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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Central Valley | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice
Civil Rights Groups & Pastors Rally against Police Brutality
Reverend Floyd D. Harris Jr., National President of The National Network in Action, a civil and human rights organization, with The Mexican-American Political Association, The Fresno Brown Berets, and New Light for New Life Church of God, together held a community rally against police brutality, harassment, racial profiling, excessive force & deadly force.
On a Sunday evening over 100 People gathered at the corner of Arthur & Strother where Mr. Jerel Stanfield was shot in the head, leg, and in the back, on Easter Sunday. The African America community came out to receive information on Cop Watch and Know Your Rights When Confronted by Police. Civil Right leader Rev. Floyd D. Harris Jr. said, "when Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer can laugh in a press conference while former city council member Jerry Duncan who was planning to run for Mayor of Fresno who said, “ Make no mistake about they are Terrorist (making reference to “ Black People “). They are much like terrorist like those people in Iraq who are blowing up innocent people". On August 29, 2007 Chief Jerry Dyer said he was launching Operation West Side with a simple approach to eliminate black gangs which means to MURDER them (http://www.youtube.com/watchv=nhnR8zlCjDM).
Rev. Harris said it’s business as usually with Fresno Police Department giving our kids a hot dog and a bounce house, pat them on head at the age of 5 years old, and then shoot them in the head or back when they get older. Rev. Harris said the black community has a constitutional right and human right to protest against police brutality, harassment, racial profiling, excessive force & deadly force. Pastor Paul Mc Coy from New Light for New Life Church of God said the solution is not just for our community but we must set the example for all community so we can hold each other accountable. We as a community and a neighborhood must understand what goes on, has a direct relationship with our daily behavior. The bible tells us “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4v6). Where there is an absent of knowledge, destruction will fill the void. We destroy ourselves as well as those who live outside our neighborhoods, will destroy us.
Gloria Hernandez educated those gathered on the amounts of money we are losing as tax payers defending Chief Dyer while many city jobs are being lost or contracted out to private industries. The discrimination complaint filed by two deputy chiefs was settled prior to going to trial. The two deputy chiefs and their attorney won $100,000 while we the taxpayer paid Dyer’s Hollywood contracted attorney over $800.000 to quietly settle this case. If Dyer is not a racist or anti-woman or anti elderly cops then why did he not go to a jury trial? Gloria expressed concern that there are too many ongoing cases that the city quietly settles prior to going to court and the Department has 28 repeat shooters who feel free to kill because they carry a badge. (See Color lines online magazine April 2010.) Juan Avitia, National President of the Mexican-American Political Association (MAPA), supported the rally & made the point that police dressed up in ski masks & carrying military assault weapons descended into west Fresno armed with what appears to be a "tank" and ready for war. This is something never done in the more upscale parts of town. In addition, Avitia noted that the police continuously justify their actions with the defense that a suspect was "appearing to reach in his pants for what might have been a gun". Yet in the latest shooting the young black male was shot in the back. A young Mexican male also suffered on the east side of Fresno in 2012.
During the event on Sunday, black men and community members walked up to the microphone and said they saw everything that happen yet the Fresno Bee and the TV Stations are not printing the truth because they never talk to us and there is two sides to a story. The citizens are outraged at the Fresno Police Department in how they brought danger and a hostile environment to a quiet community on Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday is a historical day for African Americans and many others, faiths and family to enjoy. However, on this particular Easter Sunday, people were placed in the middle of gun fire by the Fresno Police Department who tried to execute Mr. Jerel Stanfield by shooting him in the head, leg, and in the back. In addition, chief Jerry Dyer appears to have over-reacted to "threat" to his officers by "gang members" and has launched an all out war on the community, including arming his officers in a paramilitary manner & terrorizing black & brown people under the claim that his officers were threatened.
The Fresno Police Department has a history of shooting and killing many people of color who have been unarmed. As to the latest situation, there were children who were playing and witnessed the Fresno Police shoot Mr. Stanfield in the head and past out. There was no counseling services offered to the children and family who witnessed this plan of execute by the Fresno Police. This history includes the deliberate hunting & killing of Joaquin Figueroa in 2006, a disturbing assassination by Fresno police officers that haunts our community to this day. Why do Fresno Police Shoot at citizens who have not shot at them? Why did the Fresno Police and the local Fresno Government call Black males and the Black community in Fresno a "Terrorist"? The Fresno Police Department does not have the right to be the JUDGE, JURY, AND EXECUTIONER
There will be a Copwatch and Know Your Right When Confronted By Police Officers April 20, 2013 at New Light For New Life Church of God 1106 W. Woodward Fresno, Ca 93706 Contact: Rev. Floyd D. Harris Jr (559) 213-5886 or Juan Avitia ( 559 ) 977 - 42476