Friday, December 3, 2010

Update on the Askia Sabur Case. Interview with Tanya Hamilton, Director of "Night Catches Us."

Thanks for joining us for another edition on On The Block Radio, the show that takes a critical look at our criminal justice system.  

On tonight's show:

The Human Rights Coalition Pennsylvania Prison Report with these headlines:

- Pittsburgh march honors wrongful death of pregnant prisoner

- HRC censored by SCI Coal Township

- Possible negligence by Virginia prison in PA prisoner's death

 Next, we will talk with Shesheena Bray of the Askia Coalition Against Police Brutality about the recent court hearing of police brutality victim, Askia Sabur, and upcoming events of the Coalition's anti-police brutality campaign.   Askia Sabur is a young African American male who was caught on video being beaten outside of a Chinese restaurant on September 3rd by police officers from Philadelphia's 19th Police District. According to reports, he was beaten with night sticks in his head until blood spilled onto the sidewalk, resulting in Askia receiving 6 head-staples, a neck-brace, multiple back injuries, a broken arm and other physical and emotional damage. He is also reported to be currently suffering from memory loss.

In the video footage of the attack that can be found on YouTube, Askia is seen surrounded by four cops and being beaten by one with a night stick. Throughout the extent of the video, he is sitting on the sidewalk as he is being beaten, with the exception of two moments in which he is lying or kneeling on the ground.

Askia Sabur appeared in court on Wednesday, December 1st for another preliminary hearing in his case.  Shesheena tells us what took place during that hearing and what's next on the agenda for the Askia Coalition Against Police Brutality in its efforts to make the police department accountable for its acts of brutality against Askia and others in Philadelphia.

Finally, we will speak with Tanya Hamilton the writer, director, and co-producer of Night Catches Us, a film set in Philadelphia in the 1970s which looks at how one neighborhood in the Germantown section of Philadelphia grapples with its memories of the Black Panther Party and the relationships that it forged and tore apart.  I spoke with her by phone from her home in Philadelphia.

Special Thanks.

The PA Prison Reports are compiled by Andy and Bret of the Human Rights Coalition based on the accounts of prisoner correspondents and the investigations of HRC members.  From the compiled data, the reports are re-written by Andy into the narratives you hear on "On The Block Radio."  Many thanks.  To access written transcripts of the PA Prison Reports, please go to:

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