People's Tribunal on Police Brutality video part 5
Collection: People's Tribunal on Police Brutality
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Speaking here: Rev. Pinkney Butts, Alice Ragland, Art McKoy, Alvin Brooks
Rev. Pinkney Butts: officers, Cuyahoga County, with the aid of Cleveland Police, where it was false allegations, where I was told that if I didn't sign, I was gonna be banned from all government buildings. October of 2013, I got beat up outside of my home by the Cleveland Police, where they said they heard I was mentally ill, so they were beatin' me up, draggin’ me all over the ground--five men. Last month my home was broken into again. The reason I don't want the person who came with me here to come down here on this camera, is ‘cause I don't want my children and my children's children to be target of this mess. I've been to Washington DC, I've been to City Hall, I've been to the county, and, yes, racism is a part o' this. But religion is too. I stand because I'm tired of people oppressing me as a woman, because I'm a woman preacher. And I'm a single mother, who doesn't accept the fact that I'm not a nigger, born to serve men,…where I was abused by the courts, where Judge James Payne of Indianapolis, Indiana, ordered a hit on me from his bench, because I told him I am not a nigger, born to serve men, and neither are my children. My time is gonna run out right now for this five minutes. But if something happens to me, I'm asking each one of you in this room, when I leave this room, if something happens to me today, find me! Because these people made me disappear. They locked me up in a hospital, Richmond Heights Hospital, and made me disappear, and banned me from phone calls, lawyers, preachers and everything else. Find me! ‘Cause this is real. Thank you.” (Applause)
Alice Ragland—“So, Art has to go, so I'm gonna, um, skip the questions and just go straight to Art McKoy. And also... Art and Alvin are gonna testify together, really briefly.” (Applause)
Art McKoy--“Greeting friends. I, uh, come here today in regret that I cannot stay and listen to the rest of the testimonies, because, to me, these are the most important testimonies that could be given, because the country and the city cannot heal as long as individuals have pain and sorrow in their bodies that have not been expressed. And as long as this pain and sorrow from police brutality and police murder continue to fester in their body, there can never be a change. And that's why I stand here before you today as one of those victims who were beat in the 5th District police station, worse than Rodney King. I thought they was gonna kill me in there. The beating that I took, and the way my face and body looked, you would not believe! And this happened in the late seventies. So, think that all these years I have had to carry that pain within me! ...As so many of you others have had to carry that pain within you! Because at that time it was not acceptable that the police department could do these brutal 12 things to an individual. It just was not acceptable. So, today I stand here before you almost shouting to say, ‘Thank God the day have finally come, when the reality of what happened to me in the ‘60s, and the ‘70s, and the reality that what has happened to so many of us brothers and sisters who have been brutalized, but our voices were not heard because it was unacceptable; today it is acceptable!’ (Applause) And I stand before you today to share that the beating that I took in the 5th District Police Department is the worst beating that I've ever had in my life! And it came from the Cleveland Police Department, in the 5th District. I stand before you today; I'm not gonna give you that story. If I gave you that story today, all of you all would be crying today. I'm not gonna give it to you today because of time restraints. I'm gonna turn this over to my brother! Brother Brooks, who has a similar story to share. But I will end by saying this. After they beat me almost to death, as I laid on the 5th District floor, kicking and stomping, the only way I could stop them from killing me, was to play dead! Have you ever tried to play dead when people try to kill you?! Then that's what I had in order to be saved by the Cleveland Police Department from killing me. Then after they did all that, they threw me in a cell, and guess what? A few minutes later they came by and I saw this mist comin' over my head. And it was mace. And this mace tore into my body and I cried out, ‘Oh!’ And I had to roll over to that toilet and try to drench myself, that dirty toilet. Drench myself from the pain. Oh, I'm not gonna give you anymore. Because you have to hear from Brooks.” (Applause)
Alvin Brooks—“Thank you, everyone. Uh, I wanna first raise praise to the Lord Almighty God. And, uh, thank the panel in here, Puncture the Silence, all the organizers for making this happen. Because, you know, it's something that's very well needed. We have a moral, human rights to be protected by the law, not the law enforcement take issues into their own hands. But I'm gonna try to make my story brief. Back in 19..., well it was the early ‘70s. I was at this place on Shaker Square, and some commotion started. The police came. It was about a parking ticket. But, um..., it ended up escalating out a control, where these two police officers called a paddy wagon and a bunch of other law enforcement. It was about seven, eight cars, a paddy wagon and all. And uh, they commenced to beatin’ me in the face with the flashlights. They already had me in the handcuffs. They had me handcuffed from the front. They end up picking me up and throwing me in the paddy wagon. My brother happened to come out during the time and he wanted to know what was going on, and there was an officer that told them to put him in the paddy wagon too. But, we finally get to the police station after they done knocked me almost unconscious. So, once we get to the 4th District police station (it was the old 4th District police station, not the one that's on 93rd and Kinsman right now). But anyway, once we got to the police station, they let my brother out, then they pulled me out. One of the officers pulled out his gun and told the other one, ‘We oughtta kill this one.’ Now I'm really, I'm scared to death ‘cause I'm thinking they actually gonna do it. I'm already busted up already. So, once we get in the police station, um.., about seven or eight of 'em are behind me, and at the old district there was a levitation on 13 the front desk. And so I'm up there, you know, trying to really hold myself up so these…, the sergeant behind the desk grabbed the cuffs and snatched me over. And soon as he did that, then the other ones pulled out their blackjacks and everything else and just get to commencing to just beating me even more. They end up ripping my pants off, where I was basically half naked in the police station, and after all this done happened I'm really, I'm really messed up. All of a sudden, one of the officers says, ‘Look what we have here.’ Had a joint. They end up lighting that joint up. Passing it all around to one another, and the last one who took a puff put it out on my face.