by Jane Mills, PAI
People Against Injustice joined several other local justice groups in writing a letter to city leaders and state prosecutors protesting the August 17 arrest of a young man, “Mykel,” on Kensington St. in New Haven whose only crime appeared to be filming the police. He faced a misdemeanor charge of resisting or interfering with police. To sign-on to the letter go to Change.org and search using this phrase “Support the right to record police in New Haven.” A copy of his video is linked in the online petition. It is legal to record police in public in all 50 states.
A protest on his Sept. 24 court hearing date was held in front of the New Haven courthouse during which people showed their support, asking us questions or calling out from their cars. We handed out info cards and talked to reporters. At 10 a.m. a group of us attended Mykel’s court hearing. The charge against him was dropped.
We are lodging this as a victory but concerns remain about representations about the video made by the state to the judge during Mykel’s brief hearing and about the fate of his Facebook account, which was taken down by Facebook for “verification,” after he posted his video of the police. We will continue to look into both.
State Sen. Gary Holder Winfield will attend PAI’s next regular meeting on Oct. 5 to review possible legislation for the 2015-2016 legislative session. Newcomers are welcome. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. sharp on the lower level of the main branch of the New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm Street (at corner of Temple Street).
PAI has launched a Facebook page. Please visit our page, named “People Against Injustice – PAI” at this url: www.facebook.com/PeopleAgainstInjustice.
People Against Injustice is a New Haven-based, grassroots organization committed to reform of the criminal justice system. Since its founding in 1996, PAI has worked on dozens of justice-related issues, including over incarceration and the War on Drugs, prosecutor and police misconduct, and racial and economic disparities in the justice system. PAI engages in direct action as well as educational initiatives. Reach us at email@example.com.