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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Central Valley | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice
Fresno Civil Rights Groups & Pastors Rally against Police Brutality (media coverage)
This is a media compilation for the recent Community Action in Fresno against Police terrorism. Original article posted at [http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/04/21/18735625.php]
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.
2013-04-14 "Fresno residents rally against Fresno PD" by Mariana Jacob from "KFSN-TV/DT" [http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=news%2Flocal&id=9064822]:
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Dozens of people are protesting what they call excessive force by the Fresno Police Department.
They rallied at the scene of an officer-involved shooting that injured Jerel Stanfield on Easter Sunday.
About 75 people gathered near the corner where an officer-involved shooting took place two weeks ago. Many who attended the rally came prepared with signs and angry words targeted at police. "This is a wakeup call to this community here to hold each other accountable," said Revered Floyd Harris Jr.
24 year old Jerel Stanfield's mother was at the rally but would not talk to us on camera following the advice of her attorney. Other family members did tell us Stanfield is now in the county jail but they believe he needs more medical care at a hospital following brain surgery. "He's in pain that's the only thing he does say when he does talk, it's murmured," said his sister Jasmin.
Witnesses who didn't want to appear on camera told us they say he was shot while running away in the back of the head on March 31st. Fresno police officers were not available for comment but hours after the shooting, Chief Jerry Dyer had this to say, "At some point the suspect according to the officers made some type of movement that officers believed he was arming himself. The officers did fire the weapons at the suspect and when they were detaining him they did locate a handgun on him."
Organizers say they're hoping to put an end to what they see as racial profiling and police brutality.
2013-04-15 "SW Fresno Community Rallies Against Police Brutality" by KSEE News
Members of the New Light For New Life Church of God, the Mexican American Political Association, and the Fresno Brown Berets stood together.
They expressed outrage over the actions of police on Easter Sunday.
Officers chased and shot Jerel Stanfield, who was suspected of murder.
He survived, but protesters say he suffered gunshot wounds to the head, back and leg.
They say the shooting was excessive and put several people in danger.
Fresno Police reacted to gang threats, after the shooting and conducted several raids...
Protesters are also upset about that, calling it harrassment.
Organizers are now planning a series of meetings for what they call "cop watch training."
Those meetings will begin next weekend at New Light For New Life Church.
2013-04-13 "Southwest Fresno residents protest police shooting" by Angel Moreno from "The Fresno Bee" [http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/04/14/3258201/southwest-fresno-residents-protest.html]:
About 60 people gathered in southwest Fresno on Sunday to protest what they say was police brutality, racial profiling and excessive force by Fresno officers in the shooting of a gang member two weeks ago.
On March 31, officers crashed the SUV of Jerel Stanfield near Arthur and Strother avenues and shot him in his head and back when he began to run away, witnesses said.
A man who identified himself as the victim's cousin, but who declined to give his name, said Stanfield, 24, never was a threat to officers and didn't deserve to be shot.
Right after the shooting, Police Chief Jerry Dyer said officers opened fire when Stanfield, who was wanted in a recent homicide, appeared to arm himself while fleeing. Police said they found a gun on him.
In the wake of the shooting, the department said its officers were being threatened by gang members, and it doubled patrols in some neighborhoods.
Neighbors said officers engaged in racial profiling of southwest Fresno residents.
Community leaders, neighbors and Stanfield's mother and relatives, gathered near the scene of the Easter Sunday shooting to protest and tell their side of the story, said the Rev. Floyd Harris Jr., of the New Light for New Life Church of God.
Stanfield's mother, Chantal Lewis, was at the protest but did not speak.
Pastor Paul McCoy told the crowd that the solution to the area's problems isn't in the hands of Fresno police, but in the hands of the community. The community can end the violence that plagues it, he said.
"It starts with us and when it starts with us we have the power to finish it," McCoy said.
All images are screen grabs from 2013-04-14 "Fresno residents rally against Fresno PD" ABC TV report by Mariana Jacob