STATEMENT BY MALCOLM SHABAZZ...
MALCOLM-LATIF SHABAZZ: MY STATEMENT CONCERNING THE HARASSMENT FROM THE POLICE/FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION WHICH RESULTED IN MY UNJUST ARREST & DETAINMENT IN FEBRUARY 2013, AND PLACED A HALT ON MY TRAVEL TO TEHRAN, IRAN TO PARTICIPATE IN THE INTERNATIONAL FAJR FILM FESTIVAL.
I sincerely appreciate the care & concern of the People over my well-being after Press TV's report of the most recent events which have transpired regarding the F.B.I.'s harassment of me.
Given the storm of lies, and half-truths that come with being associated with being the descendant of El Hajj Malik el Shabazz, also known as Minister Malcolm X, any and everything that I do; great or small, good or not so good, real or imagined is subject to controversy. However, in this missive I will take this opportunity to properly & fully disclose what transpired.
In the beginning of 2012 I had been informed that I was under investigation by the F.B.I.'s Counter Terrorism Task Force Unit located in Goshen, N.Y.
The agents of this division-and in collaboration with others-have visited several residences of which I was known by them to frequent. However, they would never come when they knew me to actually be there. They would leave their cards with the residents asking them to tell me to call them, and then would tell surrounding residents to observe the house and to notify them if they saw me.
These are the homes of long-time friends, and very close supporters. Yet, when federal agents begin knocking on someone's door on multiple occasions to snoop, and ask questions, whether one is guilty of an offense or not, it's enough to coerce people into distancing themselves from you. This cheap tactic employed by the F.B.I. is a means of agitation & harassment. They seek to neutralize my networking abilities.
They have visited locations in California, Chicago, Miami and most aggressively in New York.
People were advising me that if I had nothing to hide, then I should just contact them as requested and cooperate. Though I must say that in these kind of matters I am of a particular ethic. For one, I have been engaged in no criminal activity of their concern, and they could have located me if they so chose. Secondly, I don't recognize the authority in them beckoning me.
It wasn't even until my mother informed me that they had been contacting her that I truly became agitated. She advised me to see what they had to say, and so I obliged the next time they came around looking for me. My encounter was with 2 federal agents of Goshen, N.Y.'s Counter Terrorism Task Foci Unit. The primary agent identified himself as Special Agent Tom Brozicky.
They expressed concern over-as they put it-my "international travels"; I have lived & studied in Damascus, Syria for over a year, and now the U.S. is instigating conflict within the very same region; I went on ex-congresswoman/former presidential candidate Cynthia Mckinney's delegation along with Dr. Randy Short to Libya, and met with Leader Muammar Gadhafi one week prior to N.A.T.O. intervention and I was most recently getting ready to travel to Tehran, Iran to be a participant of the International Fajr Film Festival and give a lecture addressing the issues of Hollywood and violence:
- Modern Violence & Terrorism,
- Provoking clashes between religions & populations
I was picked up by authorities after I filed for a visa to Iran, and 2 days prior to my departure. A detective squad from the City of Middletown Police Department surrounded me in the street about 2 blocks from where I was residing. They asked me my name, and I gave them an alias, but they were already well aware of who I actually was. I didn't tell them my real name because I didn't know what was going on. When I was brought before a Judge of City of Middletown court I was surprised to be informed that I was being charged with Grand Larceny, and False Impersonation charge. Then I was sent to jail, and told to appear again 7 days later. Then following court date the bogus charge of Grand Larceny, which they only put to justify stopping me in first place, was dropped. And they left me to face the False Impersonation. I was offered 90 days for the offense of giving the authorities the wrong name which I declined before bailing out after 2 weeks.
When I was being held within the belly of the beast on trumped up charges, to my rescue came the journalist at Press TV based in Iran. My relationship with powerful & progressive news outfit began in April of 2012, and prior to that I had discussions with their journalist regarding current events internationally. I developed a positive rapport with some of them, and as a result was invited to travel to Iran to discuss the impact of Hollywood in stereotyping Muslims, Iranians and African people. From January 15th through 18th, 2013, I was a featured interviewee for the Press TV documentary “The Façade of the American Dream”. And prior to my date of departure to Iran, Lifetime television released a television bio-picture called “Betty & Coretta” which was a sensationalistic misrepresentation of my grandparents, my mother and me. This film aside from being poorly acted, and shallow in depth also threatened to inflame old controversies, and open unhealed wounds and to remind the public of sad outcomes without ever identifying B.O.S.S.I., the C.I.A., F.B.I. and other forces that set the climate for my grandfather’s assassination, and made my family a long-suffering casualty of COINTELPRO, and other anti-Black repression programs. Naturally, anything done to stir up old hatred of The Shabazz Family will impact me as the name-sake, and first male heir of Malcolm X, and whether I am high or low in fortunes does not exempt me from this reality.
The formula for a public assassination is: the character assassination before the physical assassination; so one has to be made killable before the eyes of the public in order for their eventual murder to then deemed justifiable. And when the time arrives for these hits to be carried out you’re not going to see a C.I.A. agent with a suit & tie, and a badge that says "C.I.A." walk up to someone, and pull the trigger. What they will do is to out-source to local police departments in the region of their target, and to employ those that look like the target of interest to infiltrate the workings in order to set up the environment for the eventual assassination (character, physical/incarceration, exile) to take place.
For several months prior to my arrest in late January, 2013 I faced a pattern of harassment from law enforcement which is usually reserved for important figures.
[[On Thursday, November 1, 2012 @ 11:53pm in the park circle area of Middletown, N.Y. I was stopped by officers of the Middletown Police Department, and given a ticket for "J-Walking" (crossing in the middle of the street), which then escalated into a "Disorderly Conduct" supposedly because of the exchange of words that I had with the officers. I told them that they couldn't possibly be serious for writing me a "J-Walking ticket", that I didn't appreciate how they were treating me and that they shouldn't be looking at me as less of a man because they were in police uniform. For this I was arrested, the officers stole the little amount of money that I had on me, they then stripped me and threw me in a freezing precinct cell for the remainder of that early morning. I was finally taken before the "Judge Steven Brockett" around 1:30pm. He gave me an unreasonable bail, and then ordered that I be remanded to the Orange county Jail.
This penalty may seem a bit extreme or harsh to most of you, but here is where it gets worse: On Tuesday, October 30th, exactly 2 nights prior to this incident, the same officer "J Berman" who wrote me the ticket for "J-Walking" & "Disorderly Conduct" stopped me coming from out of a store in the same area, and questioned me as to what I was doing. I told him that I was coming out of the store. He asked to see what I bought which was a pack of sun flower seeds. I had actually just so happened to be eating a few while he was talking to me, and I spit one of the shells on the ground. At this point officer "J Berman" threatened to write me a ticket for littering. Needless to say, I was dumbfounded, but I went home that night.
Yet, it still doesn't even begin there. I had an encounter with other officers of the Midletown Police Department one week prior to officer "J Berman's" threats to write me a ticket for spitting a sun flower seed on the ground: I was coming out of a restaurant with my mother, and her friend. As the 3 of us entered the car to leave 2 police cars converged on our vehicle, and boxed us in. My mother was petrified. With guns drawn I was then ordered to step out of the back seat. I asked them why to which they replied that I had several warrants for my arrest. I told them that they were mistaken, but I still complied with their request. Humiliated in front of all on-lookers I was then thrown on the car while the officers ripped through my pockets. After they were done they said that it was my lucky day because I actually didn't have any warrants at all, and so I was free to go! One of these officer's name was "R. Ribeiro"...
You may wonder if it could possibly get any worse than this. Well, it does! Approximately 3 weeks prior to the public humiliation of my mother, and me by "R Ribeiro" and another officer of the Middletown Police Department I found myself subject to the discrimination & prejudice of Mayor Joseph M. Destefano of Middletown, N.Y. himself. A friend, and I went out to eat at a restaurant in Middletown, N.Y. which is owned by the Mayor, and to our surprise he appeared from nowhere and asked us to leave. When we inquired as to why he stated that officials of the Middletown Police Department told him not to let us patronize his establishment. Mind you that this goes without incident. As I stand for the people, God-Willing, I would pray that the same people wouldn't hesitate to stand for me. If these unjust & heinous actions are tolerated & allowed to be done to me without recourse, then no one is safe. Just as Huewy P Newton of the Black Panther Party stated that police are in the white community to protect & serve, yet occupy ours like a foreign troop... I tell you that we shouldn't fall victim to the conditioning of feeling inferior or fearful at the presence of law enforcement for no apparent reason.]]
With that being said, I was not arrested by federal agents. I was taken in by a squad from the City of Middletown, N.Y.'s Police Department. I was not being held in an "undisclosed location" so to speak. I was actually being held in the Orange County Jail in Goshen, N.Y. However, from the time that I was booked at the precinct, to standing before a Judge the next day who told me to come back in 7 more, to being processed at the Orange County Jail and up until 7 days later I was not permitted to make any calls to notify anyone of my status; as though I had just been kidnapped from of the street.
Unfortunately, until this day my family hasn't been fully abreast of my situation as I haven't had the opportunity to properly consult with any of them. Dr. Randy Short who notified Press TV of my situation is a close comrade of mine who was on our delegation in Libya. Media reports from Press TV about my situation were not intended to create controversy. In reality, I have a few associates that are affiliated with this reputable International media outlet, and they had expected to meet with me in Iran. So when I disappeared, and rumors spread, the inability to get concise information from a credible source prompted them to rouse public attention on my behalf, for which I am grateful. In April of 2012 I had the opportunity to be a guest analyst/contributor on Press TV. This network has a large following all over the world, and millions find it’s news, documentaries and programming to be both an educational, and insightful alternative to the conglomerated, and highly biased mainstream American & British news media. Regarding the Source magazine, nothing that they published was vetted by me, and was made by persons, at best, vaguely familiar with my situation. Further, I have never had an affiliation or relationship with The Source, nor have they ever directly consulted with me about anything.