Freedom Fighters Sentenced in Queens, NY:

Judge Punishes Carl Dix for “Arrogance,”
Standing up to Racist, Illegitimate, Stop-and-Frisk

January 20, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


Last November, a jury in Queens, New York, found four STOP “Stop & Frisk” freedom fighters not guilty on two counts of Obstruction of Government Administration—charges which could have sent the defendants to jail for a year. But the jury did find Carl Dix, Jamel Mims, Morgan Rhodewalt, and Bob Parsons guilty of one count of disorderly conduct, for failure to disperse—a violation that carries a maximum penalty of 15 days in jail.

These freedom fighters were arrested as they participated in a non-violent civil disobedience protest against the NYPD’s illegitimate stop-and-frisk policy in November 2011. And on January 7, when the defendants appeared with their lawyers and supporters for sentencing, they justly demanded NO JAIL TIME.

In fact, these defendants shouldn’t be punished AT ALL! They should be applauded for putting their bodies on the line against what is clearly a racist and illegitimate policy by the NYPD that violates the rights of hundreds of thousands of people—most especially Black and Latino youth. But the judge was clearly out to deliver a vicious message. Carl Dix wrote later that day:

“The judge who handed down the sentences in the Queens stop-and-frisk case got personal. I got a $250 fine, 5 days court observation and $120 court costs. Morgan Rhodewalt got the fine, 5 days community service and court costs. Jamel Mims got 5 days community service and court costs. And Bob Parsons got court costs. First off, we shoulda gotten off with time served—no fines and no community service. Stop-and-frisk is wrong, and we were right to protest it! [Five days court observation means that Dix has to sit in the courtroom for five days and “observe.”]

“In handing down these sentences, the judge said, ‘The jury saw thru Dix’s arrogance, and Rhodewalt’s false statements.’ Of course, the jury hadn’t said any of this. The judge was really spitting his own venom at us, and he followed that up by giving Morgan and me extra punishment.

“Why did the judge say I was arrogant? Because he feels it was arrogant of me to decide stop-and-frisk is racist, illegal and illegitimate and to call on people to join a campaign of civil disobedience to stop it! And to come into his court and say that what we did was the right thing to do. He probably thought my statement before sentencing was also ‘arrogant.’ I noted that ‘[Police Commissioner] Ray Kelly told three Black legislators he wanted every Black and Latino youth to be afraid they might be stopped and frisked every morning when they leave their house.’ I added, ‘This was wrong, and we were right to stand up and say NO MORE to this outrage.’


“[In sentencing me to five days court observation,] the judge was essentially saying that he was going to take this arrogant Black man and make him sit in his courtroom, under his thumb, and maybe teach him some humility.

“That won’t happen! Stop-and-frisk is still wrong. Mass incarceration is still racist and illegitimate. It is right to stand up and say NO MORE to this slow genocide strangling inner-city Black and Latino communities across the country! Watching this judge operate in court for a week won’t change any of that.” [From the Trial Blog at]

Carl Dix says several people suggested calling on others to come out to court to “observe” so he sent out an email that said:

“In addition to the very real fact that I’m not going to knuckle under to this shit, we could turn this around by saying, ‘We won’t let you single Carl out. We’re with him in this.’ We can make the courtroom into a lab of study of mass incarceration. I’m going to be writing about how this judge’s court is part of the slow genocide of mass incarceration, and I’d encourage anyone who comes to write, YouTube, Tweet about what we see and learn. So I’m calling on you and others to come to court with me the week of January 14-18. Come out for a day, or even for part of a day, if that’s all you can do. If you’re a professor, take this to your class and make it a project they can take up for credit. Spread this broadly in your circle and challenge the people you relate to and know to be part of this movement of court observation.”  


STOP Stop & Frisk Calendar:

January 14-16, and 18
9 am to 5 pm
Sitting "court observation" with Carl Dix
Queens Criminal Court, 125-01 Queens Boulevard

Tuesday January 22
8:45 am Rally
9:30 am Trial
Manhattan Criminal Court, 100 Center Street
Noche Diaz for arrests observing police October 10, 2011 and March 27, 2012

Tuesday January 22
8:45 am Rally
9:30 am Trial
Queens Criminal Court, 125-01 Queens Boulevard
Calvin Barnwell, Elaine Brower, John Hector, Richie Marini trial from November 19, 2011 arrests at 103rd Precinct

Monday January 28
8:45 am Rally
9:30 am Trial
Bronx Criminal Court, 215 East 161st (old building)
Trial for Noche Diaz, arrested as Jeffeth James was beaten March 12, 2012

Saturday, February 2
SMIN action on anniversary of murder of Ramarley Graham by NYPD, Bronx
Location TBA.

Wednesday February 6
9:30 am Trial
for dismissed Queens juror on six disorderly conduct charges
Queens Court House

Tuesday, February 26
SMIN action on anniversary of murder of Trayvon Martin
Union Square, NYC


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