JUST THE FACTS
Firstly, let’s lay out the facts in the case of the death of Eric Garner:
On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner, age forty-three, died in Staten Island, New York City, after a police officer put him in a chokehold for fifteen seconds. The New York City Medical Examiner's Office concluded that Garner died, partly as a result of the chokehold. New York City Police Department (NYPD) policy prohibits the use of chokeholds.
THE INCIDENT: Officers of the New York City Police Department approached Garner because they suspected him of selling "loosies" (single cigarettes) from packs without tax stamps. Garner told the police that he was not selling cigarettes, and that he was tired of them harassing him. The police decided to arrest Garner. When Officer Daniel Pantaleo took Garner's wrist behind his back, Garner swatted his arms away. Pantaleo then put his arm around Garner's neck from behind pulled him down onto the sidewalk. Pantaleo then pushed Garner’s face to the concrete while four officers physically restrained Garner. All during this time, Garner was repeating, over and over again, “I can’t breathe.” Clearly in distress, Garner said this eleven times before he lost consciousness. Officers turned him onto his side to ease his breathing, but it is worth noting, and beyond dispute, that the officers never offered Garner CPR, in spite of the fact that they were trained to do so, and in spite of the fact that it was their obligation, as instructed in their training, to give Garner CPR. Garner remained lying on the sidewalk for seven minutes while the officers waited for an ambulance to arrive. The EMTs also did not perform CPR on Garner at the scene.
Eric Garner was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital approximately one hour later.
Medical examiners concluded that Garner was killed by "compression of neck (choke hold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police." The medical examiner ruled Garner's death a homicide. According to the medical examiner's definition, a homicide is a death caused by the intentional actions of another person or persons. This does not automatically mean that a crime has been committed. (The definition will serve as a motif throughout the book. That fact is not meant to be freighted with any meaning or partisan opinion. It merely means that once the killing is declared a homicide, the burden is on those who serve justice to determine if the person who committed the homicide should be charged and tried.)
On December 3, 2014, a grand jury decided not to indict Pantaleo. The event stirred public protests and rallies with charges of police brutality. As of December 28, 2014, at least fifty demonstrations had been held nationwide specifically for Garner while hundreds of demonstrations against general police brutality counted Garner as a focal point. The Justice Department announced an independent federal investigation.
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THE CHOKEHOLD?
The media has expended a lot of cyber ink on this one, but, as is often the case in a world of bloggers who seem to favor speed of publication and quantity of output over the actual quality of their writing, most of them are just saying the same thing, and dwelling on the superficial.
The nitty gritty of chokeholds is a far trickier matter.
In layperson’s terms: there are chokeholds which cut off the blood supply to the brain by applying pressure to arteries for a short time; this causes the suspect to go unconscious and is generally harmless. This means applying pressure to the arteries on the sides of the neck.
In the other kind of chokehold, pressure is applied to the trachea, also known as the windpipe, directly in the center of the neck—this cuts off oxygen, and as we saw in the case of Eric Garner, can kill a person.
Here is the Barney Fife truth of it: when Goober and Gomer are deputized, and are practicing these different kinds of chokeholds in the driveway of the filling station, the distinctions are all very fine and good and theoretically workable. But in a real life situation, where the primal panic of the suspect/victim comes in to play, what begins as a legal chokehold to the arteries can quickly become a blocking of the trachea.
This, my friends (if you don’t trust my opinion,) is specifically why the NYPD has wisely banned ALL kinds of chokeholds—to avert to ensuing confusion and, of course, tragedy.
Bit of course, Officer Danny Pantaleo doesn’t give a shit about the law. The code. Rules and regulations.
WHY THE HELL DIDN’T THEY HELP?
Hey, I get it. Eric Garner had a criminal record. He had been arrested thirty times. He had been warned about selling cigarettes in that location. And he resisted arrest. This wouldn’t be a fair look at the story if this chapter didn’t include those facts. But nothing can mitigate the fact that Officer Pantaleo violated police procedure by using a chokehold and, perhaps even more unforgivably, nothing can explain or forgive the decision on the part of the NYPD to NOT administer CPR.
Even more shocking is the fact that the EMTS who arrived on the scene also did not administer CPR or administer oxygen to Eric Garner. They just spent the first couple of minutes doing basically nothing. They did not even feel for his pulse at the correct location on this neck. But don’t listen to me, ask the experts—specifically, Dr. Alexander Kuehl, who led the Emergency Medical Services in New York City during the 1980’s. Kuehl said the of the female paramedic who was the first medical assistant on scene, and who, inexplicably, did nearly nothing: “It was like she either didn’t want to be there, which is hard to understand, or police basically told her to just let him alone. She certainly didn’t do her job.”
And Israel Miranda, the president of the Uniformed EMT’S, Paramedics, and Fire Inspectors FDNY Local 2507, when asked for his analysis, was unwavering and unafraid to be critical of his own: “There was a lack of initial intervention,” Miranda said. “They were not aggressive. If they’re not breathing, assist with their ventilation. This is something that is ingrained in your training.” This willingness to tell the truth, in spite of his job description, is important, gratifying, and precedent-setting. He is to be applauded.
Police and EMTS don’t get to pick and choose whose life they are supposed to try and save, once crisis has set in. But Pantaleo and his cronies did choose. They decided not to attempt to save a man’s life—merely because this was not the first time they had warned him about selling cigarettes.
WHO IS OFFICER DANIEL PANTALEO?
Office Daniel “Danny Pants” Pantaleo is basically a guy who, from all indications, frequently violates the civil rights of black men. (The “Danny Pants” is my own nickname, since I can’t really see him as anything but a squirt, a small-time mobster, given his behavior.) Consider the cases brought against him—cases which were apparently damning enough against Pantaleo that the NYPD decided to settle, rather than fight, the cases. Danny Pants ends up being a very expensive cop to have around, when it comes to lawsuit settlements paid out to victims of civil rights violations.
1. Darren Collins and Tommy Rice: Collins and Rice sued Pants and other police officers in 2012. They allege that Pantaleo and three other cops pulled them over one morning, saying they saw a hand-to-hand drug transaction, according to court documents. The cops then allegedly strip searched the men and touched their genitals, right out in public, saying they were searching for drugs. Pantaleo even slapped the genitals around, his victims sated. Collins and Rice didn't have any drugs on them. Criminal charges against Collins and Rice were dismissed, and they settled the lawsuit for a payout of $15,000 each.
2. Rylawn Walker: Walker sued Pants in February of 2014. Pantaleo falsely arrested him in 2012, even though he wasn't doing anything wrong or behaving suspiciously. Walker was charged with marijuana offenses, but the charges were eventually dismissed and the case sealed by the court. The lawsuit against Danny Pants is still pending.
3. Kenneth Collins: Collins sued Danny Pants and other officers in November of 2014; this lawsuit stemmed from his claim of false arrest stemming from a marijuana offense in 2012. According to court papers, Pantaleo "subjected [him] to a degrading search of his private parts and genitals." The suit alleges that the officers charged Collins because they wanted to get overtime pay to process legal paperwork. The charges against Collins were dismissed and sealed by the court. The fact that the charges against Collins were dismissed make these disgusting charges against Pantaleo all too believable.
Consider this: all these lawsuits have transpired within a two year period. Any other reasonably run business probably would have fired Pantaleo for being too great a liability. Not the NYPD. And isn’t it interesting, that Danny Pants seems to take an inordinate and excessive interest in fondling the genitals of other men.
IN SUMMATION: I have tried to take a balanced point of view in the judgment of Pantaleo. I listened carefully to those few voices who asked the reasonable questions “Where is the absolute proof that Pantaleo did these things” and “How many arrestees sue the department every year?” implying that these specious arrests and searches may just be phantom accusations on the part of thugs.
But the evidence had stacked up too fast and too high against Pantaleo. And what Pantaleo cannot change is the fact that in the case of the Garner arrest, there is a video. Three things are clear, crystalline, and very, very damning:
- Pantaleo uses a chokehold against Eric Garner, and chokeholds are illegal. It is a violation of police procedure.
- Pantaleo, nor any of his fellow officers, offered Garner CPR. Even if a Grand Jury did not indict Pantaleo for the chokehold—in order to indict, they would need to prove that Pantaleo intended to kill Garner with the chokehold—they could have indicted him for failing to offer CPR, and for withholding medical attention, causing the death of a human being.
OH, THOSE EUPHAMISMS
Are police across the country learning the lessons from the tragedy caused by one incompetent and corrupt precinct? Just a few short weeks after New York police placed Eric Garner in a chokehold, causing Garner to gasp “I can’t breathe”, and causing the judgment of homicide to be determined by the medical examiner, a new training program was initiated among Sheriff’s Deputies in King County, Washington: the “Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint”. “A person’s neck is placed in a V between the officer’s forearm and upper arm, while pressure is applied to the carotid arteries on the sides of the neck.”
We can only reiterate what we have said before. The difference between temporary vascular restriction of the blood to the brain, causing temporary unconsciousness, and restricting the breathing by applying pressure to the trachea, can be the difference between life and death. The two forms of takedown are not the same thing. The looming problem arises with the panic of the moment, and the improperly trained officers. Police and Sheriff’s Departments all over the country bemoan a lack of proper funding, (and rightfully so), and yet they are one hundred percent sure of the training of their officers in this nuanced life-and-death technique.
“Lateral vascular neck restraint.” Seriously?
That’s a great one.
And now, from the Orwellian Newspeak that brought you that one, here are a few more euphemisms from the special language of law enforcement:
CREATIVE REPORT WRITING: Doing whatever you have to do with a report to keep your numbers up, to get overtime, or to make a suspect look guilty.
AMBULANCE MONKEY: Derogatory term for Medic, used because they interfere with a cop’s business.
HOSE MONKEY: Derogatory term for Firefighter, used because they interfere with a cop’s business.
PEDSPREAD: The end result of a pedestrian vs. vehicle accident, especially one occurring at a high rate of speed.
KEISTER BUNNY: A suspect who hides contraband in their rectum.
LAWN ORNAMENT: (I actually like this one; in the name of fairness, it is worth pointing out that they are not all offensive.) A drunk person passed out on their, or somebody else’s, lawn.
ORGAN DONOR: Motorcyclist without a helmet.
HAM SANDWICH: Unregistered firearm kept in a plastic bag to plant on suspects.
UNREPORTED STOLEN: A creative term for pulling a car over with thin probable cause. A more “Politically Correct” explanation than “the car was pulled over because the people inside just looked out of place, or somehow wrong, or up to something, or fit a certain type.
GUTTER TAG: Writing a citation after you have allowed the suspect to leave, and placing their copy in the gutter, while submitting the complaint to court. Usually results in a warrant for “Failing to Appear”. Nice, and so professional.
ALUMINUM SHAMPOO, FLASHLIGHT THERAPY, FLASHLIGHT SHAMPOO, DURACELL SHAMPOO: To beat a suspect with a flashlight
KIWI SHAMPOO: Named after most cops’ favorite shoe polish, KIWI, a KIWI SHAMPOO means to kick a suspect in the head repeatedly.
BUTT HUTT: Jail
HOT LEAD INJECTION; LEAD POISONING: Shooting someone
“A DOG RAN IN FRONT OF MY CAR: When you have a total Asshole prisoner in the back of your patrol car, and you hit the brakes suddenly, causing the prisoner to smack his face on the cage/ screen. He accuses you of brutality and you reply, "A dog ran in front of my car. (“WAFFLE FACE” is also a term for a prisoner who you’ve pulled this stunt on.)
FRISBEE CAT: A cat that has been run over and is flat and hard and can be thrown like Frisbee
EYE SOCKET STABILIZATION: Gouging the eyeballs
EDISON MEDICINE: Tasing someone.
ELECTRIC SLIDE: When a suspect stops running and slides cross the ground, due to being Tased.
LIQUID JESUS: Pepper Spray
FLOPPY CRAPPY: Term used to describe the actions of a person being Tased while they are on the ground.
TAKING A HOT SQUAT: Dying in the Electric Chair
The English Language is a mystical thing.
STOP AND FRISK:
The Hunted and the Hated
The tragedy of Eric Garner is the reflection of a much great anger boiling up in New York’s minority community, and it all started with a nasty little NYPD policy called “Stop and Frisk”. The idea behind “Stop and Frisk” was not inherently terrible. It was about crime prevention: you stop and frisk people who look suspicious, who look like they’re up to no good. The problem, obviously, comes in how we define “suspicious” and “no good”. Stay tuned for a creepy discussion of how the NYPD has chosen to interpret those terms. A look at who they choose to pick on. Which includes, by the way, just about every young man who is black.
SPOILER ALERT: You can be stopped, grilled, and body searched for offenses as minor—and as ambiguous—as “furtive movements”. Furtive movements have included, and frequently include, actions such as looking over your shoulder and/or crossing the street, and/or changing direction while walking to move in a direction away from the police, and these actions are all reasons for the police to stop a “suspect”. Continuing to walk towards the police and making direct eye contact with an officer is also reason to stop a “suspect.” Then again, avoiding eye contact is also an often invoked reason to stop a “suspect”. (Two words: Freddie Gray.) And as if that isn’t Gestapo enough, it turns out that “Furtive Movements” were used as the reason for the stop over sixty percent of the time. So basically, the cops have you, either way. If you avoid eye contact, or cross the street, or turn to go the other way, you are avoiding them, and you have something to hide: Bam, Stop and Frisk. But if you look them in the eye, and keep approaching in their direction, you are behaving confrontationally: Bam, Stop and Frisk.
Another diabolical trick: marijuana has been de-criminalized in New York, as long as you don’t publicly display it. So people are stopped, frisked, their pockets emptied—and then, when the doobie rolls out, it’s on display, isn’t it? BAM! You’re busted!
BOOZE--AN INEXCUSABLE DOUBLE STANDARD
By the way: NYPD cops enjoy quite the double standard when it comes to their abuse of a drug called alcohol. For pretty much the entire history of the NYPD, a cop has been able to drive drunk, secure in the knowledge that if stopped by a pal—or by another officer he doesn’t know, for that matter--he is legally allowed to refuse a sobriety test. Seriously?
Sometimes the incidents come in waves, like Sasquatch or UFO sightings: In April of 2011, in the Big Apple, there were officer-related drunk driving accidents two nights in a row. First, Officer Christine Mazarakes was driving drunk and smashed her car at the corner on 81st Street and West End Avenue. The following night, a drunk Detective Thomas Handley flipped his car while driving on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway near midnight. (Sorry, no pictures of the accident released to the public.) And only a few weeks before that, on March 15, Officer Sergio Gonzalez was arrested for driving under the influence, after crashing his car into the back of a cab, injuring the driver. It didn’t stop there, though. Gonzalez then sped away from the scene of the accident, and then smashed into a police car further down the street. It didn’t stop there, though. The force of hitting the cruiser caused his car to spin round, and hit yet a third car. Officers in the cruiser that was hit were treated for head, neck, and back injuries. The cabbie had a deep gash to the forehead, requiring stitches. Two hypodermic needles were found in Gonzalez’s car, and a witness reported him trying to get rid of a small white plastic bag. But Gonzales turned down the request that he take a Breathalyzer. Not interested, apparently.
And then there is the tragedy caused by yet another officer sworn “to protect and serve”, that of NYPD Officer Andrew Kelley who got drunk, drove, and killed a preacher’s daughter, striking her with his car. When he left the bar, witnesses said he had been drinking all night, and even the officer himself admitted to drinking all night. When officers arrived at the scene to find Vionique Valnord dead, they also found Kelley slurring and glassy-eyed, and reeking of booze. Because Kelley, being a cop, could legally refuse a sobriety test, it took seven hours and twenty minutes to get a judge to rule that he must take one. But by then, he blew 0.0. He got just 90 days in jail. After all, the defense argued, how do we know he was drunk? Prove it. I guess his admission that he had been drinking wasn’t enough.
When NYPD Officer Kevin Spellmen, obviously drunk at the end of his shift (yes, he was working as he got drunk), and was allowed by his colleagues to drive home, he killed a grandmother while she was crossing the street. When other police arrived on the scene, twice he refused a Breathalyzer, refusal being a legal act for that cop. It took other officers five hours to get a judge to issue a court order, and to make the Breathalyzer happen, at which point, even though five hours had passed, Kevin Spellman blew 2.1, over twice the legal limit. Happily for justice, he eventually got sentence to 3-9 years, but unhappily for justice, that took four years. But the biggest injustice of the Spellman story is that any fool could have seen this murder by drunk driving coming a mile away, no pun intended.
But this wasn’t the first time Officer Kevin Spellman was drinking and driving. A few years previous to killing the grandmother, in 2004, Spellman had been caught driving the wrong way down a one way street while on the job, and yet kept his job. Bizarrely, two other officers were in the car with the very drunk cop when this happened, and they just let him keep driving. The wrong way, down a one way street. He was only stopped because he stopped his car and got out to stagger into a bodega for more alcohol. Citizens noticed him staggering and reeking of booze. Spellman was not arrested.
But this wasn’t the first time Officer Ken Spellman was drinking and driving. Wait, didn’t I just write that? Yes, in still another incident in 1997, Spellman hit a family of three with his car while he was drunk. The shaken and furious father insisted that a Breathalyzer be administered to Spellman, but Spellman refused, and was within his rights to do so. And still, no stop right there, I want you to put yourself in the shoes of that enraged father. This pathetic excuse for a human being, after driving drunk and crashing into a family’s car, has the arrogance to refuse to face the consequences of his actions. And still, he kept his job as a cop. As a policeman sworn to “Serve and Protect”. As an officer empowered to “Stop and Frisk”, and bust kids carrying weed.
Only in 2013 did the courts finally make it mandatory for cops to take Breathalyzers, just like everyone else suspected of driving drunk…
NYPD Officer Joseph DeMarcos is a piece of work. In 2007, cops found him leaning over his girlfriend’s car with bloody hands (yes, she was fine), but he had slashed all her tires and smashed all her windows. When he saw cops approaching in their cruiser, he jumped into his own car and sped away. When he finally stopped, he flailed and kicked and bit when they tried to extract him from his vehicle. He was wildly inebriated. And he is still working as an Officer of the NYPD.
Why this brief epistle on cops and drinking? Not only to show the hypocrisy of “Stop and Frisk”, but perhaps more importantly, to explain to those legions of people who still just don’t get it why blacks, other minorities, and a hell of a lot of white people are so damned angry. There is a double standard, and there is no justice in that.
Think about all these drunk cops, destroying property and running down innocent victims, leaving death and destruction in their wake—some of them then being allowed to return to the force. And then think of Eric Garner, killed for selling loosies. And of Sandra Bland—threatened with a Taser for refusing to put out her cigarette, and then slammed to the ground and beaten, even after pleading that she was epileptic. And Officer Brian Encinia’s response to her claim of epilepsy? “Good”.
BACK TO THE STOP AND FRISK. . .
To put it bluntly, young men who are a members of a minority, young men of color, live every day on the streets of New York in fear and with a growing rage—I believe rightfully so. And what are they being stopped for? Here is a list of reasons, of “probable cause” that legally allow a cop to stop you, search you, and, in many cases, brutalize you (with our interpretation of what that actually means to the NYPD, according to the public history of their Stops, Frisks, and Arrests):
–“CASING A LOCATION”. (Or, looking around at a place for more than a few seconds. It could be a restaurant whose menu posted in the window you are perusing. A movie theatre whose marquee you stop to read. A building whose address you’re squinting to read. A store window whose display you are admiring. Need I go on?)
--“ACTING AS A LOOKOUT.” (Or, looking for a friend, a bus, a taxi—a cop who wants to harass you for no reason.
--“ACTIONS OF A DRUG TRANSACTION.” (Notice it doesn’t say anything about “witnessing” a drug transaction, but merely “actions of”, which means that shaking hands, handing somebody something, or exchanging money—hey, it could be for Nicks tickets—all are “Stop and Frisk” offenses.)
--“CARRYING A SUSPICIOUS OBJECT.” (As you will see below in one of the most famous: “Stop and Frisk” busts, a backpack can be considered a suspicious object.
--“FITS A RELEVANT DESCRIPTION.” (Hey, look. He’s black!)
--“CLOTHES COMMONLY USED IN A CRIME.” (A hoodie! Just like Trayvon! Let’s shoot him too!)
--“SUSPICIOUS BULGE.” (I’m saying nothing.)
And the bald truth of it is this: in the great majority of cases, “suspects” aren’t just questioned and patted down. They are screamed at, sworn at, called names, ridiculed, slammed into walls and against cruisers, and often arrested on bogus charges. Are innocent people getting caught in the NYPD’s ever-widening crime fighting net? Court data suggests a strong possibility. In 2008, city courts handled 382,000 misdemeanor criminal summonses, such as disorderly conduct and loitering. Out of those, over 193,000 were tossed out by the courts. 51 percent of all summonses dismissed.
Even if the charges are thrown out in court, the cop has done his job—to meet the secret NYPD quota which, although being unlawful, has by now been well documented. More and more police are finding ways to make the truth known, offering the public specific details, but keeping their identities anonymous: they are afraid of the repercussions, and rightfully so. Officer Adhyl Polanco is an exception, though. He became a cop because he wanted to be one of the good guys, but when he saw too much corruption, he went public and called them out:
“Our primary job is not to help anybody. Our primary job is to get those numbers. And come back with them. You have to meet the quota.” --NYPD Officer Adhyl Polanco, to an ABC News Reporter, in 2010. (abc7y.com)
Also secretly recorded by Adhyl Polanco are daily orders from his superior:
“Things are not going to get any better. It’s going to get a lot worse. And if you think 1 and 20 is breaking your balls, guess what you’re going to be doing? You’re going to be doing a lot more, a lot more than what you think.”
“Next week, you could be 25 and 1, you could be 35 and 1. And guess what? Until you decide to quit this job and become a Pizza Hut delivery man, this is what you are going to be doing until then. Do we understand each other?”
And the cops aren’t content to just harass black men and black teenagers. Tweens, kids on their way to school, are often stopped and harassed. And police aren’t around to suffer the consequences or embarrassment of the child having to explain why he was missed first and second period.
WNYC News, a radio station out of New York, carried this story on its website:
Anthony Henry, also an eighth grader from P.S./I.S. 323, was walking to school before 8 a.m. last month when a big jeep pulled up alongside him. Five cops jumped out, he said. “And they were all like, ‘Put your hands up’ and stuff,” said Anthony. “They checked me, checked my book bag. They threw all my books on the floor.” The police started questioning him about drugs and gang members. He said he didn’t know anyone in a gang. They took him home, and his mom started yelling at the cops, telling them they had the wrong guy. At that point, Anthony said one officer just patted him on the head, and said, “My bad.” By the time his mom drove him back to school, Anthony had already missed first and second period. “It made me feel, I dunno, retarded,” said Anthony. “Like a gangbanger. Because only gangbangers get stopped for nothing, just for walking.”
And this covert confession, from and officer who wished to remain anonymous:
INTERVIEWER: You’re telling me that they’re just stopping people without a reason, is that what you’re saying?
OFFICER: We’re stopping kids walking from school. We’re stopping kids walking upstairs to their house. We’re stopping kids from going to the store. Kids. Young Adults. In order to keep that quota.
(NBC News, August 7th, 2013)
ALVIN IS NOT A MUTT. ALVIN IS NOT A CHIPMUNK.
Alvin Cruz wanted to be a police officer, probably because he deeply admired his father, who was an officer in the NYPD. But then he became a victim of “Stop and Frisk” over, and over, and over again. This last incident was the last straw. But this time, Alvin was ready, he recorded the entire incident that transpired when two cops pulled him aside and went into full bullying mode.
OFFICER: (grabbing Alvin) Our job is to look for suspicious behavior. When you keep looking at us like that, looking back--
ALVIN: ‘Cause you’re always—I just got stopped like two blocks away.
OFFICER: Listen to me. When you’re walkin’ the block, with your hood up, and you keep looking back at us like that--
ALVIN: I just got stopped, like, two blocks away.
OFFICER: Do you wanna go to jail?
ALVIN: What for? For what?
OFFICER: Shut your fuckin’ mouth, kid.
ALVIN: What am I getting arrested for ?
OFFICER: Shut your mouth!
ALVIN: What am I getting arrested for?
OFFICER: For being a fuckin’ mutt.
ALVIN: That’s a law? Being a mutt?
(scuffling can be heard)
ALVIN: Why you push me like that for?
OFFICER: Shut your fucking mouth before I slap you.
ALVIN: Why you push me like that for?
OFFICER: TAKE A FUCKIN’ WALK!
ALVIN: Why you push me like that?
OFFICER: You fucking hear me, you fucking piece of shit?
ALVIN: Why you touch me like that?
Scenes like this play out every day on the streets of New York City.
And then—and then—the police carp and complain that the people they arrest don’t show them enough respect.
If these particular heart wrenching stories don’t convince you, perhaps the statistics will:
Even though Blacks and Hispanics are a minority here—Blacks 23%, Hispanic 29%--a majority of people stopped, around 84%, are young men of color …The reason given for most stops is either a high crime neighborhood or a suspect engaged in furtive movements.”
---ABC Nightline, Terry Moran.
And here’s the pay-off:
• The likelihood that a stop of an African American New Yorker yielded a weapon was half that of white New Yorkers stopped. The NYPD uncovered a weapon in one out every 49 stops of white New Yorkers. By contrast, it took the Department 71 stops of Latinos and 93 stops of African Americans to find a weapon.
• The likelihood that a stop of an African American New Yorker yielded contraband was one-third less than that of white New Yorkers stopped. The NYPD uncovered contraband in one out every 43 stops of white New Yorkers. By contrast, it took the Department 57 stops of Latinos and 61 stops of African Americans to find contraband.
Look, just in case I need to remind people, I am white. I take no joy in those statistics. What I do take joy in, however, are facts. Accuracy. And them’s the facts.
ADRIAN SCHOOLCRAFT: A GOOD COP
Now, the good news is that the situation has greatly improved. Incidents of “Stop and Frisk” are way down in New York. But the price was high. Not only did it require massive protests and marching in the streets—anathema to so many law and order fanatics--but the cause had its martyrs as well.
And few martyrs in the “Stop and Frisk” imbroglio are as well-known as a former cop named Adrian Schoolcraft. Adrian Schoolcraft is a name known to many in the realm of people fighting against draconian “Stop and Frisk” policies. (Adrian is white, if it matters.) Clearly, Adrian is one of the good guys. He was born in Texas, he’s a Republican, and he grew up admiring his dad, who proudly wore the blue uniform. Adrian went into the Navy, and when he left the Navy a few years later, it was with a slew of medals and commendations. He moved to New York in 2002 to become a cop for two reasons: firstly, he wanted to be there to help the city. He had watched in horror on that infamous day on September 2001, as 911 unfolded, but Adrian felt helpless, living so far away in Texas. And becoming a member of the NYPD seemed as good a way as any to try to do his part in taking care of the city. In healing the city. And the second reason for his move to the Big Apple: his mother was dying of cancer, and he wanted to be there for her. In fact, he drove her to every one of her chemotherapy sessions, until the day she died.
Now—as is so often the case in this book—one can write an entire book about the Schoolcraft saga. At the very least, it would make a hell of a great movie. Very “Serpico”, but with some even more horrific twists and turns. Here is his story told in broad strokes, and see if you aren’t filled with equal parts of outrage and stark disbelief:
As an officer who took his oath seriously, Adrian Schoolcraft was sick of all the sub rosa arrest quotas and threats from superiors—you could be fired, harassed, denied promotions, all for failing to get the supposedly non-existent quotas. So he took the recorder that he had originally carried around to document assorted street incidents (with the intent of protecting himself from bogus accusations—something that will prove wickedly ironic, given hindsight), and Adrian started to use it to record the illegal directives and sickening “pep talks’ he was getting about quotas. He documented all the different ways that cops could go after certain ethnic types who had made the mistake of showing their faces in public. Schoolcraft recorded no less than 117 roll calls over a 17 month period, from July 1st, 2008, to October 31st, 2009. The material he gathered was far more than enough to establish a pattern.
Some recordings are of roll call supervisors advising officers not to take certain robbery reports, in order to manipulate crime statistics. There are also references to superior officers placing calls directly to crime victims, in which they try to intimidate the victims out of making complaints. (We are setting aside the disturbing and childish issues that also frequently arose, such as the need for officers--the officers—to stop painting graffiti all over the inside and outside of the station, as well as a request that they stop drawing penises in each other’s notebooks, which are official instruments of the state, and possibly to be used in the court.
But there is more, so much more.
One of the darkest villains in this story is Precinct Commander Steven Mauriello, who spewed vitriol like this, captured by Schoolcraft’s recorder. But he had his evil minions as well. Months later, when the story exploded, the Village Voice would publish an explosive, multi-article story about the entire imbroglio. Here is a direct transcript from Part Two of the Village Voice story, and it will give you a damned good idea about why a good cop like Adrian Schoolcraft was so angry:
EXCERPTED FROM THE VILLAGE VOICE:
Mauriello would often roam the precinct in his car. When he saw groups on particular corners, he would call in officers to arrest the people on low-level charges. These collars came to be called "Mauriello Specials."
[From later in the Village Voice article: One problem with the "Mauriello Specials" was that the officers were at times being ordered to make arrests for misconduct that they hadn't actually witnessed—legally, a questionable practice. In an October 14, 2009, roll call, a police union delegate warns officers about this: "Make sure you don't sign anything that says you witnessed the arrest if you didn't," he says. "There's been a lot of cases overturned, and officers now being brought up on perjury charges." In another roll call from October 31, 2009, an officer warns other officers: "The D.A.'s Office is watching supporting depositions. They have one cop up on, like, eight counts of forging.”
--On June 12, 2008, a sergeant tells the precinct's officers to make the arrests even if they have to cancel the charges at the end of their shift. "Guy's on the corner? You gotta leave. Bounce. Get lost," he says. "You'll void it later on in the night so you'll all go home on time."
--On July 1, 2008, a sergeant tells his cops: "Be an asshole. They’re gonna do something, shine a light in their face. Inconvenience them. It saves trouble later on. Some of you with good activity are going to be moving up."
--The following day, a precinct supervisor orders cops to make an arrest, when in the past, a dispute might have been talked out. “The days of mediating between a perp and a store owner are over," a sergeant says on July 2, 2008. "If the guy is in the back with five sticks of deodorant, you gotta collar him," the sergeant says. "There's no more mediating."
--By that July, Mauriello was a fixture in the roll calls at the start of the evening tour. "They wise off, they fucking push you, I expect them handcuffed, all right?" he says in a July 15, 2008, roll call, adding later, "Anybody gets stopped and it's a summonsable offense, I want them handcuffed and brought into the precinct. . . . zero tolerance."
--Mauriello tells them that day that he wants block parties shut down after 8:30 p.m. "After 8:30, it's all on me and my officers, and we're undermanned," he says. "The good people go inside. The others stay outside."
--Mauriello also targeted certain troubled buildings, such as 120 Chauncey Street, which he repeatedly said he wanted "blown up."
--"I'm getting rocked today," Mauriello says on another day. "Since the midnight [shift], I've got five fucking robberies already and burglary assaults. So the game plan tonight is Operation Zero Tolerance. If they fuckin' break the law on the corner, I'm scooping them all up, putting them in the cells."
--In the roll call on Halloween night 2008, Mauriello ordered the troops to pay special attention to 120 Chauncey. "Everybody goes. I don't care. You're on 120 Chauncey and they're popping champagne? Yoke 'em. Put them through the system. They got bandanas on, arrest them. Everybody goes tonight. They're underage? Fuck it."
--He added: "You're on a foot post, fuck it. Take the first guy you got and lock them all up from 120 Chauncey. Boom. Bring 'em in. Lodge them. You're going to go back out and process it later on." Later in the roll call, a lieutenant adds, "Jump out, ground-and-pound, 'cuff 'em up, and hand 'em off to somebody."
As the campaign went on into the winter of 2008, Mauriello seemed to be aware that there was some resentment in the community, but he justified the campaign by saying the "good people" were supportive. "Fuck 'em, I don't give a shit," he says on November 8, 2008. "They are going to come to a community council meeting, yell at me, whatever, I know the good people over there are happy we have officers there."
A lieutenant follows up, telling the cops to be more aggressive. "If they don't move, they are going to get out of control and think that they own the block. They don't own the block. We own the block. They might live there, but we own the block. We own the streets here."
A similar order was given by a sergeant on November 23, 2008: "If they're on a corner, make 'em move. If they don't want to move, lock 'em up. Done deal. You can always articulate [a charge] later."
On December 9, 2008, Mauriello orders the officers to focus on a pizzeria. "No one hangs out there. Nobody. I want a ghost town. I want to hear the echo from one end of the street to the other. . . . That's your mission."
On March 13, 2009, a sergeant says, "Make 'em move. If they won't move, call me up, and lock them up, discon [disorderly conduct], no big deal. Leave them out there all night and come get them. The less people on the street, the easier our job will be."
On April 27, 2009, Mauriello tells officers to make the arrest, drop suspects at the precinct, go back out, and then come back later to process the arrests. "You bring 'em in here, leave 'em in the cells for a little while, go back out, do your job, and come back and release them outta there," he says. "If they're acting like assholes on the street, why should I rush them out of here?"
On July 21, 2009, Mauriello once again talks about destroying a troubled building: "I'm gonna burn that motherfucking place down. . . . Listen, let them shoot each other and we'll go clean up."
I cannot stress enough that Adrian Schoolcraft’s story not only could be a riveting movie, but it really ought to be the next “Serpico”. Just read this climactic ending to his fight for justice. (As documented in depositions, trials, the New York Times, the Village Voice, and, most damningly for the villains of our story, by Adrian Schoolcraft’s own audio recordings.) The story began moving towards its climactic finish with a meeting that seemed, at first glance, innocent enough. It was the 7th of October, 2009, and Schoolcraft found himself sitting in a meeting, the purpose of which was to discuss his observations, particularly the “Stop and Frisk” policies, quotas, and the downgrading of felonies. It was a three hour meeting, and it seemed as though everybody had shown up to see what Schoolcraft had to say: there was a lieutenant, an inspector, and three sergeants with the Quality Assistance Division--the NYPD unit responsible for “policing” the integrity of all incident reports. They told him they would launch a major investigation.
And apparently they did. Into him, and the big, dangerous, ugly stink that Schoolcraft could make for the New York Police Department, if he so chose.
CUT TO: A couple of weeks pass. It is, aptly enough, October 31st. Schoolcraft’s memo book is confiscated again, removed by a Lieutenant Timothy Caughey, who spirits it away to a private office and begins copying frantically, for hours. Then he returns the book. Caughey then calls Schoolcraft’s supervisor, Sergeant Rasheena Huffman into his office. And when she re-emerges, she is furious. Schoolcraft is sick at the thought that they have copied all of his voluminous notes; he tells Huffman he feels sick, fills out the paperwork, and she gives him formal permission to leave.
Adrian goes home, and at about 4:30, swills a little Nyquil and crawls into bed. At 6:00, the phone rings. It’s his father, telling him that there are police lights flashing in the street just outside his apartment. When Adrian checks his messages, he listens to one from Sergeant Huffman claiming she DENIED his request to go home early on sick leave, and that he needs to report back right away. Adrian makes the decision to keep his father on the phone; this goes on for hours. At 9:00 p.m., the nightmare explodes: boots stomping up the stairs. A key jiggles in his lock. Later, Adrian will learn that police got a copy of his key because they told his landlord that he was suicidal, and had “barricaded himself in his apartment.”
But Adrian has a plan. Per his father’s advice, he pretends to be asleep when they enter his apartment, and he can clearly hear the sound of them going through everything he owns. Not trying to help Adrian, because he is supposedly “suicidal.” But instead going through all of his property, obviously looking for the bounty of evidence Adrian has amassed that could incriminate the police department. Adrian sees that one officer is recording everything with a video camera.
Then, the invasion becomes even more personal. Our villains, Precinct Commander Mauriello and Deputy Chief Michael Marino, come into Adrian’s bedroom, where he is lying in shorts and t-shirt on his bed, and they accuse him of stomping out of the precinct without permission. They order that he return immediately. Adrian, of course, explains that his early departure was approved by his supervisor. By now, the paramedics have arrived, and they start checking Adrian’s vitals. Adrian tries to explain that he left the station because of a simple onset of the flu, stomach pains, a bug … and that these twelve supervisors —there are now about a dozen cops of rank in his small apartment—are trying to make it into some major mental malady, which it clearly is not. Virtually everyone who heard and saw the documented evidence of this ‘home invasion” later agreed that Schoolcraft behaved in a perfectly rational and relatively calm manner for the entire incident. But in Schoolcraft’s tiny apartment, Marino is the boss, and he is determined to bully and threaten Schoolcraft until the poor man breaks. Here is a direct transcript of the conversation, which Adrian Schoolcraft entrusted to The Village Voice:
"Listen to me, I'm a chief in the New York City Police Department. So this is what's going to happen, my friend. You've disobeyed an order. And the way you're acting is not right." riffed Marino.
"Chief, if you were woken up in your house . . ." Schoolcraft replies.
"Stop right there!" Marino says.
". . . how would you behave?" Schoolcraft asks.
"Stop right there, son. I'm doin' the talkin' right now. Not you," Marino thunders.
"In my apartment," Schoolcraft says. "What is this, Russia?"
"You are going to be suspended," Marino says.
It is at this point that the paramedic chimes in, saying that Schoolcraft's blood pressure is very high. Adrian agrees to go to a hospital, thinking they are taking him to his hospital in Queens. He walks downstairs with the paramedics, but then, he's told he's being taken to Jamaica Hospital. That is when Schoolcraft literally stops in is tracks. That is where cops took psych emergencies: people damaged by drugs, homeless in the throes of an episode, 72 hour holds for “evaluation”. That’s when Schoolcraft realizes that he is not being taken to a hospital to have his vitals checked, he is being taken to the local asylum for mental cases. Adrian announces, “I’m RMA.” (“Refusing Medical Attention,”) and then he walks back up the stairs and gets back in bed. Again, the Village Voice brings it to life:
“It was then that Chief Marino lost his temper, according to the tape. "Listen to me, they are going to treat you like an EDP [emotionally disturbed person]," he says. "Now, you have a choice. You get up like a man and put your shoes on and walk into that bus, or they're going to treat you as an EDP and that means handcuffs."
Schoolcraft tells the chief that he is the one pushing the confrontation.
Marino then orders Schoolcraft placed in handcuffs. "All right, just take him," he says. "I can't fucking stand him anymore."
At that point, various officers grab him.
"So they pulled me off the bed, stomping on me," Schoolcraft says. "They had me all twisted up, hands all over me. Someone grabbed my hair. . . . Marino stepped on my face with his boot. That's when he said it didn't have to be like this. They basically beat the shit out of me."
--DIRECT TRANSCRIPT, VILLAGE VOICE
Finally, Adrian was handcuffed and watched helplessly as the cops finished ransacking his apartment. The goon squad finally found the recorder that he had hidden, to record the entire encounter, per his father’s advice.
But what they didn’t find is the second tape recorder that he had also hidden, as a back-up.
So basically, Schoolcraft risks everything to obtain recorded evidence of the worst kind of police corruption, and the response of the people who are supposed to protect us is to rough him up and have him hauled off to an asylum for the mentally ill. And then give Schoolcraft the bill for over seven thousand dollars.
And here is one of the crucial lessons to take away from the Schoolcraft saga: many whites, and many people who hold the reins of power, are quick to wonder why blacks and their white sympathizers must sometimes go to such radical lengths to get the media’s attention. The public’s attention. Perhaps that is because reasonable lengths all too often go unnoticed. Or even worse, get punished--punished in the most evil of ways.
THANKS TO STOP AND FRISK—CRIME IS DOWN!!!
And for those of you who believe the Mayor and the Police Chief when they crow about violent crimes going down, just google NYPD POLICE DOWNGRADE FELONIES. This new phenomenon is directly linked to the problem of “Stop and Frisk”, which is directly linked to Eric Garner’s fed up disgust with being hassled on the streets. You see, police officials justify an aggressive, ruthless “Stop and Frisk” policy by presenting statistics to the world which “prove” beyond a shadow of a doubt that as a result of “Stop and Frisk”, crime is going down.
But herein lies the paradox: officers of the NYPD must tell outrageous lies and manipulate the facts of the case—of hundreds of cases--in order to achieve those statistics. Every day, mountainous stacks of felony cases stare them in the face. But with one swift move of the pen (always mightier than the sword), the felony becomes a mere misdemeanor.
For example, back in 2010, according to a study by an official external monitoring group, the Crime Reporting Review Committee, grand larcenies (crimes in which persons had more than $1000 dollars taken from them), are downgraded to misdemeanors. Specifically, 417 felony robberies—you know, someone sticks a gun in your face or breaks into your home, and demands that you hand over every valuable thing you own—were downgraded to misdemeanors. 1033 burglaries were downgraded from felonies to misdemeanors. Think about this for a moment: Someone breaks into your home, your private home, steals all those things you hold most dear, all those valuable things you have worked so hard to attain, and that thug has committed “a misdemeanor”. Perhaps most frighteningly, though, 782 felony assaults on persons were downgraded to misdemeanors. The same as swearing loud at a Pee Wee football game. Seriously.
And the accounts are legion. Lou Ellen Davis is 75, and looks for treasures discarded on the streets of New York that she sells on eBay. When a young woman grabbed her and slammed her to the ground, she was taken to the hospital and treated for a concussion. According to New York law—which also takes into account the fact of a young person attacking someone over 65, with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm—it was clearly a felony attack. Police knew who the assailant was, but refused to press charges. When they finally did succumb to the pressure, they charged the assailant with a misdemeanor. How would you feel if it was your mother, or your grandmother?
When John Jewett was attacked by a crazed man in a public tavern who threw a table at him and threatened him with a knife, the victim was taken away in an ambulance. Police were on scene, but wouldn’t file a report. Doctors treated Jewett for broken ribs, broken teeth, as well as numerous cuts and bruises. Again police refused to take any action at all. Jewett made numerous trips to the police station, trying to get the man charged with a crime. The police ignored Jewett until his attacker committed a new slew of crimes, and they couldn’t ignore him any longer: that same attacker was arrested a year later in Connecticut, for threatening people with knives, stealing a car, and leading the cops on a high speed chase.
But the cops will do whatever they must to prove that “crime has gone down”, pointing to the success of the bigoted and draconian policy of “Stop and Frisk”.
For example, sexual assault on a stranger becomes a mere misdemeanor. The idea that a sexual assault would be downgraded to make the numbers look good is appalling, almost inconceivable. But in the case of one particular sexual assault, NYPD’s attempt to downgrade it to a misdemeanor did not work. Why? Because the sexual assailant—and the scumbag cops who downgraded the crime—had chosen to wrangle with a female journalist. Fifty-nine year old Debbie Nathan feared for her life when a stranger grabbed her in a public park, dragged her into the bushes, and told her that he intended to rape her. When the police finally did arrive at the scene of the assault (it took them over two hours to respond to her three 911 calls; obviously they were out conducting urgent “Stop and Frisks”), they listened to her story about being dragged into the woods while a creep held her down and masturbated on her. And then they said that it was merely a misdemeanor. “Forcible Touching”, it’s called. But our heroine would have none of it. She pursued it to the highest channels, and it ended up in the hands of the local state assemblyman, Adriano Espaillat. The story has a rare, gratifying ending: The commander of the 34th Precinct, Deputy Inspector Andrew Capul, was forced to apologize publicly to Nathan in a community hearing.
And in a review conducted just last year, in July of 2015, nineteen officers of the NYPD’s 40th Precinct were found to have downgraded 55 felonies and seriously minimized the crimes. Those charged include a lieutenant, eight sergeants, nine police officers and a detective. Is it any surprise that none of them have been placed on modified duty or suspended without pay? It is all business as usual. Their big boss, Deputy Inspector Lorenzo Johnson, has been temporarily assigned to a non-patrol services command pending further review. But he’s still raking in the chubby bucks. And this is just one review of 19 police officers, out of a total of 35,000 in the NYPD. 35,000 officers, under pressure from their superiors to turn violent, ugly assaults, home invasions, robberies, and rapes, into the merest of misdemeanors.
So—it would appear, at first glance, that we have meandered away from the sad story of Eric Garner, but the ugly truth is, crimes, arrests, resisting, punishment, death—these phenomenon do not transpire in a vacuum. Eric Garner was sick of being harassed, but he was no doubt sick of so much more. The protesters who took up signs and began chanting slogans after his death, and after the failure of justice, were sick—and still are sick—of so much more than the death of just one man.
A New Yorker who might bear the vaguest resemblance to someone who once committed a crime somewhere—because he’s black, because he’s brown, because he’s wearing a hoodie, because he’s wearing Air Jordans—is suddenly hassled. He’s hassled for standing, for walking, for getting on the subway, for getting off the bus, for driving in his car, for sitting in his car.
Hell, you can’t even ride a bike without putting your life at risk, thanks to the boys in blue. Thanks to the NYPD. Let’s end this chapter with one of my favorites:
Now, assuming you have watched it—a cop ramming his body into a bicyclist, and sending the rider slamming onto the concrete—it is worth noting that a jury found the officer not guilty of assault.
For abundant “Stop and Frisk” statistics, see May 9th, 2012 Briefing from the New York Civil Liberties Union, (pdf on web).
THE WISDOM OF GRAHAM WITHERSPOON
The Police Reform Organization Project held a symposium in the fall of 2012. The goal was to find men and women who had served as police, who had seen—to invoke understatement—a need for reform, and who had some very definite ideas about how those changes might come about. Although each member of the panel was informative and inspiring in their own way, it was Graham Witherspoon who stole the show. I watched him over and over again. His story—his vision--is infused with candor, wisdom, and heartfelt energy. It is this kind of honesty and passion that we must have, if we are to bring about meaningful and lasting change.
Here is his speech. But you owe it to yourself to watch him, in the flesh.
TRANSCRIPT OF GRAHAM WITHERSPOON’S SPEECH
I was born in east New York, and raised there. I had a negative encounter with a police officer in 1957, maybe ‘56. I was struck in the face by a cop, a white cop, with his night stick, outside of the school where Danny Kaye was doing a concert for the kids in East New York, because he grew up around the corner from where I lived. I was very much disturbed, because my father had died a few years prior, and I knew that if my father was alive and I told him that this cop hit me in the face with his nightstick, my father would have broken his neck.
When I was sixteen, my mother worked for the Board of Ed, and back in the Sixties, you could go to school at night, and you could learn. The Board of Education was about educating people. And we went to pick up the payroll slips for the people working in the schools at night and I was kicked, right at the base of the coccyx bone, which is at the base of your spine. Kicked very hard with a hard shoe. And someone said, “I say get on the wall” and I turned around and there’s a white guy in a sports jacket and an overcoat, and I had no idea who he was. At age sixteen I could snatch 130 pounds off the ground with either arm, do reverse curls with 140 without breaking a sweat. As I turned and looked at this guy, before I could take him, he was punched in the mouth by my mother. She told those detectives to get out of the building. She said “This is a school! You don’t come in here kicking anybody, let alone my son. Get out of this building!” I told my mother at age 16 the next cop that touched me, I would kill him. And I meant that, and she knew I meant that. And she had no problem with my mindset. My father and grandfather gunned down the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia in the 1930’s.
In 1973 I took a walk-in exam for the transit police department. I figured, if I take that job, there’s one less psycho that can get the job. And I said I can’t do anything about that system if I don’t go into it and try to effectively make some changes. NYPD called me two months later, I turned them down. That was during the Knapp Commission, for those of you who are old enough to remember the Knapp Commission. I said “I don’t work with bigots, and I don’t work with criminals.” I went into the transit police, which at that time was almost 30 percent black, and I was taught by some very astute black men, not just about policing but about the community, but about protecting the people.
As a Christian, I saw police work as a form of ministry. It wasn’t a job; it was something you needed to be called to. This isn’t hamburgers and french fries, or anything like that. Because you are dealing with the critical issues of people’s lives. I wasn’t drafted, I volunteered to do it. So I can’t have a bad day, at your expense. I volunteered; I wasn’t drafted, so I can’t be afraid of you because of what you look like. I cannot kill you, and, as they say, if you can articulate it, that’s the code word … If you can articulate the reason for doing what you did, don’t worry about it.
I worked in the top plainclothes unit of the New York Transit Police. I went into the transit police 1974. And we worked in a unit called the Black-Hispanic squad, and we did the entire city. Homicides, kidnapping, everything. The transit police. All of us got promoted. Detectives Sergeants, Lieutenants. I went to the squad as a detective, and in my tenure as a detective I sent cops to prison for raping young girls. Black cops. I sent white cops to prison for brutalizing people because they thought they were just beatin’ up niggers. And that individual was a PBA delegate.
There’s no grey area. You’re either walking the road correctly, or you’re part of the problem. All through my career, I was involved …we were at 370 J Street when Kalvin Alexander had the idea for an organization to do even more than what the Guardian’s Association was doing. I was the vice president of Transit Guardians. And we formulated 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care. And during my twelve years with them, our objective was to inspire younger cops to take up the gauntlet.
You have to know who you are before you go into policing. You cannot allow them to define you. If you don’t know who you are going in, they’ve got your mind. The psychological exam is only to protect the city in lawsuits. They’re not looking to weed out any problems. ”And as a man thinketh, so is he.” So the actions of the officers are the outcry of how they‘re thinking.
“As a man thinketh, so he is.”
--From “As a Man Thinketh,” motivational and spiritual classic by James Allen:
“Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.”
“The dreamers are the saviors of the world. As the visible world is sustained by the invisible, so men, through all their trials and sins and sordid vocations, are nourished by the beautiful visions of their solitary dreamers.”
“He who would accomplish little need sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much. He who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.”
“Cherish your visions.
Cherish your ideals.
Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts.
For out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment, of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built.”
Thank you, James Allen.
Thank you, Graham Witherspoon.
Rest in Peace, Eric Garner.