Revolution #192, February 14, 2010

It's Bloomberg-Kelly Time!

When Is Rape a Penalty for Smoking Marijuana?!

Michael Mineo, 25 years old, was on his way to work at a Brooklyn, N.Y., tattoo parlor in October 2008, walking down the street with marijuana rolled inside a cigar. When several cops approached him, he ran into a nearby subway station. Four cops surrounded Mineo and began kicking and beating him. Then one of the cops took a baton and rammed it up Mineo's rectum, causing him excruciating pain and bleeding.

At the trial of the rapist cops now being held in Brooklyn, Mineo testified that he asked the cops to call an ambulance. The cops ignored his pleas. One cop told him, "You liked it." He was released with a warning not to tell anyone what happened. "We have your address," one cop threatened. "We'll find you and put a felony on you." Mineo managed to get to a hospital with the help of friends.

The only reason that three cops are now on trial for the assault on Mineo is that one cop who was at the scene broke the "Blue wall of silence" by talking about what actually happened. According to news reports, he decided to speak out days after the incident because he thought the police investigation was focusing on the wrong cop, not the one who used the baton on Mineo. At the time of the incident, this cop did not try to stop or even speak out against the other cops, or help the injured victim. (Revolution will have further coverage of the case in a future issue.)

Flash back to 1997: Haitian immigrant Abner Louima is raped with a broom handle at a Brooklyn police station. As Louima is assaulted, one of the cops shouts, "It's Giuliani time"—invoking the name of then Mayor Giuliani who had given the NYPD the green light to murder and commit atrocities.

It's now (Mayor) Bloomberg and (Police Commissioner) Kelly time. Under them, the police are making a record number of stop-and-frisks, harassing and brutalizing hundreds of thousands of people a year—mostly Black and Latino, and almost always without even charging the victims with anything. Mineo had a joint when he was stopped. But since when is rape a punishment for smoking marijuana?!

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