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Bronx Voters Flocked to the Polls in Spite of Sandy

Superstorm Sandy made its presence known on Nov. 6, as voters in the presidential election throughout New York City scrambled to find alternative  polling sites to replace the ones damaged by the storm.

Sandy caused 60 total changes in voting locations across the five boroughs. Three of those changes took place in the Bronx. The Locust Point polling site moved from the Locust Point Civic Association to the parking lot of the MTA Throgs Neck complex.

Soundview residents voted at the I.S. 174 Eugene T. Maleska School instead of P.S. 69 Journey Prep School, and Riverdale voters went to the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, which served as a substitute for Draddy Hall at Manhattan College.

Though some people in the affected areas may not have been aware of last minute changes, most voters said they were notified with time to spare.

An MTA parking lot in Throgs Neck served as a makeshift polling site. (VIDUR MALIK/The Bronx Ink)

Riverdale residents relied on the Internet to get updates on site changes. Those without online access were left in the dark.

“On the news they’re telling you to go to a website to check your polling site, but what if you don’t have Internet?” said Irene Bernstein, 63, of Riverdale.

Bernstein expressed concern for the elderly, who she said may not use computers or may have lost Internet access in the storm.

“The elderly are going to be disenfranchised,” Bernstein said.

Several voters from outside the Bronx cast their ballots in the college polling site, making use of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order to let New Yorkers vote anywhere in the state.

In Locust Point, a quiet, picturesque neighborhood in the southeast Bronx, voting seemed to take place without any hitches.

A makeshift white tent was set up off the Throgs Neck Expressway on Monday evening. Voting machines were brought in Tuesday morning.

Despite the quick turnaround, Locust Point residents said they were notified of the change in good time by the Civic Association and the Board of Elections. They received emails, letters, Facebook notifications and information from local newspapers.

In addition to flyers and email notifications, residents found the new polling sites posted on the the Civic Association gate on Locust Point. (YI DU/The Bronx Ink)

“This was not an inconvenience at all,” said Debbie Suarino of Locust Point.

Suarino’s basement was flooded with three feet of water during the storm, but she made sure to vote. She got her polling site updates from the Civic Association and the New York Daily News.

Louis Bevilacqua, who lives across the street from the Civic Association building, was hit with almost six feet of water. He made it to the voting tent, but said he was focusing more on getting through the aftermath of the storm than the election.

“Was it a top priority? If I missed out on it, I would not have cried,” said Bevilacqua.

For Daniel Tyx, a senior at SUNY Maritime, the storm may have actually made his voting experience easier. Tyx, who is originally from Buffalo, would have had to vote absentee or in Buffalo if not for Cuomo’s executive order.

He said he logged into Google to find the new polling place and had to ask for directions to find it, but understood the difficult circumstances.

A last-minute white tent served as the polling site for Locust Point residents. (YI DU/The Bronx Ink)

“With the given situation, it was more of the best they could do,” Tyx said.

Ruth Desplant, 52, of Soundview, learned about the changes in voting locations from flyers posted on storefronts, on gate entrances and slipped under residents’ doors. Desplant was constantly checking the Board of Elections website on Monday until it crashed later that evening.

Along with her neighbors in a 2-block radius on Underhill Avenue, Desplant did not have electricity for a week after the storm hit. She woke up on Monday morning with the lights inside her home turned on.

Desplant waited for her husband and 19-year old son to finish voting after she cast her own ballot at I.S. 174 Eugene T. Maleska School on White Plains Road.  Desplant made sure to inform her son, a first-time voter, about the candidates’ positions in the months leading up to Election Day.

“I explained the ballots to him and that he has to be aware because this will affect him for years to come,” said Desplant. “You can’t complain if you don’t vote.”

Posted in East Bronx, Featured, Northwest Bronx, Politics0 Comments

Fordham’s “Notorious PhD” Turns his Attention to the Perils of Standardized Tests

The rapping professor of African American Studies and History wonders whether too much testing is affecting Bronx public school children’s health. (VALENTINE PASQUESOONE/The Bronx Ink)

The seeds for activist Professor Mark Naison’s latest cause were laid nine years ago. That’s when he began directing the Bronx African American History Project run by Fordham University, a project documenting the experiences of blacks in the Bronx.

Four years ago, the teachers in the 13 public schools involved in the project began telling Naison they had no time to devote to it anymore.

The reason? Standardized tests. Naison began to understand that test scores had become more and more high stakes under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, determining whether schools closed down and teachers and students were promoted.

“It wasn’t one day, it was an accumulation of things,” said Naison, whose broad chest and vigorous delivery make him look younger than his 66 years. “But it was also pretty clear that I wasn’t going to be invited into particular schools.”

Naison had been involved in community service and radical causes for most of his life. From the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s to coaching sports programs to his current fight against stultifying tests, he brings a provocative intensity to everything he does.

“His fierce commitment and determination and tenacity, everything that made him a ferocious athlete, he brings that into his relationships as an activist and as a friend,” said Mark Chapman, an associate professor of African and African American Studies at Fordham and pastor at Hollis Presbyterian Church in Queens. Chapman is a close friend of Naison’s and a fellow protester.

Naison’s passion for protest displayed on his office door. (VALENTINE PASQUESOONE/The Bronx Ink)

Recently, Naison landed on another wrinkle in the standardized test problem, one that promised to make a stir. Last year, his Fordham students conducting research in public schools told him that students were not getting any exercise and that preparation for the tests were a likely cause. The tests, he reasoned, took precedence over recreation. After-school programs had been turned over to studying rather than playing.

Naison, a successful athlete in high school and college, took it personally. For the hyperactive, rebellious child, physical activity was necessary for Naison to release pent-up energy. He worried that today’s Bronx children did not have the same opportunity.

“If you don’t give kids who are like me a physical outlet during the day, they’re going to flip,” Naison said.

Naison cited a report called Food, Fitness, Obesity and Diabetes in the Bronx by Jane Bedell, Assistant Commissioner at the Bronx District Public Health Office, which indicated that less than half of South Bronx public high school students reported attending physical education class three times a week. Sixty-four percent of the borough’s teens meet this state standard, compared to 74 percent of the city’s kids.

Tests may be one reason, Naison said.  Gentrification and housing policies, another. In a post on his blog “With A Brooklyn Accent” he said people who move to the South Bronx to escape gentrified areas spend most of their income on rent and have little time for fitness or physical activity. Naison also argues housing policy contributes to health problems because recreation centers are not created in proportion with new housing facilities, resulting in a lack of physical activity space.

It’s a theory, unproven in parts, but all aspects point to a formula for a good protest – anti-authority, injustice and marginalized underdogs.

Naison developed his love for protest and sports growing up in the Crown Heights and Flatbush sections of Brooklyn in the 40’s and 50’s. Whether it was in school or at a local park, Naison played one sport or the other, from basketball to tennis to dodge ball – or “bombardment” – as he used to call it. He was also a standout student, skipping both the third and eighth grades.

Tennis and basketball became his two best sports, and he ended up playing tennis as an undergraduate at Columbia University, receiving an academic scholarship that took care of almost half his tuition. He became captain of the school’s tennis team and stayed involved in athletics after graduating in 1966, coaching in sports programs in Park Slope, where he now lives.

Naison’s  parents threatened to send the young rebel to military school. He enjoyed the roll of intimidator, cultivated first on the playing field in the neighborhood, and later on the streets and classrooms as an activist.  He is as loyal to his friends as he is hostile to his enemies.

His success both in the classroom and on the athletic fields got to Naison’s head, giving him a cocky attitude, and it was activism that tempered his worldview by showing him the plight of the marginalized. He took part in the Civil Rights movement and advocated for tenants in East Harlem during his undergraduate years at Columbia. He got his Master’s and PhD at Columbia and took part in school protests against the Vietnam War and the Morningside Gym in 1968. Naison, who was among the activists who protested at Hamilton Hall on the Columbia campus, said students were against the school’s research for the Defense Department and the gym, which would have been built on public ground at Morningside Park.

The nation’s attitudes about race became personal for Naison in 1965, when he began a six-year relationship with a black woman he calls Ruthie. His parents, though sympathetic to the Civil Rights cause, did not approve of their son’s relationship.  The reaction from those who saw the two together further drove Naison towards studying race.

“We were like a Rorschach test for the societies,” Naison said. “Just the two of us walking arm-in-arm, hand-in-hand down the streets, it was like people didn’t know what to do with us.”

While a PhD student he was offered a job at Fordham’s then-new African and African American Studies department in 1970. Not everyone was willing to accept a white man into an African American studies program, but, true to form, Naison did not back down.

His athletic prowess gave him credibility. Naison said he played basketball with the Fordham team and became friendly with black players. He also was not afraid to glare at those who shot him dirty looks, sending a non-verbal message that he would not back down. Naison is proud of this stare – or “ice grill” – which is easy to imagine when looking at his deep eyes, which lock on their targets like a vulture’s on its prey.

Naison’s menacing stare is now directed at the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top policy that provides funding for states that agree to implement reforms that include teacher evaluations that place a strong emphasis on standardized test scores. These scores account for up to 40 percent of the criteria for New York’s teacher evaluations. Low-performing schools can close and teachers whose students do not score well on these tests can lose their jobs. Naison said this creates an environment of fear in schools, as teachers and principals constantly wonder if they will be fired.

New York was chosen by the federal government to receive $700 million in Race to the Top funds in August 2010 and has been struggling to comply with its criteria ever since. In January 2012, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan gave the state a stern warning to finalize the teacher evaluation system, which the state and its teachers union could not agree upon. The two parties agreed to a plan in February, just before the deadline set by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Race to the Top not only gives Naison something to protest, it brings out his bravado. He is not shy about calling out President Obama, Cuomo and other powerful figures who he said cannot adequately set education principles.

“I have this persona, I know I’m unreasonable sometimes, but what you see is what you get,” Naison said. “I’m going to tell you what I think, I’m going to say it as clearly as I can, and if I’m wrong I’ll admit I’m wrong, but if I’m right I’m going to stand up for what I believe in and you’re not going to be able to knock me off course.”

“You’re not going to be able to knock me off course,” Naison said. (VALENTINE PASQUESOONE/The Bronx Ink)

Naison is admittedly arrogant and has no doubts about the credibility of his opinions, though he did admit to not being an expert on state education policy. He gets his information from the students and teachers he keeps in touch with, and from his wife Liz Phillips, principal of P.S. 321, a high-achieving school in Park Slope.

Though Naison – the self-appointed “teacher’s defender” – may not have expertise in the field, he is equipped with a position of authority.

“Teachers can’t speak out for themselves very easily,” Naison said. “I’m a tenured full professor at a university in the latter stages of my career, there’s no retaliation.”

Tenure combined with intimidation tactics has led to resistance-free activism. Naison is confident he has critics, but has not heard from any, which he attributes to his brash style that may ward off direct confrontation.

Naison’s beliefs are undoubtedly unorthodox, making them susceptible to scrutiny. Eric Nadelstern, a professor of practice at Columbia Teacher’s College and former deputy chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, cited poverty and corruption in the Bronx as more significant contributors to the borough’s health problems.

“There was a health crisis for Bronx kids in public schools decades before standardized testing became a value in evaluating schools and teachers,” said Nadelstern, founder and former principal of the International School at LaGuardia Community College in Queens. “So to say this is what’s responsible for the health crisis for Bronx kids is easy to say but very difficult to prove.”

Nadelstern supports the use of standardized tests as a means of comparing schools, and said making them account for 40 percent would allow them to contribute to the teacher evaluation but not dominate it. He shared Naison’s dislike of Race to the Top, saying it was not doing a good job of evaluating teachers, but he did say the program was prioritizing evaluation and accountability, something he said was crucial to improving standards.

Naison was critical of value-added measures, which take into account a student’s year-to-year performance in standardized testing to better understand a teacher’s effectiveness. Jonah Rockoff, an associate professor of finance and economics at Columbia University Business School, who has written about teacher evaluations and value-added measures,  believes the current teacher evaluation system is more effective than earlier ones that were too lenient.

“I want to hear the alternatives,” Rockoff said. “Because the alternative to say let’s go back to the old system where 99 percent of people get an ok, that just doesn’t seem better.”

Naison said a more holistic approach to student learning and peer-based evaluations could help, but does not anticipate changes anytime soon. He voices his concerns on his blog and has accumulated a large online following of teachers.

He also uses hip-hop to express himself, in the form of raps performed by his alter ego “The Notorious PhD.” He is a student of hip-hop, as he demonstrated in his appearance on “Chappelle’s Show,” Dave Chappelle’s hit program on Comedy Central, in a game show skit called “I Know Black People.”

Naison’s passions and forms of expression may not be what one expects from a white man of retirement age, but conventional wisdom does not do much good when taking on the policies of a mayor, governor and president. Instead, what is required is a zeal for defying authority and an in-your-face arrogance that must be displayed even when the mission’s success is in doubt.

“I’m not optimistic, it’s just that I’m right,” Naison said of his anti-standardized test activism, “because I’ve been a teacher and a coach all my life.”

Posted in Bronx Neighborhoods, Education1 Comment

Judge Dismissed Electioneering Charges Against Arroyo

Maximino Rivera spoke to the press before the hearing on his lawsuit calling for  new election. VIDUR MALIK/Bronx Ink


A Bronx Supreme Court judge dismissed a civil lawsuit against incumbent Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo, charging her with electioneering and fraud at the primary polls on Sept. 13.

The case was lodged by one of her Democratic opponents, Maximino Rivera. In the case, the 84th Assembly District representative was accused of electioneering at three polling sites on the day of the Democratic Primary, instances that were witnessed by three different poll watchers. Rivera’s suit also called for a new election.

Judge John Carter ruled that Rivera did not file his paperwork in a timely manner.

“It’s not surprising that the system doesn’t want to hear the specifics of the flaws and irregularities,” said  Harry Bubbins, a poll watcher for Rivera’s campaign, who attended the hearing. “Instead he is relying on a technicality which is in fact an error.”

The suit also names the Board of Elections as plaintiffs. “The people that work at the Board of Elections weren’t there to provide assistance for the community,” Rivera said at a press conference held before the hearing. “They were there to provide influence for the incumbent.”

A Board of Elections representative declined to comment about the case.

Rivera, who said he could not afford his own lawyer, presented photographs to the court that he said show Arroyo too close to polling sites on election day. In one photo, Arroyo was talking with a police officer. Bubbins claimed the officer was telling Arroyo to leave the polling site in the Judge Gilbert Ramirez Apartments in the Bronx.

Another photo showed Arroyo’s campaign vehicle parked directly outside the apartment complex, and still another of a sample ballot with a marking next to Arroyo’s name, which Bubbins said was used to influence votes.

Arroyo trounced both her her opponents, winning almost 53 percent of the vote.Arroyo was not breaking any rules by being at a polling site, said Stanley Schlein, one of Arroyo’s lawyers. That is because she had a poll watcher’s certificate, which can be assigned to members of a campaign by the candidate or political party under New York State Election Law.

Schlein said Arroyo chose to be a poll watcher to ensure a legal election, and that Rivera and Serrano also had this option.

“If this matter had in fact been filed appropriately,” Schlein said, “we were fully prepared and able to refute any charges of impropriety because none occurred.”

Rivera also argued the font size on the ballots was too small, a grievance also aired by voters. The Board of Elections voted for an increase in the font size for November’s general election on Sept. 25.

Bubbins said Rivera’s lawsuit had an influence in the decision to increase font sizes, which occurred a day after the lawsuit was filed. He also argued the font size alone was reason enough for another election.

“The ballot size was illegal, so regardless of all the fraud and irregularities and criminal activity, the ballot size itself was grounds for a new primary,” Bubbins said.

Posted in Bronx Neighborhoods, Politics0 Comments

Troubled Teen Charged with Killing his Mother

A memorial for Tihesha Savage across the street from her home Thursday. VIDUR MALIK/Bronx Ink

As neighbors and community members tried to make sense of the shocking death of Tihesha Savage on Thursday, they provided more details about the youngster charged with her murder – her son, Darwin Jackson.

Jackson, 16, was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and possession of weapons after police found his mother’s body in a plastic bin across the street from their home at 1447 Macombs Road in the Bronx on Wednesday morning.

A security camera showed Jackson moving the garbage bin across the street. During a later police interrogation at the 44th Precinct, police said the young man confessed to shooting and killing his mother.

The New York Daily News reported the grisly details of the death included in the criminal complaint.

Shock was the prevailing theme among people who knew the family, as they struggled to understand the tragic circumstances of her death. Savage, who also had a younger daughter, was described as a quiet person and a devoted mother who kept to herself. She could be seen taking her daughter to school in the morning and bringing her back in the afternoon.

“I still can’t believe it,” said Walter Collier, 59, one of Savage’s neighbors, who said she lived in the building for 16 years. “She was such a nice, easygoing person.”

The picture of her son, and accused killer, however, was shrouded by a layer of confusion. According to those who knew him, Jackson was quiet and moody. He seemed to constantly be bothered by something, though no one could pinpoint what his trouble was.

Naiquon Mackey, 17, has known Jackson for almost a decade. When they were younger, Jackson was more cheerful, but as he grew older, he became more serious.

“He changed into a private person,” Mackey said. “He never wanted to be around anybody.”

Residents lit candles and wrote handwritten messages as part of the memorial for Tihesha Savage. VIDUR MALIK/ Bronx Ink

Mackey said he heard from others that Jackson was getting into trouble and fighting, but did not see the teen commit any transgressions firsthand.

Jackson participated in basketball clinics at the Latino Pastoral Action Center on West 170th street and would go to Sanctuary Church there with his mother.

Jackson also seemed to be bothered at the basketball clinics, which he attended infrequently for about two years, according to Victor Crespo, 31, the coach of the LPAC Knights basketball team. Crespo said he did not talk to Jackson often and that he seemed fine certain times, but could also be irritable and would get angry at himself if he made mistakes during the clinics.

“At times he would lash out, get upset, at times he was a regular kid,” Crespo said.

Savage began going to the church in Fall 2007, but stopped attending regularly a year later. She was part of the 125-member Reform Pentecostal church for six years in total, according to Julio Rivera, chaplain of LPAC and deacon of the church.

Rivera said he would ask Savage if she would consider returning to the church, and that she would say she would return and request a prayer. He said he last saw her in January or February, and that they talked about her return to the church.

“I asked her when she was going to come back to the church and she said, ‘One of these days,’” Rivera said.

Rivera said he had not seen Jackson for about three of four years and that he heard Jackson would misbehave, but did not know of any serious trouble he got into when he was younger.

Rivera said he would speak with the church’s senior pastor Raymond Rivera about conducting a memorial at the church.

Crespo said he could sense a difference in the congregation members who knew Savage after the news of her death.


He said they were quieter and, like her neighbors, he talked about a lingering state of shock.

“You don’t think it’s going to hit so close to home,” Crespo said.

Posted in Bronx Neighborhoods, Crime, Featured0 Comments

Police Charge Man for Killing of Bronx Gas Station Worker

Police charged Freddie McGrier with murder, robbery and criminal possession of a weapon for the killing of a gas station attendant  in the Bronx on Tuesday, Sept. 4, the New York Daily News reported.

Lamin Sillah, 28, of the Bronx, was working at RC Petroleum at E. 182nd St. and Southern Blvd. in the Bronx Park South section of the Bronx when the shooter approached him with a gun and killed him.

According to a police source, someone called the police with the suspect’s name after watching  video of the incident, which was released to media.

Sources said Sillah’s co-worker, who was robbed before the shooting,  could not identify McGrier in a lineup, but evidence and the video gave police reason to charge McGrier.

McGrier, 21, of Harlem, was apprehended Thursday and is a parolee who was released from prison June 15 after a two-year sentence for robbery and attempted robbery, according to records.

Police said McGrier has been arrested five previous times: twice for assault, twice for robbery and once for grand larceny.


Posted in Bronx Neighborhoods, Newswire0 Comments

Police Looking for Bronx Robber Who Uses Hypodermic Needle

Police are pursuing a robber who has been using a hypodermic needle as a weapon in the Bronx, NBC New York reported.

The suspect is described as a male about 40 years old with black hair and brown eyes who is 5-feet-6 inches tall and weighs 120 pounds. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, a black t-shirt with blue lettering, gray jeans, black sneakers and a black leather New York Yankees cap when he was last seen.

He has committed two robberies within the last month. The first occurred at about 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 16 around Castle Hill Avenue and East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx. The second took place at around about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday near Roberts Avenue and East Tremont Avenue.

No one was injured in the robberies.

People with information about the robberies should contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-577-TIPS, visiting, or texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.

Calls will be confidential.

Posted in Bronx Neighborhoods, Newswire0 Comments

Incumbent Arroyo Pummels Both Primary Challengers

Panels and campaign volunteers promoted Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo throughout the South Bronx. (VALENTINE PASQUESOONE / The Bronx Ink)

Longtime incumbent New York State Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo captured 53 percent of the  Democratic primary vote by late Thursday night., despite two spirited bids to unseat her.  Challengers Maximino Rivera, a community activist, and Charles Serrano, a former police officer, split the remaining votes 25 percent to 22 percent.

Arroyo, whose campaign volunteers were not available for comment last night while votes were being tallied, will likely continue representing the 84thdistrict that includes Highbridge, Longwood, Melrose, Mott Haven, Port Morris and Hunts Point neighborhoods after election day Nov. 6. There has yet to be a Republican challenger for the seat.

Her opponents criticized her lengthy tenure that has not been free from scandal.

“She’s been there too long,” Rivera said of Arroyo. “It’s time for her to go.”

Both opponents faced challenges staying afloat in the race against Arroyo, whose ties to party politics are well established. The Rivera and Serrano camps said the Arroyo campaign unsuccessfully challenged the signatures on their petitions, which slowed down their campaign timetables.

“It’s a real battle just to get on the machine,” said Jose Velez, who was raised in the South Bronx and ran for male district leader of the Serrano campaign.

After getting past that hurdle, Rivera and Serrano focused on presenting alternatives to Arroyo. Rivera, a former Post Office employee and community organizer, ran a lively campaign. Rivera’s sister Maria Chompre said the campaign had a 30-person core comprised of family and friends. Rivera campaigned for Arroyo during a previous race, and said he did so only because he favored Arroyo over her opponent.

Maximino Rivera believed it was time for longtime pol Carmen Arroyo to step down. (VALENTINE PASQUESOONE / The Bronx Ink)

Serrano, who was part of the New York City Police Department for 25 years, campaigned on the promise to push for term limits for all state-level representatives. He also focused on housing, senior citizen issues and crime, with an emphasis on gun violence.

Both challengers are Vietnam veterans. Both complained that Arroyo has become complacent after almost two decades in office.

“Carmen was a very good activist, but for the last eight to ten years she’s been missing in action,” Rivera said.

Arroyo disclosed $4028 in campaign contributions. Rivera and Serrano did not file financial reports.

Candidate Charles Serrano and district leader candidate Jose Velez said getting on the ballot was not easy. (VALENTINE PASQUESOONE / The Bronx Ink)

Low voter turnout did not help the challengers to Arroyo’s seat. Serrano said people’s focus lay elsewhere, even though the primary campaign was important because the results decided who would win this seat in the general election. “People want to vote, they don’t really know when they have to vote,” Serrano said, “They’re only thinking about  November 6.”

For those who did make it to a polls, change was an important factor. Evelyn V. Figueroa, a nurse from the Melrose section of the Bronx, said she wanted to see crime decrease and access to housing and healthcare increase. She said she had not seen any improvements in these categories in the 10 years she has been living in the area.

“This is like a lottery game,” Figueroa said. “We’ll see what happens. I definitely hope there will be some change.




Posted in Bronx Neighborhoods, Politics, Southern Bronx0 Comments

Bronx bodega robbery victim’s family calls for grand jury investigation

In a meeting with Bronx district attorney Robert T. Johnson, the family of Reynaldo Cuevas, who was killed by a police officer after the bodega he worked at was robbed early Friday morning, said they wanted a grand jury to investigate the shooting, according to the New York Times.

After watching surveillance video of the incident, Cuevas’s family and the police offered differing accounts of how the 20-year old was killed. Police said the officer’s gun accidentally went off when he and Cuevas ran into other as Cuevas ran from the scene of the robbery at Aneury’s Deli at East 169th street and Franklin Avenue in the Bronx.

At a press conference at the district attorney’s office Sunday, family spokesman Fernando Mateo said the family felt that he was shot purposefully after contact was made with the officer.

Mateo said Ana Cuevas, the victim’s mother, told Johnson the officer should go to jail. She fainted during the Sunday news conference as Mateo talked about the shooting.

According to Mateo and Sanford A. Rubenstein, the family’s lawyer, Johnson said there would be an independent investigation, the district attorney’s office’s policy for shootings in which police are involved.

Posted in Newswire0 Comments

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