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Sunday, May 9, 2021

‘The Cracks,’ Part One: Black and Brown Activists Describe Chaos at NYCHA

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Editor’s note: This story is part of “The Police State,” a series presented at NYU by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Blacki Migliozzi, Adam Klasfeld and Michael H. Keller explore contemporary policing and the struggle between law enforcement and community-oriented reformers. In the first installment, “Guilty As Charged,” lawyers, community activists and protesters say new laws have given New York City’s cops a free pass. The second installment of the series, “The Cracks,” goes behind the scenes at a New York City police station.

James Peruta sleeps alongside his son on a cot in the jailhouse visiting room in front of the open phone, charged with resisting arrest in the manner in which he was arrested nearly a year ago.

“The most frustrating thing is that I really have no time to be preoccupied with that,” said Mr. Peruta, a 55-year-old disabled sanitation worker from the Bronx. “What’s the point?”

Mr. Peruta’s stress on the phone, like many others, comes as he awaits a ruling in a trial where he’s accused of having caused $4,000 in damages to the Van Cortlandt Manor senior housing complex.

Officials have stood by the original account. Those involved in the crime — mainly because of the large quantities of blood found in the elevator shaft and on a stairwell wall — say that the escalator accident was entirely unrelated to the protest on Aug. 18, 2017, in which Mr. Peruta and others were injured. The activists say that the blood was not Mr. Peruta’s.

Read the full story at nytimes.com.

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