A Cover-up is Unfolding in the Martin Killing
By Alton H. Maddox, Jr.
Immediately after the state-sponsored, fatal beating of Michael Stewart by 11 transit cops in New York City in 1983, attorneys Louis Clayton Jones and Michael Warren asked me to joint the legal team for the family of Michael Stewart because of my knowledge of police brutality cases.
After we had personally witnessed Mayor Ed Koch and NYC Medical Examiner Eliot Gross engaged in a cover-up of the fatal beating, we immediately demanded a special prosecutor. Evidence tampering is a ground for a special prosecutor but Governor Mario Cuomo argued that a special prosecutor could only be employed in a case of official misconduct. This was in 1983.
Michael Griffith was murdered in Howard Beach by a white mob in 1986. While New York argued that there was no official misconduct in the killing, I was able to show that Queens District Attorney John Santucci had close ties to organized crime including organized crime members like John Gotti who resided in Howard Beach.
I also conducted my own investigation into the kidnapping and rape of Tawana Brawley in Dutchess County. The investigation revealed that Steven Pagones was involved in the kidnapping and rape of Tawana Brawley and that Harry Crist, Jr. an accomplice and a police officer, was murdered after he demonstrated a willingness to become shaky.
The petit jury in Dutchess County Supreme Court found that Pagones was involved in the kidnapping and rape of Tawana Brawley. No one ever sued Brawley for defamation and no quasi-criminal charges were brought against her. Nonetheless, New York disbarred Maddox for telling the truth. The pathologist also found that Crist had been murdered. There is no statute of limitations for murder.
When the governor of Florida replaced the state attorney’s office with a special prosecutor, I knew that the racially-motivated killing of Trayvon Martin was riddled with official and police misconduct. Like in Brawley, the Florida governor refused to reveal the police misconduct in the Sanford, FL Police Department and the state attorney’s office. This is a serious breach of trust and it should be revealed immediately and fully.
Because the governor has failed and refused to make open disclosures in the death of Trayvon Martin and because the newly-appointed special prosecutor has failed and refused to immediately re-arrest George Zimmerman, coupled with the failure of Florida to have already convened a grand jury, the special prosecutor should also be given the boot. This is a repeat of Robert Abrams.
A state attorney’s office or a district attorney is only removed from an investigation when it is clear that the investigator has committed a serious breach of trust. It is not easy to remove a district attorney from an investigation. There is undisclosed misconduct in Sanford, however. Blacks must get focused. The big fish now is the governor of Florida for the suspected cover-up of the murder. Compare Michael Stewart.
In addition to putting George Zimmerman on the hot seat, articles of impeachment should be in the preliminary stage for Florida’s governor. If the people of Florida will not remove the governor upon good cause, it may be necessary for the Black consumers and other people of goodwill to take matter into their own hands.
Hate crime legislation in the United States is rooted the racially-motivated murder in Howard Beach. I took lumps for demanding a special prosecutor. In 1986, it was clear to me that the traditional district attorney’s office could not be trusted. This stance of non-cooperation in 1986 led to the appointment of the first special prosecutor in a racially-motivated case in the United States and also the first hate crime legislation.
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