Today, the Justice Committee released a video message from mothers of young men killed by the NYPD that calls on music artists to submit lyrics or songs dedicated to justice for the families.
"To the artists, I say: We need to hear what is it that I can not express with my voice, or that my son can not express with his voice because he's not here. So I would like for the artist to bring that pain out that I hold inside from my sons death," says Margarita Rosario who's son was killed by an officer in 1995.
The following mothers were featured in the video:
- Margarita Rosario, mother of Anthony Rosario and aunt of Hilton Vega who were shot at 28 times and killed by NYPD in 1995. There was clear evidence they were shot in the back while lying on their stomachs, and the officers responsible were never charged. The Civilian Complaint Review Board found the officers used "unnecessary and excessive force" but the NYPD ignored the finding.
- Juanita Young, mother of Malcolm Ferguson who was shot and killed by NYPD in 2000 in the Bronx, just three blocks from where Amadou Diallo was shot at 41 times and killed by the NYPD in 1999. The officer responsible was never charged with a crime and yet admitted during the civil trial that he shot Mr. Ferguson for no reason.
- Allene Person, mother of Timur Person who was shot at five times and killed by the NYPD in 2006.
- Constance Malcolm, mother of Ramarley Graham who was shot and killed by the NYPD in 2012. The officer responsible has been criminally charged and is facing first and second degree manslaughter charges.
Artists can participate by writing 4 - 8 bars of lyrics to be used in a collaborative song or creating an original piece dedicated to the mothers. The submission deadline is July 1, 2013. For more information, artists can contact the Justice Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The video also announced an action outside of the NYPD headquarters at One Police Plaza on May 10th, 4:30 to "call for justice and reforms."
"We ask all parents who lost a loved one to any form of violence to stand in the streets with other parents whose children were killed by the police."
The Justice Committee was founded in 1983 as the NYC chapter of the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights. Today the groups says their members include "poor, working class and middle class people of color."