This morning was the scheduled trial of the men in the article below, assaulted by police during a jobs protest. Yet again the trial was postponed.....the police officers involved arrived in court and then left before the trial started. The judge was shown the video of the incident clearly showing a brutal attack with pepper spray and she was inclined to dismiss, as was the expectation. The men's lawyers say that never have they seen a simple protest charge go this long without dismissal. What's more, the State Attorney's Office directed the judge not to dismiss and insisted it go to trial. NO ONE IN THE COURT HAD EVER HEARD OF THIS PROCESS...IT IS UNPRECIDENTED, ESPECIALLY WITH EVIDENCE THAT THE POLICE WERE AGGRESSORS. Everyone agrees that these young men are being made examples to anyone wanting to pursue the wrongdoing by Johns Hopkins in these contract issues. THIS IS CRIME AND CORRUPTION AT THE GRASSROOTS LEVEL.
The reason this example is so important over and above the complete disregard of these young men's civil rights and justice is the blatant disregard for law and order. It mirrors the mechanations of the Wall Street crimes that are brushed off as a nuisance.
MARYLAND'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE DEPARTMENT HEADED BY DOUG GANSLER AND CITY PROSECUTOR BERNSTEIN APPEAR TO BE HEADING INTO A WELL DOCUMENTED CASE OF FALSE ARREST AND HARASSMENT. THE POLICE BRUTALITY CAUGHT ON VIDEO IS A SEPARATE MATTER. THE INTENT TO INTIMIDATE IS CLEAR. I asked the defendant's attorney why State's Attorney Bernstein is not prosecuting EBDI (Johns Hopkins) for breach of contract and fraud and why the lawyer wasn't pursuing that issue. No answer as a nod indicated the injustice. WE INSIST ON RULE OF LAW!!!
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!!
Four arrested in protest at EBDI
Posted: 3:53 pm Thu, March 29, 2012
By Melody Simmons
Daily Record Business Writer
Four protestors were arrested Thursday during a protest march for jobs near the 88-acre East Baltimore Development Inc. site following a clash with Baltimore police. Carrying signs and chanting, “Our community, our jobs” and “If we don’t work, nobody works,” about 200 protestors marched on Johns Hopkins Hospital and then moved near construction of the $184 ...
Below we see the City Council making a stand for jobs with threats of defunding of the EBDI at a time that everyone knew that EBDI was disbanding and a new development corporation was being created. No mention of a clawback of tax credits with breach of contract. So a pattern of intentional deceit and disregard for law. Remember, millions were obtained in business tax credits with agreements on hiring and housing for displaced community members. Failure to meet these agreements after taking the money is fraud.
EBDI protesters appear in court as their allies picket outside Demonstrators call for charges to be dropped against 'East Baltimore 4'
June 06, 2012|By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun
Three of four protesters arrested during a jobs march this spring at the site of a $1.8 billion East Baltimore urban renewal project appeared in Baltimore District Court Wednesday as demonstrators outside demanded charges be dropped against the "East Baltimore 4."
A June 26 jury trial in Baltimore Circuit Court was set for Thomas Threatt, a self-employed laborer who was charged with resisting arrest during the March protest at the 88-acre redevelopment area just north of Johns Hopkins Hospital.
A District Court appearance for two other defendants — Richie Armstrong, a community organizer for Community Churches United, and William Simmons — was postponed until July 30. A fourth defendant, Earl King, failed to appear.
Community Churches United and the Laborers' International Union of North America have been organizing demonstrations against East Baltimore Development Inc., or EBDI, the nonprofit leading the transformation of the Middle East neighborhood.
The revitalization calls for 1,500 to 2,000 new and renovated residential units and up to 1.7 million square feet of commercial space.
Protesters say EBDI has failed to provide construction jobs promised to East Baltimore residents. Last week, a group of elected officials representing East Baltimore said it wanted to block the project until more neighborhood residents and minority contractors were hired and displaced residents began to benefit from the urban renewal project. JUST AS THEY DISBAND........REALLY?
The March 29 demonstration ended with the arrests of the four men. Just before Wednesday's hearing, about 10 people protested what they said were abusive tactics by police in making the arrests. The March 29 scene was captured on video and posted on YouTube.
"Protesting for jobs is not a crime," said Sharon Black, a volunteer organizer for the Justice 4 Trayvon Martin Organizing Committee in Maryland, which organized Wednesday's event in support of the four defendants. "These people should be hailed as heroes. We were appalled by the video we saw of police abuse and brutality."
Threatt said he attended the March protest in hopes of getting a job through a Community Churches United program. After the court hearing Wednesday, Threatt said he had been trying to follow police orders to clear the street when he was grabbed, thrown to the ground and sprayed in the face with mace.
Besides resisting arrest, which can carry a sentence of up to three years, Threatt was charged with disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and loitering.
"I just wanted a job," he said Wednesday.
EBDI has much to answer for
Instead of jobs and housing, East Baltimore residents get empty promises and arrested protesters
By Marisela B. Gomez 12:27 p.m. EDT, June 7, 2012 Baltimore Sun
The ongoing redevelopment project in East Baltimore is many things, and is not many things. The things it is lacking include community participation, transparency, objective government oversight, and consistency in its rhetoric and actions.
No one would deny that this abandoned and disinvested community was in desperate need of rebuilding — that crime and drugs had grown out of proportion, making it unsafe for residents and visitors alike. What was shocking and unacceptable was that the decision to redevelop, the decision to use a biotech park as an economic anchor, and the decision to displace an African-American community with no concrete plan or means to return, should be made by a handful of people — almost all of them white men — in private meetings.
The 10 years following this plan have evolved according to the way it began: inconsistent in words and action, lacking in community participation, and achieving benefits for those with power on the backs of those without. The small number of jobs created for the people of East Baltimore is inconsistent with announcements that the project would result in 8,000 jobs. The tax subsidies and government support of this project confirm that the power of eminent domain — the taking of private land for public benefit — will disproportionately benefit those with power to the detriment of those without. And the lack of homeownership opportunities for low-income residents continues to support the apparent intention of this project since its announcement in 2001: gentrification in the 21st century.
A public protest in March by residents and union members for decent jobs for residents of East Baltimore resulted in four arrests, with charges ranging from disorderly conduct to resisting arrest. But who should be defending their actions, and who should be on trial? Having participated in the rally, I was shocked to see how many police cars were present. When we exited the church where we gathered for blessings and dedication, the police cars were there and followed us along the entire rally path, while we stood in front of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and while we stood in front of the EBDI construction site. I remembered feeling that this show of force by the police was intimidating and harassing. While we rallied outside the Hopkins hospital, we complied with their orders to lower our voices and put away the bullhorn. We moved out of the way of pedestrians and employees and students. And when they told us to disperse, we did. We made our way to the EBDI construction site and did the same. At the construction site, the police were there in full force. Several officers taunted us, telling us that we should be rallying at City Hall instead. They pushed the protesters and invited confrontation.
In response to our claims of police brutality, all the department's spokesman had to say was that "police got a call that demonstrators were blocking construction equipment."
It was clear that the police had been advised by EBDI and partners that there would be a protest demanding decent jobs for the unemployed of East Baltimore. They were prepared to send a clear message that protesting was not acceptable. While we were standing at the construction site, we were told by an officer that "we don't do this in East Baltimore."
He was right. What usually happens is that development in East Baltimore goes according to the wishes of the major developer of the area, Johns Hopkins, and the elected officials who approve its plans for expansion, with no input from local residents and businesses. So a protest demanding a right to jobs and demanding that EBDI, Hopkins, and the Casey Foundation involve the community in decision making and assure benefits to residents through a Community Benefits Agreement is not business-as-usual in East Baltimore. And for this change in behavior, for this challenge to the powers that be, protesters were intimidated and some were arrested. Meanwhile, those who continue to speak eloquent words about jobs for the unemployed and affordable housing remain in private meetings, changing plans according to their whims and approving actions inconsistent with their promises.
I ask again: Who should be on trial this month? The protesters, or the ones who conceived and orchestrated a plan made up of false promises to gain public support?
Dr. Marisela B. Gomez is an author, public health professional and community activist with the Community Housing and Relocation Working Group in East Baltimore. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
BELOW YOU READ A COMMENT BY A LOCAL MINORITY BUSINESS PERSON MAKING A TRUTHFUL POINT. THERE ARE ATTEMPTS TO INFLATE MINORITY HIRING FIGURES ....AN ARTICLE JUST RECENTLY DETAILED THE FAILURE TO MEET PERCENTAGES. THERE ARE A FEW BUSINESSES THAT GET ALL THE WORK AND IN EXCHANGE THEY GIVE THE DEVELOPERS A THUMBS UP. THE COMMUNITY LEADER IN THE ABOVE ARTICLE SEEMS PRETTY SURE OF THAT.
Of Course Pless Jones supports it, he makes a ton of money off of non bid contracts. Pless is great at banging his fist on the table and selling the community and the other Minority Contractors out to make himself rich. He gets paid by developers and contractors to make them look good. But most of the minority contracting numbers at this project are just pass through numbers or purchase agents that partner with supply firms and legitimate minority contractors cant get on. The Baltimore City Politicians turn a blind and then put their jhands out for their pay offs - just as Sheila Dixson - who now works for Pless.
This article shows that there is a repeating policy by police and government officials across all 'threats' to the well-being of issues that are widely protested by any number of groups......like the men protesting at EBDI above.
Has the FBI Launched a War of Entrapment Against the Occupy Movement?
CIVIL LIBERTIES AlterNet / By Arun Gupta ~ Is the government unleashing the same methods of entrapment against OWS that it has used against left movements and Muslim-Americans? May 24, 2012 |