Before the name Eric Garner registered associations to chokehold death, protest rallies and New York City Police Departments, Arthur Miller represented the very same troubling controversy. The Brooklyn native was a community activist who suffered the same fate as Garner when NYPD restrained him using the arresting technique.
“We have been fighting the use of the chokehold by the NYPD since 1978, when Arthur Miller, a community activist was killed by an officer using a night stick to apply the technique,” former city councilman Charles Barron said.
Response from the community then prompted Police Commissioner Benjamin Ward, the city’s first Black police chief to issue an order prohibiting chokeholds as a routine procedure but permitted them if an officer or another individual’s life was in danger.
During that same period, filmmaker Spike Lee used his creative talent to comment by directing a film he titled “Do The Right Thing” in which he dramatized Radio Raheem, a character he said was inspired by the Miller tragedy.
Three and a half decades after that sad era Pastor Lamor Miller Whitehead, founder of Leaders of Tomorrow Brooklyn will present a night of “worship to save the youth and to bring awareness to the youth about the conditions of the community and making positive change.”
The community activist is the son of Arthur Miller and the founder of the organization aimed at helping bring awareness to youth. His mission to help save the youth and the community at large was inspired by the personal real life incident which snatched him from his parent after NYPD allegedly beat and applied a chokehold to his father.
The inner city mentoring and activity program focuses on various aspects negatively impacting the local communities in and surrounding the boroughs of Brooklyn.
In order to raise funds for his program, Whitehead has announced Gospel Fest Extravaganza at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, on Oct. 25.
Scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m., performers include Grammy Award winning gospel artists Yolanda Adams, Bishop Hezekiah Walker, and Erica Campbell. Renowned gospel artists Pastor Marvin Sapp, Byron Cage and Rickey Dillard are also billed.
The extravaganza will be hosted by WBLS-FM radio personality Liz Black.
Although NYPD officially banned the use of chokeholds in 1993, Pastor Whitehead is cognizant that individuals are still dying from the same procedure.
“We are committed to providing educational opportunities, mentoring, athletic training and opportunities to travel abroad to learn about other cultures. We measure our progress against five criteria, which indicate to us that a child’s life direction has been changed: connection to faith, connection to a caring adult and a positive peer group, commitment to graduating and a plan for the future.
At LOTB, we believe that cultivating our youth’s sense of empowerment and connectedness is the key to creating positive change in our communities.”
Whitehead promises praise, worship, anointing and healing on Oct. 25.
For more information, log onto www.leadersoftomorrowbrooklyn.org
Catch You On The Inside!