1999: On the Killing of Amadou Diallo by New York Police

see the YouTube video at http://youtu.be/nghqjBwZTiE

American Skin 41 Shots — live in Tampa, FL 3/23/12

American Skin (41 Shots)” is a song written by Bruce Springsteen, inspired by the police shooting death of Amadou Diallo. It was written and premiered during the band’s 1999–2000 reunion tour. Springsteen first performed it in concert in Atlanta on June 4, 2000, the final concert before the tour’s final ten-show run at New York City‘s Madison Square Garden, where it was also featured. The performance led to some controversy in New York City, where the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association called for a boycott of Springsteen’s shows.It was played at several concerts in April 2012 on the Wrecking Ball Tour in response to the shooting of Trayvon Martin.. Springsteen performed the song on July 16, 2013, a few days following George Zimmerman‘s controversial not guilty verdict. It was again dedicated to Martin at the Limerick, Ireland, concert with Springsteen saying before the song “I want to send this one out as a letter back home. For justice for Trayvon Martin”.

Shooting of Amadou Diallo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Shooting of Amadou Diallo occurred on February 4, 1999, when Amadou Diallo, a 23-year-old immigrant from Guinea, was shot and killed by four New York City Police Department plain-clothed officers: Sean Carroll, Richard Murphy, Edward McMellon and Kenneth Boss, who fired a combined total of 41 shots, 19 of which struck Diallo, outside his apartment at 1157 Wheeler Avenue in the Soundview section of The Bronx. The four were part of the now-defunct Street Crimes Unit. All four officers were charged with second-degree murder and acquitted at trial in Albany, New York.

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New York Police and Philippine National Police announce joint program “against terror and crime”

[Long ago, Phil Ochs wrote a satirical, anti-imperialist song, “We’re the Cops of the World,” and each day since has confirmed that ugly truth.  New efforts to re-tool Philippine forces to match the operational methods of US imperialist forces are part of similar global restructurings, especially with the previously announced renewed “pivot to Asia.”  See the articles from the Philippine Daily Inquirer,  ABS-CBN News/Phil Star — followed by the statement of the CP of the Philippines, below. — Frontlines ed.]

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NYPD deployed against Occupy movement

By

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the New York Police Department (NYPD) have joined forces in a memorandum of understanding to fight terrorism and transnational crimes.

PNP Director General Nicanor Bartolome and NYPD’s Lt. Gustavo Rodriguez signed the Memorandum of Understanding in Camp Crame on Oct. 31.

“Mitigating transnational crime and combating terrorism is of utmost importance to the NYPD and we are proud to join forces with an agency that shares the same mission,” Rodriguez told reporters after the signing.

Bartolome said the PNP and NYPD would work together to mitigate transnational crimes “with emphasis on” illegal drugs, terrorism, smuggling, human trafficking, maritime fraud and cybercrime.

Bartolome said the MOU was about the “exchange of information” between the two police forces.

Philippine police deployed against farmers protest

“We have similar problems. It’s not just their problems or ours,” the PNP chief said.

Bartolome said the PNP had signed a similar MOU with the Australian Federal Police.

Rodriguez said the partnership would involve the collection of information on transnational crime and counter-terrorism that would be “disseminated back to New York City.” Continue reading

Telling Our Stories: MXGM Member Talks NYPD Violence and Calls for Passage of the Community Safety Act

Oct 25, 2012 in New York, PSDC Blog

Greetings. My name is Djibril Toure and I am here today as a lifelong Brooklyn resident and member of the Malcolm X Grassroots to lend my voice to those calling for a change in the NYPD’s Stop & Frisk program, and passage of the Community Safety Act.

I am a college graduate, musician and business owner and I have directly experienced the racially biased stop and frisk policies of the NYPD.  I have had the disheartening experience of walking down the street in my own community where I grew up, being stopped for no reason, forced to stand against a wall and being illegally searched by four officers who demanded that I show them some ID or go to jail. This experience repeated itself so many times over the years that I became involved in providing assistance to others who had experienced the same or many times much worse treatment, sometimes resulting in physical injuries. I have heard too many stories of the humiliation and frustration of regular law abiding community residents who are repeatedly stop & frisked or tricked into consenting to a search. This is an all too common occurrence across neighborhoods and communities in this city. Too many of my peers have shared similarly frustrating stories of being stopped and searched, for no apparent reason without explanation.  The overaggressive policing approach taken in these communities has led to a widespread feeling of mistrust towards the police.

The issue of consent to a search without a warrant is a particularly important one. (Intro. 801) of the Community Safety Act would require that NYPD officers provide their name and rank to the subjects of law enforcement activity, such as New Yorkers being stopped and frisked. The officer would also have to provide the specific reason for the stop and a business card to the person being stopped that includes information on how to file a complaint. In my experience, this is a key issue that must be addressed because often when people in my community are approached by undercover officers for questioning, they do not even initially understand that they are dealing with a police encounter. This often leads to people not being able to identify who they were stopped by. In my personal experience, I have on several occasions witnessed officers refusing to provide their name and badge number – or even providing a false one. Continue reading

New York: Police program stalking Muslims denounced by whistleblower

NYPD informant who tracked militants quits, denounces police

Police barricade in NYC (Mario Tama, Getty Images)
Police barricade in NYCBy Mark Hosenball, Reuters, October 22, 2012

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An informant recruited by the New York Police Department to collect information on suspected Islamic militants has quit and denounced his police handlers, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the case.

The informant, a 19-year-old American citizen of Bangladeshi descent, was recruited by the NYPD recently as part of an expansive intelligence-gathering program the department launched after the al Qaeda attacks of September 11, 2001. His assignment was to make contact with suspected Islamic extremists to try to determine if they had any inclinations to engage in violence, the source said.

On October 2, however, the informant, whom the source did not name, posted a message on his personal Facebook page exposing himself as an informant to people he had been in contact with. He declared that he had quit as a police informant.

“I was jus (sic) of pretending to be friends with ya cuz I honestly thought i was fighting terrorism, but let’s be real, it’s all a f…king scheme,” the informant wrote, according to the source. “It was all about the money,” he added.

The source said that the informant was not involved in an investigation that led to the arrest of a Bangladeshi man last week in connection with an alleged scheme to bomb the New York Federal Reserve Bank in Lower Manhattan. Continue reading

Police on playback — copwatch in New York City

by The New York Video League | October 22, 2012

Stories of police brutality are often told in a way that casts victims as helpless bystanders of cops run amok. We met with Sean Pagan, a recent victim of police violence, and found that his story changes how we think about policing in New York. Sean’s story shows that communities are finding new and innovative tactics for dealing with discriminatory policing, beyond waiting for legislative reform. One such tactic is copwatch, in which individuals or teams film police officers in action. But what’s the history of the tactic? What are the risks, limitations and impact of filming the police? And how do these videos change the way we understand narratives of police violence?

So-called “police reviews” encourage police killings of innocents, order return of killer cops’ gun

Amadou Diallo’s Mother Angered That Officer Who Shot Son Gets To Carry Gun Again

by D.L. Chandler, hiphopwired.com,  October 3, 2012

Katiado Diallo, mother of Amadou Diallo who was killed in a volley of 42 shots from NYPD guns 13 years ago

Kadiatou Diallo, mother of Amadou Diallo who was killed in a volley of 42 shots from NYPD guns 13 years ago

The February 1999 shooting death of unarmed immigrant Amadou Diallo at the hands of New York police still resonates deep in the minds of residents and opponents of police brutality to this day. 13 years later, the mother of Diallo grieves for her son and now has to relive the horror of his death once more.

A report from the New York Post finds Kadiatou Diallo, of the Republic of Guinea, angered by news that one of the officers involved in the shooting barrage will get his service weapon back – with the Diallo family saying that the cop will shoot and kill again. 

Officer Kenneth Boss was one of four officers who fired 41 shots at Diallo, with 19 of which found their target. Boss fired five rounds from his service weapon, but was cleared of wrongdoing in a department trial along with Officer Michael Carey. After Commissioner Ray Kelly reinstated both Carey’s and Boss’ gun privileges, Diallo’s mother accused him of lying.

“I’m shocked to learn this because Commissioner Kelly indicated that that would not happen,” Diallo said. “Kelly did not keep his word,” she added and said that the ruling was “the second shooting of my son.”

Diallo will call on activist Rev. Al Sharpton and former New York mayor David Dinkins and has a tentatively scheduled rally this coming Sunday (October 8th) to protest the decision to give Officer Boss his guns. Diallo’s stepfather offered a grim warning in the wake of the news.

“He is going to shoot again. The same thing he did to Amadou he is going to do it to someone else,” said Sankarela Diallo. Continue reading

NYPD Official Admits Spying On Muslims Didn’t Generate A Single Lead Or Terrorism Case

[An oppressive dragnet of surveillance, harassment, stalking, and ostracism, this CIA/NYPD program of racial/religious profiling has been conducted and budgeted under the phony guise of “homeland security” and “criminal justice” — but its just Islamophobic repression without a shred of evidence to disguise or provide cover for it. — Frontlines ed.]

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Michael Kelley , Business Insider, August 21, 2012

The secret New York Police Department unit that spied on Muslims for more than six years never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation, Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo of the AP report.

The Demographics Unit – built with the help of the CIA in the wake of 9/11 – assembled databases on Muslim neighborhoods, eavesdropped on conversations, infiltrated Muslim student groups and mosques, cataloged every Muslim in New York with an Americanized surname, and even set up a surveillance hub in New Jersey.

But in a June 28 deposition, Assistant Chief Thomas Galati admitted he never created a lead based on a Demographics report since he arrived 2006 and wasn’t aware of any previous ones.

From AP:

Galati, the commanding officer of the NYPD Intelligence Division, offered the first official look at the Demographics Unit, which the NYPD denied ever existed when it was revealed by the AP last year. He described how police gather information on people even when there is no evidence of wrongdoing, simply because of their ethnicity and native language.

The testimony was part of the Handschu case, a lawsuit that began in 1971 over NYPD spying on students, civil rights groups, and suspected Communist sympathizers during the 1950s and 1960s.

NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, himself a target of ‘ill-considered’ prosecution, tweeted that the admission demonstrates “willful violation of 4th Amendment. No probable cause. Mere suspicion now justification for all kinds of injustice.” Continue reading

NYPD Posts ‘Wanted’ Flyer Targeting Couple That Legally Videotapes Stop-And-Frisks

By Aviva ShenThinkProgress, July 3, 2012

The New York Police Department has put out a “police advisory” flyer warning cops and residents to look out for two “professional agitators,” a Harlem couple who film officers stopping and frisking young New Yorkers of color.

DNAinfo reports that Matthew Swaye, 35, and his partner Christina Gonzalez, 25, came across the poster, complete with mugshots and the official seal of the NYPD’s intelligence division, taped to a podium in the 30th precinct’s public hearing room while attending a precinct council meeting. The flyer listed the home address of the couple and warned:

Be aware that the subjects are known professional agitators that live at [home address]. Above subjects mo is that they video tape officers performing routine stops and post on youtube. Subjects purpose is to portray officers in a negative way and too deter officers from conducting there responsibilities. Above subjects also deter officers from being safe and tactical by causing unnecessary distractions. Do not feed into subjects propaganda.

Swaye and Gonzalez have been arrested several times in the past year for civil disobedience. Swaye was detained at a stop-and-frisk protest in Harlem, along with a a group of advocates including Cornel West. Gonzalez was arrested at a Father’s Day stop-and-frisk march and, on a separate occasion, spent a few days at Rikers on a contempt charge after refusing to apologize for calling conservative Brooklyn Judge John H. Wilson a “white racist pig.”

The couple post videos on a YouTube channel showing NYPD officers conducting stop-and-frisks and assaulting demonstrators. Swaye explained, “We see ourselves as peace activists. The mug shots were for civil disobedience. They have us here like we robbed a bank.”

Another person attending the meeting told DNAinfo, “I thought: ‘Why isn’t anyone arresting them? When you see something like that, you think there’s a reward out for the person on the flyer.”

According to DNAinfo, the New York Civil Liberties Union recorded 7,550 total stops in the 30th precinct last year, 3,987 which involved a frisk, ranking it 38th in total number of frisks city-wide. On June 20, the NYPD invited reporters to a press conference and demo of an updated stop-and-frisk program after coming under fire for the racially-skewed practice.

Formerly Incarcerated Issue Statement Regarding NYPD’s Stop and Frisk Policy

Formerly Incarcerated & Convicted People’s Movement

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June 17th 2012 Silent March against Racial Profiling

Letter in Solidarity

There comes a time when the American people must recognize that we lead the world in prison cells.  The American people must also recognize that these cells do not fill themselves, as mass incarceration is the result of policy decisions.  The American people must finally recognize that all of us are not created equal in the dark shadows of the prisons, the courthouses, the legislatures, or the New York City Police Department.  The Formerly Incarcerated & Convicted People’s Movement stands together with those who believe the “Stop and Frisk” policy belongs in fascist countries with brutal rulers, not in the United States of America.

On Ellis Island there is a plaque reading “Send me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”  A torch is held aloft to the Atlantic Ocean, while Lady Liberty’s back is turned away from us.  What has been going on behind her back has been police tactics that have no connection to crime rates.  We can look at the data, compare the rates among different neighborhoods, compare New York City to other large cities, and we can see the one clearest fact:  People of Color are the ones being stopped.  Young Black and Latino men living in the communities targeted for high rates of crime are being hassled by the police in this city; they are being  targeted and dehumanized by tactics that demean and oppress them as young people, they are being put up against the wall and frisked, only to find nothing, and then released to go about their business.  These hassles, these frisks and uses of force do not make our communities safer, and do not make our children safer.

The NYPD are stopping more Black and Latino people than actually live in the city, harassing nearly 700,000 people last year alone.  They say that this is because crime victims are predominantly Black and Latino, yet in most crimes the race of the perpetrator is not even reported.  They say crime is going down, but they don’t say crime is going down at a similar pace in all major cities.  When we look at the statistics, we see that the ten whitest areas, like the Upper East Side and Bensonhurst have crime dropping at double the rate as the ten most Black and Latino, such as BedStuy, Central Harlem and Hunts Point.  Coincidentally, people in these ten precincts, all of which are over 90% Black and Latino, are stopped by the police four times more than those in the ten whitest precincts.  The NYPD’s own statistics show that the more you Stop and Frisk, the less crime goes down.  The people ask Bloomberg for books, teachers, and classrooms, yet to the Black and Brown people of this city: he sends guns, police, and jails. Continue reading

“You can clean up a pig, put a ribbon on its tail, spray it with perfume, but it is still a pig”

[The capitalist state in the US has, from its very beginning, enforced its subjugation of the Africans enslaved, of indigenous who survived conquest and genocide, and many others subordinated through colonialism, including millions drawn from foreign conquests for cheap labor in the US.  These oppressed peoples have continued to be subjected to forms of “racist profiling” at the hands of police and other repressive agencies–harassment, stalking, persecution–which in New York City goes by the name “stop and frisk.”  After years of literally millions of these encounters with abusive police–unquestioned by the mass media–massive protests have brought the issue to public light.  Now, as the political price for this ongoing abuse continues to rise, there are “reform” moves–for the police to be more polite, to issue apologies along with the abuse,  or for “stop and frisk” programs to get new names.  But  communities long targeted for such abuse have always known: even smiling police are still pigs in oppressed communities. The New York Times article, below, looks at the effects of this reforms. — Frontlines ed.]

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“The officers asked for ID. They threw in the word ‘sir.’ They are trying to belittle you by saying ‘sir,’ like being sarcastic in a way, like, ‘I’m really your sir. You have to do what I say.’’ — Barlo Jones, 28, Brownsville, Brooklyn

Rude or Polite, City’s Officers Leave Raw Feelings in Stops

By WENDY RUDERMAN, New Yok Times, June 26, 2012

Most of the time, the officers swoop in, hornetlike, with a command to stop: “Yo! You, come here. Get against the wall.”

They batter away with questions, sometimes laced with profanity, racial slurs and insults: “Where’s the weed?” “Where’s the guns?”

The officers tell those who ask why they have been stopped to shut up, using names like immigrant, old man or “bro.”

Next comes the frisk, the rummaging through pockets and backpacks. Then they are gone.

Other times, the officers are polite, their introductions almost gentle. “Hey, how’s it going?” “Can you step over here, sir?” “We’d like to talk to you.”

The questions are probing, authoritative, but less accusatory. “What are you doing here?” “Do you live here?” “Can I see some identification, please?” During the pat-down, they ask, “Do you have anything on you?” They nudge further: “You don’t mind if I search you, do you?” They explain that someone of a matching description robbed a store a few days ago, or that the stop is a random one, part of a program in a high-crime area. Then they apologize for the stop and say the person is free to go.

In interviews with 100 people who said they had been stopped by the New York police in neighborhoods where the practice is most common, many said the experience left them feeling intruded upon and humiliated. And even when officers extended niceties, like “Have a nice night,” or called them “sir” and “ma’am,” people said they questioned whether the officer was being genuine.

Michael Delgado, 18, said he was last stopped on Grant Street in East New York, Brooklyn. “I was walking, and a cop said, ‘Where’s the weed?’ ” he recalled. “In my mind, I’m like, ‘Yo, this guy’s a racist.’ He started frisking me, his hands were in my pockets, but I didn’t say anything because my mom always tells me: ‘No altercations. Let him do his thing.’ ”

When the stop-and-frisk was done, Mr. Delgado said, the officer left him with a casual aside to stay safe.

“Stay safe?” Mr. Delgado said. “After he just did all that?”

Last year, city police officers stopped nearly 686,000 people, 84 percent of them black or Latino. The vast majority — 88 percent of the stops — led to neither an arrest nor a summons, although officers said they had enough reasonable suspicion to conduct a frisk in roughly half of the total stops, according to statistics provided by the New York Police Department and the Center for Constitutional Rights. Continue reading

New York: Protesters on trial for challenging NYPD “Stop and Frisk”, Racial Profiling

[Last year, New York police stopped, searched, and harassed 684,oo0 people with the racist “stop and frisk” policy.  The heavy cloud of oppression follows each step of millions of black and brown folks, in a pattern which is systematically organized and enforced.  The defiant stance of these “anti-racial profiling” protesters on trial must be supported, and spread, to every street in every city.  —  Frontlines ed.]

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Activists on Trial for Arrests During NYPD Protest 

By JENNIFER PELTZ Associated Press
NEW YORK April 30, 2012 (AP)

Twenty activists who converged on a police station to protest a controversial police technique went on trial Monday in a case that they hoped would highlight their cause but prosecutors called a simple matter of breaking the law.

The demonstrators, who include ministers, local activists and Princeton University scholar and civil rights advocate Cornel West, lined three rows of courtroom seats in one of the biggest group trials of protesters in the city in recent years. Supporters waited in line for spots.

The demonstrators were arrested on disorderly conduct charges in October outside a Harlem police station while decrying the New York Police Department’s practice of stopping, questioning and sometimes frisking people who are acting suspiciously or meet crime suspects’ descriptions, according to police.

Police say the practice has proven vital to curbing crime. Opponents say it amounts to racial profiling and unfairly targets innocent people.

“The system is breaking the spirit of too many young people,” West, a professor of African-American studies and the author of books including “Race Matters,” said outside court. “We were willing to be arrested, and we’re willing to go to jail.”

Cornell West
[AP–FILE- In this Oct. 21, 2011, file photo, Political activist, Dr. Cornel West, center, is taken into custody by New York City police officers at a “Stop and Frisk” policy protest in Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood in New York. Joining nearly two dozen people, West goes to trial on Monday, April 30, 2012, in New York after being arrested at an October demonstration against the New York police department’s practice of stopping and frisking hundreds of thousands of people each year as a crime-fighting tool. (AP Photo/Stephanie Keith, File)]

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As police stalk and harass Muslims, notorious and shameful traditions of ethnic profiling abound

[Ethnic and racial profiling has always been a central feature of US economics, politics, culture, and forceful repression.  From Africans on slave plantations, to American Indian wars and displacement, to the “Chinese Exclusion Act” the pattern is unbroken.  80 years ago this month, 500,000 Mexicans and US-born Chicana/o citizens were deported to Mexico, in a series of “El Repatriado” deportations of, eventually, nearly two million–after being falsely blamed for “taking American jobs” during the collapse of the capitalist economy known as The Great Depression.  70 years ago, 120,000 Japanese Americans were rounded up and placed in concentration camps after being falsely accused of loyalty to the Japanese Emperor during WW2.  Now, adding to these and many such reprehensible traditions, Islamophobia has become a feature which the police state is boasting about, as it destroys the human rights of privacy, speech, and association of millions of Muslims now subjected to hostile surveillance and stalking–amidst false claims of inherent Muslim criminality and terror.  — Frontlines ed.]

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Demonstration in New York, November 2011

NYPD Defends Tactics Over Mosque Spying; Records Reveal New Details On Muslim Surveillance

By ADAM GOLDMAN and MATT APUZZO, Huffington Post, 02/24/12

NEW YORK — The New York Police Department targeted Muslim mosques with tactics normally reserved for criminal organizations, according to newly obtained police documents that showed police collecting the license plates of worshippers, monitoring them on surveillance cameras and cataloging sermons through a network of informants.

The documents, obtained by The Associated Press, have come to light as the NYPD fends off criticism of its monitoring of Muslim student groups and its cataloging of mosques and Muslim businesses in nearby Newark, N.J.

The NYPD’s spokesman, Paul Browne, forcefully defended the legality of those efforts Thursday, telling reporters that its officers may go wherever the public goes and collect intelligence, even outside city limits.

The new documents, prepared for Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, show how the NYPD’s roster of paid informants monitored conversations and sermons inside mosques. The records offer the first glimpse of what those informants, known informally as “mosque crawlers,” gleaned from inside the houses of worship. Continue reading

After NYPD killed Ramarley Graham, 18, they held his grandmother, forced her to talk

Focus on Police Treatment of Witness After Shooting

By and TIM STELLOH, New York Times, February 4, 2012

After a police officer fatally shot an 18-year-old man in his Bronx apartment on Thursday, the man’s grandmother, a witness to the shooting, was taken into custody and held against her will for several hours, a friend of the family said on Saturday.

An officer confronted the man, Ramarley Graham, who was in the bathroom possibly trying to flush some marijuana down the toilet. A moment later, a shot rang out, killing the teenager.

While officers had trailed Mr. Graham to the apartment thinking he was armed, no gun was found, making the grandmother, Patricia Hartley, 58, a critical witness. The shooting is drawing the kind of close scrutiny reminiscent of the killing of Sean Bell, who died in a hail of 50 police bullets in Queens in November 2006. Continue reading

NYPD Officers Shoot and Kill Three Black Men in One Week

Ramarley Graham, killed by NYPD (click for ABC news report)

By TOM HAYS   02/ 3/12, New York Times

NEW YORK — The police department announced Friday that a narcotics officer and his sergeant have been stripped of their guns and put on desk duty amid an investigation of the officer’s fatal shooting of an unarmed drug suspect within a few feet of the suspect’s grandmother inside the family home.

The measures came after the New York Police Department backed away from an initial account saying that the officer had struggled with 18-year-old Ramarley Graham at the door of a bathroom. Police said a bag of marijuana was found in the toilet, suggesting Graham was trying to flush it away before the gunfire erupted.

A grand jury was expected to investigate the shooting to determine if the officers should face criminal charges, said police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who expressed sympathy for the family.

“We’re obviously trying to get the facts,” Kelly said at a news conference. “A young man’s life was taken. … It’s the worst thing that can happen to a parent – to lose a child.”

The NYPD did not immediately release the name of the 30-year-old officer or the sergeant, whose conduct was under scrutiny because he was in charge of the officers who responded to the home.

The shooting stemmed from an NYPD investigation of street corner drug dealing in a Bronx neighborhood. On Thursday afternoon, a police observation team identified Graham as a potential suspect and radioed to other officers that he “appeared to be armed,” Kelly said. In a later transmission, the officers mistakenly reported that “they observed the butt of a gun in the waistband of (Graham),” he added. Continue reading