coretta Scott King was not asked to assume the burdens of Dr. King. Leaders are supposed to already have written agendas and written blueprints. This type of new leadership is called a bait and switch. We are doomed.
      
When I came to New York, I saw a dual criminal justice system victimizing young Blacks. It is still a dual criminal justice system today and Sean Bell et. al is the latest example. If five Black cops had pumped fifty bullets into a white person, there would be five murder-one indictments. This would have happened within forty-eight hours of the assassination.
      
Now, leading Blacks are commanding us to embrace the second-class indictments in Sean Bell et. al. HNICs are leading us back to the plantation. No one was indicted for murder two in Bell. Only two cops were indicted for manslaughter. To make matters worse, these indictments are flawed.
      
On last Thursday, the New York Times reported, without comment, that it only counted 12 grand jurors after a day of deliberation. This was the day that the mystery witness appeared before the grand jury. Instead of looking at the law, leading Blacks are commanding us to embrace these bogus indictments. Why?
      
Criminal Procedure Law § 190.25 provides, “A grand jury is a body consisting of not less than 16 nor more than twenty-three persons.” Criminal Procedure Law 190.25 provides, “Proceedings of a grand jury are not valid unless at least sixteen of its members are present.” Four grand jurors were MIA.


The failure of a grand jury to comply with the law is fatal to the indictment. In People v. Gelfand, 131 Misc.2d 268 (Sup. Ct., Kings Co. 1986), the law maintained that the grand jurors voting on the indictment must hear the critical and essential evidence. Moreover, the grand jurors must be present during the grand jury deliberations.


I put my career on the line to stop a dual criminal justice system in New York. Lawyers would be punished for saving innocent Blacks. Currently, my plight is aggravated because leading Blacks are embracing a double standard of justice. Unfortunately, we have always had Blacks who accommodated white supremacy. 
      
This acceptance of a double standard is why Black people are keeping quiet while white felons, including Sol Wachtler, are being re-admitted to the practice of law. On the other hand, the political establishment considers me too effective for my own good. Where are these leading Blacks on this issue? Should I have kept quiet when they were being persecuted?      

If I had known that Black people in New York were willing to accept a double standard of justice, I would have kept moving. If I had known that leading Blacks were actually looking for hush money, I would have left some people unrepresented. These people are tarnishing the legacies of Malcolm X and Dr. King. It makes no sense to give up family responsibilities for a people seeking a return to Plessy v. Ferguson.
      
The acceptance of the bogus indictments in Sean Bell et. al is an endorsement of Plessy v. Ferguson. This is not a decision for victims. I am still fighting Tawana Brawley. The enemy knows that those who ran away from Tawana Brawley will run from Sean Bell and they took money in Amadou Diallo for promoting a pacification program. 
      
I will continue to fight against police terrorism like in the case of Tawana Brawley. I have no other choice. I am bound by my revered Ancestors. All Blacks have the same obligations. When you have been paid for Brawley, you have already defined yourself as a political prostitute for life. When you confirm the suspicions that whites already have of you, they will never respect you.


For 17 years, I have been able to fight the Brawley cause and other injustices from 16 Court Street in Brooklyn in addition to maintaining UAM, writing a weekly column and doing critical research for the Black community. There is still a need for a legal watchdog in cases like Sean Bell. Otherwise, Blacks will be crushed like in Amadou Diallo.


Every case of police terrorism is our collective responsibility. The city marshal will seize the office on March 27, if I am still without the funds to liquidate the judgment. This has been a protracted struggle because I have elevated others above myself for the sake of our people.


An economic boycott is the only way to save Blacks in New York. Our survival in this city is at stake. We are about to lose everything. To fight white supremacy, you must use economic leverage. When Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. asked, “what's in your hands?” he was giving us a blueprint for our liberation. 


Rep Powell led a successful economic boycott in Harlem in the 1930s to break Jim Crow on 125th Street. We have no other blueprint and none of the current leaders can fill Cong. Powell's shoes or have the guts to call for a boycott. Today, Black leaders are asking us to put our trust in D.A. Richard Brown.


District Attorney Richard Brown cannot be counted on to save us like President Abraham could not be counted on to free us and he did not. Blacks constitute the largest consumer group in the city. We should get off of our knees and live with dignity. 


Forget about the empty rhetoric that you are going to hear from Judas goats. Listen to your revered Ancestors. The Final Solution for any despised group who turns a deaf ear to their Ancestors is imprisonment.
 
An indictment is revocable. It can be dismissed and a new grand jury can be summoned until the grand jury gets it right. Double jeopardy does not attach to grand jury proceedings. The question is whether we have leaders who can throw an indictment back to a white prosecutor. The answer is no. This would be like a house Negro throwing an indictment back to the slave master.


We need a special prosecutor and a state grand jury in addition to a federal, civil rights prosecution. This proposed indictment must be dismissed as flawed. The grand jury was a legal charade. Five cops must go to prison for life. We have the economic clout.

 

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