Deborah Danner, 66-year-old, killed by New York police


This video from New York City in the USA says about itself:

NYPD Sergeant Shot And Killed A 66 Year Old Woman Ms Deborah Danner

19 October 2016

Protesters gathered Wednesday night after Deborah Danner was killed by a New York police sergeant on Tuesday in her Bronx apartment: here.

Four years before she was killed, Deborah Danner wrote an essay referencing the mortal dangers the mentally ill face when dealing with police: here.

In a searing, eloquent essay on living with schizophrenia, Deborah Danner agonized over the deaths of mentally ill people like her at the hands of police: here.

NYPD sergeant kills Deborah Danner, a black woman who neighbors say was mentally ill: here.

By Fred Mazelis in the USA:

Police killing of mentally ill 66-year-old Bronx, New York woman sparks outrage

21 October 2016

Protests and widespread outrage followed the police murder of Deborah Danner, an elderly woman afflicted with schizophrenia, on Tuesday, October 18 in the New York City borough of the Bronx.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, newly installed Police Commissioner James O’Neill and other officials, moving to appease public anger, quickly called the killing “unacceptable.” New York Police Department (NYPD) Sergeant Hugh Barry was stripped of his gun and badge and placed on modified duty pending an investigation. The case is being sent to the office of the Bronx District Attorney, Darcel Clark.

Barry and other cops arrived at the apartment building in which Ms. Danner lived at about 6 p.m. on October 18, in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx, after neighbors reported a problem. One neighbor told the local press that the police had been there many times before, without any difficulty in assisting Danner. This time she was holding a scissors, which she was reportedly convinced to put down, but then she picked up a baseball bat. Barry, 30 years old and an eight-year veteran of the NYPD, discharged two shots from his service revolver, killing the elderly woman. Barry was equipped with a Taser, but did not use it.

“It is hard to imagine why five police officers and a patrol sergeant would need to use deadly force to disarm an elderly woman with a baseball bat,” declared Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Ms. Danner’s neighbors, well aware of her medical problems, were angry over her death, and deeply skeptical that the promised investigation would result in anything more than the usual whitewash of epidemic police abuse and violence directed against the poorest and most vulnerable sections of the working class. Scores of people marched to the 43rd police precinct to protest on Tuesday night, blocking traffic on nearby streets.

The mayor said, “Deborah Danner should be alive right now, period.” He said the police had not followed protocol in dealing with emotionally disturbed people, a conclusion also voiced by Commissioner O’Neill. De Blasio and O’Neill said that Barry should have waited for a specially trained Emergency Service Unit of the NYPD to arrive.

Edward Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, representing Barry, denounced the statements of the mayor and police commissioner as “political expediency.” According to the report in the New York Times, Mullins said that Danner had swung the bat and that Barry was in fear for his life and those of others. He was also reported as saying, “Everyone agrees that this was a good shooting,” adding, “We could be sitting here talking about how a 66-year-old fractured his skull.”

A report in the New York Post revealed that Barry has been named in two lawsuits alleging brutal police beatings of African-American or Latino men. In one of them, 25-year-old Gregory Peters charged that Barry and other cops beat him with their fists, feet or batons in Times Square on August 22, 2010, and that the police displayed racial animus. The suit was settled for $25,000 in 2012.

The death of Ms. Danner was made all the more significant and disturbing by her own statements, in a six-page essay she wrote some four years ago, which she submitted to an attorney for the state’s Mental Hygiene Legal Service who was then representing her in a case involving legal guardianship. “We are all aware of the all too frequent news stories about the mentally ill who come up against law enforcement instead of mental health professionals and end up dead,” she wrote at that time, eloquently and also prophetically.

Official statistics put the number of calls for assistance in dealing with the emotionally disturbed in New York City at 128,000 so far in 2016. The huge and growing number is at least partly a reflection of social circumstances, both the hopelessness of the most impoverished and the abysmal shortage of adequate mental health treatment. New York City cops are supposed to receive training in dealing with the mentally ill, but officials acknowledged that only 4,400 out of the 36,000 officers on the New York force had received such instruction.

The killing of Deborah Danner recalled the death in almost identical circumstances of another elderly Bronx woman, Eleanor Bumpurs, 32 years ago. Police were called to the victim’s apartment in the west Bronx after she fell four months behind in her rent and reportedly resisted attempts to evict her. In that case also the cops claimed that they feared for their lives at the hands of a mentally ill woman in her late 60s. The fate of Eleanor Bumpurs provoked anger and protests not only in New York but elsewhere as well. The police officer who was eventually charged with manslaughter was acquitted in 1987.

The rich also have their share of the emotionally disturbed, but only very rarely are they reported as the victims of police shootings. It is not a matter of training, but of the role of the police force itself. It is the lives of the poorest sections of the working class, of all races, that are considered expendable by the capitalist state and its armed men.

Muslim woman murdered in New York, hate crime?


This video from the USA says about itself:

CAIR-New York Urges Probe of Bias Motive for Stabbing Death of Muslim Woman in Queens

2 September 2016

From Daily Kos blog in the USA:

Nazma Khanam: Was Muslim Woman Stabbed to Death in NYC a Hate Crime Victim?

By Brett Wilkins

Saturday Sep 03, 2016 · 7:39 PM

Hundreds of mourners gathered Friday at the Jamaica Muslim Center, a mosque in Queens, New York, to pay their respects to Nazma Khanam, the 60-year-old Bangladeshi woman stabbed to death in front of her 75-year-old husband just steps from their home in Jamaica Hills on Wednesday night. As family, friends and others — the victim’s nephew is a NYPD transit officer and dozens of police attended the funeral — said their goodbyes to the former schoolteacher, many members of the Muslim community said they were convinced the stabbing was a hate crime.

“They didn’t take her phone, pocketbook, bag, nothing,” nephew Mohammad Rahman told the New York Daily News outside the family’s home on Friday. “We feel this is a hate crime . . . We want justice.”

Khanam’s death comes just weeks after beloved Queens imam Maulama Aknojee and his assistant Thara Uddin, both also originally from Bangladesh, were executed in broad daylight as they walked home from prayers at the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid mosque at 77th Street and Glemore Avenue. Oscar Morel, 35, of Brooklyn has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder — but not a hate crime — in connection with the killings.

NYPD officials said they had no leads in Khanam’s slaying as of Friday. Police are investigating whether the attack was an attempted robbery, although the victim’s relatives said nothing was stolen from her. NYPD investigators also initially believed the murders of Akonjee and Uddin were also attempted robberies. Neither man was robbed during or after the attack, although NYPD Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner said “there is nothing in the preliminary investigation that would indicate that they were targeted because of their faith” in the wake of the murders.

Investigators have been equally hesitant to speculate on whether Khanam’s murder was a hate crime. “Our best guess is it was a psycho,” a high-ranking police official told the New York Daily News on Friday. “He ran at her. There was no conversation. This is a hard one to explain.”

At Friday’s funeral, emotions ran high as speeches were interrupted by attendees chanting “we want justice!”

“This was not a robbery and though we do not know all the facts, the reality is this is happening too often,” public advocate Letitia James said to cheers.

In the same week as Akonjee and Uddin were murdered in Queens, 61-year-old Stanley Majors of Tulsa, Oklahoma was arrested and charged with first-degree murder after he shot and killed Khalid Jabara, 37, who was originally from Lebanon. Majors had allegedly harassed the Jabara family for years, calling them “filthy Lebanese”, “dirty Arabs” and “Moo-slems.” The Jabaras are actually Christians.

“That’s four murders in less than a few weeks, let alone the numerous hate crimes and assaults that have taken place throughout this country and much of Europe,” Khalid Latin, the executive director and chaplain for the Islamic Center at the New York University and the chaplain at the NYPD, told the Guardian. “Anti-Muslim sentiment is at an all-time high, and we will continue to hear news like this until those who have the ability to speak up and out will start to do so both with words and actions.”

According to research by Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative, which tracks and analyzes Islamophobia in the United States, there were more hate crimes targeting Muslims in 2015 than in any other year since the Islamist terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Some observers have noted that the increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes has coincided with the rise of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has called for a total ban on Muslim immigration and travel to the United States. Numerous individuals wanted or arrested for committing anti-Muslim and other anti-immigrant hate crimes have cited their support for Trump or even said his name during assaults.

“Our data suggests that acts and threats of anti-Muslim violence increased in 2015, and that it has escalated further during the presidential election season,” Engy Abdelkader, a member of the US State Department Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group and the author of a recent Bridge Initiative report titled “When Islamophobia Turns Violent: The 2016 US Presidential Elections,” told the Intercept.

Back in New York, NYPD officials released surveillance video of a person of interest in the Khanam slaying and are offering up to a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the killer.

Hundreds at New York mosque mourn woman murdered in ‘hate crime’. Nazma Khanam’s death comes just weeks after two men were shot in the back of the head after midday prayers, rocking the Queens Bangladeshi community: here.

Muslims murdered in New York City


This video says about itself:

Muslims Denounce Islamophobia After New York Imam Shot

5 August 2016

Muslims in Queens are standing up to bigotry! After the recent shooting of a well-respected Imam and his assistant, community members join together to protest the killing. They’ve even called the act a hate crime, while the NYPD refuses to acknowledge it as one.

Jewish group expresses solidarity with Muslims after imam is murdered in Queens: here.

The New York City police announced late Monday that they had arrested and charged a Brooklyn man with second-degree murder (upgraded the next day to first-degree murder charges) in connection with the execution-style killings of an imam and his assistant in broad daylight near their mosque in Queens. The community of Bangladeshi immigrants in the Ozone Park area was plunged into mourning, and Muslims throughout the city of 8.5 million expressed alarm over the hostility being stoked by the endless war on terror, and the growing attacks on refugees and immigrants: here.

New York police political spying


This video from the USA says about itself:

NYPD Surveillance Unveiled: City Claims to Lose Docs on 1960s Radicals, Then Finds 1 Million Records

17 June 2016

There has been a major break in the decade-long fight to unveil records related to the New York City Police Department’s surveillance of political organizations in the 1960s and 1970s. In recent years, the NYPD has come under fire for spying on Muslim communities and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

But decades ago, the NYPD spied extensively on political organizations, including the Young Lords, a radical group founded by Puerto Ricans modeled on the Black Panther Party. The Young Lords staged their first action in July 1969 in an effort to force the City of New York to increase garbage pickups in East Harlem. They would go on to inspire activists around the country as they occupied churches and hospitals in an attempt to open the spaces to community projects. Among their leaders was Democracy Now! co-host Juan González.

We speak with Baruch College professor Johanna Fernández, who has fought for a decade to obtain records related to the NYPD’s surveillance of the group. Last month, the city claimed it had lost the records. But this week its municipal archive said it had found more than 520 boxes, or about 1.1 million pages, apparently containing the complete remaining records. We’re also joined by Fernández’s attorney, Gideon Oliver.

Mapuche rap music


This video from New York City in the USA says about itself:

7 June 2016

This week we recap an indigenous Hip Hop event in the South Bronx, featuring the words of Minuto Soler, a Mapuche rapper preserving his people’s language through Hip Hop culture.