Sunday, August 11, 2013

Activist Accuses Hoboken Police of Collusion


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.

How?

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. 

Sincerely, 
Jessica Coco 
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.

23 comments:

  1. It is time for this lady to hire a lawyer and let the lawyer handle things. The lawyer I am sure would love to file a massive suit against the deep pocketed organizations involved in harassing her and I am sure it will give the people on say the HHA board and other governmental organizations more than enough reason to fire a few people. This will be one suit I sincerely hope the city and HHA loses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree.

      I know she's been in touch with some powerful civil rights organizations, political figures outside of Hoboken and is working on counsel.

      She's very smart and not laying down for abuse of her constitutional rights.

      Delete
  2. The HHA under Carmelo Garcia appears to be run like a third world dictatorship.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well Carmelo is a third world dick.

      Delete
    2. Carmelo is not a third world dick. He's a first class scumbag.

      Delete
  3. Our thang - Hoboken corruptionAugust 11, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Add the Old Guard's "friends" in the Hoboken Police Department to the lawsuit!
    Maybe we'll see some of them "evicted" off the job. They are polluting our institutions and making Hoboken look bad.

    Falco - YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS WHICH IS BEYOND BULLSHIT!

    Resign, you're a disgrace and take your crew with you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. When I was running against CastellaNO, two HPD cops were visiting the few businesses that had my signs up and telling them to take them down. This at a time when CastellaNO was continually harping about a make-believe increase in crime and an understaffed, overworked police force.

    One business owner politely declined an invitation to display my sign, saying that one year earlier, a Hoboken cop, upon seeing a Lenz sign in her window, walked over and pounded the window with his hand (didn't break the glass, but certainly intimidated her).

    Thugs and goons.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Intimidating a woman and interrogating her on a matter unrelated to her complaint and refusing to take her complaint on intimidation, threats and a burglary.

    Nice.

    Good job Depalma. You're a swell guy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not the first problem for this officer.

      Delete
    2. Why is a police officer being singled out in this? Surely, this tenant living in HHA has bravely stepped forward to voice her experience with harassment for opposing the Vision 20/20 project, however, her enemies list begins and ends with HHA leadership and his "followers". To print and comment on a specific HPD officer is just unjustifiable in my opinion.

      Delete
  6. Eric Kurta you are big baby. Back in the day, the Hoboken Police would beat up on the streets any one who protested against the Hoboken Syndicate.

    Shoot, once a mayoral candidate was picked up and put in jail just days before the election. That kinda hurts turnout.

    Consider yourself lucky.

    Signed,
    Hoboken Police View aka Terry's turf

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Had a friend who had worked on some sort of State Police organized crime unit. He told me that, years ago, his unit came to Hoboken to arrest some mobsters operating out of a social club. Monroe Street, as I recall. The Staties were met outside the club by a contingent of HPD officers with guns drawn, protecting the mafiosos inside. Eventually, they stood down.

      Yeah, I know about the history of the HPD.

      Delete
    2. Well as you said they "eventually" stood down. So see, it's all fine then.
      Do you think the city paid them for overtime to protect the mobsters? That's how it should be done.

      Delete
  7. Hoboken Police ConfessionAugust 11, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Not sure what the problem is. So a Hoboken resident went to go report a crime and file a complaint and she was interrogated about Vision 20/20 flyers with the good cop - bad cop routine.

    What's the problem?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The victim of a crime is not the one who is supposed to be interrogated.

      Delete
    2. Hoboken Police ConfessionAugust 11, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      That's not how it works here. You know what I mean? This is our town...

      Delete
    3. A citizen enters police HQ to report a robbery. Their job is to write the complaint. Period.

      You really believe it is there job to only take complaints if they feel like it?

      Delete
  8. so in a case like this, who does one contact to complain and seek help? they should get a lawyer, obviously, but what city, county, state or federal resources are available to protect citizens if they are harassed by police? this is scary, bad cops can make your life miserable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They can go to the NJ Attorney General's Office and the FBI in Newark. The AG looks the better bet it's led by Chris Christie's people and they don't mess around when it comes to corruption, especially in Hudson County.

      Delete
    2. You mean the Chris Christie who was endorsed by Brian stack and Carmelo Garcia and who reportedly considered appointing Joe Branco to the HHA because stack told him that would help Garcia deliver HHA votes to Christie? Somehow I don't think the AG will be of much help.

      Delete
    3. Yeah the Chris Christie who gets everyone endorsing him these days. And who "reportedly" said he's considering appointing Joe Branco of all people?

      Christie doesn't need a few hundred votes in the HHA, he'll be re-elected just fine without them.

      Delete
  9. Dear God:

    Please don't let it be true that Christie is/was even considering having DCA appoint Branco. I don't ask for much, so please grant that one.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. She could have left at anytime since she wasn't be charged with anything. We only have one side of the story here.

    ReplyDelete