Stand Out Against Police Brutality - Springfield police beat up Melvin Jones III





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Published on Jan 18, 2010

Demonstration near Mason Square, Springfield MA on Sat January 16, 2010.
Officer Jeffrey Asher must go.

Springfield, MA - Shaken and outraged by the beating of Melvin Jones III community organizers and members are planning a series of Stand Out's Against Police Brutality.

Organizers (including members of ARISE for Social Justice, Cop Watch, Food For Thought Books Collective, To tell you the Truth and Out Now) of the Stand Out Against Police Brutality are working to create solidarity across Western Massachusetts to end this ongoing form of violence. Alongside with the Officer Asher's immediate release from the Springfield Police Department the organizers are asking for several steps to be implemented, including developing a stronger police review board and mandatory anti-racism trainings by the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond (http://www.pisab.org/), "a national and international collective of anti-racist, multicultural community organizers and educators dedicated to building an effective movement for social transformation that offer Workshops, technical assistance and consultations to support individuals, communities, organizations and institutions moving beyond addressing the symptoms of racism to undoing the causes of racism so as to create a more just and equitable society."

On November 27, 2009, Melvin Jones III was a passenger in a car stopped by Springfield police. According to police reports, police began questioning Jones III and asked him to step out of the car. Upon stepping out of the car Jones began to run down the street at which point members of the Springfield police pursued him and the violence ensued. Three weeks later a19 minute video surfaced capturing what appears to be a violent act of police brutality now under investigation. Four officers are under investigation for their participation including Officer Jeffrey Asher.

This is not Officer Asher's first reported abuse of power while on the Springfield Police Dept. He has been involved in four previous reported incidents, settling 3 out of court for a total of $225,000.00.

"Officer Asher has been involved in multiple (4 reported) police brutality incidents while on duty for the Springfield police department. His role in these incidents represents a legacy of abuse by police officers towards civilians and is not isolated but a repetitive historic pattern that perpetuates centuries of violence against all people and in greatest proportions against poor people, people of color, women, queer and transfolks", says tk karakashian tunchez, a local organizer, "We aim to use this incident as opportunity to work towards a healthier and more just community".

For more information about organizing efforts or upcoming Stand Out Against Police Brutality events please contact: tanya@foodforthoughtbooks.com or ellenforpeace@yahoo.com.




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