Earlier this week, we told you about how activist hip hoppers Rebel Diaz were given a beat down by the NYPD when two of it’s members were brave and responsible enough to monitor the police in the Bronx as they harassed street vendors trying to make a living. The NYPD doesn’t like it when their “community relation” activities are spread far and wide through independent and activist media. So yesterday morning, the NYPD stormed the apartment of Rebel Diaz member G1.
PERSONAL STATEMENT FROM G1 OF REBEL DIAZ:
Early this morning, at around 2am, I, Gonzalo Venegas aka G1 of Rebel
Diaz, was in my home in Harlem, working on my computer in the living
room, when several police officers burst into my unlocked apartment,
with guns drawn, ordering us to get down and put our hands up.
I was in the apartment with my roommate DW who was in the adjacent bedroom, and my friend MM, who slept on the couch nearby.
Both were awakened by the home invasion and were witnesses to the events occurred.
The uniformed police officers did not knock, nor announce themselves, nor
verbally identify themselves before or during their entry into my
They pointed their guns at us the whole time as they verbally barraged MM and I with questions as to who we were and what we were doing there.
As I lay on the ground with my hands up, I replied loudly and clearly that I lived there, and that everyone in the house was supposed to be there.
They replied incredulously, repeatedly yelling their questions as to who we were, with threats as to what would happen to us if I was found to be lying.
After various other taunts and threats, including accusing us of harboring a fugitive criminal suspect, they departed just as quickly as they had arrived, down a side stairway adjacent to my apartment.
They did not stay to search me or my roommates, or the apartment for any signs of the supposed fugitive they were looking for.
After a few seconds of disbelief and shock, I decided to follow the officers outside in order to fully understand what had just happened, and to document their identity.
One police van sped off as I came out of the side door of my building.
The remaining police squad car was pealing off when I ran into the middle of the street to flag it down.
They stopped the car, as I respectfully asked for their name and badge numbers.
Both police officers allowed me to walk closer to them, as I verbally noted their name and badge numbers.
The officers quickly got back into their squad car, provided no explanation for the home invasion, and sped off.
I was left in a state of shock and terror, as I frantically asked some of my neighbors outside if they knew of why the police had entered my building- and specifically my apartment–without justification.
I received no conclusive answers from the residents outside.
As of 10:30pm EST on Tuesday June 24, 2008,I have not received any official explanation for the events occurred, neither from the police precinct nor my building manager or owner, despite numerous calls and
requests for an explanation.
Both the 25th and 23rd NYPD precinct, which patrol my block, have denied that the officers involved are from their command.
The questions as to why several armed police officers mysteriously and violently invaded my home without any clear legal justification remain unanswered.
One is left only to think that the occurrences of this morning are not a coincidence of mistaken identity, but a direct response by the NYPD to an incident of police brutality I was involved in last week in the South Bronx.
Until we have a clear understanding of the causes and the people behind this morning’s home invasion, Rebel Diaz will engage in limited communication outside of our legal representation.
We are not looking for the next NYPD scare tactic to turn into a tragedy.
For more information regarding the incidents of police brutality
against G1 and Rodstarz of Rebel Diaz last week, and the pending case
them, please visit www.rebeldiaz.com