No more police harassment of Arnaz Colvin (or any student) at bus stops or walking to and from school!
Stop the policy of treating all large groups of youth as gangs!
End the police intimidation, threats, searches, arrests and beatings of Cody students and all Detroit youth!
We are students, not criminals! Police out of Cody now!
Submitted by Defend Arnaz Colvin
Nov. 17, 2013
On Oct. 23rd at 4pm, Arnaz Colvin, Junior at Cody D.I.T. High School was beaten and arrested at the bus stop on W. Chicago & Faust st. after trying to get his younger brother, Chris, who has epilepsy, to safety during a fight among students.
Arnaz, who was trying to break up the fight when 5 squad cars arrived (from DPD, DPS, Gang-Squad and Wayne County), was singled out of the group of around 20 of us at the bus stop. Rather than attempt to break up the fight, Police started beating students with night sticks and Arnaz was thrown to the ground by a white DPD cop named Jason Tonti, his knee slamming into Arnaz’s back as he was handcuffed and beaten, even though Arnaz wasn’t struggling.
Tonti, who has a history of violence, was calling Arnaz the N-word as he threw Arnaz in his squad car and drove him to Rouge Park, where he was met by another man, also white, in plain cloths who provided Tonti with a gun. Tonti put the gun to Arnaz’s head and threatened to shoot him and throw him in Rouge River.
Tonti then took Arnaz to jail and held him for 3 days with no access to a lawyer or medical treatment. They refused to tell Arnaz’s mom and sister where he was and police continued to threaten Arnaz until he was finally released and was taken to Henry Ford Urgent Care where he was treated for “Lumbar contusion, chest wall pain, contusion to the chest and back, right ankle and left wrist.” Suffering from chronic pain 3 weeks after Arnaz was attacked, he went to Children’s Hospital of Michigan ER and X-ray showed he had sustained a fracture to his vertebra where Tonti’s knee slammed into his back. Arnaz has also suffered insomnia, flash-backs and anxiety, making leaving the house and going to school a daily battle.
Arnaz is seen as a leader at Cody and was targeted as an attempt to intimidate our optimistic and fighting spirit by making an example of him. Yet despite this Arnaz was not intimidated, and when he was released he joined the growing group of us who are a part of The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), and told everyone what happened to him, as a victory story, because, despite his bangs and bruises, he had stood up to the cops and won.
But on Nov. 6th at 3:56pm, Arnaz and a group of about 11 of us were waiting at the same bus stop after school again.
Eleven squad cars (from DPD, DPS and Gang-Squad), pulled up, 21 cops surrounding us, while 3 students (including Arnaz) were searched, even though there was no fight, we were just waiting to catch the bus home. This was caught on video despite the cops trying to delete it from our phones.
We were then told to disperse (even though this is impossible because we need to wait at the bus stop to get home). Arnaz and a group of 4 other students began walking home, the other 6 students further down the street, when 4 of the squad cars, including officer Tonti began to follow Arnaz, cursing and cracking jokes at him, calling him the N-word.
They expected Arnaz to cower and act afraid, but when he just kept calmly walking, they arrested him again, making up the warrant afterwards, held him for 2 1/2 days and charged him with “resisting, obstructing an assaulting an officer” and forced his family to pay an outrageous $7500 bond.
Arnaz’s court date is currently being re-scheduled and we will let everybody know as soon as we find out what day his case will be heard. Whenever it is, we will need to protest outside and pack the courtroom.
Come to Arnez’s hearing @ 36th District Court!
MEET AT CODY HS, DATE/TIME TO BE ANNOUNCED
Free transportation to/from school provided
Family and friends welcome!
Arnez Colvin, Junior, Cody D.I.T. High School
When we fight for Arnaz, we are building the movement we started when we went to Washington D.C. By now everybody has heard about the march on Oct. 15th when BAMN’s case to restore affirmative action, minority political rights and win immigrant rights was heard before the U.S. Supreme Court in D.C. Over 80 Cody students went, and those that didn’t go wish they did! In D.C. we led by example, marching in greater numbers than any other school from the Detroit area.
On Nov. 19th, as many have already heard, we’ll be marching in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan to continue the fight we started in D.C. to restore affirmative action, minority political rights and win immigrant rights, and now we will also protest at the court and fill the courtroom at Arnaz’s case, whatever day it is eventually scheduled for: Whether in Ann Arbor or in 36th District court we will be all be fighting for the justice, dignity and equality that we need and deserve. Join us!
Build the new, youth-led, civil rights/immigrant rights movement to win Cody High School the funding and programs students need and deserve to have an equal, integrated, quality education with same dignity, respect and opportunities of white suburban schools!
Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary
Liana: (313) 806-1485 Maria: (313) 980-7075
****VOD editor: Jason Tonti was the partner of the notorious three-time killer cop Eugene Brown in 1999, when Brown killed his third victim, Darren Miller. On the night of January 22, 1999, Miller and his wife Sandra were getting ready to go home from the Free Wheelers motorcycle club, located on Lynch Road west of Van Dyke, next door to the offices of UAW Local 961. A scout car occupied by Eugene Brown and Tonti drove up and Brown asked them what was going on. When Miller and his wife told Brown that they were going home, the scout car left, but then returned.
Police claimed that Miller and his wife were fighting and that when Brown approached
Miller in the vestibule of the club, Miller swung a sledgehammer at him and Brown fired in self-defense.
However, a lawsuit said that Miller and his wife were on the other side of a locked door when Brown fired through the open weave metal grate at the top of the door, hitting Miller twice in the head. The lawsuit says that “miraculously” the bullets missed Sandra Miller, but that “the impact of the bullets caused Mr. Miller’s head to explode with blood, spurting and covering Sandra Miller.” The lawsuit was settled for $3.5 million shortly after a jury awarded the family of Lamar Grable, 20, killed by Brown with his partner at the time, Vicki Yost, in 1996, a $4 million civil settlement. Yost was just appointed deputy chief by current Police Chief James Craig, a 28 year veteran of the notorious LAPD.
Former police chief Jerry Oliver suspended Tonti and nine other officers without pay in 2003 for ignoring an order to halt a 17-mile chase of a stolen car through Detroit and Grosse Pointe. The chase resulted in the death of Melvin Woodyard, 45, and injuries to his mother, Priscilla Woodyard, 67, after one squad car crashed into their Ford Crown Victoria at the intersection of Mt. Elliott and Vernor. The officers, all members of the Tactical Services Unit, were Richard Neinhuis, Courtney Anderson, Scott Barrick, Jason Criner, Jason Tonti, Glenn Anderson, Timothy Barr, D’Clarence Reynolds, Aaron Kraszewski and Alexis Sukey.
Apparently the indefinite suspension had little effect on Tonti. According to federal court filings, Tonti and his partner Jeffrey Elbert were sued for pulling an unarmed Clinton Frazier from his car and shooting him in the neck without cause on Nov. 21, 2004. The city paid out $10,000 in a lawsuit brought by Kevin Johnson for injuries received June 29, 2006.
Another lawsuit was filed by Dion D. Brown against Tonti and officers Kimberley Gibbs, Michael Garrison and Enrico Rubino for stopping him in 2006 based on knowingly false information. Tonti pointed a gun at the 15-year-old’s head, arresting him, and failing to notify his parents. The lawsuit was later settled for $21,500.
Related articles on what can be expected under Detroit Police Chief James Craig, appointed by Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr: