Francisco L. Acevedo's Notes
Will Defense Run Up The Tab
For West Hartford Taxpayers?
Crank Up The Hourly Rate Clocks Early Tuesday Morning
[Video link @ bottom of this post.]
EDITOR'S NOTE: The jury for Frankie Acevedo's civil rights trial in Bridgeport U.S. District Court has been selected. Trial is expected to begin Tuesday, Oct. 14. Acevedo claims -- and we all know -- that West Hartford, CT, school officials violated his right to free speech when they retaliated against him for leading a student walkout in May, 2006 to protest harsh immigration laws.
"The town is going to end up paying a lot of money to Mr. Acevedo," his attorney, Jon Schoenhorn, told The Hartford Courant last year. Background on the case follows Frankie's essay.
Acevedo V. Sklarz et al Defendants
Event Info, Host: U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill
Type: Causes - Rally
Time and Place Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Time: 9:00am - 12:00pm
Location: Courtroom One, Federal Building; United States Courthouse
Street: 915 Lafayette Boulevard
City/Town: Bridgeport, CT
Acevedo v. Power Structure
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Nearly two years have passed since the incident that occurred at Conard High School on June 15th, 2006 that drew the attention of independent and corporate media outlets from across the state, along with several other Marxist inspired news outlets nationwide. One of which belonged to the Free People’s Movement (FPM), an international revolutionary organization founded in 2003. I found myself as an active member not long after its formation. I began taking my first trips to Washington D.C. and New York to meet and network with comrades, while constantly developing a greater understanding to the scientific communist theories first developed by Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels.
When Comandante Filiberto Ojeda Rios was assassinated by the FBI on September 23, 2005 I became active in the struggle for Puerto Rican liberation. Federal repression against independentistas has always been present, but after the death of el Comandante del Ejercito Popular Boricua (Macheteros) it grew more oppressive.
As a junior in high school I ran for school president openly offering to look at things though a communist perspective. I was elected and vowed to keep my word. On May 1st 2006; after weeks of well thought out organization, FPM members from Conard lead over 200 students to walk out and march to the steps of West Hartford Town Hall in a coordinated effort to meet with a small but vibrant group out of students from Sedgwick Middle School. With us was the flag of internationalist revolutionary Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara to represent freedom, equality and justice.
International Workers Day was different that day than that of years in the past. On this day immigrant rights organizations across the country along-side worker groups declared that their be a general strike in protest of HR 4437 which passed by the United States House of Representatives on December 16, 2005 by a vote of 239 to 182. Its racist agenda provoked us to take action, as they still due with the added threat of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and its federal agents as they continue to terrorize and brutalize our communities around our State and country.
During this same time several reports from the FPM informed of members who have been harassed by law enforcement, simply for reading literature from a working class perspective, or for being communists. Similarly, if not more serious attacks on immigrant rights organizers began to take place in effort to dismantle the popular growing resistance movement in the country. The situation has gotten much worst since then.
On June 15th, 2006 I was arrested and charged with breach of peace and interfering with an officer. The incident that occurred in the school hallway dealt with the misconduct of a police officer during an encounter with another student. The encounter was captured on a digital camera which was then taken without a warrant by the school police officer. I was then suspended from school and prohibited to attend my high school graduation ceremony and the grad party that followed. The next day I walked into federal court to resolve the situation, so that my parents could have the piece of mind knowing they’ll witness my graduation, and in the context of normality what follow would prove to be anything but that because I have not committed any criminal act yet I had still had to fight in defense. A victory in federal court would result in my graduation yet they still held the video.
After an eight month battle against state prosecutors, the criminal case went to the jury but before the jury could deliberate Judge Prescostt dropped all charges and stated, “As the parties know, the State v. Indrisano glass must be applied. It’s a high standard, because of the intersection of the conduct and speech rights at issue. The conduct must be grossly offensive to contemporary community standards, to a person who actually overhears or sees it. I’ve already discussed the issue of Miss Zytka not seeing much of this alleged conduct, and even if she had, I’m not convinced that a reasonable juror could find that it was grossly offensive.”
The camera has since been returned and has been showed on local media. The video itself can now be viewed on MySpace, Facebook, and Youtube. The video speaks for itself.
Today I along with my lawyer Jon L. Schoenhorn, stepped into U.S. District Court in Bridgeport for the first time in a year to file a memorandum in opposition to defendant’s motion [for summary] judgment. The defendants in this case have already built contradictory testimony, have included false information in police reports, have demonstrated they’re willingness to continue to prolong and continue to argue for their own interest, their innocence of any wrong doing which can clearly be seen in the video along with their testimony and witness affidavits to that of what occurred that day. Their position throughout these many court proceedings has been based on lies and the intent to implement a more totalitarian way of rule in the school system. It is extremely distressing to see this stance along with the clear bias of the hierarchy in the court room to allow such behavior from officials to continue.
The students have the right to question authority when authority steps out of line; it is a fundamental right that insures balance and protection for students in the system in which students are already facing abuse of power. Without that we have abandoned the ideas of free speech and become forced to kneel down to the word of authority, and when it has been caught on video it becomes blatantly obvious who misused their authority. The issue presented should not be to question the dialect in which I used to point out misconduct but rather to recognize the fact that misconduct was presented and it was pointed out while a weapon was being raised. To consider my dialect as a basis in anyway to demonstrate ‘thuggish’ behavior is in fact narrow minded, bias, and is being used as a scapegoat to remove the attention away from the misconduct that occurred.
There should be no reason that this case should continue to absorb any more tax dollars to defend a false image of bureaucratic officials. My motive is to continue this fight for justice, because as we continue this case becomes more transparent and so does ideological stand point of the federal court.
I have in fact taken a lot, but am aware that it is necessary to be careful of what I say for the eyes and ears of the state have been following me as testimony will show. To take into account what has been presented in court, for it should in itself show undisputed evidence that emotional distress from the start of the false arrest does play a very active role, and as stated before this whole case in itself is not normal. I’ll continue to analyze the words of the judge, the position of the defendants, and present my case by upholding the facts to stay consistent with my testimony until justice falls into the right hands.
Francisco L. Acevedo