Leader against NYPD Stop-and-Frisk to stand trial
Leader against NYPD Stop-and-Frisk to be tried for observing police abuse, supporting protests in Harlem
What: Rally, Trial, Photo
Where: 100 Centre Street, Manhattan
When: Tuesday, April 23rd
9:00 am Rally
9:30 am Trial; Part C Manhattan Criminal Court
Noche Diaz, a young leader in the movement against mass incarceration and NYPD stop-and-frisk, is to be tried tomorrow in Manhattan Criminal Court on charges in two Harlem precincts. Manhattan prosecutors combined two separate incidents into one trial, citing a “pattern” of interfering with arrests of others. Diaz is charged with four Class A misdemeanors, and Disorderly Conduct, carrying a possible two years at Rikers Island.
Supporters of the defendant allege a pattern by NYPD of targeting Diaz, who is well known in Harlem for telling people they have rights not to be abused by police.
Supporters have waged a campaign to have the charges dropped, citing persons’ legal right to observe police activity, and the fact that both arrests occurred during political protests; an October 2011 protest against NYPD stop-and-frisk at the 28th Precinct, and a March protest by high school students against the vigilante murder of Trayvon Martin.
Hundreds have contacted Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance with the message “Hands off Noche Diaz. Drop the Charges Against Him” including the Rev. Stephen Phelps, Interim Senior Minister of The Riverside Church; Walt Frazier, former NBA star; Latin jazz musician Arturo O’Farill, and Cornel West and Carl Dix who together initiated the campaign of mass civil disobedience against NYPD stop-and-frisk in 2011.
Diaz, age 24, an activist with the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, cites his experience being repeatedly stopped and frisked by the NYPD and says, “I’m on trial in Manhattan, facing up to two years in jail, precisely because when these kinds of things go down I don’t walk by and I don’t let it happen in silence, I don’t let people get violated without someone speaking up for them. I’ve been standing up for these youth for years. And I’ve been targeted for my role in doing that.”
Supporters will rally tomorrow and be in the courtroom this week during his jury trial.