It was just brought to my attention, via facebook, that the boyfriend of Cipriana (of the Urban Bush Babes) was “was brutally attacked this past Memorial Day weekend in the lower eastside of Manhattan at 3-3:30 AM.” The police have mishandled this case egregiously, to put it blandly.
The following is her entire blog post that explains the situation more thoroughly than I can. (I’ve bolded the parts that I felt were most pressing, which ended up being most of the post.):
“He is a Bartender and works in the area and was on his way home with his twin brother, as two young black men, not inebriated, clearly were targeted when a group of 10 to 11 men were blocking the sidewalk and would not let them pass. The assailants were Italian/Western European and of Indian descent. The assailants were congregated outside of a lounge called Sutra and a local neighborhood ‘First & First Finest Deli’ convenience store. As my boyfriend and his twin were walking by 3 out of the 10 or 11 blocked their passage. As his brother calmly stated ‘We do not want to fight we are just on our way home’ they immediately begin to assault his brother. My boyfriend then proceeded to step in to help his brother and was blindsided from behind by 7 to 8 men. These “men” then proceeded to grab my boyfriend’s arms and legs, hold him down and brutally begin kicking him in the head onto the concrete.
A witness in the store adjacent to Sutra Lounge witnessed the incident and called the police. He had the courage (bless his heart) to stick his head out the door and shout, “I called the cops!” At hearing this announcement the assailants bolted, running away. The police arrived, took a brief “report” and stated they would follow up at the hospital as the ambulance drove my boyfriend and his brother to Beth Israel Medical Center. My boyfriend suffered multiple extensive fractures to his face, specifically around the right eye, nose and cheekbone, suffering a concussion as well. The Doctors said he must have been kicked with such force to cause so many fractures. My boyfriend and his brother were told officers would finish the report at the hospital but no one came. I called 911 while I was at the hospital because I was unsure if there was even a report filed. Two uniformed officers came from the 12/13th precinct and took a quick report (no pictures) and then called officers from the 9th precinct which is where officers were originally dispatched out from. Two officers then arrived from the 9th precinct and asked where the incident took place, then all four officers walked away to discuss the matter and as they walked away I overheard one of the officers say “we are going classify this as gang related” and then gave my boyfriend’s brother who suffered very little injury a piece of paper with the number to the 12/13th precinct and told him to call on Tuesday for the complaint report number.
I followed up this morning, Tuesday, the 28th and after being transferred several times with an erroneous number, I was told the case was closed. When I inquired why, I was informed my boyfriend and his brother said, ‘They wanted to handle it themselves without an investigation,’ which is a blatant lie! I then proceeded to ask about the witness and cameras in the convenience store and was told, “How do you know there are cameras in the convenience store. I have been a detective for 16 years and not every convenience store has a camera.” My boyfriend works in the area and has visited the convenience store several times and noticed the camera behind the register in clear view. I was completely ignored in regards to my inquiries regarding the witness. I am frustrated at the system but unfortunately not surprised. There was no follow up and I have no idea if the witness was even brought in for questioning, who by the way repeatedly apologized to my boyfriend and his brother and said in his own words that he was “too scared to come out and help since there were so many assailants”. I feel highly uncomfortable knowing that these “men” can brutally and cowardly attack and obviously out number two men, leisurely assaulting because they were in the mood. I am getting nowhere with the NYPD but will take every avenue in hoping these men will not assault other innocent bystanders. The sad truth is this happens more then we like to mention but I am not going to sit quietly and idly by. This was just one department of the NYPD and I would never crucify the department as a whole but to close a case without further investigation with no explanation why… a case which included an eye witness, makes no sense other than that these were two young black men automatically dismissed as “gang related” with neither of the men ever affiliated with a gang in any way. I am assuming their lives were not worth the time or money, despite a life was almost taken. I am FRUSTRATED, ANGRY, but most of all just BLESSED that my boyfriend and his brother came out of this alive. I also would be grateful in medical referrals as well dealing with facial fractures. I am looking for any assistance or info I can use to move forward on this urgent matter.
Please reblog/share/tweet the fuck out of this, guys!
The case is now being investigated as a hate crime!
They bombed us [on May 13, 1985] because of our unrelenting fight for our family members, known as the MOVE 9, who have been in prison unjustly going on thirty-two years now, as a result of the August 8th, 1978 police attack on MOVE. I just wanted to make that clear.
In terms of the bombing, after being attacked the way we were, first with four deluge hoses by the fire department and then tons of tear gas, and then being shot at—the police admit to shooting over 10,000 rounds of bullets at us in the first ninety minutes—there was a lull. You know, it was quiet for a little bit. And then, without any warning at all, two members of the Philadelphia Police Department’s bomb squad got in a Pennsylvania state police helicopter and flew over our home and dropped a satchel containing C4, a powerful military explosive that no municipal police department has. They had to get it from the federal government, from the FBI. And without any announcement or warning or anything, they dropped that bomb on the roof of our home.
Now, at that point, we didn’t know exactly what they had done. We heard the loud explosion. The house kind of shook. But it never entered my mind that they dropped a bomb on us. But the bomb did in fact ignite a fire. And not long after that, it got very, very hot in the house, and the smoke was getting thicker. At first we thought it was tear gas. But as it got thicker, it became clear that this wasn’t tear gas, that this was something else. And then we could hear the trees outside of our house crackling and realized that our home was on fire. And we immediately tried to get our children, our animals, our dogs and cats, and ourselves out of that blazing inferno.
The adults were hollering out that we’re coming out, we’re bringing the children out. The children were hollering that they were coming out, that we were bringing them out. And we know that the police heard us. But the instant, the very instant, that we were visible to them, you know, trying to come out, they immediately opened fire. We were met with a barrage of police gunfire. And you could see it hitting all around us, all around the house. And it forced us back in to that blazing inferno, several times. And finally, you know, you’re in a position where either you choke to death and burn alive or you possibly are shot to death.
So we continued to try to get out of that house. And I got out. I got Birdie out. You could hear the shots hitting all around us. A cop grabbed Birdie, took him into custody, grabbed me, they threw me down on the ground and handcuffed, you know, me behind me, in the back of me. And I just knew that everybody else had gotten out. They were right behind me. And I didn’t find out until police took me to the homicide unit of the police administration building that there were no other survivors.
Every time I come across this it makes me emotional. More people should know about this and be outraged. I don’t care how long ago it was. They dropped a bomb on these people! Fuck anybody who doesn’t feel enraged about that.
I want everyone to remember that: they opened fire on people trying to flee a burning building
they threw people back into the fire to cover up their crimes
no one ever faced justice for this
On the subject of crowdfunding…I have noticed that most campaigns don’t feature the intersections of race + trans womanhood.
It’s rare in fact that trans women of color (from low-income and/or rural backgrounds) ask the world for help.
My personal outlook is that most of my sisters are vulnerable enough and that vulnerability isn’t something they broadcast to the world because frankly they do it everyday by existing, and often visible vulnerability negates the notion of daily survival.
To say that I am disappointed that KOKUMO is struggling to raise money for her TGIF Rally in Chicago and Ja’briel Walthour is struggling to raise funds for her medical needs would be an understatement. (I’ve shared both on Tumblr previously: KOKUMO Post | Ja’briel Post; KOKUMO’s actually garnered nearly 900 notes, yet still hasn’t garnered $900.)
Combined, both campaigns have raised only $1200 - as of 5/31.
I see numerous indiegogo campaigns from folks - operating in the world with varying levels of privileges - who raise money quickly and even have extra to throw a party.
The irony of the fact that those most in need in our community are least likely to ask for help and when they do they are met with silence is appalling.
We must all do better.
These two sisters are taking on the brunt and responsibility of their organizing and medical costs, while thousands of other trans women of color are engaged in survival sex trade/work to meet their varying needs, making them all the more vulnerable to police profiling, incarceration, high exposure to HIV/AIDS and of course violence.
Let’s turn these campaigns + future ones around. Here’s how:
* Share these links on your FB + Twitter + Tumblr (ie: here’s a tweet from me)
* Write about these glaring disparities in our communities.
* Ask those who’ve launched successful campaigns to SHARE these campaigns.
* Visualize and help create a world of abundance where none of us would have to ask for help because everyone would have equal access to healthcare and non-profit funds, and that community would be more than a noun but a verb, tying us all together.
PLEASE REBOLG THIS! We need this film to happen. Please, watch and spread the word. My daughter and her father’s family are from this reservation. People need to know what really happens on native land.
Whoa. EVERYONE needs to watch this.
Just click the play button, if you have 2 minutes and 33 seconds.
It wont be wasted.
Among young black men in America, about 10 percent are currently incarcerated. It’s shocking, but we’ve almost grown used to it.
But while those young men are in prison, what’s happening to their wives, girlfriends, mothers and sisters?
Eviction. A new study coming out of Milwaukee shows that eviction is for black women what incarceration is for black men. One in 20 households there are evicted every year. In predominately black communities, that rate doubles to 1 in 10 families.
Help kickass trans activist and singer KOKUMO fund her second annual T.G.I.F. (Trans*, Gender Non-Conforming, Intersex Freedom) Pride Rally in Chicago. It’s rare for our movement to support spaces created by trans women of color. Let’s make a change.
Contribute funds here or reach out to T.G.I.F. organizers in Chicago (kokumomedia[AT]gmail[DOT]com) for opportunities to help with organizing or assisting with the 2013 rally.
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