Entries Tagged 'San Francisco PD' ↓
April 25th, 2012 — Racism, Recording police, Rights, San Francisco PD, Uncategorized
Fly Benzo (DeBray Carpenter) was one of the main Bayview residents trying to hold the police accountable for the murder of Kenneth Harding.
Now Fly faces jail time for copwatching.
We will pack the courtroom this Friday, April 27th, 9 a.m., in Dept. 27 or 29, 850 Bryant, San Francisco, for Fly’s sentencing.
Fly faces three years on three ridiculous misdemeanors.
Get off at POWELL ST Station,
then walk 4 blocks going East down 6th Street or 7th Street to Bryant.
Call the Oscar Grant Committee at 510-239-3570 and visit us at www.oscargrantcommittee.weebly.com.
March 14th, 2012 — Federal Law Enforcement, Mutual Aid, Police State, Racism, Rights, San Francisco PD, Surveillance
Coalition for a Safe San Francisco
For Immediate Release: San Francisco, March 13, 2012
Ordinance to Prevent SFPD-FBI Abuse Passes Board of Supervisors with 6 Votes!
Community disappointed by “No” votes from Progressive Supervisors Cohen and Wiener, and look to Mayor Lee for future support
(SAN FRANCISCO, CA – 03/13/12) Earlier today, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to pass an Ordinance introduced by Supervisor Jane Kim titled the Safe San Francisco Civil Rights Ordinance. The Ordinance seeks to codify pre-existing San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) protocol and Department General Orders (DGO) with respect to the SFPD’s collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The current agreement with the FBI was signed secretly in 2007 without public, Board, or Police Commission knowledge. At present, DGOs and San Francisco values regarding transparency, accountability, and civil rights compliance are not mandated, but may be followed simply at the will of the Officers participating in the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).
This has been of great concern to City residents who are requesting through this Ordinance that these laws and values be immediately codified so that the City is certain to protect against further harassment and profiling. In particular those from marginalized and targeted communities such as the Arab, Muslim, South Asian, Queer, African American, Chinese, and other immigrant communities are concerned.
An Arab community member who was profiled by SFPD and asked to be kept unnamed for fear of further harassment against him and his family spoke out saying “I am in constant fear for my privacy and security. It is our hope that this ordinance will protect all of us.”
Though the Ordinance passed today on first vote, with six Supervisors speaking out strongly in support of the Ordinance, community members were disappointed by the lack of support from the other Supervisors, particularly Wiener, Cohen, and Chu who represent communities that are often victims of FBI or law enforcement harassment.
Supervisor Wiener dissented with the Ordinance, stating “I am 100% supportive of having those local standards that reflect San Francisco values… the question for me is whether this needs to be legislated… and I don’t think it does.” Although this Ordinance would merely codify the local standards Supervisor Wiener supports, Wiener exercised his “no” vote in front of dozens of disappointed community members showing that for him their concerns do not warrant this legislation. Despite hours of prior community testimony where members of LGBTQ, African American, and Japanese communities also supported this Ordinance, Supervisor Wiener dismissed comparisons between law enforcement profiling of LGBTQ and Japanese communities and the current actions of the FBI against Arab, Muslim, and South Asian communities. Other Supervisors voting “no” declined to comment publicly during the vote.
Board President David Chiu disagreed with Wiener’s sentiments and defended the Ordinance, “It wasn’t too long ago that Chinese Americans were detained and interrogated… it wasn’t very long ago that African Americans had their phones tapped, and that LGBTQ individuals in San Francisco were dragged from bars and harassed. Every meeting we start with the Pledge of Allegiance… we have to do our part to make sure we stand for a city with ‘liberty and justice for all’.”
Supervisor Jane Kim thanked the community members and organizations that brought this forward, and responded to the lone concerns voiced by Supervisor Wiener, stating “This ordinance does not make our City less safe, in fact I would argue that it makes our city more safe by codifying the civil rights protections we already hold sacred in San Francisco… If we really believe in these values then they deserve to be codified into law.”
Community members and representatives of the over 70 endorsing organizations see today’s vote as a step in the right direction. “Today is a victory in the initial passage of a law that would help to protect all communities from racial profiling. Now we call on the rest of the Supervisors and the Mayor to stand on the side of justice – support this Ordinance and take a proactive stand for civil rights,” said Nour Chammas of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center.
About the Coalition: The Coalition for a Safe San Francisco is a growing grassroots alliance dedicated to protecting the civil rights and civil liberties challenged by overbroad national security policies. These policies have historically impacted communities of struggle and today are disproportionately targeting South Asian, Arab, and Muslim Americans. For additional information, visit www.safesf.org.
Contact: Lily Haskell, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, 415.861.7444; Nasrina Bargzie, Asian Law Caucus, 415.896.1701; Zahra Billoo, Council on American Islamic Relations –SF Bay Area, 626.252.0885; Nadia Kayyali, National Lawyers Guild SF Bay Area, 510.207.1040
For more information on the work of the Coalition, see
February 12th, 2012 — Racism, Recording police, Rights, San Francisco PD
PLEASE COME OUT AND SUPPORT IF ABLE.
Fly’s attorney, Severa Keith, anticipates that Tuesday’s testimony will last only through the morning, due to limited availability of witnesses. The following day, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, there will be a full day of testimony. On that day, Fly’s witnesses will start testifying…so it sounds like the trial could last another day or more past that.
Pack the Courts! Free Fly Benzo!
November 25th, 2011 — BART Police, Excessive Force, Police State, Racism, Recording police, Rights, San Francisco PD
November 24, 2011
From SF BayView:
You are listening to the Minister of Information on Hard Knock Radio (broadcast on KPFA Nov. 17, 2011). Today we’re going to be talking to San Francisco activist DeBray Carpenter aka Fly Benzo, as he’s known on the streets and in the rap world, about what’s been going on with police terrorism in Hunters Point.
Fly Benzo (DeBray Carpenter), a straight-A student at City College and lifelong resident of Hunters Point, has been beaten and jailed repeatedly since he spoke out against the police murder of Kenneth Harding over a $2 T-Train transfer. Fly is currently out on $95,000 bail, still owes the bail bondsman $4,000 and is raising funds by selling T-shirts.
by Minister of Information JR:
Fly has been very active and his family has been very active in the Hunters Point community. He has been one of the frontline soldiers in this fight for justice in the case of Kenneth Harding, an unarmed 22-year-old Black male who was murdered in Hunters Point by the San Francisco PD over a muni transfer. Fly, what’s happening with you?
Fly Benzo: What’s up?
M.O.I. JR: Can you tell the people a little bit about your history in activism? Can you tell people how did you get active and a little bit about your family and who they are in Hunters Point?
Fly Benzo: My father has been an activist for a long time; his name is Claude Carpenter. My mom (Barbara Banks), she was the first female contractor in San Francisco and she was African American. I really started with my activism when they built the T-Train Line on Third Street around 2003 and I was too young to even work but I was fighting for my people’s rights because it was none of my peoples working that T-Line.
This serene scene in Mendell Plaza, in the heart of Hunters Point at Third and Palou, with DeBray Carpenter aka Fly Benzo (far right) and his father, Claude Carpenter (center), and other residents enjoying community solidarity, is where police have been beating and arresting Fly.
I was too young to even work but I was fighting for my people’s rights because it was none of my peoples working that T-Line.
M.O.I. JR: Well, for people who don’t live in San Francisco, what is the T-Line and why was it important for people to work?
Fly Benzo: The T-Line is basically a train, it’s kind of like BART, it’s kind of like the subway in New York. We never had trains that went to Hunters Point. We had trains that bring goods but we never had passenger trains that come to Hunters Point and they’re basically trying to integrate the City. They’re trying to gentrify Hunters Point and make it easier for people to get to Hunters Point on the train.
M.O.I. JR: But the other thing that was important about it was like a hundreds of millions dollar project that the community didn’t get hired to build. People outside the community got brought in and made the money.
Fly Benzo’s mother, Barbara Banks, the first woman contractor in San Francisco, spoke at the annual October 22nd Coalition rally against police brutality. – Photo: Mesha Irizarry
Fly Benzo: Yes, sir, and even when we did get some kind of cut, the only jobs we got was stop sign jobs, holding up stop signs – and that’s all you’re going to see. You go to any of these construction sites, you’re going to see a whole lot of people holding stop signs and then once the job is over they don’t need them for nothing, nowhere. They don’t need stop sign holders on every job.
M.O.I. JR: So basically what you’re saying is that they were not trained to do any of the high level jobs that would be transferrable at other places of employment or other construction sites. What are some of the other movements that you got involved with before you got involved with this Kenneth Harding case?
Fly Benzo: Another movement would be the Deshon Marman case, where he was arrested for sagging on a US Airways plane. They have no dress code and they let another man fly in nothing but a bikini, nothing but panties and a bra, when they arrest this Black man for sagging and he’s a college student. He only came to San Francisco because his friend was murdered. He was going to the funeral and on his way back he got arrested and taken to jail and he had to get bailed out. Just like me, he has all these false charges. They dropped his charges but he had to bail out of jail.
M.O.I. JR: This was at San Francisco Airport?
Contractor and lifelong community advocate Claude Carpenter, Fly’s father, also spoke at the October 22nd rally on Third Street at Palou. – Photo: Mesha Irizarry
Fly Benzo: At San Francisco Airport, and San Francisco police patrol the San Francisco Airport, but they took him to San Mateo County Jail and then they sent the transcripts or whatever to Redwood City, so it was a whole bunch of controversy with that case.
M.O.I. JR: Yeah, that was in 2011, right?
Fly Benzo: That’s right.
M.O.I. JR: What ended up happening with that case because I did hear about that?
Fly Benzo: Yeah, the case was dropped and I’m not exactly sure what’s going on with the legal aspects of the case. I heard they were offering some free flights.
Then after that I spoke, well, during that, I spoke at the Board of Supervisors meeting, and I spoke about how we get criminalized in the Bayview on the T-Train and the police chase people down because they don’t have a transfer on the T-Train while the murderers and the rapists and the robbers get away. I mean we got over 1,000 unsolved homicides in San Francisco. I mean Sharmin Bock (candidate for district attorney) said in her campaign we have 1,000 unsolved homicides – and they chase people down for transfers in Bayview Hunters Point.
I spoke at the Board of Supervisors meeting (before the police murder of Kenneth Harding) about how we get criminalized in the Bayview on the T-Train and the police chase people down because they don’t have a transfer.
M.O.I. JR: Well, for those of you who are just tuning in, we are talking to activist Fly Benzo right here on Hard Knock Radio with the Minister of Information JR. Fly, can you tell the people a little bit about the Kenneth Harding case? Kenneth Harding was somebody who was recently murdered by the police in San Francisco, but can you tell them a little bit about the case specifically for the people who have never heard that name?
Fly Benzo: Like I was saying about the Deshon Marman thing, when I spoke before the Board of Supervisors meeting, a couple of days later Kenneth Harding was shot down, and a lot of people in the community know me as an activist so they hit my phone immediately. They was telling me, like, the police killed somebody and then somebody else came up to me and showed me a video and I ran down there as fast as I could from the Monte Carlo. That’s about 8-10 blocks.
M.O.I. JR: And what happened?
Fly Benzo: He was out there bleeding. They had a bunch of cops out there. It was like a big standoff with the police. They had a large area taped off and it was whole bunch of police out there looking everywhere but by where dude was shot for a gun. They’re going up on rooftops and they were looking everywhere for a gun that obviously wasn’t there.
Kenneth Harding was bleeding on the ground. I think they had taken him off by that time, but then we walked around because they had the area taped off. So we walked all the way around the block the other way so we could get to the news reporters and tell them the community’s side of the story, because this Kenneth Harding incident isn’t an isolated incident.
It’s been women that have been beat up by the police for not having a transfer on the T-Train, and I put it on my show. I broadcast it on Channel 29 public access in San Francisco, and my show is called “It’s Really Real TV” and it comes on late night. A lady got beat up for not having a transfer on the T-Train.
Fly spoke passionately at the press conference and rally held by the community on July 18, two days after police murdered Kenneth Harding over a $2 T-Train transfer. The rally was held at Third and Oakdale in Hunters Point, on the sidewalk where Kenny was allowed to bleed to death while police trained their guns on him and the horrified crowd. – Photo: Bill Carpenter
I basically ran from the police and I didn’t have a transfer, but I’m thinking they’re not going to chase me for a transfer but they actually called backup to take me down for a transfer. This is basically criminalizing poverty.
The African American youth in San Francisco have a 70 percent unemployment rate, so our population is rapidly decreasing. It’s going to continue to decrease when the police are criminalizing our poverty in San Francisco. They are already tearing down our low-income housing.
African American youth in San Francisco have a 70 percent unemployment rate, so our population is rapidly decreasing. It’s going to continue to decrease when the police are criminalizing our poverty.
M.O.I. JR: Didn’t you catch a number of cases for being on the front lines and representing the Hunters Point community against police terrorism? How does that tie in?
Fly Benzo: I caught a whole bunch of cases. I spoke on Sharen Hewitt’s show on Channel 29. The next day the police must have seen the show and they arrested me on sight – narc cars and a black and white – and they all hopped out and came straight to me with the handcuffs dangling and arrested me and told me, “You’re not getting cited out this time.” And I was in jail for about five days with resisting arrest charges.
M.O.I. JR: For it to be resisting arrest, what was the initial arrest for?
Fly Benzo: There was no reason to arrest me.
M.O.I. JR: So they arrested you for resisting arrest?
Fly Benzo: Yes, and I didn’t even resist. That’s the cold part.
M.O.I. JR: But I’m saying like how can they get on a charge of resisting arrest when they had no probable cause to arrest?
Fly Benzo: It’s crazy; it’s police misconduct.
M.O.I. JR: OK, what’s the second time?
Fly Benzo: This latest time, a cop pulled out his video phone and started videotaping me after he had unplugged the radio (in Mendell Plaza at Third and Palou, where playing music is commonplace), and the community didn’t like it. He started videotaping me and I’m doing no crime.
DeBray Carpenter, aka Fly Benzo, speaks at his press conference July 28 after his release from jail the first time he was arrested for speaking out against the police murder of Kenneth Harding. – Photo: Brant Ward, SF Chronicle
So I pulled out my phone and I started videotaping him and obviously he felt that a threat to his job or his position or him getting a promotion or whatever – and he wanted to try to knock my phone out my hand. So I told him not to touch me and I recorded him again and he did it again and he tried to grab my arm and tried to put me under arrest.
I wasn’t trying to get arrested because I just got out of jail for five days for nothing, but I know what happens. I mean I was just coming from school, just got to Third Street and Palou.
I saw my brother, I stopped, and I mean they started harassing me as soon as they came to Third Street – like Black people aren’t welcome in San Francisco. If we’re not welcome on Third Street, what makes you think we’re going to be welcome on Market Street? If we’re not welcome on Third Street, what makes you think we’re going to be welcome in Chinatown or Koreatown?
Why can’t African Americans have a cultural mecca in San Francisco? How come every other culture is San Francisco is celebrated in San Francisco? That’s the kind of thing we need to speak on.
M.O.I. JR: So to get to the point where they racked you and your brother up?
Fly Benzo: So they took us, they grabbed my arm and tried to put me under arrest. And by this time, backup was coming and a whole lot of cops were on me.
They tried to charge me with assault on an officer and resisting arrest causing serious bodily harm, but I mean, is videotaping a cop a crime?
Is videotaping a cop a crime?
M.O.I. JR: Where did the assault charge come from? What had happened?
Fly Benzo: I have no idea. I assaulted no one. I didn’t let them just arrest me because I had committed no crime, but I mean at first all they were trying to do was take my phone.
But they put me under arrest, they beat me up. I was hospitalized, and I was put in jail. They gave me $95,000 bail and I had to come up with $7,600 to get out and I’m out on bail right now and I owe the bail bondsman.
They put me under arrest, they beat me up. I was hospitalized, and I was put in jail. They gave me $95,000 bail.
We’re selling T-shirts and I have a Facebook account, Free Fly Benzo. Look it up and you can buy T-shirts. We got all kinds of different designs. Look up my video, “Fly Benzo, War on Terror.” And we have some raw and uncut footage on there and you can check it out.
We have an entrepreneurship program we’re checking out and working on, I Too Have a Dream. We have a club at City College, Black Star Line Coalition. I mean, man, we’re pushing.
I was getting straight As. I was going to court every time. I had a bail reduction hearing. I had letters from my teachers, and the judge refused to reduce my bail.
And this child molester coach from Penn State, his bail was $100,000 and he touched six kids. He’s accused of touching six kids and his bail was only $5,000 more than mine and all I did was videotape a crooked cop. And I’m facing four years in the state pen for videotaping a cop.
This child molester coach from Penn State, his bail was $100,000 – only $5,000 more than mine – and all I did was videotape a crooked cop. And I’m facing four years in the state pen.
M.O.I. JR: One last time, your email address or where people can find you online if they want to get directly in contact with you?
Fly Benzo: Yes, on Facebook, Fly Benzo, or on Twitter, @Fly Benzo.
The People’s Minister of Information JR is associate editor of the Bay View, author of “Block Reportin’” and filmmaker of “Operation Small Axe,” both available, along with many more interviews, atwww.blockreportradio.com. He also hosts two weekly shows on KPFA 94.1 FM and kpfa.org: The Morning Mix every Wednesday, 8-9 a.m., and The Block Report every Friday night-Saturday morning, midnight-2 a.m. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Original Story at:
November 20th, 2011 — Excessive Force, Occupy, Rights, San Francisco PD
In what has become a pattern of harassment and intimidation, the San Francisco Police Dept. once again rushed into the OccupySF Federal Reserve Protest in the dark of night, this time arresting six peaceful protesters, confiscating tents and equipment, and creating panic and confusion.
OccupySF protester Michael Carisoza was part of a group standing peacefully with arms linked at 101 Market St. when the police arrived:
“The police attacked Janice, age eighteen, and of petite stature. Two of them grabbed her. We were linked together. They grabbed her and picked her up off the ground. The old woman next to me and I fell to the ground.”
James Jennison, an HIV-positive protester, was sleeping in his tent when the police drove him out:
“They took away my home and the shelter I need to stay healthy. This was illegal seizure of property and a rebuke of my first amendment rights.”
Sean Semans, an OccupySF liaison to the city, was sleeping when he was suddenly awakened and arrested:
“I was sleeping and I didn’t even get a chance to get out of my sleeping bag. I woke up to a cop straddling over my sleeping bag. I started tying my shoes and he just grabbed me.”
OccupySF protester Prince Jerrick was inside his tent when the police moved in:
“The riot cops passed by us and one said ‘get out or get arrested.’ We told him we were getting out and he instructed us to put our hands in the air as we crossed the street or else he would hit us.”
This police raid is an infringement on OccupySF’s rights of free speech and assembly and is part of a larger disruptive pattern that includes DPW’s ongoing enforcement of arbitrary rules and codes.
OccupySF individuals will be speaking to the press later today, Sunday Nov. 20, at 3:30pm at Justin Herman Plaza.
July 30th, 2011 — Checkpoints, Excessive Force, Police Violence and Killings, Racism, San Francisco PD
Interview with Denika Chatman on her son’s recent killing by San Francisco Police Department for not paying his $2.00 train fare. His slow death, and the lack of medical assistance provided, was well documented on civilian video recordings at the scene. His mother recounts her son’s life, and her relations with the police, including a SWAT team that was sent to her house following the killing:
“The way that the police have been talking to me, degrading me – they feel like they have the right to do it to me.”
Interview by Natasha Reid for the SF Bayview Newspaper:
July 20th, 2011 — Excessive Force, Police State, Police Violence and Killings, Racism, San Francisco PD
Willie Ratcliff reports on the SFPD killing of 19 year old Kenneth Harding on 3rd Street between Palou and Oakdale in Bayview Hunter’s Point on July 16th:
Ratcliff quotes Sister Halimah Allah from Los Angeles: “As I watch another Black man – shot down in the street like a mad dog by occupation forces paid for by our tax dollars and 456 years of dehumanization – I read accounts of the incident and wonder: What is this young man’s name? Who are his people: family, friends etc.? Does he have a mother? Does she know her son is dead? (Peace be upon him.)”
Ratcliff also writes:
“The San Francisco Municipal Railway, known as Muni, has followed up major rate increases in recent years with greatly intensified police fare enforcement, imposing heavy fines and even jail time for riders who are unable to prove by showing a paper transfer that they paid their fare.”
See the SF BayView Newspaper, July 17th, 2011
June 26th, 2011 — San Francisco PD, Tasers
“In a recent interview, [Police Chief Greg Suhr] said that while he thought Tasers would be a useful tool for police officers in San Francisco, he didn’t have the money, or the time, to lobby for them.
In recent Taser debates, the SF Police Commission outright rejected previous SFPD chief Gascon’s proposal “over concerns that the Tasers could seriously injure or kill the recipients of the 50,000-volt shocks.”
Read more: www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/cityinsider/detail?entry_id=91760#ixzz1QR0gkcgh
May 18th, 2011 — Federal Law Enforcement, Police State, Racism, Rights, San Francisco PD
In a Sanctuary City, we can’t let our police act like FBI agents.
Let’s make sure they play by the rules!
A Joint San Francisco Police Commission & Human Rights Commission Public Hearing
Wednesday May 18, 2011
San Francisco City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA
Board of Supervisors Chambers
Community testimony at a past Human Rights Commission hearing helped document that Arab, Muslim and South Asian community members are facing consistent interrogation, surveillance, harassment, and infiltration by federal law enforcement personnel (including FBI, CBP, and ICE).
Now, SF Police & FBI are forced to respond to concerns of Profiling & Surveillance of Muslim, Arab, Middle Eastern and South Asian Communities
HOW TO HELP: Please come to the hearingto show your support for Civil and Human Rights!
We are looking for community members to testify about their experience of being profiled or spied upon because of their race, religion, political activity or national origin. We are also looking for experts or attorneys and legal workers with clients who have experienced any of the following:
(contact info below for more information)
EVEN IF YOU DON’T PLAN TO TESTIFY, HELP US BY PACKING THE HEARING ROOM!
About the Hearing
This hearing will primarily be a forum for law enforcement officials to reply to community concerns and answer commissioner questions. However, there will then be a public comment portion where individuals will be allotted 2 minutes to testify. If you would like to comment, please let us know by contacting:
Summer Hararah | ASIAN LAW CAUCUS
May 4th, 2011 — Federal Law Enforcement, Police State, Public Records Act, Rights, San Francisco PD
A secret memo indicates that SF cops may be working as FBI spies — with no local oversight
by Sarah Phelan, San Francisco Bay Guardian, April 26, 2011
Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) and Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) have the power to override San Francisco Police Commission policy and local laws.
“…it effectively puts local officers under the control of the FBI. “That means Police Commission policies do not apply,” Crew said. “It allows San Francisco police to circumvent local intelligence-gathering policies and follow more permissive federal rules.”
“The MOU is disturbing,” Police Commission member Petra DeJesus told the Guardian. “The department is assuring us that local policies are not being violated — but it looks as if it’s subject to interpretation.”
For the full article: