Wake Up, Massachusetts!

Wake Up, Massachusetts!

Donald Perry3

By Donald Perry, Uncensored, On The Record and On Film
In Washington Irving’s tale Rip Van Winkle slept for 20 years but even he finally woke up. Now, it is our turn to wake up and take immediate action to oppose Parole Chairman Josh Wall’s nomination for Judgeship in Massachusetts.

My name is Donald Perry. I’m a MA parolee and advocate for prison reform. Furthermore, I am one of many victims of Mr. Wall’s arrogance and over-all abuse of authority. Case in point, as most people know, August 3, 2011 while on parole I gave someone a ride…was pulled over after the person bailed out of my vehicle. In the process, stuff was left in my car that I assumed belonged to my passenger. Later, I was informed that there had been some break-ins in the area and the bag left in my car contained stolen merchandise. For my part though, I proved that I was home when the break-ins occurred and finger prints plus foot prints at the crime scene exonerated me further of committing a crime. The District Attorney assigned to the case ultimately charged me with receiving stolen property. Subsequently, there was a 4 day trial. The jury deliberated for about 2 hours or so and I was unanimously “acquitted” on “2” separate counts of Receiving Stolen Property.

I was on parole though and on the day of the acquittal I was returned to Walpole State Prison on a “Parole Warrant”, i.e. instead of being free to go home. This warrant was promptly lodged against me once I’d been taken into custody by MA State Police. To this day the Parole Officer that I had at the time has never spoke with me to find out what actually happened the morning of August 3, 2011. Once I returned to Walpole, I was subjected to a variety of assumptions and mistreatment by parole personnel under the supervision and leadership of Parole Chairman Josh Wall.

During my incarceration I was represented by Attorney Luke Ryan and his father, former First Justice of Northampton District Court, Judge Michael Ryan. Neither could believe the way they were treated by Parole Personnel. According to former Judge Ryan,“ You have to surrender your humanity. Your treatment is so degrading.” He goes on to say, “They don’t practice the common courtesy of the court system. There was no constitutional protections.”

Subsequently, after my earlier stated acquittal and exoneration of allegations of committing any crimes, it took about 8 months for me to go before a full parole panel to petition to be re-paroled. Based on the parole warrant and repetitive statements by parole personnel, publicly people were lead to believe and I was even prepared at my hearing to be thoroughly interrogated to determine whether or not I committed a crime or violated any of the conditions of my previous parole. Surprisingly though, my hearing lasted for approx. 2 hours and a half. The majority of this time was spent questioning me about several past romantic relationships, the fact that I had held several different jobs, etc. with about 5 minutes or so discussing the events of August 3rd. After the hearing it took another 7 months to get the panel’s decision. I was finally released 6 months later. That means I remained incarcerated for 1 year and 7 months after proving via the above-stated facts that I didn’t commit a crime or do anything to violate the conditions of my parole.

Chairman Josh Wall was not at my Revocation Hearing or Parole Release Hearing. We have never talked and he has never questioned me about any of the events of August 3rd. However, when interviewed by film-producer Joe Berlinger for his debut in the recently produced 8-part justice documentary called “The System” Mr. Wall states “ I’m not exactly sure what his role was but in some way he/Mr. Perry was connected to breaking into his neighbor’s house and the Parole Board can’t tolerate that.”

I resent Mr. Wall’s statement for “2” reasons:

#1. The truth supported by clear and actual facts of being alibied… forensic evidence and an acquittal by a jury proved on August 3rd I did not commit a crime or engage in any activity to violate the conditions of my parole.
#2. Since my incarceration in 1983 I’ve worked hard to turn my life around. In fact, as a Black man I’ve often had to work twice as harder as anyone else to accomplish the smallest goal. As a result, in the past 25 to 30 years I’ve diligently invested a lot of waking hours, energy and effort into achieving my accomplishments thus-far. Recently, Colorado Cure referenced my strife and accomplishments when stating “Donald Perry, paroled in 2001 after nearly 19 years of incarceration has become a poster-child for successful re-entry. He finished college and became an advocate for the homeless, a community servant in high regard.”

I have never met Mr. Wall nor have I ever had a conversation with him. But, during his interview Mr. Wall callously and wantonly dismissed my life’s struggle with mere speculations and assumptions. This act was not fair nor remotely humane or even grounded in conviction. Mr. Wall tries to justify his action when stating “The important piece of evidence is that Mr. Perry had the Ipad and he’s being followed by the police.” He goes on to say, “”When you put these pieces of information together, if you’re experienced in these matters like parole board members would be who have assessed situations, it wasn’t a difficult call to make.”

For anyone capable of thinking for themselves and analyzing what Mr. Wall is saying this still doesn’t make commonsense. Case in point, how can he or the parole board possibly refute the factual evidence demonstrating that I didn’t do anything wrong? And, if he or the parole board could actually prove I committed a crime or violated the conditions of my parole, shouldn’t they have kept me in custody???

None of that makes sense and retired Judge Ryan adequately accessed the situation when he said, “It’s just so arbitrary. If you believe in American values and the rights of the constitution…these people don’t. As a matter of fact I said to Luke, I think it’s un-American. They have no respect for a jury system. The right to confront your accuser. The right to have impartial people decide your fate. There’s none of that in this parole system.”

This is just my story, but multiply it by the hundreds if not thousands of people who have been and are currently being ill-affected by the abusive procedures and practices of the MA Parole System, you will agree that Josh Wall should not be rewarded for his supervision and leadership of the MA Parole System. In years to come this debacle is going to cost the state of MA millions upon millions of dollars it can ill-afford.

So, wake up Massachusetts out of your slumber. It’s time to crawl out of your cocoons and take immediate action to oppose Josh Wall’s nomination for a judgeship.

Should Stop and Frisk Be Reinstituted in the South Bronx?

It’s Diaz vs. Diaz in South Bronx stop-and-frisk fight
Members of the politically-minded rap group Rebel Diaz have taken issue with comments made by state Senator Ruben Diaz regarding the controversial police tactic.
BY Denis Slattery
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS full article here
Monday, July 14, 2014, 2:00 AM

“While there are those who will argue against Stop and Frisk, statistics show that crime was better controlled and the loss of life was decreased,” Diaz (D-Longwood) wrote. “Bullets are flying, and children are dying.”
(…)
“He supposedly represents the Bronx, but I don’t think a lot of people would agree with it,” Rodrigo Venegas, 33, better known as RodStarz, told The News. “Sadly, the elder Diaz has once again proven the same nonsense.”
Hip hop duo Rebel Diaz blasted Senator Diaz for his remarks about stop-and-frisk. Knapp_Photography_2011 Hip hop duo Rebel Diaz blasted Senator Diaz for his remarks about stop-and-frisk.

Venegas and his brother, Gonzalo Venegas, 29, known as G1, argue that bringing back the tactic will only lead to a further deterioration of police-community relations.

“Instead of more stop-and-frisk, how about community centers and safe cultural centers,” Gonzalo Venegas asked, linking the policy to gentrification and calling New York a “police state.
(…)
“It’s worse to lose a life than to be searched,” Diaz said in response to his critics. “I will do anything before losing another life.”

————————————————————————
————————————————————————-

What Senator Diaz and Mayor de Blasio are not taking into account is the root of the gun violence. It is not simply ‘being searched’ as Senator Diaz said, but the continued racial profiling. This country was founded on violence and capitalism and is a system which only allows validation, existence, and basic human rights to those with the money and power to afford it. When the police stop and search innocent black and brown men it is not making communities feel safer it is continuing to play into the racist mindset that these people are already criminals. It contributes to more violence because people do not feel safe to walk freely in their own communities.

In a report last year put out by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement the group finds that every 23 hours in the US a black man is shot by police officers.

Stop and Search is not happening on wall street, it’s happening in the south bronx, in springfield, and in poor black and brown communities across the nation. Re-instituting this racist policy will only bring more violence.

Yes, let’s look at the violence, and let’s do something real to change it.

When people’s basic human rights of food, shelter, education, healthcare, transportation and the right to move freely are being met let’s see how much the violence goes down. There are not readily available statistics of gun violence in this situation, because this has not happened, full scale, in this country. This country’s bottom line always has been money, not people. When people are not valued their attitude will reflect this.

Senator Diaz and the NYPD need to stop pointing their finger at the people who are carrying guns and instead work with community leaders, cultural figures and organizers to better meet these basic tenants of human rights. This will decrease violence – not more cops with a license to kill searching every non-caucasian they see.
Vanessa L.

Justice for Delano Walker Jr.

 7/14
Monday morning at 11am  the Lawyers for the family of Delano Walker Jr. will be appearing  at Federal Court 330 State St. Springfield, In a Civil Case against the City of and the  Springfield Police Dept.
 
COME JOIN US ALL  STAND OUT  
 
8:30AM  — 9:30AM    In Front of  Belise Car Lot..  East Columbia Ave, Springfield
 
10:00 to   11:00   Federal Court  330 State St.  Springfield, 
 
In 2009 Delano Walker Jr. at the age of 15 was stopped by Police while bicycling with friends  near the Belise Car Lot in Springfield..
   In the  questioning process Delano was pressured by the  Police into stepping backwards  in to traffic and was killed .
 

Inventing Terrorists

Project SALAM

We’ve been working on our database of domestic “terrorism” prosecutions since about early 2009, and have been working on the Report over the past year and a half. It’s been slow, since it’s a completely volunteer effort. But I think it’s good quality work, combining legal experience with these cases, Steve Downs’ ability to see the big picture (I get lost in the details), lots of data analyzed , a great database written by Lynne Jackson, and superb editing and advice on how to make the report more professional from Jeanne Finley.

Please check out the Report, there is a link to it at this site. Basically what we did was to look at all the cases which DOJ termed “terrorism cases” and analyze them to see how many were what we call “preemptive prosecution” cases. As defined in our Report, “preemptive prosecution is a law enforcement strategy, developed…

View original post 747 more words

#stopH4184 #maleg: Undermines the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision to grant youth offenders a chance at parole after 15 years in prison.

Dear Supporters of Justice

 
The Massachusetts Joint Committee on the Judiciary is reporting a bill (H.1426, redrafted) out to the House for a floor vote this Wednesday — Tomorrow June 18
 
The bill sets the earliest period of parole eligibility at 20 years for those convicted of felony murder, and 25 years in other cases.  
 
The bill also gives the Parole Board the unprecedented ability to impose a 10 year wait before an individual who is denied parole has the chance to go before the parole board again.  
 
We believe these provisions profoundly undermine the letter and spirit of the SJC’s decision, failing to recognize the unique capacity of youth to change and rehabilitate themselves, and allowing for excessively long time periods between parole hearings.
 
Please contact your state representative [follow link to determine your rep] TODAY to urge them to reject these extreme sentencing provisions for youth.  Let them know that you support these critical ingredients to fair sentencing for youth:

1.    No youth should have to wait longer than 15 years before having a first opportunity to go before the Parole Board.

2.     Incarcerated individuals should have the opportunity for a parole hearing every 5 years, not 10. 

TIME IS RUNNING SHORT, SO PLEASE CALL or EMAIL YOUR LEGISLATOR IMMEDIATELY.  Thank you.
 
A legislator pays attention when s/he receives five or more calls.

Susan Tordella

Legislative director
————————
“We just learned today that the Massachusetts Joint Committee on the Judiciary is reporting a bill
(called now H.4184, redrafted from other bills) out to the House for a floor vote this Wednesday.
 
 
Unfortunately, the redrafted bill contains several provisions which significantly undermine the Supreme Judicial Court’s recent decision
 granting individuals sentenced under Massachusetts unconstitutional former sentencing scheme a meaningful chance at parole after they had
 served at least 15 years in prison.
 
 
The bill sets the earliest period of parole eligibility at 20 years for those convicted of felony murder, and 25 years in other cases.
The bill also gives the Parole Board the unprecedented ability to impose a 10 year wait before an individual who is denied parole has the
 chance to go before the parole board again.  We believe these provisions profoundly undermine the letter and spirit of the SJC’s decision,
failing to recognize the unique capacity of youth to change and rehabilitate themselves, and allowing for excessively long time periods
 between parole hearings.
 
 
 
Please CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS <https://malegislature.gov/People/FindMyLegislator> TODAY to urge them to reject these extreme 
sentencing provisions for youth.  Let them know that you support these critical ingredients to fair sentencing for youth:
 
 
1.  No youth should have to wait longer than 15 years before having a first opportunity to go before the Parole Board.
 
 
 
2.  No youth should be made to wait longer than 5 years between parole hearings.
 
 
 
TIME IS RUNNING SHORT, SO PLEASE CALL or EMAIL YOUR LEGISLATORS IMMEDIATELY.
 
If you have a moment, please let us know how your calls go by emailing lindamalik@cfjj.org<mailto:lindamalik@cfjj.org>.
 
Thank you for supporting fair sentencing for youth!
 
Linda Malik
Fair Sentencing Campaign Coordinator
lindamalik@cfjj.org<mailto:lindamalik@cfjj.org>
 
_________________________________________________________________
 
 
<https://malegislature.gov/People/FindMyLegislator>

Prison Labor’s New Frontier

Prison labor’s new frontier: Artisanal foods
by 

It ain’t just license plates anymore. Inmates are making a surprising array of products for small businesses. You can even find some in your local Whole Foods.

Some years back, a small Colorado goat-cheese maker called Haystack Mountain faced its version of a classic growth challenge: National demand was growing for its chèvres and other cheeses, and the company was struggling to find enough local goat farmers to produce milk. The solution came from a surprising source: Colorado Corrections Industries (CCI). Today six inmates milk 1,000 goats twice a day on a prison-run farm. After non-inmate employees cultivate the cheese at a company facility, it’s sold in Whole Foods WFM -1.34% outlets, among other stores.

Prison labor has gone artisanal. Sure, plenty of inmates still churn out government office furniture and the like, and incarcerated workers have occasionally been used by large companies since the late 1970s. Nationwide 63,032 inmates produce more than $2 billion worth of products a year, most of them sold to government entities.

But in recent years a new wave has begun, driven primarily by small businesses that need workers for boutique-size production. These days inmates can be found making everything from redwood canoes to specialty motorcycles, fishing poles, and saddles. They produce apple juice, raise tilapia, milk cows and goats, grow flowers, and manage vineyards.

“States like Colorado and California are at the forefront of a growing trend,” says Genevieve LeBaron, who has studied the issue as a politics professor at the University of Sheffield in England. CCI, a self-funded state agency, is leading the charge with a burgeoning $65 million business that employs 2,000 convicts at 17 facilities. The idea: Offer small businesses a flexible workforce and give prisoners the chance to stockpile earnings and skills needed for life outside prison bars.

Says John Scaggs, Haystack’s marketing and sales director, referring to CCI: “They have land. They have human capital, the equipment. If you can think it up, they can do it, and do it fast.”

That diverse and nimble operation has attracted visits by officials from 22 prisons as well as steady interest from companies that want to tap CCI’s workforce. “I get one to two calls a week from companies,” says CCI director Steve Smith, adding that he declines those that simply want cheap labor.

The practice has long been controversial. Prisoners earn meager wages and have no recourse if they’re mistreated, LeBaron argues. Plus, they can take jobs from law-abiding citizens. “It’s hugely concerning in the face of economic instability and unemployment,” she says.

Counters Smith: “These are coveted jobs.” Base pay starts at 60¢ a day, but most prisoners earn $300 to $400 a month with incentives, he says. To be hired, inmates must get a GED and maintain good behavior for six months.

Running a business with a workforce of felons presents challenges. Two hundred people oversee the inmates and conduct meticulous counts of tools and chemicals. Plus, security lockdowns can halt production. That can be a hassle, says Kathy Abernathy, whose Arrowhead Fisheries breeds, packs, and ships tilapia through CCI. (The fish is often sold at Whole Foods.)

But she views the program as “a way to help an inmate improve his life.” As Smith puts it, “Whether you like it or not, they are still American citizens, and they’ll be your neighbor when they get out.”

This story is from the June 16, 2014 issue of  Fortune. (http://fortune.com/2014/06/02/prison-labor-artisanal/)

Donald Perry and the Massachusetts Parole System

Donald Perry

Panel discussion last night; Over 50 people came out to listen to Donald Perry’s story, Northampton

Donald Perry was released from MCI Shirley on March 20, 2014.

Donald Perry, Elaine Arsenault, Vira Cage, Attny. Luke Ryan and Robin DiAngelo talk about Donald Perry’s incarceration, release, the prison industrial complex and the racism & white supremacy that fuel this system. Video coming soon.
Organized by OutNow and Arise for Social Justice.

former soup kitchen organizer raps system
stay connected – Updates about Donald Perry
The System – An Al Jazeera original series

Vanessa L.
@drvonskillet

Hundreds rally on Boston Common for ‘Jobs not Jails’

Jobs Not Jails from peace walker on Vimeo.

Hundreds of people turned out in the rain last Saturday to take part in the “Jobs Not Jails” rally on Boston Common.
The rally was part of a growing movement in Massachusetts to address the inequality involved in the prison system and the problem of mass incarceration. Organized by Jobs Not Jails and EPOCA (Ex-Prisoners and Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement) the rally was seeking to address the overcrowding of Massachusetts Prisons, the recidivism rate of prisoners, and the proposed 10,000 new prison units set to be built in Massachusetts over the next ten years.

These new prison units will cost Massachusetts tax payers $2.5 billion dollars a year for the next seven years.

The rate of recidivism is 60%, meaning that most people who leave prison end up going back. A lack of jobs, discrimination, and a lack of resources upon leaving the prison leave most people with little opportunities for success.

When we look at the school to prison pipeline and the overwhelming number of poor, black, and brown men in prison we see that there is a problem.

Jobs Not Jails and EPOCA are part of the national movement to address why we have so many people in jail in the first place, and how to stop folks from ending up there.
What Massachusetts needs is Jobs Not Jails!

To learn more//join the movement visit jobsnotjails.org and exprisoners.org and the Arise Criminal Justice Committee (arise)

See more
Former Inmates Sue Chicopee Jail Officials Over Illegal Strip Searches (masslive)
Ayyub Abdul Alim Accuses Springfield Cops of Planting Illegal Evidence (masslive)

 

Ayyub Abdul Alim Found Guilty, Moved to Walpole Prison

(shakuraforjustice)
Ayyub Abdul-Alim is a Hero!!. The sacrifice he made for the safety and security of the Muslims against the indecent spy and entrapment tactics law enforcement were trying to recruit for will not be in vain. Siham Nafai betrayed her fellow Muslim brothers and sisters for money and citizenship & she enjoys her freedom in this country to continue her indecent work for pay. Ayyub Abdul-Alim sits in a jail cell (freedom taken away) because he refused to betray his integrity and safety of innocent Muslim families for the promise of money and freedom. How many of you would have made that sacrifice?? If Americans believe that importing Muslim Rats and locking up good honest Muslims with integrity will make America safer…You are in for a rude awakening. Its these rats who bring plagues and disease to a nation. “Muslims” are not the threat in this country. Its people in general Muslims & Non- who will do “Anything” for personal gain. Its these people who are the threat to every American and fellow Muslim alike.
Ayyub Abdul-Alim is a victim of “Muslim Fear” & prejudices. I have no doubt it was that prejudice that landed that guilty verdict. How convenient for the prosecution to have a trail on the anniversary of the Boston bombing. Emotions and fears running high, clouding judgment…..So so sad!! We are American too!! Our religion is Islam and we not only fear “terror” attacks against us as fellow Americans, but we also have to fear personal attacks against us for choosing to be Muslim. If only Muslims & Non-Muslims alike knew and understood that Ayyub’s struggle for freedom and justice was and is more than a personal struggle he would have more support. Justice for Ayyub is symbolic against injustice everywhere!
America was literally built on the backs of our ancestors who were slaves in this country. We struggled for freedom and equality then and continue to struggle today with the added struggle to practice our religion of choice amongst so many who fear it.
I am honored to be a descendent of Slaves in this country and I am honored to be a descendent of those amongst them who chose Islam as their religion of choice and way of life, and I am even more honored to be the sister of Ayyub Abdul-Alim who is my personal hero!
I have supported him from day one and ask for your support.
Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikhs, Atheists…Justice and Freedom has no borders. Hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder “We shall overcome”!!
#Fistupjusticeforayyub

The Deal of a Lifetime

IMG_5972

[Vanessa Lynch | @drvonskillet]

In his citizen’s complaint against the Springfield Police Department, Ayyub Abdul-Alim charges that shortly after his arrest in 2011 he was interrogated by Special Agent James Hisgin of the FBI and offered, “the deal of a lifetime”. The deal was this – come work for us as an informant / provocateur within the Muslim community (a career which would include initiating conversations in mosques, community centers and universities, inciting violence, and then entrapping those who cooperated) or spend the next 20 years in jail.

Ayyub found a third option – the truth.

He refused the deal on the grounds that he was innocent and would not sacrifice his convictions and his values in the face of government bullying. The response was as expected, and Ayyub was sent to Ludlow Jail for charges of carrying a gun without a firearms ID card, carrying ammunition without an FID card, and carrying a loaded gun.

On December 9, 2011 Ayyub Abdul-Alim was stopped by Springfield Police officers Sowers, Berrios and later joined by Officer Sheehan. Sheehan, under orders from the FBI Counterterrorism Task Force of Springfield, was told to bring Ayyub in for a meeting with Special Agent James Hisgin, an agent who had been contacting Ayyub for the last several months pressuring him to work as an informant.
Ayyub’s wife at the time, Siham Nafi Stewart, was working as a paid informant with the Police and the local FBI in this entrapment scheme, and was a key player in his arrest.

The justice system operates on the legal basis that you are, “innocent until proven guilty” and while Ayyub has not been found guilty on these charges, he has spent the last 2 and a half years of his life waiting in Ludlow jail for a chance to see trial, and for a chance at justice.

After over two years of outreach, organizing, citizen’s complaints, appeals, and motions for evidence relating to his arrest, on April 10th, 2014 Ayyub Abdul-Alim’s trial finally began.

 

A Chance For Justice

Abdul-Alim talking with his attorney Thomas Robinson. [Don Treeger | dtreeger@repub.com, MassLive]

Abdul-Alim talking with his attorney Thomas Robinson. [Don Treeger | dtreeger@repub.com, MassLive]


April 10th and 11th saw the testimonies from Ayyub’s ex-wife and the three arresting officers, an audio recording from the night of the arrest, a statement from Springfield PD gun expert, and a statement from Ayyub for his Defense.

The only way in which the officers testifying was consistent was in their inconsistencies; Officers & gun experts made contradicting statements about the location of the arrest, the reason behind the arrest, the location of Ayyub when the gun was found, and in fact, what kind of gun was actually found.

In defense Officers made statements like,
“Well, I’m not really a gun expert” (Berrios)
“Well – I do my pat-frisks different now” (Sowers) on why the gun wasn’t found on the first two searches
a wonderful example of types of guns, “you know Clint Eastwood? Well do you know John Wayne?” (gun expert)
and the unforgettable“Yeah, it’s like –shrug- whatever” (Sheehan), were a few memorable highlights.

>>>

Throughout the trial the Prosecution has done their best to ensure that mention of FBI involvement is kept to the bare minimum, going as far as to exclude witnesses.

In his own defense on Friday afternoon Ayyub testified that several people were aware of the FBI harassment. When he first received a call offering him the chance to become an informant, he immediately went to his State Representative Ben Swan to file a complaint. Friday afternoon Representative Swan was inside the courthouse waiting to testify as a witness but on the grounds that it could be hearsay for the Representative to testify because there was no way to verify his statement, the prosecution objected to his presence in the courtroom. The judge ruled in favor of the objection, and the Jury never got the chance to hear his testimony.

It’s an interesting note because this testimony would have confirmed Ayyub’s Friday testimony (and previous testimonies) that the FBI contacted him several months before his arrest and he filed complaints about their harassment. This information would be crucial to a jury deciding whether or not this arrest was entrapment. One has to wonder what reason the court has for not allowing influential leaders to speak for the defense. One also has to wonder just who is seeing justice if testimonies are not allowed from elected State Officials.

 

Day 3

Organized by 'Justice for Ayyub', activists gather before the trial demanding Ayyub's release, @drvonskillet

Organized by ‘Justice for Ayyub’, activists gather before the trial demanding Ayyub’s release. [Vanessa Lynch | @drvonskillet]


First to take the stand was Mr. Abdul-Alim for a chance to be cross examined by the prosecution. He made strong statements about the night of his arrest, and maintained that the gun was planted on him by corrupt officers from the Springfield Police Department working in conjunction with the Springfield branch office of the FBI Counterterrorism Task Force.

Following Ayyub, Investigator Lewis Gordon took the stand to testify about the video cameras located at the Getty Gas Station on State Street where Ayyub’s arrest took place. These video cameras caught the entire arrest on tape, but were never collected as evidence, and destroyed as a result. This evidence is also crucial to the case, and conveniently no longer exists.

Next was Nancy Flahive, a Springfield Attorney who formerly represented Ayyub. The question raised to her was, “Did the FBI ever contact you about your client?”
The Prosecution was quick to object (which was sustained) but Attorney Flahive was quicker, “yes.”

The answer was stricken but an obvious pattern emerged to support Abdul-Alim’s statements – that the FBI had contacted him on multiple occasions, and several people knew about it.

The morning questioning took some time and involved much sidebar time with the judge and many statements cut short. Because testifying about contact with the FBI was only based off of testimonies and experience which could not be proven, much of it was called hearsay and not allowed into evidence. Sweeney did not want to allow, “he said, she said” into the court room.This gave the Defense a harder job, as the whole defense theory is based off the notion that in order to force Ayyub to become an informant, the FBI contacted he and his community on multiple occasions.

The next witness to take the stand was Dr. Ishmail Ali, the Imam of the Masjid Al-Tawheed in Springfield – Ayyub’s former mosque.

In his statement on Friday, Ayyub testified that Special Agent Hisgin had visited the mosque and approached both he and Dr. Ali. Defense Attorney Thomas Robinson raised a question asking Dr. Ali if the FBI had ever visited the mosque and there was an objection. After several more minutes at sidebar, Defense Attorney Thomas Robinson came back and phrased the question the only way he was able, “Were you present when the FBI approached Ayyub and asked him to become an informant?”

Seargent Manley of the Springfield Police Department took the stand next.
He works in Internal Investigation and was charged with investigating Ayyub’s 2013 Citizen’s Complaint against the Springfield PD for “Religious discrimination, sexual assault, assault and battery, invasion of privacy, falsification of evidence, perjury and dereliction of duty
Defense Attorney Robinson tried on several attempts to raise questions about why the video from the Getty Station was never recovered, and if Internal Affairs had ever seen any of the six cameras located at the Getty Gas station. The line of questioning was redirected several times, but in the end Sergeant Manley testified that he had, “not seen any cameras.”

in·ves·ti·gate
[in-ves-ti-geyt]to examine, study, or inquire into systematically; search or examine into the particulars of; examine in detail. (dictionary.com)

 

 

Recess and Deliberations

 

Following a recess court made their closing arguments and the Jury left to begin deliberations.
After 2 hours and 10 minutes, they returned with a resolution of a hung jury.
The group was divided down the middle – 6 for acquittal, 6 for charges.

Judge Sweeney ruled that two hours of deliberation is not equal to two and a half days of trial, and ruled that the deliberations will continue tomorrow morning. Jurors will reach a decision by tomorrow afternoon.

The trial of Ayyub Abdul-Alim has brought forward the irresponsible, awkward and sometimes downright treasonous workings of the local police, government, military forces.

Hopefully it has also begun to show these forces that more and more people are beginning to stand up for themselves in the face of this oppression, and that despite the risk of losing everything, we are becoming less afraid, more empowered, and more vocal.

It is a sincere hope that tomorrow the Jury will reach a verdict of Not Guilty in Ayyub’s case, and he will be one less man who fell prey to the whims of a failed system.

Ayyub Abdul-Alim throughout his struggle for justice has inspired many people with his strength and resolution. We should also maintain strength in these times where refusing to become a spy can land you behind bars and or a relationship with someone whose job it is to entrap you.

If we don’t stand for justice, who will?
Please consider joining us tomorrow as we enter the last day of Ayyub’s trial. We are not standing vigil and sitting in court all day for Ayyub. We are doing it because it is the right thing to do. Because Ayyub is one person who got tangled in the web of injustice, but because as human beings we are all connected, and what happens to one of us affects us all. Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand.” We are here to demand Justice for Ayyub. Ayyub Abdul-Alim is innocent and should not have spent the last two years in jail for having the courage to speak the truth.
For those interested in sitting in solidarity in the court, be inside by 8:45.
50 State Street, Springfield, Floor 3, Courtroom 2, Wear blue.
For those who are watching the trial, offering prayers, sharing information, thank you.

Tomorrow we stand with Ayyub.
The struggle continues.

Vanessa Lynch
@drvonskillet

Justice for Ayyub | Facebook