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New York, NY – Community Groups and Public Defenders held a rally and press conference outside Manhattan District Attorney’s office at 80 Centre Street on October 19, 2017; to demand DA Cy Vance to resign amid accusations of allegedly using his power of discretion to allow the rich and powerful to escape prosecution while delivering punishment to New Yorkers of color for the smallest of infractions.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s Office, as well as other District Attorneys throughout the city, have used their power of discretion to allow the rich and powerful to escape prosecution while delivering punishment to New Yorkers of color for the smallest of infractions. Vance is the poster boy for a criminal justice that is blatantly racist and unjust. Vance must resign.
Vance’s brand of criminal “justice” for low-income communities of color means incarceration, fees and fines that punish poverty. Mr. Vance is key driver of the Broken Windows philosophy of policing that leads to arrests and prosecutions of New Yorkers for low-level crimes. His Office has, for years, prosecuted low-level “crimes” of poverty, including countless fare-evasion arrests, and used over-charging and discovery practices to coerce guilty pleas. He has also routinely ignored and enabled police corruption, perjury and violence all while proclaiming himself a reformer.
The new revelations of campaign donations by lawyers representing powerful people his office is investigating, underscore the hypocrisy playing out on a daily basis in Cy Vance’s office – where the well-connected are giving every possible chance to avoid criminal penalties that are doled out without second thought to those without this access.
This Thursday, grassroots community groups and public defenders will call for:
1. Cy Vance’s resignation from office.
2. An end to Broken Windows policing.
3. Immediate action to end mass incarceration.
“The recent revelations about Cyrus Vance’s treatment of Harvey Weinstein, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner demonstrate a kind of access not available to vast majority of people in the criminal legal system, who are indigent, and represented by public defenders. Prosecutors are the most powerful actors in the criminal legal system; a system built on racism and oppression. How New York City’s prosecutors use that power will determine whether or not mass incarceration persists for decades to come. Cy Vance’s policies and practices routinely undermine our clients’ constitutional rights and perpetuate poverty. Our call to action is not about prosecuting the wealthy or campaign finance reform. It is about holding all actors, and today prosecutors, accountable for mass incarceration and the criminalization of poverty.” – 5 Boro Defenders
“Almost 40 percent of all people held on a given day on Rikers Island are being prosecuted by Cy Vance, whose bail, charging and discovery practices are driving mass incarceration in New York City. The aggressive prosecution of regular people, of low-income people of color, is the real scandal at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and the time for accountability is now,” – Nick Malinowski, Civil Rights Campaign Director at VOCAL-NY.
“Cy Vance uses unfair bail demands to maintain a racist two-tier justice system, letting off powerful and well-connected criminals while warehousing Black, Latino, disabled, and homeless people in a jail the city’s own commission called ‘an international symbol of despair and damage.’ Holding prosecutors accountable is the first step towards healing the damage done by mass incarceration.” – NYC Democratic Socialists of America
“Cy Vance is a cog in the wheel that is today’s corrupt New York City. In lock step with the Mayor DeBlasio’s pay to play government, Cy Vance rewards the criminal rich while dropping the hammer on Black and Brown people who can least afford to defend themselves. Cy Vance is a scourge who must be resign today. This racist criminal justice system must be dismantled.” – Shannon Jones, Bronxites for NYPD Accountability
#Activism #BlackLivesMatter #ByeCy #CouldntBuyCy #CyVance #DistrictAttorney #EndBrokenWindows #EndMassIncarceration #ManhattanDA #NewYork #NYC #PoliceAccountability #PressConference #Protest #RacialInequality #RacialJustice #racism #rally
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