Political Torture and Assassination of White Cop Oversight

Paul J. Hirschfield (p-hirsch@nwu.edu)
Sun, 29 Dec 1996 03:06:51 +0000


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Please Forward this Along. Don't allow an activist to be murdered!

>>>This is the remarkable story of an activist in Connecticut, Ritt
Goldstein, who has been assiduously pushing for Civilian Oversight of the Police. His efforts are finally meeting success as his bill creating a statewide civilian oversight board in Connecticut received a legislative hearing on December 6th (see press release below). However, he was lucky he ever made it to the hearing. Since the hearing, Ritt contends, the abuses against him have escalated tremendously. The police enter his house and his car on a daily basis. They spray noxious chemicals through his vents, on his clothes, and even his food. Ritt has informed me that he would like his story to be circulated as far and wide as possible. He also asks that people submit letters or faxes to Janet Reno asking her to initiate an investigation into Ritt's allegations of political torture. A description of Ritt's story, the press release about the hearing, and a sample letter to Janet Reno follow: Please E-mail me or all Ritt at (203) 744-2441 for more information or documentation. >>>
>>>>Ritt Goldstein is the chairman and founder of the Standing Committee on
Law Enforcement Development (SCOLED). Until recently, he also has run his own successful business as a documents researcher. The thrust of SCOLED's efforts is the bill creating a Statewide Civilian Law Enforcement Oversight Board. This elected body would have the power to investigate acts of police brutality and to discipline local officials for failing to properly investigate accusations of abuse. His bill has received considerable bipartisan support (it was introduced by Republicans) including the endorsements of the International and National Assocations for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement, the Caucus of Connecticut Democrats, and the former mayor of Norwalk. >>>>
>>>>However, Mr. Goldstein's efforts have also earned him the enmity of
Connecticut police. According to Mr. Goldstein, officers from several area police department and their associates have been waging a terror campaign against him for the last three years. He claims that his condominium, his car, and his personal belongings are sprayed with noxious chemicals on virtually a daily basis. Most recently, as he surreptitiously observed, a police cruiser sprayed chemicals on his windshield. The fumes from the vents made him gag for several minutes. He adduces documents from the Health Department and an analytical laboratory which show that his home and car register abnormal levels of toxins. He also present some medical evidence of heart and breathing problems indicative of chemical exposure. He also claims that a pre-cancerous growth had to be removed from his back, while many more tumors remain. In order to minimize his exposure, he often stays in a motel and must continuously drive rental cars at $1,000 a month. Consequently his financial situation is dismal. >>>>
>>>>In addition, Ritt asserts that the police have attempted to assassinate
him twice. An account of these events is provided in "The Weekly" a popular weekly newspaper based in Stanford Connecticut: "On Sept. 8th, for instance, the same day on op-ed piece written by him in support of his legislation was published in the Connecticut Post he had a blowout as he drove down Interstate 84 after leaving his home in Danbury and found a cut in his tire that he claims was done deliberately. A few days before that, he says, he was sitting his car outside Westport Town Hall, eating a sandwich, when someone shot out one of his rear windows. Last year his steering was tampered with." >>>>
>>>>It is tempting to dismiss some of Ritt's claims as paranoid or
delusional. However, Ritt can readily furnish police reports, automobile inspections, and witness accounts corroborating his assertions. Is this the price one must pay for serious advocacy on the issue of police accountability? Where is the support from activists in Connecticut and elsewhere? How could the police believe they could get away with such blatant persecution of a white upper middle class citizen? What should be done to stop his persecution? Ritt believes only two things can help him. First, mass media exposure is needed to draw his experiences out of the darkness. Second, he asks that people fax Janet Reno to request an investigation into Ritt's allegations. >>>>
>>>>If you would like to talk to Ritt yourself, his number is (203) 744-2441
and his address is P.O. Box 2186 Danbury, CT 06813-2186. He would appreciate the support. >>>>
>>>Published sources of the above information:
>>>
>>>Mayko, Michael P. "Put Cops on Leash, bill asks. State Prosecutors also
face reviews." Connecticut Post, March 20, 1996. Page 1. >>>
>>>Davey, Robert. "Who'll Police the Police? Ritt Goldstein champions
legislation to establish civilian oversight of Connectcut's Police." The Weekly, October 10, 1996. Pgs. 5-6. >>>
>>>Goldstein, Ritt. "Civilian oversight board could cut down on police
abuse." Republican-American, August 7, 1996 (9A) and Connecticut Post, September 8, 1996 (B2).

Lamb, John. Call for Oversight Board on Police Gets a Hearing The Harford Courant, December 7, 1996, A1.

Dixon, Ken. Oversight Panel Urged for Police. The Connecticut Post. December 7, 1991. p. 1

Commentary: This press release describes an event in Connecticut. However, it may have broader significance. The Statewide Oversight Board that will likely be created in Connecticut is the first of its kind in the country. Statewide Oversight unlike most current civilian oversight mechanisms is not a joke. Those conducting investigations and administering punishment will live in different counties from the perpetrators. Ritt Goldstein should be honored for courageously fighting this corrupt system. He is the first non-legislator in Connecticut history to conduct a hearing in his state legislature. Thankfully, there are visionaries who see the imperatives of civilian oversight. --PJH >
>
>SCOLED Press Release...To Leave a Message (203)-791-8454
>Ask for Ritt Goldstein - Chairman & Founder
>
>On Friday, December 6th, the beginning of a new era in American Justice was
heralded - SCOLED sponsored an Informational Hearing on Statewide Civilian Law Enforcement Oversight. The Hearing was held in Hartford's Legislative Office Building, and while the Connecticut Bill has been endorsed by the GOP, it has been endorsed by the Caucus of Connecticut Democrats and United We Stand in America. As with Connecticut's recently passed Crime Victim's Bill of Rights, the measure has found support among visionaries of all political persuasions and is non-partisan. >
>The Hearing's first segment provided a forum for both the measure's local
supporters, as well as victims of Connecticut Law Enforcement misconduct, to convey the importance of Civilian Oversight in assuring the integrity of our Justice System. Victim testimony included beatings, macings, sexual harassment, witness intimidation, and a well documented account of two officers attempting to put out a $10,000 "murder contract" on a local activist. >
>The second half of the Hearing featured the vanguard of North America's
Civilian Oversight leaders; among them Hector Soto (former head of the NYC Civilian Complaints Review Board) and Chris Reeder (President of NACOLE), as well as Marlene Jennings, VP of IACOLE, and Deputy Commissioner of Quebec's province-wide Oversight Board. >
>According to Ritt Goldstein, SCOLED's Chairman and author of the
legislation, the deeply troubling questions raised by the cases of Peter Reilly, Tracy Thurman, Mary Alice Cooke, Rodney King, and all too many others continue to echo not only as regards the consequences of a "rush to justice", but also as to how some of our people in Law Enforcement have come to view their role. >
>The proposed Board would have jurisdiction over State and Local Law
Enforcement proceedings. It would assure that those responsible for Oversight in these proceedings performed effectively, and were called to account should they not. For Police, Board remedies would include binding motions, up to and including job termination for officers who failed to appropriately perform their duties. >
>The Legislation calls for an elected Commissioner from each of the state's
counties, with the Full Board formed into working groups of two Commissioners, plus Staff Counsel. These working triumvirates would examine cases and make appropriate recommendations to the Full Board for final disposition. Commissioners would recuse themselves from cases involving their home counties; the Board would have the power to seek and enforce subpoenas. >
>Today, Canadian Provinces, Australian States, and virtually the rest of the
English speaking world, all have well established Civilian Law Enforcement Oversight. >
>>>Here is a sample letter to Janet Reno. Her personal fax number is (202)
307-2825 >>>
>>>Honorable Janet Reno
>>>Attorney General
>>>U.S. Department of Justice
>>>Washington, DC 20530
>>>
>>>Dear Attorney General Reno,
>>>
>>>I respectfully request that you urge the Federal Bureau of Investigation
to investigate, in earnest, Ritt Goldstein's allegations against area Police Departments and end political torture in America. >>>
>>>Thank you for your consideration of this urgent matter.
>>>
>>>Sincerely,
>>>
>>>>

Paul J. Hirschfield Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. USA p-hirsch@nwu.edu

++++ stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal ++++ ++++ if you agree copy these lines to your sig ++++

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