Once again, the spectre of police brutality rears its ugly head - this time in Philadelphia. It was learned that the Philadelphia Police department recently went to the home of former Philadelphia Social Worker, Nicol Newman, with a warrant to arrest her son.
NAACP/Philly President Min. Rodney Muhammad
The detectives then ("allegedly") somehow forced the door open, grabbed Ms. Newman, dragged her out of her home, cuffed her in front of her neighbors, and dragged her into the squad car; arrested her, where she remained incarcerated from12:00 to 7:00PM the following day.
When the police department was confronted with charges of police brutality, they stated that since she was neither shot nor killed, it could not be considered police brutality. However, Minister Rodney Muhammad, president of the Philadelphia NAACP, and attorney Michael Coard differ vehemently with that view point. Not only has Ms. Newman been humiliated publicly, but the officers violated several tenets of the law - including illegal search and seizure.
Attorney Michael Coard - President of ATAC
A press conference, featuring Michael Coard, Ms. Newman and her daughter, and Minister Rodney Muhammad was held on March 23 at the Philadelphia NAACP headquarters on Cecil B. Moore Ave.
Additionally, Min. Muhammad informed the media of a pending court hearing for Ms. Newman, which is scheduled to take place, Thursday, March 24, at 2:00 PM room 404 of the Pennsylvania Criminal Justice Center. The community is urged to come together and show up in court in her behalf.
Attorney Michael Coard, who can be heard Wednesdays and Sundays on WURD Radio, spoke out against the injustices, detailing the means by which the police department attempted to cover up their egregious acts of false arrest and violation of Ms. Newman's rights. The Following are Highlights of Michael Coard's statements (i.e. I am paraphrasing his commentary, however some are direct quotes):
"Ms. Newman who has some serious medical conditions and cannot sleep on certain types of materials, had to solicit sanitary napkins and sandwiches to make a bed so she could sleep in the jail. The 'negro' cop (my reference, not Michael's) on scene, who was there at the time of the white police dragging her out of her home, stated callously, "Well they could have beaten her down." Now this was a Black policeman!!
"The police were trying to figure out what to charge with, since they were the ones who had actually violated the law, not Ms. Newman." At first they tried to charge her with resisting arrest, but a Black detective, who wasn't on the scene, said "but she wasn't under arrest!" So she couldn't have been resisting arrest, since there was no arrest in the first place. "Then they stated that there was an investigation going on, and she was obstructing. But there was no investigation; all they had was a warrant. So they got rid of that. And then they tried to charge her with hindering - but there was nobody to hinder. And she didn't touch anybody - she just pulled back so there was no assault. So they finally got her for disordely conduct." But that was also erroneous, since disorderly conduct, by definition has to be public disruption; she had to be outside - she was in her own home - everything happened inside her home, so how can someone be arrested for a public act inside a private residence? So, according to Coard they went from assault to hindering to obstruction, now to disorderly conduct.
They claimed to have had an arrest warrant - that's all they had. The son was apparently accused of stealing something, he didn't show up in court, so the arrest warrant went out. "All that means is that if the cop has an arrest warrant, don't let him in or don't answer the door - you know who the criminal members of your family are. They generally go away. However, if they have a search warrant, it's something else. They have something called a knock and announce rule. So it goes like this: with an arrest warrant, all they can do is knock on the door. But if they have a search warrant, they have to knock on the door, and they have to give you a reasonable amount of time to answer the door; they just can't come to the door and kick the door in. They have to knock on the door first, and if anybody is inside, the size of the house determines how long a reasonable time is. If it looks like a one floor home, and there's only two rooms in it, and they knock on the door, they figure that ten to twenty seconds is enough time to let them in. But if you have a three story home, and about six or seven bedrooms, they knock on the door, they have to give you a couple of minutes. If you don't answer, now they kick in the door, search under the beds, in the closets, basement, anywhere they want." By the way, cops just wreck people's homes for no reason - they tear everything apart.
"In Ms. Newman's case they only had an arrest warrant. She made the mistake of thinking the cops would do the right thing; she opened her main door, then stood at the screen door, and then unlocked it - well she shouldn't have done that; because once that gave them the ability to get their hands in then they dragged her out. This woman is a City Social Worker; never been arrested before. And now the neighbors are looking; cops are dragging her out of the house; she's embarrassed and humiliated, it was just a horrible situation."
As horrible as the situation for Ms. Newman is, we must not forget that the original reason for the Rally on Saturday, March 26, was to remind ALL PHILADELPHIANS WHO HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO,
TO REGISTER TO VOTE IN THE UPCOMING APRIL 26 PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY ELECTION - THE DEADLINE FOR VOTER REGISTRATION IS MONDAY, MARCH 28, 2016!!
The deadline for Pennsylvanians to register to vote in this year's primary election is fast approaching.
In order to vote for nominees in the competitive presidential and U.S. Senate races on April 26, state residents must be registered to vote by next Monday, March 28.
Of course, the state has made it easier than ever to register. Last year, it became the 23rd state to offer online voter registration. So far this year, more than 121,000 people have used the new system.
Democrats lead Republicans in voter registration by a nearly 1 million voter margin thanks in large part to the Democratic strongholds of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. There are currently more than 4 million Democrats on the voter rolls compared to nearly 3.1 million Republicans, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.
Now that you know, what are you going to do about it???
This Saturday, March 26, 2016, at what was initially to have been a GOTV (GET OUT THE VOTE) RALLY, there will also be a rally in behalf of justice for Ms. Newman as well at the Berean Presbyterian Church :
|RALLY FOR NICOL NEWMAN AND TO GET OUT THE VOTE - BE THERE!!|