by Alton H. Maddox, Jr.
I learned at Central High School in Newnan, Georgia that critical thinking requires a mastery of fractions in order to call things by their right names. The object is to reduce a fraction to its lowest common denominator. I would apply this approach to all of my high school courses. If I had not been a “militant,” I may have probably been the valedictorian of my graduating class.
Central High School was blessed with excellent instructors but it had a common flaw. A student’s GPA depended on a teacher’s forecast of a Black student’s amenability to “white supremacy” and “deportment.” It was clear that I had a problem embracing white supremacy. I would have become an embarrassment, in the future, to those teachers. I also was not in the “top ten” in my class academically due to militancy.
Blacks in New York City employ the same approach at the polls. They have learned and steadfastly embrace the “white primary” system to endorse the selection of their political representatives by white supremacists. Over a period of time, Cong. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. became a political embarrassment to voters in Harlem despite his unprecedented, legislative achievements in Congress. This is “plantation politics” at its best.
In Powell v. McCormack, in 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Cong. Adam Clayton Powell’s Jr.’s lawsuit was “ripe” against the doorkeepers and sergeant-at-arms since he had met all of the qualifications under Art. 1, sec. 2 of the U.S. Constitution. Congress, however, was not a proper party. The Court, retroactively, noted that a vote to exclude could not become a vote to expel. Powell would be fined and stripped of his seniority.
It is of great interest that Black voters in Harlem would give great deference to a “High Court” that penned the infamous dictum in Dred Scott. They did. Charles Rangel defeated Powell in 1970 and sent him packing to Bimini –heartbroken. Even without seniority, Powell was a better bet than Rangel but white supremacists had spoken.
Powell v. McCormack was only the tip of the iceberg. Cong. Powell had held a Black Power Conference on Capitol Hill in 1966. Powell was ousted as chairman of the House and Education and Welfare Committee on January 9, 1967. When you connect the dots, it is not surprising that Congress acted with great haste. Powell was bent on replacing “plantation politics” with “Black Power” and forming a “People’s Party.”
In the meantime, Blacks in Ferguson have sought to replace “Negroism” with justice. Every legal system in the United States is not only corrupt but also racist. Robert McCulloch, the district attorney in St. Louis County, is no exception. Missouri is unprepared or unwilling to give its Black residents of Ferguson even a modicum of justice by relieving McCulloch of his duties for investigating the death of Michael Brown by P.O. Darren Wilson.
Probable cause has already been established for the death of Brown. Unless the slave code is still in effect in Missouri, descendants of enslaved Africans witnessed the murder. Scientific evidence will also establish a homicide. Eyewitness evidence plus scientific evidence supports probable cause for an immediate arrest of Wilson under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Similarly, probable cause also exists for the immediate arrest of P.O. Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY. The cause of death was a chokehold. The manner of death was homicide. A videotape not only recorded the chokehold but also the rogue cops who either applied or assisted in applying the chokehold.
The executive branch of government not only has the responsibility to enforce the law but also the responsibility to relieve any prosecutor who refuses to enforce the law. Probable cause under the Fourth Amendment requires an immediate arrest. No police officer is entitled to a second bite at the apple. The grand jury must never be employed as an “appellate court” to review probable cause.
In both Missouri and in New York, the local prosecutors have refused to enforce the law by being unwilling to deliver pre-trial indictments. Probable cause is a synonym for an immediate arrest. The governors in both states are oath takers and they have refused to abide by or adhere to their oaths of office. On the other hand, only “ambulance chasers” are willing to be retained to only seek “hush money” for the aggrieved families and “no justice” for the communities.
On this past Wednesday, I received an e-mail from a “certified human rights defender” in Ferguson, MO which reads, in part: “I am writing you this letter on behalf of the citizens of Ferguson, MO and the state of Missouri itself. It is my humble request that you come to Saint Louis, Missouri and personally address the concerns of the citizens and legally represent us & begin filing motions etc. that will have officer Darren Wilson arrested, indicted. ….”
I am ready to travel to Ferguson, MO but I am unable to travel anywhere without financial support and legal persuasion from Blacks in New York to Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman of the New York Court of Appeals. In part, I suffer the same problem that Powell faced in Congress. The culprits in Powell were the doorkeepers and the sergeant-at-arms. The culprits in Maddox are doorkeepers and court officers.
Otherwise, Cong. Powell met all the qualifications of the U.S. Constitution. I have met all of the qualifications to practice law in New York. In New York, court officers are stationed in front of courtrooms and the state police are present on all New York highways even though I also meet all of the qualifications of a lawyer to represent my people without fee and to travel in and outside of New York.
For the past twenty-four years, New York has deprived me of an opportunity to earn a living even though I had spent most of my legal career doing pro bono work for New York and for Blacks. I spent everything, including my retirement, on representing my people. Only investors can “free” a people.
It is not sufficient to simply make donations. Activism requires funding. Social parasites are a drag on activism. Whites respect investors in white supremacy. Blacks disrespect investors in their liberation. In the Black community, social parasites exceed investors. In accounting, this amounts to a deficit.
A blue-ribbon commission, in 1991, had found that New York’s judicial system was “infested with racism.” It did not make sense for me to charge clients a commensurate legal fee. This would constitute double jeopardy. A percentage of an award to an “ambulance chaser” was also out of the question. This is triple jeopardy.
Like Cong. Powell, I also filed a civil rights action but in Brooklyn Federal Court citing Hachamovitch v. DeBuono, 159 F.3d 687 (2nd Cir. 1998) (Jacobs, J.) of which the facts of Maddox v. Prudenti, et. al. fitted on all fours. Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals heard my appeal. It did not make sense for him to reject his own reasoning in Hachamovitch to accommodate my civil rights claims in Maddox. It would mean overthrowing a bill of attainder.
Instead, unlike what the U.S. Supreme Court had done in Powell v. McCormick, Chief Judge Jacobs refused to take Maddox to the next level by the identifying the “doorkeepers” and “court officers” as the culprits. This is why I have always identified my plight as amounting to “judicial bullying.” Otherwise, I am still qualified to practice law in New York, Pennsylvania and in Georgia and am eligible to practice law pro hac vice in Missouri.
The residents of Missouri are simply asking for justice. It will not come in Ferguson, MO until there is a level playing field. An elected prosecutor has an inherent conflict-of-interest in investigating any death at the hands of a police officer who is a natural ally of the prosecutor’s office.
Former NYS Atty. Gen. Robert Abrams feigned to be a special prosecutor. He was ticked off when I called his hand. An elected prosecutor can never be a special prosecutor. This accounts for the unconstitutional and unfair result in Trayvon Martin. Every state, including Missouri, has a remedy. It is called a “special prosecutor.”
Fifty years ago, all civil rights activists headed to Mississippi. The state is a better place today. History, for the better, should repeat itself. The Congressional Black Caucus should make an immediate change of venue in September 2014 from Washington, DC to St Louis, MO. Ferguson, MO is Exhibit “A” of a national problem. Blacks, nationwide, are suffering from a “shoot-to-kill” policy and a “choke-to-kill” policy. Streets and cities are unsafe for Blacks.
Too honest for the White Press and too black for much of today’s Black Press; bullet columnist Alton Maddox upsets the same people and status quo as he did as an uncompromising Defense Attorney. He is also a founding member of the Freedom Party. Please support the movement to Reinstate him. Contact him at c/o UAM P.O. BOX 35 BRONX, NY 10471.