Archive for May, 2014

Workplace Bullying Report

May 29, 2014

This column appears in the May 29 – June 5 edition of the Hartford  News…This week we’ll share the SEIU Local 1000 report on their victory in the global war on workplace bullying. As we reported last week, in 2013 SEIU successfully negotiated to have abusive workplace conduct added as an issue covered under grievances by California state workers. The AFSCME Local 318 Safe Workplace Committee here in Connecticut  is discussing strategy to get similar language added to the new contract in 2015, and appoint an independent arbitrator to hear grievances. AFSCME union steward John Hollis has submitted a Freedom of Information request for the outcome of grievances filed by state employee unions during the past ten years. The Community Party is talking with current and former state workers about how to address the prohibitive costs employees face when they file a lawsuit. Employers count on workers being unable to initiate or maintain legal action, due to a lack of financial resources. Stay tuned for updates. We’ll also share posts from Cornell Lewis’ DCF Plantation blog.


Dignity Clause Strengthened

Members can now file grievance over dignity violations
Under our new contract, members have more rights when it comes to workplace bullying or other violations of the dignity clause.
Our bargaining team succeeded in obtaining language that strengthens the Dignity Clause (Article 5.11) so that employees who believe they have not been treated with generally accepted standards of dignity and human courtesy may now file a grievance. Previously, members could only file a complaint of dignity clause violations to their department head.
In addition, our new contract requires each state department to maintain a Workplace Violence and Bullying Prevention policy and distribute it to each employee.
“We fought for the strongest possible protections for our members who experience workplace bullying–I know firsthand how a bully boss can create a nightmare for you at work,” said Sophia Perkins, chair of Bargaining Unit 4, who testified about her own experiences during bargaining. “One reason I became active in the union is to address this issue and hold bullying bosses accountable.”
To learn more about the Dignity Clause (Article 5.11) and Workplace Violence and Bullying Prevention (Article 10.21), see the tentative agreements (listed on the SEIU website).
If you have experienced workplace bullying or other violations of the dignity clause, call the Member Resource Center at 866.471.SEIU (7348).
y, May 10, 2014


“Never mistake the concessions of the ruling class as benevolence. You have only their fear of us to thank for whatever they give up.”

The stories you are about to read come from three black male employees who work at the DCF Plantation office at 250 Hamilton Street in Hartford, Connecticut. This staff writer believes it is important that people understand how the inner working of certain offices [ plantations ] operate and affect workers.

The first worker is a Case Manager and provides services for DCF clients such as finding resources and transporting in state owned cars. He agreed to meet this DCF blog writer at the corner of Tower and Main Street. We refer to him as Case Manager..CM.

 The CM said that for years he has worked at DCF Hamilton Street plantation and how treatment of employees is disgusting. People in a certain economic bracket [ not upper management ] are considered expendable and men of color are targeted for harsher disciplinary measures. “Work loads for the main line employees is heavy and difficult at times to bear; in many respects that Hamilton Street office is run just like a damn plantation. I want the blog readers to know how terrible it is to work under oppressive conditions of bias / racism; something needs to be done about this.”

The second worker interviewed is a Clinical Worker and also has years of experience at the Hamilton Street plantation. He shall be referred to as CW for this story. We met in a building where a local union was holding a rally for employees.

This CW came to DCF Plantation blog with stories of overwork and racism within his Hamilton Street office. “We [ DCF workers at Hamilton Street ] are expected to carry a case load of clients that allow us a high rating. However, if you reach a 100% per cent full case load, management gives a low rating [ grade of C ]. This means in order to gain a passable grade of B or A clinical workers must work at 150% per cent, this does not leave time for a personal life away from the plantation.”  There is intense pressure for all employees to produce higher client outcomes but this is especially true for CW. This staff writer continued to notice how angry the CW became as he recounted tales of white management racism / bias toward employees of color. However his main bone of contention is how all workers in a certain economic bracket are being abused by uncaring, callous management types. He lamented about lack of racial sensitivity by white management and the acceptance of [ white managers ] abusive treatment of employees of color.

The third worker met DCF blog staff on Park Street to discuss conditions at Hamilton Street. He works in the Investigations Unit seeking to ascertain if complaints of child abuse or neglect are valid. We refer to him as IU in this story.
“I am still working at that damn place [ Hamilton Street ] and conditions are not getting any better.” While looking at IU there seems to be a dark cloud covering his face, maybe it was anger or a sense of helplessness. “Whenever we [employees ] speak up about heavy case loads there is always a backlash of some sort. Damn managers start to examine [ closely ] our time sheets and productivity. They claim this scrutiny is all necessary and part of policy but we know better.” I noticed how IU continued looking at a wrist watch then slowly monitored people walking down the street. I asked him if there was a concern of being discovered about giving information to DCF Plantation blog. His reply to my query is typical of workers on DCF Plantations. “Listen, there are co-workers in cahoots with management over at Hamilton Street, they report anything considered to be of value. You never know who is speaking to the plantation boss.”

In conclusion this staff writer tried to capture the tenor of each conversation in order to give readers insights into struggles at Hamilton Street DCF Plantation.
Thursday, April 24, 2014


Sources reported to this blog about gang violence at Connecticut Juvenile Training School. At least five Youth Service Officers have been injured [ and out on Workers Compensation ] after altercations between factions of gangs from Bridgeport. Two Units were involved in the fracas, 5C & 6C. Unit 6C was waiting outside to enter the gym, Unit 5C was departing the gym. As both Units passed each other two youth from 6C attacked a resident of Unit 5C. That is when staff intervened and were injured.

These same sources indicate how CJTS in seeking to gain more financial reserves from state and federal government; by allowing older residents (19 – 20 yrs old) to be locked up at that facility. YSOs report housing the older residents is a logistical nightmare and there are no procedures in place in how to handle older and physically bigger residents. Those restraint techniques implemented for youth 12-17 yrs old just do not work for older, more imposing residents. Then there is the element of older gang affiliated youth bringing signs, words and old grudges into the facility. Now five YSOs are injured due to a plan not thought out properly about older youth.

Gang violence places front line staff in danger; administrators are out of danger due to their lack of meaningful interaction with residents. The only time management gets involved is to discipline YSOs for improper restraint procedures or micro-managing actions of staff. Sure is safe in building #1, where administrative gods dwell musing over policies that don’t seem to work.

Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and global headlines and updates on the status of our Trayvon Martin and Safe Work Environment Acts.  Check out CP’s No Sellout blog for the archive of our Hartford News columns.  Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives. Contact us at 860-206-8879 or                   
When the Abuser Goes to Work – An Employment Law Blog about Workplace Bullying, Discrimination & Abuse:
DCF Plantation data charts on racist disparities in rates of discipline (including suspensions and terminations) between Black / Latino and white employees. Statistics were obtained through Freedom of Information requests submitted to DCF by Cornell Lewis. Data analysis by Adam Osmond:
Freedom of Information Commission website; includes instructions on how to file an FOI request:
Cornell Lewis Legal Defense Fund:
David Samuels
Community Party





Political Roundup: Jane Doe Act / John Dankosky / Cornell Lewis / Global Fast Food Strike

May 22, 2014
Jane Doe Update: Cornell Lewis and I are collaborating on the Jane Doe Act, which is legislation that would prohibit the Department of Children and Families from sending one of their clients to a correctional institution. The statute which allows DCF to incarcerate their clients has only been used twice, counting Jane Doe. If DCF has a client whom they feel they can’t handle, that youth should be sent to a treatment facility, where their behavior issues can be addressed clinically. We’re also discussing an outreach campaign to raise awareness about Jane Doe and the criminalization of Black and Latino youths. Stay tuned for updates. Certain members of the Justice for Jane Coalition think that they own this issue. A disgruntled member of this group was collaborating with Cornell and myself. This individual and another J4J member actually had a problem with me distributing a Free Jane Doe petition on social media and via email. They wanted the petition to appear exclusively on a J4J website, instead of being seen by as many people as possible. Why don’t they just apply for a Jane Doe trademark? Check out our Facebook message exchange on the Community Party’s No Sellout blog.
WNPR Where We Live host John Dankosky has clearly demonstrated that he is a part of the Access of Evil, a term coined by Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman to describe so-called journalists who trade truth for access to those who are in positions of power.  A few weeks ago I presented Dankosky with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement report on the extrajudicial killing of Blacks by the police.   Dankosky had been patting himself on the back on his Twitter page for his willingness to have “hard conversations about race.” I also told Dankosky about how the so-called Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project was protecting the police in this state by working to kill CP’s Trayvon Martin Act enforcement language. Apparently Dankosky’s willingness for “hard conversations” ends when confronted with information about the police killing Black people every 28 hours in this country. I never heard from Dankosky after he ever so sweetly promised to read the MXGM report and discuss its contents with me, along with my fact based criticism of CRP3.
Smiling, polite, condescending liberals like Dankosky earn their pay by feeding misinformation to the people. They serve the ruling class by giving the illusion of  journalism, while they push the agenda of their masters. Dankosky will host vacuous discussions on racial profiling with members of CRP3 and law enforcement shills, allowing racists to call in and defend biased policing without challenging them at all.  Dankosky would never do a show on the MXGM Operation Ghetto Storm report, because he knows that would piss off the police. He won’t talk about CRP3 killing CP’s Trayvon Act traffic stop receipt language, because he knows that the advisory board is made up of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s flunkies. Dankosky wants to continue having Malloy as a guest on his show. If you want real news and information about social justice issues, you should stop listening to Where We Live.
Last week the AFSCME Local 318 Safe Workplace Committee hosted a social event for members. Cornell was the guest speaker. Topics included revamping the grievance process (pushing for the addition of workplace bullying language and an independent arbitrator to rule on grievances) during negotiations on a new contract next year, and the Safe Work Environment Act. The SEIU contract in California now includes abusive workplace conduct as an issue covered by grievances.  Here is a report on the AFSCME event by Cornell’s DCF Plantation blog.
                                                          WORKERS ARE ORGANIZING AND READY FOR ACTION
He who allows oppression shares the crime — Erasmus Darwin

At various state agencies all over Connecticut workers are experiencing oppression at the hands of management. For a long time the workers stood by silently and suffered untold agonies from management in the form of terminations, extra scrutiny, etc. Finally workers are standing up and organizing to fight the workplace bullying tactics of management. At Connecticut Juvenile Training School– Youth Services Officers now attend American Federation of State, County, Municipal Employees Union meetings  and voice concerns. Well, it looks as if the masses of workers in other locations feel a need to organize also.

AFSCME workers of Local 318 held a diverse meeting of various workers to discuss issues. Activist Cornell Lewis addressed this group [ in a small crowded room ] concerning workplace bullying that is often disguised in the form of policy and procedure. Lewis was introduced and gave a summary about his fight against management in Department of Children and Families plus Connecticut Juvenile Training School. “It is necessary [ said Lewis ] to understand how management in various agencies use policy and procedure to implement workplace bullying. If we organize against what is going on at least the people beating us over the head ( so to speak ) will know they are in a fight. Historically no social protest begins or ends without some sort of casualty, in the form of job loss or worse. In order to make systemic change a war has to be waged in conventional and non conventional ways.” People sat and listened attentively as Lewis spoke, their eyes showed signs of fear and hope. A silence fell over the group and then a woman spoke about being afraid of retaliation from management for being involved in any sort of praxis. Again Lewis gave the masses hope by saying it is okay to be afraid but that fear is something management uses against workers, keeping them immobilized and inactive. “ To fight back takes a certain courage that not everyone possesses, but if you cannot fight directly, then help behind the scenes by providing support in some form.” David Samuels, founder of the Community Party, also spoke about the work needed to pass his workplace bullying bill (Safe Work Environment Act). This legislation gives oppressed workers a weapon in which to fight management.

After a lively question and answer session the meeting ended and a glimmer of hope could be seen in faces of people leaving the room.

Speaking of workers organizing and ready for action, last week fast food workers, including employees in Hartford, staged a global strike in their quest for higher wages and job security. Workers in the United States are demanding a $15.00 per hour minimum wage and the right to unionize. Labor movement website In These Times  reported on the strike.
Thursday, May 15, 2014

Biggest Fast-Food Worker Strike Yet Covers Six Continents

BY Amien Essif
It’s 6 a.m. in Chicago, and the bitingly cold, drizzly weather seems oblivious to the fact that it’s May 15th. And yet, a crowd of more than 100 people wearing red ponchos has formed outside of a McDonald’s restaurant downtown, where they’re dancing to mariachi music. 

“Fifteen and a union!” cries someone over a bullhorn.
Today, these protesters have joined fast-food employees in an estimated 150 American cities who walked off the job, according to organizers from the two-year-old Fight for 15 campaign. They’re demanding a $15-an-hour minimum wage and the right to form a union without retaliation. And such momentum isn’t limited to the United States. Workers have staged strikes or other actions to demonstrate global solidarity in cities on six continents.
In Chicago, workers striking at McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s traveled downtown to the Rock N Roll McDonald’s—a colossal restaurant-museum that was once one of the busiest McDonald’s restaurants in the country—accompanied by many fellow fast-food workers who were not on strike, but were still demonstrating for the same demands. 
“I’m out here because we’re sick and tired of the poverty wages that they’re giving us,” says Adriana Alvarez, who works at a McDonald’s on the South Side of Chicago. “We’ve got people who’ve worked there 10, 15 years and they’re still getting $8.50 an hour. It’s unfair.”
Alvarez heard about the Fight for 15 campaign this year after an organizer spoke with her in the parking lot of her workplace. “Ever since then … I got really involved,” she says, noting that this is her first time on strike. 
The campaign to win $15 an hour for fast-food workers has no official history. The first major demonstration, though, took place in November 2012, when workers in New York City walked off the job on a one-day, non-union strike—the now-signature move of the Fight for 15 campaign, which is backed by the Service Employees International Union. The New York Times called it “the biggest wave of job actions in the history of America’s fast-food industry.”
On August 29, 2013, the first nationally coordinated strikes took place in 60 cities; a few months later in December, fast-food employees walked off the job in 100 cities. As for today’s events, though no official count has been made, organizers say they planned walkouts in 150 American cities along with solidarity actions in more than 30 other countries—making it the largest event to date of the fast-food worker campaign.
As the movement has gained more media attention, debate around raising the minimum wage has surfaced on a policy level, too. The Vermont legislature voted this week to hike the state minimum wage up to $10.50 an hour, so far the highest in the country. In Seattle, Mayor Ed Murray is backing a $15 municipal minimum wage, more than $5 more than the current minimum. And President Obama himself recently went so far as to push—but fail to pass—an increase in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10.
Activists credit the national Fight for 15 campaign for many of these initiatives, citing the fact, for example, that Obama announced his minimum wage agenda on the eve of the December strikes. They also point out that Murray came out with his plan for Seattle’s increase “quite late in the game.”

According to Jess Spear of Seattle’s 15 Now campaign, “There was a number of factors that led to [Murray’s plan], one of which, of course, is the brave fast-food workers who went out on strike in May 2013 here in Seattle, and then they did that again in August.” Spear notes that both actions took place “during an election year for the City Council seats in Seattle as well as the mayoral election.”

Seattle fast-food workers went out on strike again today, in conjunction with workers in New York, Miami, Orlando, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Boston and Phoenix, among other cities. 
Meanwhile, the global strikes and actions, which included protests in Switzerland, the Philippines, Japan and New Zealand, were coordinated earlier this month at an international conference in New York City called by the federation of unions known as IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations). 
One of the conference’s attendees, Joe Carolan, who helped organize demonstrations in Auckland, New Zealand, said in a statement, “New Zealand is one of very few countries that have union agreements covering fast food workers. Many of the conditions workers in other countries are struggling to win—we have already achieved here. We are taking action today to support Fast Food workers in the [United States] and other countries who are fighting for these same conditions.”
In response to the protests, McDonald’s spokesperson Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem contends that the hamburger chain offers “competitive pay based on the local marketplace and job level”. She continues, “McDonald’s and our owner-operators are committed to providing our respective employees with opportunities to succeed, and we have a long, proven history of providing advancement opportunities for those who want [them].” She also notes that “approximately 80 percent of our global restaurants are independently owned and operated by small business owners, who are independent employers that comply with local and federal laws.”
Although one of the demands of today’s international action is for the right to form a union without retaliation from the company, Barker Sa Shekhem maintains that McDonald’s workers already have that: “We respect the right of employees to choose whether or not they want to unionize.” Organizers with the Chicago Fight for 15 say that this is not the reality, at least when it comes to many franchises around the country.
Barker Sa Shekhem adds that “to right-size the headlines, the events taking place [today] are not strikes. Outside groups have traveled to McDonald’s and other outlets to stage rallies.”
While it is true, however, that in Chicago workers who walked off their job this morning were joined by community supporters at a central McDonald’s, several workers confirmed that they were scheduled to work at either McDonald’s or Burger King today but had not gone to work in order to strike. 
One of these strikers, Regis Harris, was a no-show at his Burger King job at 78th Street and Columbus Drive, where he hasn’t had a raise in a year. Harris “decided to come on out” because “you can’t live off [minimum wage]. You can’t even pay the heat in the wintertime in the house … for $8.50 an hour.” 
He says this uncertainty requires him to keep up several jobs at a time: lawn care, snow removal, painting, dry-walling and electrical work, to name just a few. He believes $15 an hour would help him feel more secure and independent.  
 “I could pay my bills. I could make my own bills,” he jokes. “It would help everybody out.”
If you or someone you know has experienced retaliation from a fast food employer in Connecticut for participating in the strike, we want to know about it. See below for contact info.
Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and global headlines and updates on the status of our Trayvon Martin and Safe Work Environment Acts.  Check out CP’s No Sellout blog for the archive of our Hartford News columns.  Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives. Contact us at 860-206-8879 or                        
WWOR-TV investigative report on racial profiling by the Nassau County police:
Know Your Rights: How to Handle Police Encounters:
Community Party Hartford News report on structural racism at Connecticut Valley Hospital. Includes data and internal CVH management emails obtained through Freedom of Information requests:
Cornell Lewis Legal Defense Fund:
$15 and a Union Twitter page:
David Samuels
Community Party



Coming in 2015 : Jane Doe Act

May 22, 2014

16-year-old Black transgender teen Jane Doe was incarcerated at York Correctional Institution in Niantic for several months, by order of  Department of Children and Families Commissioner Joette Katz. Jane Doe faced no criminal charges; DCF imprisoned this Black child in an adult prison for allegedly assaulting DCF staff members.  The Jane Doe Act is legislation that would prohibit DCF from sending one of their clients to a correctional institution. The statute which allows DCF to incarcerate their clients has only been used twice, counting Jane Doe. CT Gen. Stat. 17a-12: “When, in the opinion of the commissioner, or the commissioner’s designee, a person fourteen years of age or older is dangerous to himself or herself or others or cannot be safely held at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, if a male, or at any other facility within the state available to the Commissioner of Children and Families, the commissioner, or the commissioner’s designee, may request an immediate hearing before the Superior Court on the docket for juvenile matters where such person was originally committed to determine whether such person shall be transferred to the John R. Manson Youth Institution, Cheshire, if a male, or the Connecticut Correctional Institution, Niantic, if a female.”

If DCF has a client whom they feel they can’t handle, that youth should be sent to a treatment facility, where their behavior issues can be addressed clinically. Stay tuned for updates.

David Samuels


Community Party



Free Jane Doe, Inc.

May 20, 2014

Witness the effrontery of the white left… This Facebook exchange took place last night between myself and a member of the Justice for Jane Coalition. This individual expressed dissatisfaction with J4J and we started a collaboration, which came to an abrupt end when he said that he and another J4J coalition member had a problem with me distributing a Free Jane Doe petition on my social media and email networks. They wanted the petition to appear exclusively on their J4J website, instead of being seen by as many people as possible. Read for yourself… Why don’t they just apply for a Jane Doe trademark? Stay tuned for details on the Jane Doe Act and outreach efforts to raise awareness about this issue.


Come to think of it, I don’t think I need to reach out to Aaron. They’ve already got the language we need on the Facebook page; all we have to do is use what they’ve already provided us and bring it to the people that they aren’t accessing via the internet.





Jane Doe Petition to Governor Malloy

May 18, 2014

Dear Governor Malloy:

Jane Doe, a 16-year-old black transgender girl, has been in an adult prison for over a month. This is unconscionable. She has not been convicted or accused of an adult crime. She is an abused child that the Department of Children and Families has an obligation to help and protect. The state is violating Jane Doe’s rights and failing in its obligation as her legal parent to put her in a safe and healthy environment. Adult prison is no place for a child.

Last week you called for a more appropriate placement for Jane to be determined quickly. Thank you.

DCF should be working with clinical experts to develop a plan for her treatment and continued well-being. Today we, the undersigned residents of Connecticut, ask you to continue to intervene on Jane’s behalf to ensure that a clinically-derived plan is created and implemented ASAP.


(Name) (Address)

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

Dear Representative Ritter:

Jane Doe, a 16-year-old black transgender girl, has been in an adult prison for over a month. This is unconscionable. She has not been convicted or accused of an adult crime. She is an abused child that the Department of Children and Families has an obligation to help and protect. The state is violating Jane Doe’s rights and failing in its obligation as her legal parent to put her in a safe and healthy environment. Adult prison is no place for a child.

Last week, Governor Malloy called for a more appropriate placement for Jane to be determined quickly. DCF should be working with clinical experts to develop a plan for her treatment and continued well-being.

Today we, the undersigned residents of Connecticut House District 1, ask you to intervene on Jane’s behalf to ensure that a clinically-derived plan is created and implemented ASAP.


(Name) (Address)

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________

______________________________ _______________________________________________


Action Alert from Cornell Lewis

May 18, 2014

Activists from Greater Hartford contacted Wolfeboro, New Hampshire Town Manager Patricia M. Waterman today by telephone. The message left on the telephone is clear, do something about Robert Copeland or protests will begin in your town soon. If you wish to leave a message for the Town manager call ( 603) 569-5328 or ( 603 ) 569-8154.


Robert Copeland, President Obama racial slur controversy: Commissioner refuses to apologize

Won’t apologize for calling President the n-word

By: CNN Political Unit

Posted: 11:32 AM, May 16, 2014

CNN) — A police commissioner in a northern New England town says he won’t apologize for calling President Barack Obama the n-word.

Robert Copeland, 82, sat with his arms crossed at a packed town meeting Thursday evening while a crowd of angry residents of predominantly white Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, called for his resignation.

Copeland acknowledged in an email to his fellow police commissioners that he used the racial slur to describe Obama, according to CNN affiliate WMUR.

Jane O’Toole, who moved to Wolfeboro four months ago, said she overheard Copeland use the word at a restaurant in March.

“It’s not like I was eavesdropping. Mr. Copeland was being very loud,” O’Toole told WMUR.

She wrote to the town manager about the incident, and Copeland replied with a letter to O’Toole.

“I believe I did use the ‘N’ word in reference to the current occupant of the Whitehouse (sic),” Copeland wrote. “For this, I do not apologize — he meets and exceeds my criteria for such.”

O’Toole said “the letter really took the wind out of my sails, really.”

Copeland is one of three members of the police commission, which hires, fires and disciplines officers and sets their salaries. Two months ago he ran unopposed for re-election and secured another three-year term. The police commission plans to meet to discuss what action they should take against Copeland, but they didn’t tell the audience Thursday where or when that meeting would take place.

CNN spoke with Wolfeboro Police Chief Stuart Chase, who said that Copeland can’t be “fired” since he’s an elected official. Chase told CNN that Copeland can either resign, or the board of commissioners can move to recall his election and hold a special election to replace him.

Since there was no resolution at the gathering, some of those attending the meeting later confronted Copeland outside.

“I admitted what I did. I made no bone about it,” Copeland said to those who followed him as he walked to his car.

And he became angry when WMUR recorded the confrontation, referring to reporter Nick Spinetto as a “nosy individual,”

When Spinetto responded that he was a reporter doing his job, Copeland fired back, “I know what you are. You’re a skunk. Goodbye,”

Wolfeboro, located in the scenic Lakes Region in the central part of New Hampshire, has around 20 African-American residents among its population of 6,300. The town was often a dateline in news reports during the 2012 presidential election, with GOP nominee Mitt Romney spending time with family and campaign aides at his vacation home on Lake Winnipesaukee.

CNN’s Stephanie Gallman contributed to this report

™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

2012 CNN Report on the Community Party’s Racial Profiling Bill

May 18, 2014

This is a 2012 CNN article on the passage of the Community Party’s racial profiling bill. The article includes a mention of CP’s traffic stop receipt provision. Due to political pressure by the police, the traffic stop receipt language was repealed before it was scheduled to go in effect July 1, 2013. Check out this link for info on how you can support the Trayvon Martin Act.

Racial profiling law passes in Connecticut


  • Connecticut’s House of Representatives passes an anti-racial profiling law
  • The state Senate earlier passed the bill; the governor says he will sign it
  • It mandates police bar discrimination in who they stop, detain or search
  • Months ago, 4 East Haven police were arrested in a federal racial profiling probe

(CNN) — A few months after four East Haven police officers were arrested for allegedly targeting and harassing Latinos, Connecticut’s state legislature passed a bill Monday to beef up safeguards against racial profiling.

Titled “An Act Concerning Traffic Stop Information,” SB 364 mandates that local and state law enforcement agencies adopt their own “written policy that prohibits the stopping, detention or search of any person when such action is solely motivated by considerations of race, color, ethnicity, age, gender or sexual orientation, and the action would constitute a violation of the civil rights of the person.”

In addition, the legislation sets up reporting requirements for police whenever they conduct traffic stop, as well as a system for citizen complaints or for state authorities to collect and assess pertinent data from municipal departments.

Initially passed by the state Senate on April 19, the legislation made it through the House of Representatives on Monday and is now expected to be signed by Gov. Dannel Malloy.

“I will continue to insist that every effort is taken to protect individual rights in every community and that racial profiling is eliminated,” Malloy said Monday in a statement. “This is a real problem that deserves a real solution, and my administration is committed to carrying out the spirit and letter of this law.”

Connecticut priest helps Latinos

If and when the bill goes into affect, those pulled over after January 1, 2013, would get a copy of the “standardized form” filled out by police containing details about the driver and circumstances of their case. Those who feel they were profiled due to their race, color, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation can file a complaint, which must be reviewed by the local police department and be passed on to a state agency.

The bill doesn’t mention any locality or case specifically. But it follows the arrests, in January, of an East Haven police sergeant and three officers following a federal investigation into racial profiling. They all pleaded not guilty.

A civil lawsuit has also been filed related to that case.

According to a federal indictment, the four allegedly conspired to “injure, oppress, threaten and intimidate various members of the East Haven community” by profiling Latino residents during traffic stops, performing illegal searches and harassing Latino business owners and their advocates.

The men allegedly threatened and assaulted detainees, made false arrests — including a local clergy member — and later conspired to cover up evidence of their conduct by falsifying reports and blocking an investigation, prosecutors said.

The men also thwarted a police commission inquiry into their alleged misconduct, authorities said, calling on the support of local union leaders to block and intimidate municipal investigators.

“They behaved like bullies with badges,” said Janice Fedarcyk, assistant FBI director in New York.

Many Latino residents of East Haven — who make up about 10.3% of the town’s roughly 29,000 people — say that, for years, they have had to contend with an overly aggressive police force.

“They always come by and bother us,” said Esdras Marin, a manager at La Bamba, a Latino-owned bar and restaurant named in the indictment.

“Police come in two or three times a month and ask everyone in the restaurant for their identification,” he said. “And if you don’t have it, they threaten us and say they’re going to call the immigration office.”

The Rev. James Manship of St. Rose of Lima Church, a plaintiff in the civil suit , has accused since retired police Chief Leonard Gallo of fostering “a racist and dishonest police force” in East Haven.

Know Your Rights: How to Handle Police Encounters

May 18, 2014

Courtesy of attorney Peter M. Baskin who practices law in Arlington, Virginia.

                       DEALING WITH COPS ON THE STREET

If approached by a police officer, ask if you are free to leave: if yes, walk away immediately. If approached at home, stay inside.

Refuse to answer all questions except about your identity.

Refuse to consent to any search, or home entry, unless shown a warrant.

Refuse to admit to anything or to explain anything.

Refuse to take any sobriety or other tests on the street.

Demand to have a lawyer present when questioned.

                          TRAFFIC STOP DO’S AND DON’TS 

DO: Be calm and keep your hands visible at all times.

DO: Identify yourself fully and agree to come to court.

DO: Give your license to the police officer as soon as possible.

DO: Tell the officer you will talk only about your identity and a court date without a lawyer present.

DO NOT: Admit to anything, explain anything or consent to any search.

DO NOT: Take any sobriety tests or other tests on the street.

DO NOT: Answer any questions except about your identity.

DO NOT: Believe any statement that you will “help” yourself if you “cooperate”. Cooperating means giving up these rights and only helps the police by giving them evidence they will use against you!

                                    IF  ARRESTED

DO NOT RESIST: You will be handcuffed, searched and pomptly taken to a Judicial Officer for bond. Identify yourself and agree to come to court. SAY NOTHING ELSE AND CALL A LAWYER IMMEDIATELY! 

Racism by the White Left: My Reply to Ken Krayeske

May 15, 2014
This column appears in the May 15 – 22 edition of the Hartford News…
Community Update: Tuesday Black transgender teen Jane Doe was relocated to another part of York Correctional Institution in East Lyme.  Last week the CT Senate Democrats failed to act on a juvenile justice reform bill for the second year in a row, despite warnings from the U.S. Supreme Court to provide juveniles serving life sentences a shot at parole.  The connection between these two issues is obvious; the school-to-prison pipeline is real. The Democrats’ gutless decision will mostly impact Blacks and Latinos, who are disproportionately incarcerated in this state. Intervention by the courts will now be necessary to change the law. The Department of Children and Families is now resorting to shell games in the face of public pressure. This Black child is still in jail, even though she has not been charged with a crime. Last week Democracy Now! examined the role of race in this case.  Cornell Lewis and I will talk to activist Erkki KochKetola about drafting legislation that will prohibit DCF from sending one of their clients to a correctional institution. If DCF has a client whom they feel they can’t handle, that youth should be sent to a treatment facility, where their behavior issues can be addressed clinically. Stay tuned for updates.
Check out the Community Party’s No Sellout blog,  Cornell’s DCF Plantation site,  and Northend Agent’s  for my internet response to Ken Krayeske’s May 8 – 15 column, Rebuttal to David Samuels. As Jay-Z said, “Sensitive thugs, y’all all need hugs…” The truth hurts. Now let’s all see how Krayeske explains to his loyal readers why he went after me, but didn’t say one word about the two Hart Monitor columns by Joanna Iovino and Cornell that I referred to in my piece on racism by the white left.  Joanna and Cornell said the same thing as I did. Krayeske had two legitimate options; a) respond to all three columns  b) say nothing. Krayeske chose c, as in coward…  We’ll share both columns in their entirety this week. The Community Party passed a racial profiling bill in 2012. Krayeske is an attorney. He could easily do what we do, which is sit down, draft a bill (which would actually be easier for him) and do the hard work that it takes to pass the legislation. However he’s not going to do that because he’s too busy talking, and talking, and talking, and talking…. Big shout out to Mary Sanders, who wrote the Trayvon Martin Act bill language. Check out our Resources section for the link to Joanna’s Hart Monitor Twitter page.

                                                                                   Occupy this, b——!

Disclaimer: I wrote this article in October, when the Occupy movement first came to Hartford. It was written for an audience that was mostly non-Hartford people, which is why some of the info in it seems kind of like Hartford 101. It was originally posted on a blog that deals with racial justice issues, and received quite a bit of feedback. The site it was on is a HUGE supporter of OWS, and so most of it was negative. However, I stand by my assessment of the movement in general. I have since visited the OH site, and have met some people who were willing to dialogue about racism and privilege, but have also come across just as many, if not more, who refuse to even consider that there is racism within their movement. I have been accused of trying to bring “special interests” into the movement, of trying to “make people feel guilty” and of being an interloper. The more I observe, the more I realize that there is no hope for the movement until people are willing to address race, and admit their own complicity in a racist system. And, damn it, if I am making people feel guilty, maybe they should!!! Fighting for justice should not always be “comfortable”!
I am so damn sick and tired of Occupy Wall Street. Every so called “progressive” I know of is riding the #OWS d— like it is going out of style. Me? I can’t stand the s—. For the most part, I see most of the protests that have been inspired by Occupy Wall Street to be strictly the work of some spoiled little (previously) rich brats who can’t handle the fact that the college education that mommy and daddy paid for did not get them the high paid cushy job that they truly believe they deserve. I would be willing to bet that less than 1/4 of those who are running around with signs about being the 99% would not give a F— about economic injustice if they were not directly impacted by it in the present moment. And I bet in five years, most of them will be sitting in some multinational corporation’s headquarters shaking their heads and chuckling about the days when they were a “radical”.
Can someone explain to me where the hell these little towheaded recent college graduates were for all those years when there WAS no recession and it was only Black and Brown people who were getting the booty end of the stick when it came to economic justice? Oh, yeah…. they were spending thousands of their parents dollars on a college education while spending their weekends getting drunk at the frat house and never even giving a second thought to how the folks who were not born into a upper middle class suburban white bred world were busy struggling to get by. Now all of a sudden, they want to play the victims and cry about how we are ALL the 99%….
Sorry folks, but I cannot see a protest movement that is composed of the top 10% OF the bottom 99% as having much legitimacy at all. Take for example, Hartford. I have been living here for 6 months now. Hartford is one of the poorest cities in the nation, with a poverty rate of well over 30%. Hartford is full of Black and Brown people whose resumes do not even get a second glance when they apply for jobs in their very own city. The same companies that refuse to hire Hartford residents run out to the suburbs to hire people who run as quickly as they can out of the city when their work hours are over. I see it every day. I live in a neighborhood that is 90% POC. Each evening at 5pm, I see all of the white folks from the suburbs rushing to their cars, clutching their purses and nervously glancing around them like they are expecting an ambush.
The mayor of Hartford is constantly holding these meetings where he discusses “revitalizing” the city, and attracting new people to the downtown area. Of course, in a city that is only 17% white, guess where most of those white folks live??? If you guessed downtown, you get a cookie. Every time I hear some government official talk about downtown Hartford, and of the need to attract new residents and businesses to the area, it is obvious that they are using a really weak code to say… “We want more white folks!”
Anyway, getting back to Occupy Wall Street. There is an “Occupy Hartford” movement underway. There is a tiny little park in Hartford where the Occupy Hartford people have pitched their $1000 tents and have been “occupying” the city for the past few weeks. Occasionally, the protesters will march through downtown Hartford chanting their lame little slogans. They are actually pretty funny… The protesters, who are about 90% white and hail from the suburban areas, are marching down Main Street chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!” even though they just arrived in town from the lily white surrounding towns a few hours earlier. And, oh the irony of a predominantly white crowd walking through Hartford, a majority minority city, screaming “This is what democracy looks like!” while pointing to themselves.
And I have heard it is like this in almost all of the “occupied” cities. A bunch of white folks who are no longer quite as advantaged as they are used to being claiming to speak up for the 99% while representing only the top 10%. And of course, the Occupy Wall Street protestors are very quick to put down anyone who dares to express the idea that the movement represents a very white, patriarchal agenda. Check out the experiences of Reena Walker, a Black woman who spoke about what she went through at Occupy Wall Street (see Resources). Adding to my disdain for the Occupy Wall Street movement is the fact that all of a sudden, they want to profess support for issues that have impacted Black and Latino communities for years yet garnered nary a second glance from these middle class white protesters. All of a sudden, the Occupy Wall Street protesters want to express support for a movement to stop the NYPD policy of “stopping and frisking” Black and Latino people on the streets for no reason whatsoever. Where were these people a year ago, or ten years ago? Why is it that NOW they are willing to throw their hats in the ring to “express solidarity” with Black and Latino people? Could it be that they have HEARD the criticisms of Occupy Wall Street leaving out people of color? Seems to me that this sudden show of support has more to do with recruiting some token Black and Latino faces for their movement than with actually supporting the movement against this police policy.
When I spoke with an organizer of the Occupy Hartford movement, I saw this type of thing very clearly. There have been protests against the MDC (the company that manages the water and sewage systems in the city) for about two months now. Minority contractors and Black and Latino citizens have been protesting the fact that the MDC has not been hiring enough minority workers, and is giving jobs to people from out of town and even out of state instead of hiring Hartford residents. The entire group for the earlier protests were Black and Latino. All of a sudden, when the white folks of Occupy Hartford decided to start their protest, they wanted to run down to join in the MDC protest to “show solidarity”. In truth, they were on a mission to recruit some Black and Brown faces they could put in front of the news cameras so that they could pretend to be reflective of the community of Hartford. The organizer I spoke to expressed his desire for the protests to “look like” the city of Hartford, and even tried to use an event that we were working on in the North End of Hartford (which is almost entirely Black) as a recruiting tool for Occupy Hartford. When we were attempting to plan a voter’s education forum for formerly incarcerated people in the North End of Hartford, this man had the nerve to talk endlessly about his role in Occupy Hartford and express his desire to use our event to publicize his.
Add to all of this the fact that often, the rhetoric used by protesters involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement is patently offensive and racist, and the only conclusion I can come to is that Occupy Wall Street is just as lily white and racist as the Tea Party. Except, of course, not quite as blatant. So, no, I will not be joining in the mindless adulation shown in progressive circles towards Occupy Wall Street. I have better things to do with my time than join up with some folks who are upset because a tiny percentage of their privilege is slipping away.
                                                                Do White Liberals Really Want to Work with Blacks?
                                                                                               by Cornell Lewis
I have worked with a number of ethnic groups in the pursuit of social justice. However it is interesting to note how some white liberals cause me to wonder if working with them is worth it. I address this story to some members of the Hartford Organizing Group (H.O.G.) Recently Cassandra Donnelly and Joanna Iovino, members of H.O.G., helped organize a campaign to highlight racism within DCF and Connecticut Juvenile Training School in Middletown. These are two ladies worthy of the name activist but they are the exception; when members of H.O.G. were asked to join a protest on February 4th in Middletown, a strange silence fell over the room, no one committed to come.
One white female liberal said, “I have worked with Cornell in the past, he does good work but I do not want to be told what to do.” These are code words for “if whites are not in control of the agenda, they do not want to be part of any initiative.” These same white liberals turned out 35-40 strong in support of an issue concerning Latinos. These liberals were marching in West Hartford for Latinos, could it be the liberals chose this issue due to the fact that very little English was spoken by the Latinos and this gave white liberals control of the agenda? Whether Blacks want to believe it or not, some white liberals are guilty of subconscious racism; claiming to be ABOVE racism while their actions prove otherwise. Maybe the writer James Baldwin was correct in saying, “a (white) liberal is someone who thinks they know more about your problem than you do.”
Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and global headlines and updates on the status of our Trayvon Martin Act and Safe Work Environment Act.  Check out CP’s No Sellout blog for the archive of our Hartford News columns.  Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives. Contact us at 860-206-8879 or                        
Richard Pryor breaks it down in 24 seconds:
The Hart Monitor Twitter page:  
Reena Walker talks about racism within the Occupy Wall Street movement:
Cornell Lewis Legal Defense Fund:
David Samuels
Community Party



Ken Krayeske Plays Himself

May 10, 2014

I would like to thank Ken Krayeske (that’s pronounced cry-eske) for taking the bait and exposing himself as a racist, coward and a liar with his Hartford News column, Rebuttal to David Samuels, a reply to my column the previous week on racism by the white left. Note that in my column I repeated that I know there are white leftists who are sincere about working for social justice, and view Blacks as equals in the struggle. The members of the all white Uhuru Solidarity Movement are the best example, in my opinion.

  Krayeske attempted to paint me as a crazed, Malcolm X wannabe who views all whites as devils. Ken, Malcolm would read you like a comic book.  I knew that Ken would not be able to resist going after me, because he can’t stand a Black person who refuses to kiss his ass. First I’ll point out an obvious omission in Ken’s tirade. Dude went after me, but he didn’t say a word about the two Hart Monitor columns by Joanna Iovino and Cornell Lewis about racism by the white left.  You can read Joanna’s scathing critique of Occupy Wall Street here  and Cornell’s commentary on certain white members of the Hartford Organizing Group here. 

I included those columns as a preemptive strike against anyone who would try to claim that nobody in Hartford shared my opinion of certain white leftists. Of course Krayeske  didn’t mention those columns, because they didn’t fit in his Warren Commission narrative featuring me as the lone gunman in the school book depository. I know that Ken especially doesn’t have the guts to step to Joanna, because she’s white. Ken must always be white and right. That’s just how he gets down.

Ken threw stones from a big glass house by calling me a “one man band.” Cuzzo, I’m hosting conference calls. The last time I saw you was on TV at City Hall, by yourself, where you were put in your place by a group of Black people. You were also flying solo when you made a spectacle of yourself at a 2010 North End gubernatorial candidates forum. You walked in and immediately monopolized the conversation, running up in the face of then candidate Dan Malloy because you have a compulsion to show everyone what a bad ass you are. You showed no respect for the event protocol, which required that folks raise their hand and be acknowledged before they ask a question.  You will never understand that you came in and disrespected Black folks who were patiently waiting their turn to talk to Malloy. You’ve been whining for years about the cops locking you up for stalking former governor M. Jodi Rell, claiming that the arrest was unjust. Everyone knows what my opinion is regarding police misconduct. However when I heard the police version it sounded absolutely credible to me, fitting in with your pattern of attention seeking behavior.


I had a lot of phony white leftists to choose from when I wrote my piece, but I deliberately included Chris Hutchinson of Socialist Action. I know that your ego is so big, you would write a response and defend everybody that I dissed. That’s exactly what you did. Well, as Biggie said, I’ve got a story to tell. After the 2010 congressional race which included you and Chris, homeboy and I had a conversation about you at the Unity Plaza in North Hartford.  I was telling Chris about how I had changed my mind about working with you when you were attempting your ill-fated Green Party insurgency campaign (I had agreed to organize a Green Party North Hartford chapter). I told Chris that I was turned off by your tone deaf attitude toward Black people and the fact that you’re a jerkoff in general. Chris responded by telling me about attending your congressional campaign “victory” party and being blown off by you when he suggested a collaboration.

Chris’ assessment of you was the same as mine; he said that you’re all talk and won’t work with anybody unless you’re on top. It’s always got to be  about you. That’s why I knew you wouldn’t be able to contain yourself after you read my column. Finally, you keep referring to my criticism as an attempt to get whites to work with me, which is your internalized white superiority talking. Ken, I had an opportunity to work with you and changed my mind, which I think is definitely a source of anger for you. You just can’t believe that a nigger wouldn’t want to follow you. I’m going in on white leftists just like Joanna and Cornell did, because the criticism is valid. I don’t give a shit about my public enemy status in community organizing. Since my column came out, whites have reached out about working together and acknowledged that my column was on point. Check out the Activate CT Facebook page for proof. Cornell told me that whites involved with the Free Jane Doe campaign apologized to him when I posted on their Facebook page about the absurdity of them not mentioning his DCF Plantation blog once.  I sleep well every night because I have public and private conversations with whites who say that I’m right. 

Krayeske I must admit, I’ve been wanting to get at you publicly for a long time. You’re definitely #1 on my shit list (actually 1, 2 3, 4 and 5). You act like a tough guy but you’re as soft as a piece of cake. You’re a racist, egomaniacal attention whore who is all talk, no action. My beef with you is definitely personal, but that doesn’t mean what I’m saying about you isn’t true. You and your ilk are a part of the problem in this country. Hey, at least with me you’ll know when I don’t like you.