Three weeks after the day-after Thanksgiving national sale marathon popularly known as Black Friday, a Day of Outrage protest rally will be held at the headquarters of America’s financial district.
“Don’t get it twisted, this is going to be a real Black Friday,” an outraged New Yorker said about a Dec. 19 demonstration planned for 26 Wall St.
Organizer Omowale Clay said the day marks the 27th anniversary of the first Day of Outrage which crippled subway service and businesses when New Yorkers mobilized to call attention to police brutality in the city.
“We will not be shopping for bargains on this Black Friday but for action and justice from some of the biggest investors in Wall Street.”
According to one of the spokespersons for the organizers, at noon, demonstrators will rally in front of Federal Hall at Wall and Nassau Sts in the heart of the business district just a half block from the New York Stock Exchange.
Last week, City Council members walked out of the Council Chambers to protest the recent Grand Jury decision to forego prosecution of Officer Daniel Pantaleo who choked Eric Garner to death in Staten Island because according to the NYPD he was suspected of selling loose cigarettes.
“Black life matters,” the elected city officials chanted as they exited City Hall and probably disrupted business as usual for the city’s governing group.
“Yes it is happening in Ferguson, Yes it is happening in East New York and Yes, it is happening on Staten island and it is not isolated, these killings are occurring all over the country,” Brooklyn councilwoman Inez Barron said.
“Black life matters and they have to know it.”
Her sentiments were endorsed and amplified by her husband, Charles Barron, a former councilman and recently elected Brooklyn Assemblyman.
He released a statement announcing his five-point plan that could ensure better police relations and improved accountability for the tarnished security force repeatedly accused of brutalizing and killing minorities.
Barron proposed that instead of following a tradition of the mayor appointing a police commissioner, an election process should decide the head of the NYPD. He called for the complete dismantling of the city’s Grand Jury system which many have described to be archaic. Barron’s contention is that the now private grouping of 23 jurors should be subject to full public disclosure. In order to improve transparency Barron suggested that a separate agency should be created to prosecute police misconduct. The former community activist turned politician also claims that an independent community group should determine policing policies. He said community control of precinct councils is imperative.
He said he intends to unite with organizers of the Day of Outrage protest on Friday but was expected to stage his own at 4 p.m. on Dec. 11 in Brooklyn.
According to Barron, the Brooklyn district attorney’s office at 350 Jay St. will be the center of a demonstration to demand a public hearing of the case against Asian rookie police officer Peter Liang who recently shot and killed 28-year-old Akai Gurley in the hallway of the Louis H. Pink public housing complex in East New York, a district community Barron represents.
The NYPD’s version of the incident is that two rookie officers walked down the dark stairs of the building and entered the eighth-floor landing as Gurley and his girlfriend opened the stairwell door one floor down. The report also stated that the couple had given up waiting for the elevator and decided to take the stairs when Liang fired from a distance of about 10 feet.
Although “vertical patrols” inside public housing are regularly conducted by going from roofs down staircases the proper procedure requires a veteran officer but never a pairing of two rookie officers.
In addition, Barron is questioning why Liang did not identify himself when he entered the stairwell.
The city’s medical examiner ruled the death a homicide. The ruling disclosed that the findings indicated that Gurley’s death “resulted in full or in part from the actions of another person or persons.”
It also stated that “the evaluation of the legal implications of this classification is a function of the district attorney and the criminal justice system.”
District Attorney Kenneth P. Thompson said the shooting was “deeply troubling” and that the case warrants “an immediate, fair and thorough investigation.”
He added that he wants to personally handle the case and is not in favor of an appointment of an independent special prosecutor.
“I was elected to represent the interest of residents of Brooklyn,” DA Thompson said. “It is important to get to the bottom of what happened.”
Police Commissioner William Bratton described the shooting as “an unfortunate accident.”
Reportedly, the shooting was attributed to an accident and misfire of the officer’s weapon during a building check. Allegedly Liang was not detailed to patrol the building. How and why he felt compelled to inspect the darkened stairwells of the building regularly traversed by residents due to the alleged constant breakdown of elevators.
It has been widely reported that as Gurley entered the stairwell, Liang’s gun ‘accidentally’ fired into a wall causing the bullet to ricochet into the chest of the Black father, son and fiancé.
Some individuals are not totally convinced of the circumstance surrounding the death of their beloved. They are demanding full disclosure.
An enraged community is also now skeptical about details released to the media that the death was accidental. In addition to the observations and queries about why the officer’s gun was poised for shooting during a routine vertical check, many are adamant about reports that PO Liang could have acted more responsibly after the shooting by calling for assistance. Instead, reports are that six minutes after the killing he desperately texted to contact the Police Benevolent Association’s union representative and not his superiors or medical professionals.