(Harlem, NY) – Monday, July 28 – State Senator Bill Perkins (D-Harlem) joined family, community, elected officials and Attorney Roger Wareham today calling the arrest last week of "whistleblowers" Clarence Jones and his mother, retaliatory.
Jones, a 27 year-old student, bravely exposed New York City Police Department officers who were driving their unmarked police car in Harlem Tuesday, July 22, with the head of an infant black baby doll attached to the antennae.
Jones joined scores of Harlem community members and leaders Thursday, July 24 to protest the racist act and call for an investigation of the officers' behavior. Just 2 days later he was arrested and charged with Obstruction of Governmental Administration and resisting arrest. Jones' mother was arrested shortly after for inquiring as to the nature of her son's arrest. Clarence Jones is due in Court October 7.
"This is retaliation for speaking out, nothing more, nothing less. Mr. Jones didn't succumb to the fear this act was sure to solicit. Instead he reached out to his community and elected officials and bravely stepped in line to put a stop to this hatred and racism at the hands of police. When it continued Mrs. Jones again stepped up to speak out and was arrested" said Senator Perkins.
Perkins was joined by Senator Eric Adams (D-Brooklyn), ranking Democrat on the Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Correction committee and former NYPD Captain, President of 100 Blacks in Law enforcement Who Care, Mark Claxton and Jones' family calling on the dismissal of all charges.
Together the group met to publicly denounce the "insult to injury" arrest of Jones and Jones' mother. In addition to a public apology and investigation into last week's actions, Perkins is calling for NYPD officials to take zero tolerance actions to cease the continued harassment and any attempts to intimidate and suppress the community.
Multiple reports confirmed that on the evening of Tuesday, July 22 between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., an unmarked NYPD car drove through Harlem in the vicinity of 116th Street and Fifth Avenue with the dolls head atop the car's antennae. At the time Senator Perkins was attending a ribbon cutting in the neighborhood when he was approached by several outraged witnesses to the act.
Last week Perkins joined community members and gathered at the foot of Marcus Garvey Park at 120th Street and Fifth Avenue at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 24th. Marchers proceeded to 116th Street & Fifth Avenue where the incident was first reported.