Where there is no Justice, there is no freedom! When people lose trust in authority and those who are in charge of the authority, they lose faith in the process of the system of Justice that has been their right through the Constitution of the United States. To demand freedom is to demand justice. When there is no justice in the land, a man’s freedom is threatened. Freedom and justice are interdependent. When a man has no protection under the law, it is difficult for him to make others recognize him. Many people have questioned are poor white people and people of color truly recognized and respected in this so–called justice system in Westchester County.
New York State Governor Cuomo’s recent pick of Westchester County District Attorney, Janet DiFiore to become the state’s next chief judge maybe applauded by some, but in the Black community of Westchester, if she is confirmed; its good ridden.
Black People of Westchester have watched the Westchester Justice System blatantly defy logic, true transparency and accountability of the law for too long. It is a true American tragedy when you cannot rely on your local justice system for protection of your civil and human rights. Transparency and accountability when they are linked to violations of people’s civil and human rights have been thrown out the door for friendships and political gain. What you do find, is the violated are prosecuted, left to request intervention from higher governing bodies like the Department of Justice. When these rights are violated consistently, creating disadvantages for some, more than others, then you have a society where the people lose trust, they lose hope, and they lose faith in ALL institutions.
Black people in Westchester have been under a justice system that has seen our mothers’, fathers’, sisters’ and brothers’ civil and human rights violated and our Westchester Counties Justice System “Eyes Wide Shut” on the issue? It has been said that “The Lady Justice” is blind but in Westchester “Lady Justice” is peeking under her blindfold to see what color, race, immigration or economic status you are before a decision is made. As a result, the masses of the collateral damage are victims that can’t afford good lawyers or will never be recognized by our Westchester media; their cries of injustice will continue to go unheard.
Under DA Difiore , the Westchester County Justice System has had a history of prosecuting victims of Police Brutality like Naimah Yancy, Dara Massey, Primivita Diaz, and Lance Cooper, who all were found innocent by trial.
We have watched as the victims of this Westchester County injustice syndrome fall victim to character assassination like Detective Christopher Ridley, who was shot and killed while making an off off-duty arrest, without any independent investigation of his death. NYPD Sergeant Kenny Kessiedu who was assaulted on his way to work by Yonkers uniform police officers and a year later found not guilty of any charges brought by the District Attorney’s office. If our Westchester County Justice system under Janet Difiore can create an atmosphere with leaks that will create doubt on the victims that are in law enforcement, then any young man, especially, a young black man does not have a chance for any real transparency of the law in Westchester County.
Even the White Plains/ Greenburgh NAACP expressed its disappointment in the actions by the District Attorney Janet Difiore and the evasive right of obtaining Justice for African-Americans in Westchester County. They also noted that the District Attorney has reneged on the Pamphlet and fairly investigating police encounters with civilians.
The re-occurrence of the same problems that have occurred in the Detective Christopher Ridley, NYPD Sergeant Kenny Kessiedu and Danroy Henry cases, reveal a disturbing pattern in different municipalities in Westchester County. These problems underscore the need for a systematic change and true accountability of transgressions of law enforcement agencies in Westchester County and that Janet Difiore failed miserably to do.
The incident of the killing of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. – black man, veteran, retired Correction Officer, called “nigger” and shot and killed by White Plains Police when he refused to open his door when he triggered medical alert necklace in his sleep by accident. The District Attorney Janet Difiore refused to label the killing as a hate crime. She is quoted in saying, ” the use of the word “nigger” was a tactic to distract Mr. Chamberlain.”
This continuous influx of abuse of law-abiding citizens gives a black eye to the entire law enforcement institution, not just those rouge officers who disobey proper protocol and procedure. Without true transparency and accountability of law enforcement, the citizens lose trust in the uniform and badge. Then the law enforcement management is in amazement when the communities they serve, especially the communities of color, do not cooperate with them. Why should they? If you can’t have true accountability within your own, then how can you be fair and just with the communities you claim to serve?
“Governor Cuomo announced he has nominated Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore to succeed Jonathan Lippman when Lippman retires on Dec. 31 as the next Chief Judge on the NYS Court of Appeals. The governor said DiFiore is “tremendously qualified” to succeed Lippman, and has spent her career working to ensure justice and fairness for New Yorkers,”
Its is clear that Governor Cuomo has been disconnected from the struggle of black people in Westchester County in an injustice system under Janet Difiore!
Westchester County can expect more of the same as Difiore heads to court of appeals. If she hasn’t given family members fair and full investigations as district attorney, how can we expect anything different, when victim’s families attempt to appeal decisions, as they continue to fight for justice for the lost of their loved ones.
Another example of politics. It’s not what you know or what you do, it’s who you know!