Reader Poll Says Yep, a Chokehold Was Used During Occupy Arrest

Categories: Occupy

YouTube Screenshot
Elliot Hughes was arrested Sept. 22 with what may have been a chokehold.
The activist we wrote about after last week's climate protest, whose arrest involved what looked like a chokehold, says he felt "a small amount of constriction" on his neck during an encounter which was caught on film by a Voice contributor.

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How Some Illegal Taxi Drivers are Fighting Back Against the Green Cab Program

Categories: Longform

All illustrations by Greg Houston
It was a busy night, two days before Christmas, and the streets of Bedford-Stuyvesant were packed with shoppers. So Emmanuel* was out later than usual. He had just picked up one last fare from his corner in Bed-Stuy, which was usually a safe zone, but moments later he was pulled over by a Ford Econoline van. Emmanuel knew the model. It was what New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission officers used when they did undercover sweeps for illegal cab drivers.

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'Ouch Town, USA: Population You' Was the Best Burn at the Fort Tryon Medieval Festival

Categories: Culture

If you can't wait for Game of Thrones to return, the Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park on Sunday was a close substitute, minus the random boobs.

"Manhattan's Fort Tryon Park is transformed into a medieval market town decorated with bright banners and processional flags," was the description afforded by the Washington Heights and Inwood Development Corporation, organizers of the annual festival.

The video above shows a battle royale that includes one of the hottest burns you'll witness all week.

See photos: People of the Medieval Festival in Manhattan

Below are photos from the festival.

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NYPD 'Failed to Enforce' Rule Against Chokeholds, Says Damning Report From Cop Watchdog

Categories: NYPD

Photo Credit: Eneas via Compfight cc
A damning report says chokehold use by the NYPD is on the rise.
A damning report from the city's police misconduct watchdog says the NYPD has a chokehold problem.

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Astorino Ad Uses Nuclear War As a Metaphor for Voting for Andrew Cuomo

Screenshot via.
Re-electing Governor Andrew Cuomo is a vote for nuclear war, criminality, and general disaster. That's roughly the message, anyway, behind Republican challenger Rob Astorino's newest ad, titled "Jail," a shot-for-shot remake of the infamous "Daisy" ad that Lyndon B. Johnson ran against challenger Barry Goldwater in 1964.

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Rikers Island to Phase Out Solitary Confinement for 16- and 17-Year-Olds

Categories: Rikers Island
On the heels of a pair of damning reports, officials say the Rikers Island jail complex will phase out the use of solitary confinement among inmates as young as 16 and 17 years old by the end of the year. The change was first reported by the New York Times, which obtained a memo announcing plans to end the practice written by Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte and addressed to Mayor Bill de Blasio.More »

Jeterian Bling: Yankee Fans Have to Settle for Five Rings From the Age of Jeter

Categories: Sports
In 1998, Derek Jeter had his first of eight 200-plus-hit seasons, batted .324, was chosen for his first All-Star Game, and received his second World Series ring. He was an integral part of one of the greatest teams in Major League history, one that set a record of 125 wins for the year, including a sweep of the Padres in the Series. More »

In the Oklahoma Beheader, Rightbloggers See U.S. Jihad, Counsel Pants-Wetting Fear

[Roy Edroso dissects the right-wing blogosphere in this weekly feature]

Last week, despite America's long history of religious maniacs killing people in the name of the Lord, rightbloggers suddenly got worried about it because this time the alleged maniac in question, Alton Nolen aka Jah'Keem Yisrael, is a Muslim.

This they took to mean that ISIS-style executions were swiftly becoming a fad stateside, and had to be strongly countered by increased fearfulness.

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Bin Laden's Son-In-Law Gets Life Sentence

Credit: Screenshot
Sulaiman Abu Ghayth, an Al Qaeda spokesman, was sentenced in federal court on Tuesday.
The first time most Americans saw Sulaiman Abu Ghayth was in a grainy videotape released shortly after 9-11. He was sitting cross-legged, in a white cap and a brown robe, on a stone outcropping somewhere high in the Afghan mountains. Sitting immediately to his left was Osama bin Laden.

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Eight Movies Coming Out This Weekend You Don't Know About but Should

Categories: Film and TV

Each week, new movies open in New York (and online) by the dozen.

The Voice reviews all of 'em. Here's some you might not have heard about that got our critics excited.

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Louis Scarcella Court Appearances Bring New Scrutiny, But Will They Bring Answers?

Alan Zale
Louis Scarcella, right, leading David Ranta out of the 90th Precinct in August 1990. Ranta was convicted in May 1991 despite no physical evidence connecting him to the murder of a Brooklyn rabbi.
On Wednesday, retired Brooklyn Detective Louis Scarcella testified in court. It was an event, highly anticipated and filled with reporters. Last year, then-Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes announced that his office would review every conviction that involved Scarcella. At a time when wrongful convictions have become the headline story of America's criminal justice system, no other detective has faced such scrutiny. And so in the months since, Scarcella emerged as the face of wrongful convictions. Wednesday was the first time, since Hynes's announcement, that Scarcella has had to answer questions about his police work under oath.

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Masai Stewart, Mentally Ill Prisoner, Put In Solitary Confinement Despite New York Law

Categories: Prison

Derek Purdy via Flickr
Over the last eight years, 23-year-old Masai Stewart has been hospitalized for mental health issues 13 times. But his problems started at least seven years earlier. When he was eight years old, doctors gave him the first of what would become a long list of diagnoses: ADHD; PTSD from childhood abuse; Bipolar disorder; Bipolar disorder with pyschotic features; even delusional disorder, although they weren't 100 percent sure of that one, according to his mother, Tama Bell.)

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Podcast: In The Equalizer, Denzel Kills, Summarizes Hemingway, Kills Again

Categories: Film and TV

Photo by Scott Garfield - © 2013 CTMG.
Denzel Washington in The Equalizer: "It's about a guy who is a knight in shining armor, except he lives in a world where knights don't exist anymore." He's talking about Don Quixote, but he's really talking ABOUT HIMSELF.
As Bob McCall in The Equalizer, Denzel Washington plays a regular joe who turns into an eye-gouging, brain-drilling nightmare for Boston's Russian mob. At first Washington "toodles about a Home Depot-like store, helping customers, decked out in New Balance shoes and jeans so last-century you'll be looking for pleats," writes the Village Voice's Alan Scherstuhl. That's before he turns DIY crime-fighter in Antoine Fuqua's latest crowd-pleaser. Scherstuhl, along with the Voice's Stephanie Zacharek and Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly, discuss that movie, along with kiddie-charmer The Boxtrolls, which will make you laugh, cower, and think of Hitler, naturally. The trio also dive into the Jimi Hendrix biopic starring Andre Benjamin, Jimi: All is By My Side, plus Amy gives us the highlights from Fantastic Fest. It's all on this week's episode of the Voice Film Club podcast.

'You Are a Bastard and You Know It' and Other Chilling Quotes From This CIA Interrogation in '80s New York

Categories: CIA, Secrets

Photo Credit: Ahd Photography via Compfight cc
Secret records, super-duper secret.
The CIA recently declassified a trove of records from its in-house journal, Studies in Intelligence. The collection has profiles of the spooks of yore, analysis of things like how the Iran-Contra story was originally leaked, and accounts of pivotal moments in the agency's history.

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Is This a Chokehold? You Tell Us

Categories: NYPD, Occupy

Credit: Timothy Fadek
Is this a chokehold? Or are things not always as simple as they look at a glance?

Our cover story this week examines the ongoing debate in New York City about the use of chokeholds by the NYPD, through the story of Angel Martinez, a young man from Brooklyn who says he was choked during an arrest in 2012.

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Richard Rosario Appeal Nears Final Stage

Categories: Justice

Richard Rosario and his daughter, Amanda.
Richard Rosario's legal fight to prove his innocence is winding toward its flash point. The case, which we detailed in a June feature story, now centers on whether the emergence of multiple new alibi witnesses has produced enough evidence of possible innocence for a judge to vacate Rosario's 1998 murder conviction or call for a new trial.

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British Journalist Flooded With Hate Mail After Ridiculous Screed About the NYC Subway

Thumbnail image for g train.jpg
Even this could be worse. Somehow.
The subway is just not that bad. For all our complaining about the fickle ways of the G train, our homicidal feelings during the absurdly lengthy wait for a C around 5 p.m., or the whole-body despair we experience when J mysteriously skips our stop during the height of morning rush hour, the subway is still fast, cheap, easy to navigate, and open 24-7. Which is why it's only right that visiting Guardian journalist Bim Adewunmi has been roundly mocked for a laughably wrong piece she wrote yesterday calling our subway system "patently ridiculous" and "the work of a sadist, cooked up in a fever dream and delivered with a flourish and an unhinged grin."

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New Yorkers Trapped by Hurricane Odile in Mexico Describe Ineffectual U.S. Response

Categories: Vacation

Mark Brinda
Mark Brinda lives in Brooklyn, but he goes on a fishing trip in Cabo San Lucas every year in September. September is the month when his 82-year-old great-uncle, a farmer from South Dakota, has a lull in his harvest schedule long enough to allow a vacation like the one they took with Mark's father, brother, and two friends last week. The only difference this year was that their trip happened to coincide with one of the strongest hurricanes in Cabo's history.

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'I Was Choked by the NYPD': New York's Chokehold Problem Isn't Going Away

Categories: Longform, NYPD

As far as Angel Martinez was concerned, the police officer at the front desk that night wasn't much more than an inconvenience. Sure, he'd refused to take Martinez's complaint. He was even a little rude about it. But for Martinez, after a night in Queens central booking, with his face battered and welts blooming all over his body, that officer was an afterthought.

Martinez was more concerned about the other two cops. The ones he says kicked his ass for no good reason. The ones who'd approached him and started patting him down without a word of explanation. The ones who slammed his face into a parked car, then onto the sidewalk, when he objected. The ones who ruined the new plaid button-down he'd bought for a job interview earlier that day — torn it to shreds.

Those officers, Martinez has alleged in a complaint with the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), punched him in the ribs, handcuffed him — and punched him one more time, for good measure. They were the ones he was concerned with. Especially Officer Frank Calafiore — who Martinez says kept an arm wrapped around his throat almost from the moment the encounter began.

He still isn't exactly sure of the legal definition, but it sure felt like a chokehold.

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New York City's Landlord Loan Program Is a Mess, According to This Damning Audit

Categories: Landlords

Credit: State Comptroller Report
Some landlords receiving government loans haven't been holding up their end of the bargain.
While the branding needs a little work, the "Article 8-A" loan program, run by New York City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), is the kind of government program that seems like a pretty sensible idea.

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