|Coco claims this is the THIRD distribution of Carmelo Garcia's flyer in her building- this "taped on every door"|
Big props to Jessica Coco, HHA tenant leader of Save The Projects, for going public after a hellish week courtesy of her landlord, the HHA- it's thugs, goons and hapless servants.
Save The Projects is a tenants opposition movement to Vision 20/20, based on it's belief that demolition of the projects will displace it's mostly black and Latino population right out of Hoboken- permanently. Agree or disagree with this group, the HHA appears to be retaliating against STP's right to assemble and free speech through acts of terror (eviction) and intimidation.
Since appearing on WBAI radio last Sunay, Jessica's car has been vandalized- the mirror and locks broken, she's been served with a 'statement' (a.k.a. 'eviction papers') grounded on claims she has posted "lying" flyers, then served by HHA Attorney Charles Daglian's 'cease and desist' order with a counterfeit flyer attached, and discovered her apartment was burglarized a month earlier.
And how was your week? In spite of this hellish onslaught, Ms. Coco has not only held her ground, but she's fighting back.
|Jessica Coco's car mirror broken after she appeared on WBAI|
The forces against her are formidable and may even include members of the Hoboken Police Department.
Yes, in an absolutely shocking, abuse of their vow to "protect and serve" the people, it appears some members of the HPD are acting as personal enforcers for powerful public officials (and elected officials, in the case of the 2 detectives who interrogated me for 1 hour at my home because Beth Mason and Tim Occhipinti felt "threatened" by GA's Vulcan Death Grip post).
Here is an excerpt of a letter from Jessica Coco to Chief Falco of the Hoboken Police Department, where she chronicles how officers behaved like ENFORCERS for the HHA's campaign against Ms. Coco and Save The Projects.
Jessica honey, get that attorney.
From Ms. Coco's letter to Chief Falco:
Although threatened with “set up” and arrest, I had come into the main precinct to file a complaint on Thursday, August 8, 2013 a little after 4pm about damage to my vehicle & my apt being vandalized.
A report was taken for my car, but not for my apt. The officer who was polite and attentive told me I would first have to compile a list of all the items I am claiming stolen. I asked the officer if I could file the complaint and later amend it when I would have more time to discover what was missing, especially because of all the harassment I have been experiencing as a dissident tenant, but I was told this is not the policy of the Hoboken Police Dept and to just return. I received a call on Friday, Aug. 9, 2013 by Officer ….who asked me to come to the precinct to discuss the vandalization of my car.
I asked the officer if she would also take a report about the burglary and if we would discuss this topic, too. The officer replied, yes.
When I arrived at the precinct, rather than speak about the car damage or about the threats to my person, I was subjected to interrogation by these officers. I should have been told from the beginning I was going to be interrogated and informed of seeking council. Of interest is the fact, the questions asked by the officers were identical to questions asked to tenants by Mr. Garcia and the HHA. Officer Depalma repeatedly insisted I wrote and put up some flyer that I did not write. His partner …on the other hand kept insisting it’s my constitutional right to put up any flyers I want and just admit I put up this specific flyer.
As I explained to Mr. Depalma, I cannot be held responsible for flyers put up by others, especially not those by Carmello Garcia and the HHA. I informed Mr. Depalma that many flyers went out that day, including flyers put up by HHA, which I did not see, but only heard about that said our tenant group was hosting a meeting at the same time as the Hoboken Fair Housing. I’ve also heard as I explained to him, but never saw flyers with our logo denouncing the HFHA. Mr. Depalma rather than ask about these other contradictory flyers or address the threats to my person or property, instead demanded to know the name of the person who was the creator and site administrator of our Facebook page and the names of the people in our organization, which I refused. He even went so far as to say he was going to investigate this information, if I didn’t give it to him. As I explained I cannot divulge any information on dissenting tenants, who do not wish to come forward, especially due to legitimate fears of vehicle damage, apts burglarization, and their children being harmed. I felt especially threatened when Mr. Depalma insistence this was all for “our health”, which sounded like a threat. After all, how is a flyer a threat to my health, but HHA members damaging my car and making threats to my person are not considered dangerous to my health?
Once again no complaint was ever filed about the burglary or about threats to my person. From the conduct of the officers, it is obvious their main concern is not the helpless tenants, but working in collaboration with Mr. Garcia and the developers of Vision2020 to discover and prevent dissent against this plan by identifying dissenters.
After all, I’ve not been given the same right to demand who is working with Mr. ***** the developers. Therefore, I would like to know the following information: Were these officers acting as individuals on behalf of Mr.***** and the HHA or acting on direct orders of the Hoboken Police Department? Are any of the specific officers also in any way shape or form on the payroll of ******, the HHA, the developers, or any other entity involved with Vision2020 now or in the past? Please supply this information.
Are there any other officers who maybe be or have been on any of those same payrolls? In addition, I would like to know if the Hoboken Police Department itself is also accepting payment on behalf of Mr. *****, the HHA, or the developers?
Under these circumstances, I think you can understand legitimate fears I may have about collusion.
As a dissenting tenant I don’t appreciate threats of being “set up” by Mr. *****’s goons. I don’t appreciate being lured with false pretenses and interrogated by officers who are supposed to represent the public, but are acting on behalf of Mr. ***** trying to elicit information he demands to know, nor lied to and told complaints can’t be made for robbery and then amended, nor do I appreciate as a tenant activist letters sent by the HHA to tenants doors attempting to stifle public dissemination of information and using threats of police collaboration. Now that you have been made aware of this situation, as a tenant organizer, I ask you put a stop to this behavior and to these flyers that contain references to the Hoboken police dept. stop.
cc. NJ Attorney General, FBI, Sheriffs’ Department
Now, understand what this experience means to Ms. Coco.
The people who are supposed to "protect and serve" her do not take a statement about threats to her person nor her robbery, but instead bully her in an attempt to get a confession for posting flyers. She was interrogated without being noticed so she could bring a lawyer. Oh yes, GA's been there. Only I got my lawyer on the phone in 5 minutes, and he read the cops the riot act. I had legal back-up, albeit by telephone. Jessica was alone there for the purpose of filing a complaint as a crime VICTIM.
So, if our police engage in this kind of intimidation, WHO can she call when she needs protection? Or has a complaint?
GA understands our police are not ALL rotten, there are honest and decent members on the HPD. Unfortunately, none of them seem to show up when certain members of the community need help.
GA is sorry for the good, decent folks on the police department who are besmirched by the bad apples.
Finally, GA URGES OTHER HHA TENANTS WHO HAVE BEEN WRONGFULLY THREATENED WITH EVICTION to contact SaveTheProjects@yahoo.com.