2008-06-06 / Top Stories

Law Forum Takes On Differing Views Of Police

By Miriam Rosenberg

Ed Williams, of the Far Rockaway NAACP, answers Stephanie Persaud's questions about the NAACP's view that "we are in a state of emergency." "We are in a state of emergency when young people of color consistently are being disrespected in a society that's supposed to protect us." Ed Williams, of the Far Rockaway NAACP, answers Stephanie Persaud's questions about the NAACP's view that "we are in a state of emergency." "We are in a state of emergency when young people of color consistently are being disrespected in a society that's supposed to protect us." CUNY on Wheels, Common Law, Inc. and the Queens Teen Library sponsored a Rockaway Youth Legal Education Community Forum at the Teen Library on Beach 20 Street in Far Rockaway on May 24. Area young people who take part in the Rockaway Youth Legal Education Program moderated it. Topics included panel members' definitions of justice and their opinions on the effects of the Sean Bell case.

Detective Anita Jackson of Queens South community affairs outreach took issue with the way some of the panelists portrayed the police and believed the forum was one-sided. Nakita Vanstory, of CUNY, said the forum is a beginning. Detective Anita Jackson of Queens South community affairs outreach took issue with the way some of the panelists portrayed the police and believed the forum was one-sided. Nakita Vanstory, of CUNY, said the forum is a beginning. Members of the Rockaway Youth Legal Education Program listen to the panel answer their questions. Pictured are, left to right, Samantha Neil, 16; Crystal Bissessar, 16; Stephanie Persaud, 16 and Josey Miranda, 17. Members of the Rockaway Youth Legal Education Program listen to the panel answer their questions. Pictured are, left to right, Samantha Neil, 16; Crystal Bissessar, 16; Stephanie Persaud, 16 and Josey Miranda, 17. While Pastor Crutch (speaking) said, "They're out to get us. The police department has ways to circle or get around the system," Williams told the youth, "I don't believe that every cop out here is out to get us, and I don't want you to leave with that in your mind either…you can't paint a brush of all the police officers based on some of the bad ones." Also pictured is Michael Shaw and recent law school graduate Imhotep Durham. While Pastor Crutch (speaking) said, "They're out to get us. The police department has ways to circle or get around the system," Williams told the youth, "I don't believe that every cop out here is out to get us, and I don't want you to leave with that in your mind either…you can't paint a brush of all the police officers based on some of the bad ones." Also pictured is Michael Shaw and recent law school graduate Imhotep Durham.

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