On the heels of three nights of protests over the police slaying of 16 year old Kimani Gray, the NYPD has turned the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn into a State of Exception, claiming emergency powers to suspend the constitutional guarantees of the citizenry.
The people regularly targeted by police harassment and violence, overwhelmingly the city’s poor and minority populations, have taken to the streets to speak out against the NYPD’s draconian tactics. The police have in turn responded with even further harsh measures by suppressing the right of the people to voice dissatisfaction with that very same police force.
Cops kettled protesters at Wednesday night’s candlelight vigil, resulting in 46 arrests. Police even arrested Kimani Gray’s distraught sister, Mahnefeh.
The NYPD euphemistically calls the public spaces in which the Constitutional rights of the people are suspended “frozen zones.”
Allison Kilkenny wrote about the NYPD’s so-called “frozen zones” in December 2011:
“The ‘frozen zone’ is an arbitrary, official police business-sounding title that has absolutely zero legal merit. It’s something the NYPD made up, just as the ‘First Amendment zone’ is something [Los Angeles Mayor Antonio] Villaraigosa made up to suppress media coverage of the Occupy raids.”
According to FIERCE, the “frozen zone” in East Flatbush is being used to prevent media from covering the protests and arrests. Meanwhile, people inside the “frozen zone” can be subjected to arrest merely by exercising their constitutional rights.