Saturday, August 27, 2005

Brave New Yorkers

Before 9/11/01 I was selected for Grand Jury duty in the Borough of the Bronx one summer (not too bad 4 weeks $40 a day, I was between jobs, there's a "suburban shopping center" across the street now with a food court) and was elected "Foreman" (who I went to school with hello, Fran.) We had about 240 cases brought before us, at which I had to swear in witnesses, either with the ishkabibble or another more "generic" recitation available for the police who choose the option (they should provide better copies). Fortunately, I had an Aussie blue "cobber" around my neck, as the AC wasn't the best, but a whole new facility is going up with a "Bronx High School of Law" in it next door for future hearings. (Hello Bronx Sci-High!) Well, these police were out undercover doing many $5-$20 buys of crack cocaine as street people, much of that junk (that too) coming from gangs in New Jersey, perhaps. Anyway these brave NYers should be commended. However, that doesn't mean I agree with it, when people from NJ can just walk away from the crime without the time. I grew up on the corner of 143rd and Third Ave. in the Patterson Houses there until 3rd grade, out on Long Island. Well, a Mr. Shabazz, he sees this woman, she's real pretty, but she wants some crack. He, a Muslim, thinks the woman really ought to have a beer or something instead and takes the money. He is jumped and wrestled to the ground by the police in waiting. The police are also being secretly video-taped by higher-ups to 'fight corruption' (according to an exclusive to the NY Post, 3000+ videotapes). Mr. Shabazz is locked up and hurt. He comes up to the Grand Jury Room to explain. The woman cop later sues the NYC Police Dept. for forcing her into the role. I have to sign for these 240 cases, for the record, the jurors are anonymous, except for my assistant, I think, who voluteers to work with quadraplegic veterans. These are brave New Yorkers, all of them. Under the US Constitution, one is guaranteed a jury trial for any amount over $20, and I would say these are brave people. Decriminalize some of these charges, will you?

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