OK, complaining to the police might make you feel better, but chances are really good that nothing will be done and you’ll waste your time, at best, and at worst, you’ll give the bad guys your case so they can begin preparing a defense should you file a civil rights lawsuit against the City of New York. This latter action is what I think you should do: you should file a lawsuit under 42 United States Code section 1983, Deprivation of Civil Rights Under Color of Law. You’ll need a lawyer to do this, and it’s highly preferable to get one who practices in Lower Manhattan, where the attorney will know the judges and counsel for the City of New York. You can find attorneys who specialize in Police Brutality/Excessive Force/False arrest cases, just do a google search on “police brutality attorney New York City” and there should be quite a few listings come up. Most of them do free case evaluations and will tell you your chances of success, and they’ll take the case on a contingent fee basis, which means their fees come out of the amount awarded for damages. OK, so find an attorney you’re comfortable with.
Before you go into his or her office, do the following - right now or as soon as possible - and right now is highly preferable:
1. Find videotapes of what happened when you were brutalized or arrested.
2. Find people in those videotapes or who actually saw you being assaulted by the police; get their names , addresses, phone numbers and emails. Have them write out a statement of what happened at what time and what they saw. Have these reports signed by the people making them.
3. Write down yourself a timeline of what happened from an hour before you came into contact with the police in any way, to the time you were let out of jail, if applicable. Write down a narrative of what happened, what you saw and heard, what injuries you had, which were inflicted by the NYPD.
4. Take pictures of any injuries, and go to the hospital and get seen in the ER, and get the name of the doctor or nurse who examined you. Keep track of any money charges to you for treatment, and the medical records from the visit.
5. Finally, if you have nightmares or insomnia or you’re suffering from depression or anything else has changed, keep a diary giving dates and times of these events, and any treatment you get - and get docs names and addresses and the diagnosis (like maybe PTSD or something)
Do all this, and make two copies of everything, and store the original and a copy in safe places, and go talk to the attorney with the evidence you have amassed. Make sure it’s an attorney who specializes in this kind of case and that he or she practices before the judge who will hear the case, on a regular basis.
Don’t waste your time with NYPD Internal Affairs, they’re just there to waste your time and demoralize you
Last time I asked that question, I provided a rough basis for the answer;
What anarchists opposeIn short, anarchism is not a rebellious phase or a street gang, but a political philosophy grounded in principles that reasonable people should be able to get on board with.
- Hierarchy – anarchists oppose domination of one person or group of people by another as detrimental to human society. We believe that people should be free to make their own decisions and that relationships of command and obedience are to be opposed.
- Authority – all forms of authority must bear a heavy burden of proof in order to demonstrate their legitimacy and necessity. Some positions of authority meet this burden, for example the relationship between teacher and student or parent and child, but most – government, bosses, religious leaders, slave owners, etc – do not and must be dismantled.
- The state – centralised rule of a set geographical area (country) or people (nation) by a government of elites is inherently illegitimate. The state / government is essentially nothing more than a near monopoly on the use of violence maintaining order with armed bodies such as the police and military and coercive institutions such as courts and prisons. Even when elected in a watered-down form of “democracy,” the state serves only elite interests and never those of ordinary people and the working class.
- Capitalism – anarchists oppose capitalism, the system that puts wealth, power, and the means of production (capital) in a few private hands and forces everybody else to rent their labour to that few in exchange for a wage or to starve. This system leads inevitably to privilege and injustice.
- State socialism – the “alternative” to capitalism, state ownership of the means of production, is essentially just capitalism in another form. Still, the working class have no economic freedom and often – in practice – no political freedom either. State socialism, often termed Communism, is little more than brutality and slavery.
- Nationalism and fascism – these are but the worst forms of the state, gaining the loyalty of the people with strong, often brutal discipline and by developing an almost religious, fevered love of the state and the rulers in the form of patriotism. Often, racial and national differences are exploited to bring about this mentality, which serves only to divide he working class and strengthen the position of the rulers.
- Discrimination – nobody should be excluded or discriminated against based on nothing more than their gender, ethnicity, sexuality, background, or beliefs. Anarchists do not expect all people to have the same talents and abilities, nor to all be carbon copies of one another. Equality does not imply that all people are the same, merely that all people should have the same opportunities and be judged only on their personal qualities rather than on superficial group characteristics.
- Liberty – all people should be free to live their life as they see fit, without rules and laws passed from above that serve no purpose other than control and domination, as long as they are not infringing the right of anybody else to the same.
- Equality – as stated above, nobody should face discrimination because of their gender, ethnicity, sexuality, background, or beliefs. Nobody should have to face indescribable poverty whilst others live in luxury, merely because of an accident of birth. And nobody should have power or control over any other.
- Community – human civilisation evolved, from its primitive roots, through the priciple of Mutual Aid. On an ordinary, everyday level, this principle remains, and human beings still cooperate and help each other. It is those at the top, and the capitalist system, which promotes competition and domination, and this should be removed as it is harmful to the advance of civilisation.
- Solidarity – humanity is divided only between the rulers and the ruled. Other divisions, those which bring about sexism, racism, heterosexism, and other bigotries, are promoted by the ruling class in order to divide their subjects and keep them under control. As long as we foster these divisions and define ourselves by them, our strength as a unit is removed. Only together, in solidarity across borders and racial lines, do we stand any hope of bringing about any meaningful change.
- Self-management – groups, such as workforces or local communities, would be free to operate and govern themselves free of any higher authority. Decisions would be made by popular assemblies using direct democracy, so that everybody would have an equal say in how their community or workplace operated.
- Free association – all individuals would be free to live where they wanted and associate with who they chose. Not only would they be able to choose who to associate with, they could choose who not to associate with, which means that people could elect to not be part of a participatory community in their local area and opt out of decisions on the running of a place if they opposed them, so long as they did not violate the basic liberty and equality of others.
- Voluntary federation – instead of the state, where indivudal communities and groups of people are bound together by the coercive force of a central authority, local communities and workers collectives can choose for themselves which other communities or collectives to associate with. Each would retain their own autonomy and elect spokespeople to voice agreements on trade and other matters between the different groups.
- Direct democracy – unlike in parliamentary democracy, these spokespeople would be just that, elected not to a position of authority but to voice decisions that remain in the hands of the people, as in trade union and workers council structures. This principle, “bottom-up” decision making rather than “top-down” power could operate from a local and regional level right up to a national and international level.
- Mutual Aid – in participatory communities and workers collectives, Mutual Aid is a central principle. Easily summed up with the phrase “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” this boils down to voluntary cooperation, fair distribution of resources, and help and support to those who need it within a local community.
- Free, fair trade – for the sharing of resources between different communities and individuals who opt out of Mutual Aid, anarchy would see the emergence of a truly free market. The “free market” of capitalism is not in fact free at all, as the trading relationships are distinctly unequal because of the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a minority that is an inevitable part of the system, and the coercion that results removes all but the pretence of freedom. Truly free trade is fair trade, without domination and exploitation of the poorer or weaker trading party. In other words, the free market is only free without capitalism.
- Individual liberty – 90% of “crime” is either victimless, harming either nobody or only the perpetrator by their own choice, or a product of the injustice and inequality created by capitalism and the state. Anarchy would not be governed by vast statutes of law that control people down to the last action and instead holds to the liberty of every person to do as they please so long as they are not harming the person or liberty of others.
- Collective defence – this is not to say that anarchist society will contain “perfect people,” and there will certainly be acts of aggression, oppression, and violence – albeit on a lesser scale than is commonplace in today’s world. Rather than monopolise defence in a police or military force, this would be the responsibility of everybody either on an individual basis or by voluntary participation in a communal militia.
- Justice, not vengeance – courts would be elected for each individual case, rather than appointed and given unnecessary authority, with the aim to establish guilt or innocence, negotiate reparations, and organise rehabilitation rather than to support the oppressive prison systems which only make matters worse by serving as little more than universities of crime.
Shunga Creek in Topeka…