© By Alton H. Maddox, Jr.
February 19, 2012
NEW YORK CITY — Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson owes his job, as chief prosecutor, to C. Vernon Mason and myself. It shows that two Black attorneys, pro bono, can secure more justice in New York than a slew of Black selected officials. It started with a takeover of the World Trade Center in 1985 arising out of the death of Michael Stewart.
The problem, in 1985 with the fatal beating of Michael Stewart, was the same as the problem in 2012 with the police-sponsored death of Ramarley Graham in his home. At least two members of the New York Police Department are credited with the death of Graham. Eleven police officers of the NYC Transit Authority were credited with the fatal beating of Stewart.
District attorneys are openly hostile to the notion of prosecuting cops for killing Blacks. In the death of Michael Stewart, it took two grand juries before 11 cops were indicted for his fatal beating. The Manhattan district attorney was stone-walling the investigation. Similarly, no grand jury has been assembled to investigate the death of Graham.
Johnson became the first person of African ancestry to occupy the office of prosecutor in any of the sixty-two counties in New York. District attorneys have symbiotic relationships with police agencies. They prefer not to investigate and prosecute police personnel. (VOD editor: note record of Wayne Co. Prosecutor Kym Worthy, who has not charged a single Detroit cop herself in dozens of unjustified killings.)
The two suspects in the death of Ramarley Graham are members of the NYPD.
Regarding Johnson as Bronx district attorney, Blacks and Latinos alone can re-elect him. On the other hand, the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association can gather and collect evidence in addition to its members giving testimony in criminal proceedings but the PBA lacks the political clout to elect a district attorney in the Bronx.
Nearly a month after the death of Graham, no grand jury has been sworn to investigate this killing in his home. There is no obvious justification for the delay in the investigation of the Graham killing. Delay only helps the defense and weakens the criminal investigation. An indifferent prosecution can lead to an acquittal.
Rev. Al Sharpton is demanding justice on behalf of the Graham family while he has a desk next to the New York state attorney general. This desk was promised to Rev. Sharpton during the campaign for state prosecutor. The New York State attorney general is obviously listening to Rev. Sharpton who is also a close friend of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He is the “water boy” for the Democratic Party.
This appears to be an open and shut case. The police lacked probable cause to enter his home. No one observed Ramarley engaged in criminal activities. The police entered Graham’s home without consent, probable cause or a warrant. No life was being threatened. Nonetheless, the police fatally shot Graham in the chest. See earlier VOD article with videos at: http://voiceofdetroit.net/2012/02/07/police-shoot-unarmed-nyc-teen-to-death-at-home-in-front-of-his-family-including-six-year-old-brother/
The shooting happened on February 2, 2012. As of February 18, no grand jury has been empanelled to investigate the shooting. Soon, the shooting will be ready for the cold case file. New York is prepared to cough up hush money to Graham’s next-of-kin. It is not prepared to send a police officer to prison for killing a Black youth.
New York has made it clear that only a personal injury lawyer may participate in cases of police criminality or police brutality. Lawyers must accept a stipulation for hush money. There is no room for a private attorney general. A public trial, for hush money, is out of the question. Moreover, there must be no jail time for the shooter.
I am the only person in the United States who has ever secured a special prosecutor in two racially-motivated cases. The reason is simple. I am not afraid to bargain with whites. A slave is not entitled to the right to bargain and there is no demand for justice. Whites know that I will put a demand on the table ab initio.
A demand includes a declarative statement followed by “or else”. When it comes to life, liberty and property, I am a person who “says what I mean and mean what I say”. Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. said it best: “A man who has nothing to die for has nothing to live for.” It boils down to philosophy, logic and ethics.
ALTON H. MADDOX, JR.
UNITED AFRICAN MOVEMENT
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