by Alton H. Maddox, Jr.
On Tuesday, June 19, Rev. Al Sharpton told his audience that he would have to await an autopsy report to ascertain the cause of death of Rodney King who was found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool. Rev. Sharpton is like most Blacks. The white man has to ascertain the cause of death. For Blacks, whites usually employ voodoo science.
When a white woman was found unconscious in Central Park in 1989, and unable to give any description of a suspect, the NYPD filled in the blanks using racial stereotypes. The suspects had to be Black or Latino. Whites have typically employed stereotypes as major and minor premises. For the rape of a white woman, there must be a Black or a Latino in the mix.
Instead of relying on white people to guide us, I would suggest the use of history as a guide. History has shown that when a white person is the perpetrator and a Black person is the victim, the Black person must pay for any harm visited on the white person. The focus is on compensating the white perpetrator.
An example is slavery under the Confederate States of America. To settle the issue of slavery, white slaveholders had to be compensated for enslaving persons of African ancestry and, afterwards, tolerating their emancipation. It was unthinkable that those enslaved Africans were victims and were, therefore, entitled to reparations.
I experienced the same logic among white lawyers who were supposed to be combatting poverty in Harlem. I had conducted an independent investigation which showed that a single, absentee landlord owned several multiple dwellings in Harlem. My suggestion was to lump these buildings together and conduct a rent strike directed at the single landlord.
The white lawyers at Harlem Assertion of Rights hit the ceiling. They shot back that “we are not up here to hurt the landlords” who owned buildings that were dangerous for human habitation. The Black tenants were paying for services that were never delivered to them. In short, the tenants were being severely short-changed.
To ascertain the cause of death of Rodney King, history is our best guide. It is never safe for a Black lawyer to represent a Black defendant against a white victim like in the Central Park 7. On the other hand, it is not safe to represent a Black victim, like Tawana Brawley, against a white person accused of a crime like Steve Pagones.
In 1987, I was attributed with causing the imprisonment of several whites in the death of Michael Griffith in Howard Beach. Three years later, I was given credit for a sentence of thirty-years to life to Joseph Fama in the death of Yusuf Hawkins in Bensonhurst. These victims contributed to the election of David N. Dinkins as mayor of the City of New York in 1989.
Within five days after Joseph Fama had been convicted for the death of Yusuf Hawkins, the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department in Brooklyn jumped all over me. Amid the trial of People v. Sharpton, I was immediately disbarred from the practice of law except that I could complete the trial of People v. Sharpton.
My immediate disbarment amid an actual trial was unprecedented. With no notice and hearing, it was an obvious violation of due process. This intermediate appellate court was also flirting with exposing Sharpton to a claim of double jeopardy. At the very least, racist emotions had overwhelmed these jurists. In short, Joseph Fama should not have been going to prison for snuffing out the life of a Black person. I had to pay. This is consistent with history.
Because of the video-taped beating of Rodney King by members of the Los Angeles Police Department, two of whom were convicted of civil rights violations and sent to prison, Rodney King had to pay for the convictions and the billion dollars in property damage in addition to the severe beating of a white man, Reginald Denny.
The likely suspect in snuffing out the life of King is Bush 41. The 1992 rebellion in Los Angeles tied the hands of Bush. He had no other choice but to initiate a civil rights prosecution against members of the Los Angeles Police Department. This prosecution and subsequent conviction of two police officers did not help Bush 41 with his conservative allies. He lost his lease on the White House.
Rev. Al Sharpton would claim that he has also been responsible for sending a white person to prison. His claim is his stabbing in Bensonhurst on Saturday, January 12, 1991. The stabbing was also video-taped. Yet, Rev. Sharpton went to Brooklyn Supreme Court to beg for leniency for his assailant. Otherwise, the posse would chase him.
He also had zero to do with the imprisonment of two police officers for sodomizing Abner Louima. These police officers violated New York’s shoot-to-kill policy. It costs the City of New York more money for not killing Abner Louima. For not being murdered, Louima was able to haul in nearly Ten Million Dollars away from New York City’s vault.
Reluctantly and unfortunately, I had to step into State v. Zimmerman to put George Zimmerman back behind bars. The lawyers for the family of Trayvon Martin were MIA and for good reason. Someone had reminded them of my history. These lawyers have chosen to be ambulance chasers rather than private attorneys general.
White people are big on numbers and especially round numbers. They love to celebrate anniversaries. This is twenty years after the rebellion in Los Angeles. Rodney King should have put twenty years on his calendar. There is no evidence that Rodney King knows about the history of white racism despite his tragic encounter with members of the Los Angeles Police Department. Two police officers went to prison. Now, we know his cause of death.
People v. James Bryson James Bryson has to appear in Part AP2 of Queens Criminal Court, 125-01 Queens Blvd, in Queens on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. Take the “E” or “F” train to Kew Gardens. He needs your support.
Bryson has been a member of UAM for more than two decades and a loyal volunteer of Freedom Retreat for Boys and Girls for nearly two decades. He is well-versed on courses given to young people on survival skills, constitutional law and trial tactics. These courses have been invaluable to our young people. Because of “Stop and Frisk” in New York, every Black person is vulnerable to an unlawful arrest. He has no criminal record and he is an elder. The criminal charge is a misdemeanor.
Preventive law is not as costly as an illegal arrest and wrongful prosecution and any confrontation with the police can lead to years in prison. Freedom Retreat for Boys and Girls is preventive law. This is not what happened to the “Central Park 7” and no member of the New York City Council is willing to compensate them for false arrests and wrongful convictions.
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 sign his Petition to save “Like It Is.” Contact him at c/o UAM P.O. BOX 35 BRONX, NY 10471