Racist police have got to go

By Lindsay Goss and Paul Hubbard

A DIVERSE crowd of more than 200 activists and community members gathered outside the Wat Thormikaram Buddist Temple in Providence, R.I., to protest a recent raid by the Providence Police Department (PPD) on a residence in the city's West End. The raid sparked community outrage for its brutality and exposed as a total sham the much-heralded "community policing" policies of the PPD.

Speaking to the media, Jeanie Dy-Harris described how police roughed up her family members while they served warrants at two homes last week. She said police dragged a 13-year-old from his bed while he was sleeping and stomped on him, held a 77-year-old woman at gunpoint and mocked a woman who was using the bathroom when police burst in on her.

Anti-police brutality activists and other supporters of the family denounced the raid and demanded an apology from the city, the dropping of all charges filed as a result of the raid and an end to policing in the West End.

Chanting "No justice, no peace, no racist police!" and "Hey hey, ho ho, PPD has got to go!" the protesters marched through neighborhoods in the West End to police headquarters--the Providence Public Safety Complex--where a second rally denouncing the raids was held.

The protest was organized by Providence Youth Student Movement and the Coalition Against Racial Profiling.