NYC: confusion surrounds police sweeps at Puerto Rican parade

New details are emerging surrounding the 208 arrests at the June 10 Puerto Rican Day Parade in Manhattan. According to the New York Times June 13, the police still claim that people were arrested for “specific illegal behavior,” like blocking traffic, and not because they were wearing colors of the Latin Kings gang. However, the Times found:

Criminal complaints filed against 10 defendants show that the police were concerned about the risk that those arrested would engage in violent or threatening behavior or cause some public inconvenience.

The complaints also indicate that the police were looking for signs of gang identification, like clothing colors and hand signals, when they arrested people.

The NY Civil Liberties Union suggested that the parade arrests could have included innocent people, much like the the Republican National conventions arrests as well as the arrests of 30 youths on their way to the wake of a friend in Bushwick. The NYPD denied it, saying, “There were no pre-emptive arrests made at the Republican National Convention, none made in Bushwick, and there were none made here.”

There’s also some confusion about how many people were arrested at last year’s parade. The Times reported that some 50-60 were arrested, making this year’s 208 arrests a huge increase. But the NYPD now says over 150 were arrested last year. Though the Manhattan DA’s office only knew of 64 arrests in 2006, the NYPD’s explanation is that 87 other people were processed at precincts, not police headquarters. (The Gothamist, June 13)

See our last post on the increasingly ugly atmosphere in New York City.

  1. Puerto Rican Day Parade – Latin Kings
    I submit this post on behalf of all of the Latin Kings in New York State as it applies to the arrest made at the Puerto Rican Parade on June 10, 2007.

    There are allegations that the Latin Kings intended to “crash” the parade and March without permission in the parade. There is no truth to these statements and has only been stated by law enforcement officials as a cover up to their illegal actions. The Almighty Latin King & Queen Nation would never disrespect our national day of celebration with such an act.

    What law enforcement officials are not telling the public and seem to be hiding is that an ORDER was given both verbally and in writing to all GANG INTELLIGENCE and other supporting units to ARREST ANY and ALL MEMBERS of the Latin Kings. What the directive mentioned was how to identify the Latin Kings which stated the colors Black and Gold/Yellow, hand signals etc. The directive did not state “if you see anyone fitting this description committing a crime then arrest them…” it stated to ARREST on site. This information was made known to us by police officers involved in Sunday’s unlawful actions. It appears that law enforcement officials do not intend to be forth coming with this information.

    What you will probably begin to hear next to cover up their unlawful actions will be that their “source” for this information of the Latin Kings “crashing” the parade, came from confidential informants. Of course they will never disclose who these confidential informants are to validate the so-called information received. What the public is not aware of is that for quite some time now law enforcement units have been placing informants among the ALKQN not to gather information about our activities and any possible wrong doing but to have their informants initiate crimes and involve members of the Latin Kings. They have taken entrapment to a completely new level. They have made it a point to place informants in leadership positions to ORDER members to commit crimes.

    The arrest that took place at the Puerto Rican Day Parade was arrest of people who were lawfully within their right to be present. Latino people who only came to celebrate with their people on this day most look forward to each and every year. It is neither within law enforcements right nor that of the parade organizers right to decide who shall bee allowed to “go” to the parade and who shall not based on their beliefs or affiliations with an organization. A great number of the Latin Kings arrested are tax paying citizens and people who have never been arrested up until that day.

    It is becoming painfully obvious that the concerns of the arrest made are only turning to those who were not members of the Latin Kings and not the Latin Kings themselves. Our response to this is the following:

    “We understand that for so many years the Latin Kings have been viewed as a violent gang with very little positive attributes. We accept that for all the positive members we have we are out numbered by almost 3 times as many fake members who claim to be Latin Kings but are not and engage in the negativity that we are held accountable for. While we continue to strive to remove these individuals from our membership we continue to be faced with law enforcement initiatives that perpetuate more crime and negativity.

    While we are supporters of law enforcement and their responsibility to protect the public we recognize that law enforcement is simply not a proactive solution designed to deter and prevent crime from happening. Instead law enforcement, in our world at least, is more focused on making sure crimes ARE committed so that they can make arrest.

    We ask the public and community to at least bear with us even if you do not support us. We will continue our efforts to change the image of the ALKQN so that our membership only attracts positive influential people. We ask that the U.S. Attorneys Office and District Attorneys Offices help us by contributing guidance and advice other than “cease to exist.” If you haven’t learned by now…we are not going anywhere.”

    Almighty Sire
    Almighty Latin King & Queen Nation

    1. All across da board
      We are always subjected to so much negativity from not only da law enforcements but people who lack da knowledge for wat we truly stand for! I respect my own an those who deserve our honor….. but tryin to or expecting dat we can be treated with respect…..when we are constantly rediculed and already been convicted based on wat most would say “One’s Perception” is jus something we can no longer afford to waste our energy on!
      I know we Stand Strong and the true form of our foundation will always prevail no matter wat.
      A large bunch of knuckleheads continue to spread all dat negative formula based on appearance an we know dat they are not only offended but basically threaten that such an organization such as ours will continue marching on Stronger becuz we have so much more fuel to keep us goin thanks to them.
      People need to speak out when they unjustifiably are accused of being affiliated when they are not.I believe that many Boricuas feel it is better to be silent then make matters worst (sought of speak) but in fact its time to “RAISE OUR VOICES” and be heard,lets utilize our rights in dis so call free country.
      Have da officials and authorities given us a valid challenge? “Yes” it’s time to educate them and seriously take them up on it! We’ve always had Solid Leadership and it’s about time they become aware of it.I wear my colours PROUD with DIGNITY dis is a free country we can and will excercise our RIGHTS!!!!!
      Stronga den Ever “360” Amor de Rey Y Riena