Saturday, January 25, 2014

Former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous on Right to Record; "One of the most powerful tools we have to expose cops that go too far."

Benjamin Jealous
former NAACP President
By Davy V.

Friday afternoon I went to meet former NAACP President Mr. Benjamin Jealous.

The youngest president in the history of the 104-year old organization, Jealous was in Rochester to deliver the University of Rochester's 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative  Address.

Benjamin Jealous walked into the Frederick Douglass Leadership House shortly after 3:00 p.m.

After introducing myself and exchanging a firm handshake, Mr. Jealous allowed me the opportunity to interview him.

Check out the interview below, where Mr. Jealous also talks about the importance of citizens getting involved.

In the interview I tell Mr. Jealous about the history of the out of control Rochester, NY Police department, one case in particular which was especially disturbing.

Some may recall the viral video of Brenda Hardaway, a pregnant, African-American woman whose beating by a white Rochester Police officer, Lucas Krull, who drove her, stomach first into a wooden porch railing post, punched her in the side of her head, then slammed her on the ground was all caught on video. (below)
Closeup of Rochester, NY Police officer
punching pregnant woman in her head.

Well, after I posted that video on my YouTube channel, I exposed Rochester Rochester Police officers who hung a monkey effigy from their police cruiser's mirror.

Mr. Jealous clearly had no idea about the Rochester, NY Police department's long history of misconduct, corruption, and racism.

Rochester, NY Police officer
throws pregnant woman to the ground
after punching her in her head.

I also asked Mr. Jealous to share his thoughts on citizen's first amendment right to record, something I'm always educating and informing people about.

Be sure to check out his response, in the video below.

After I interviewed Mr. Jealous, I attended the MLK Commemorative Speech which was held at the University of Rochester's Strong Auditorium where Jealous gave a powerful moving talk which ranged from the courage and determination of great civil rights leaders like Dr. King, Fredrick Douglass, Shirley Chisholm, and Nelson Mandela, to talking about his own beginnings.
Rochester, NY Police cruiser,
with a black monkey hanging from it.

Jealous talked about traveling to Mississippi, where he organzed a protest against the closing of black colleges, including Mississippi State, "San Francisco forty niners alma matter", Jealous told the audience, which was slated to be turned into a prison.

During his speech, Jealous described an encounter he and other organizers had with a man at a Waffle House restaurant n Mississippi.

At first it seemed like a hostile situation, with the man staring them down and even referring to Jealous and the other African-Americans as "boys", when he asked Jealous and his group were they protestors he had seen on TV.

The man then put down his bags of take out food and extended his hand.

Benjamin Jealous shook it.

"If I had been born a nigger in this state, I would be mad as hell too," the man told Jealous and the other activists.

The man then told the group that he owned the used car lot up the street, and to come see him if they needed anything.

The following day, Jealous and the others went to the man's car lot and rented a car.

Jealous says he used that as a lesson to not to make assumptions.

By the way, the prison was never built, and the colleges are still there.

Because Ben Jealous did something.

He didn't just stand complacent like so many do.

I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to meet Benjamin Jealous, and to have attended such a powerful and moving speech.

Afterwards, I was one of only a couple in the audience who got up to speak.

I thanked Jealous for coming to my hometown, but I also implored the audience, who was mostly African-American, to not be complacent, to not sit by silent and watch injustices, especially ones committed by rogue law enforcement officers.

"Please stand up", I said.

"Please stop being complacent."

Click Play to watch my interview with Benjamin Jealous

Click Play to watch my video of Brenda Hardaway being beaten by Rochester, NY Police officer Lucas Krull

Please support the work I do by making a donation.

Simply click on "Donate" at the top right of my blog and follow the steps.

Thank you.

Click link below to read my original piece on Brenda Hardaway

Click link below to read my original piece on Rochester, NY Police officers driving 
around with monkey hanging from cruiser's mirror

Follow me on Twitter