Target: Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City
Goal: Investigate and punish officers who attacked 14-year-old Javier Payne, who was unarmed at the time.
Fourteen year old Javier Payne is still recovering in a hospital bed from an apparently unprovoked attack by police. According to witnesses, while leaving a local hookah shop police stopped Payne to question him about an altercation he allegedly had with another man on the street. Officers insist he began speaking disrespectfully to them, at which point the young Bronx resident says they pushed him through a glass window.
According to a New York Police Department (NYPD) spokesperson, Payne and another pre-teen were both arrested around 11 pm on the night of the incident. Both were charged with assault, obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest. The spokesperson could not confirm whether or not Payne had been thrown through a window; he simply claimed such events had been left out of the report.
When paramedics arrived Payne’s lungs were full of blood, his face bruised, his clothes blood-soaked and his hands handcuffed behind his back. Although Payne was dying in front of them witnesses described the officers involved as being “nonchalant” about the boy’s serious condition. Paramedics said they had to hold his chest wound closed while they removed his handcuffs (which police initially refused to allow them to do). The paramedics were late in arriving at the scene because officers failed to advise them of the pediatric emergency; they instead used protocols normally reserved for drunk or intoxicated citizens.
Though the NYPD claims to be doing an internal investigation, it is statistically shown that such investigations seldom result in convictions, arrests, or even suspensions for aggressive officers. Outside pressure is needed to improve accountability within the police department, and that pressure can only come from above. Demand that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio address ongoing police violence, and call for an independent investigation into this terrible incident.
Dear Mayor de Blasio,
Young Bronx resident Javier Payne had to have shards of glass removed from his lungs after the vicious attack he received walking home on May 17th. His attackers, officers of the NYPD, pushed him through a glass window and handcuffed him while he lay on the ground dying. They did not alert paramedics to the severity of his injuries, but instead treated the situation with the same protocol they would a drunk. When paramedics finally did arrive they had to argue with officers to remove the handcuffs from Payne’s body so they could treat his injuries. By the time the officers relented Payne was loosing blood quickly and struggling to breathe. His life could have easily be taken that night.
Although the NYPD has offered to do an internal investigation, time has shown that the department is not in a fit position to regulate itself. The safety of New York children–especially black male children–depends largely on your ability to prevent police violence. It is your duty to remove violent and incompetent officers from the force. Failure to do so will result in continued brutality against youth who may need guidance, but certainly not violence.
I am asking you to complete a serious investigation into accusations of violence at the hands of the NYPD. I hope that Javier Payne and his family can find justice and peace through your decision to pursue a more thorough investigation into the officers that attacked him.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: drpavloff