Call Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s office at (212) 335-9400 and tell them “Don’t charge Felix Rivera-Pitre!”
In a shocking assault by a senior NYPD official, VOCAL-NY member Felix Rivera-Pitre was grabbed from behind and sucker punched during an Occupy Wall Street march on Friday morning. Video of the attack quickly went viral and was played repeatedly on NY1.
The unprovoked assault was on the front page of the NY Daily News on Saturday and the Guardian today, with widespread coverage over the weekend. Even the conservative NY Post acknowledged that the video showed “a police supervisor punched a protestor in the face from behind.”
Felix is openly HIV-positive and believes the officer may have singled him out because he is gay. Now the police say they are looking for him and threatening multiple charges to cover up the assault. Watch Felix explain the attack in an interview with The Street recorded just a few hours after it happened.
Please call DA Cy Vance’s office right away at (212) 335-9400. Sample message: “I’m calling to urge the District Attorney to not pursue any charges against Felix Rivera-Pitre after he was assaulted by a senior NYPD officer on Friday morning.” Follow-up with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Felix helped lead a “Millionaires March” on the Upper East Side to draw attention to the $5 billion in tax cuts the wealthiest 1% of New Yorkers will receive when New York’s millionaires tax expires on December 31st. He’s helped lead VOCAL-NY’s involvement in multiple actions since Occupy Wall Street began, as we joined their call for Wall Street Banks and the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes to solve our revenue crisis.
The NYPD officer who assaulted Felix has been identified as Deputy Inspector Johnny “Fists” Cardona. Inspector Cardona also tackled a female protestor during an Occupy Wall Street march to Union Square a couple weeks ago, as reported by the Guardian today.
In a video shortly after Occupy Wall Street began, Felix talked about how living in a shelter motivated him to get involved (he cannot afford to move into his own place without a 30% rent cap protection).