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Rebel Diaz Wrongfully Arrested

June 19, 2008

Two members of Rebel Diaz, NYC-based political hip hop group, were arrested yesterday for trying to intervene in the police harassing a street vendor. Here’s a piece written by Davey D, and below that a video from the Rebel Diaz website:

NYC Police Beat Up Rap Group Members Rebel Diaz
By Davey D
Looks like the NYPD are living up to their reputation of being bonafide ‘dipshits’. We are just getting word that NYC Police located in what was once known as Fort Apache-the 41st Precint in the Bronx, have shown that police terrorism is alive and well.
The word is in a unprovoked attack they badly assaulted two members of the Rap group Rebel Diaz.
The story we are hearing is that group Rodstarz and G1 were up in Bronx on Southern Blvd in Hunts Point, when they noticed the police were harassing a street vendor who was selling fruit. The two went over to witness the cops in action and when they saw the police being abusive they pulled out a cell phone to video tape the incident and asked for the officers badge numbers. keep in mind that part of the Bronx has a large immigrant community and it is also being gentrified. The police from the 41st
Precinct have made it a point to commit acts of terror including the shooting and killing of an unarmed immigrant man last year. The case brought up images of Amadou Diallo another immigrant was gunned down by out of control Bronx cops in the neighboring precinct.
According to witnesses, when Rodstarz and G1 asked for badge numbers the police became agitated and turned around and started beating them with bully clubs and kicking them in full view of other vendors and people on the crowded street. The two were dragged off bloody, put into a police car and charged with resisting arrest and assault.
The backdrop to this story is that Rebel Diaz are not your ordinary rappers. They are well known activist who not only speak out against police terrorism, but have been key in helping out folks within this immigrant community. Hence it would not be usual for group members to bear witness and to speak out against the injustices. Rebel Diaz has committed themselves to given voice to the voiceless in that Bronx neighborhood.
Many feel that the assault by these cowardly Bronx police officers in plain view of everyone was a way to send a strong message to folks in the community that the police run things and they best stay in line. By beating the Rebel Diaz members in front of everyone was a way to spark fear and remind people that no one is safe from the police. They wanna let folks know that they can brazenly beat up popular rappers in front everyone even with cell phone cameras rolling and do so with impunity. The whole ordeal is akin to the slave masters from way back sparking fear in the hearts of other slaves by beating the strongest among them in front of everyone for all to see.


Over the past year NY Police have been man handling, arresting and terrorizing politicized Hip Hop artists, activists and news reporters.
For example, last year in Brooklyn well known attorney Michael Tarif Warren who routinely represents people in police abuse cases was badly beaten along with his wife when they stopped to watch and bear witness to NY cops terrorizing a unarmed teannage boy at a gas station.
During the protests immediately following the acquittal of the officers on trial for the Sean Bell shooting, journalists who had been speaking out against the police were harassed and roughed up.
Hopefully folks will read this and understand that what the police are doing will not work.. A police state will not take place on our collective watch.

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