Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. Right now, a generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar. That means when you give $10 to Democracy Now!, we'll receive $20. So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Topics

Two African-American New Yorkers Die Following Recent NYPD Raids

StoryJuly 02, 2003
Watch iconWatch Full Show

A month ago Alberta Spruill suffered a heart attack and died after the police kicked down her door and tossed a flash grenade into her apartment. On Saturday a Brooklyn man died 10 days after suffering a heart attack after police raided his house. We talk to other victims of police raids and Manhattan Borough President Virginia Fields.

A Brooklyn man died Saturday 10 days after suffering a heart attack after police raided his house. Calvin Washington, who had a history of heart trouble, died of cardiac arrest while in hospital. He was 41 years-old.

His widow, Yvonne Washington, accused police officers of causing his death by storming into the family’s Bedford-Stuyvesant home. The police were pursuing their son Taheem Washington.

On June 18th, 40 uniformed and plainclothes officers broke down the door to their house while Yvonne was making dinner. The Amsterdam News reported Yvonne as saying that the police did not explain why they had invaded the house. When she insisted, an officer grabbed her and another officer knocked her baby down.

Calvin, who had a history of heart trouble, was in the bedroom attached to his defibrillator. Yvonne screamed at the officers that her husband needed help, but they did not respond.

Meanwhile, as police rushed up the stairs to the second floor they crushed one of the Washingtons’ nine cats, killing it, and severely injured another. Afraid for her husband’s condition Yvonne eventually dialed 911–in effect calling the police on the police.

Calvin was taken to hospital in an ambulance and died 10 days later.

The incident comes in a spate of mistaken police raids in New York. A little more than a month ago, Alberta Spruill suffered a heart attack and died after the police kicked down her door and tossed a flash grenade into her apartment.

Today on Democracy Now! we’re going hear about some other police raids.

  • Timothy Brockman, a 68-year-old former marine and retired factory worker who lives in the northeast Bronx. His house was raided by police on May 14th. Officers broke down the door and threw a stun a grenade, lighting his carpet on fire.
  • Amerite Espady, mother of 12-year old daughter Jennifer who was at home alone getting ready for school when the apartment was raided by the NYPD on May 22nd. They put her on the ground and held guns to her head and handcuffed her. Jennifer was traumatized by the incident and is seeing a therapist.
  • Virginia Fields, Manhattan Borough President. Her office has set up a hotline for victims of police raids: 1-800-728-1550

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation