Full Audios from Jury Trial conducted by Judge Steve Rosen Released!

Now for the first time download, listen and share the full audio archives of the jury trial of Matt E (aka Bypolar) vs the fascists. These audios show a clear example of the racist, white supremacist kkkourt system that found Bypolar guilty of being black and choosing not to die. The entire trial was appealed and the appeal was lost. If you are an attorney that sees any possibility of challenging the criminal charges or making a civil suit, please contact stoplegallynching@gmail.com and highgodsentertainment@gmail.com . Anyone sampling from the audios should send finished works to those same email addresses.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8RKMXlcsZqsYXo4V0NyMzdvOFU/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8RKMXlcsZqsajhzUWloM1J2a1k/view?usp=sharing

StopLegalLynching.wordpress.com

This Friday: JULY 31st 9:00AM Room 1102 HiGH RiSK emergency support now!

PLEASE ATTEND: Matthew Erickson’s final Review Hearing at Seattle Municipal Court

600 5th Ave, Seattle WA 98104

The hearing will be in Room 1102, on the eleventh floor, 5th and James, downtown Seattle.

INVITE YOUR FRIENDS: in person, via email, or via the fedbook event !

This could very well be the final time Matthew Erickson aka Bypolar will be reviewed out of custody for an unknown period of time. Presently, we are at the whim at a egotistical, maniacal, racist fascist who alone will decide how long it will be until our friend is free, again.

Please show up to support our comrade while they are fighting against racist profiling from Seattle Police Department. In Bypolar’s founding of Cop Watch Seattle and in their political action against arctic drilling, the City of Seattle has found cause to continuously target this artist, mc, and organizer.

If you cannot attend, try giving Mayor Ed Murray a call to let him know what you think about his city’s police practices…

(206) 684-8888 Remember kids! If you don’t call more than twice from the same phone, then it isn’t harassment. 

Follow us for more updates to come on charges Bypolar is being faced with, and releases from High Gods Ent. !

#TheKnifeIsLegal #ACAB #sHellNo

Appeal Denied, FREE MATT E!

Hey everyone, so the appeal of the Stop Legal Lynching case was denied, which means that Matt E is now in fact facing months of jail time for being black and refusing to die. If people could please call Mayor Ed Murray (see below) and ask where his official response he promised the Stop Legal Lynching campaign regarding the value of black lives in generally and that of Matt E in particular that would be greatly appreciated. He promised such an official statement upon the delivery of this letter 7.5 months ago as well as to have his human rights specialist get in touch with us. Nothing but crickets since then. This is both somebody’s life and freedom on the line, in addition to the wellbeing of many people to whom that person is connected. We might not be able to keep him out of jail, but we at the *very* least make it uncomfortable for them too…
https://stoplegallynching.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/bypolar.jpg?w=391&h=411

November 13, 2014

From: the Stop Legal Lynching campaign

To: Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle City Council
600 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 684-8888

Dear mayor and city council,

We are a diverse group of community members and activists. We are writing concerning a troubling court case which may reveal possible complicity of Seattle police officers Chase and Clay with mob violence against anti-police brutality activist Matthew Erickson. We are asking you to investigate the behaviors of officers Chase and Clay. We are also asking you to investigate the actions of Judge Rosen, who presided over what we believe was an unjust trial of Mr Erickson, where he was criminalized for defending himself from the mob attack.

Matthew Erickson grew up in South Seattle and has been a vocal critic of police brutality, especially as it effects Black communities, communities of color, and working class/poor communities in the city. He is one of the founders of Seattle Copwatch (a group that films the police to ensure they do not harass or brutalize people). He was also a prominent member of the Decolonize/ Occupy Seattle movement.

Last year, Mr. Erickson was filming officers Chase and Clay at Westlake park as they were harassing a young man of color. While he was filming, the officers called over a crowd of youth, telling them it would be “dangerous for them” to have Mr. Erickson around. The youth began to threaten Mr. Erickson with weapons, demanding that he stop filming the police. It appears that the two officers incited the crowd; at the very least, they allowed the crowd to attack Mr. Erickson.

Fearing for his life, Mr. Erickson defended himself by holding a knife in front of him as he backed away from the crowd. He did not actually hurt anyone with the knife. The two officers arrested him at gunpoint; they did not arrest any of his attackers. He dropped the knife, and as he was arrested he covered his face and upper torso out of fear the cops might allow the crowd to attack him further. Indeed, video footage from the Pacific Place mall security cameras shows the officers rolling him toward the crowd, and at least one individual in the crowd stomps or kicks him as he is held down by the officers.

Because of this situation, Mr. Erickson was recently tried and convicted of resisting arrest and use of an illegal weapon, in a trial presided over by Judge Rosen. His public defender failed to argue the fact that his knife was indeed legal. There was not a single Black person on the jury, so it was not a jury of his peers. And Judge Rosen instructed the jury not to consider Mr. Erickson’s actions self-defense, claiming he should have relied on the police officers for safety instead of using his knife, even though there is evidence they incited the crowd and/ or granted them impunity to attack him.

Because Mr. Erickson is a well-respected member of multiple, diverse communities, dozens of people came out to his trial to support him. When people expressed spontaneous verbal reactions to the clearly unjust verdict, Judge Rosen had them arrested and slapped them with maximum contempt charges (30 days each for two people, and eight for the third). He also set a ridiculously high $50,000 bail for Mr. Erickson; his friends and supporters raised the bond for this on short notice.

To many of us, this is an unsurprising situation; it is a continuation of what Michelle Alexander calls the New Jim Crow regime, where Black people are disproportionally criminalized due to lack of adequate defense representation, and court procedures that favor the prosecution. To some, this may seem to be a bizarre incident; it might seem unbelievable until one watches the footage and hears the court testimony (which is available at https://stoplegallynching.wordpress.com). In either respect, this situation calls into question the city of Seattle’s claims to be a diverse and racially equitable city. It also calls into question the Seattle Police Department’s community policing initiatives, which officers Chase and Clay mentioned they were a part of during their trial testimonies.

We demand that you convene an investigation into the behaviors of officers Chase and Clay, and Judge Rosen. We demand that you allow friends and supporters of Mr. Erickson to be a part of the investigatory team to ensure proper transparency and community accountability. In particular, we demand answers to the following questions:

Did officers Chase and Clay incite the crowd?

Why did they allow the crowd to attack Mr. Erickson?

Were these officers motivated by a political and/or personal vendetta against Mr. Erickson due to his vocal opposition to police brutality and his activities copwatching (filming the police)? Was this incident retaliation for complaints he had filed against them, or verbal criticisms he had made against them in public?

What is the exact nature of the “community policing” relationship these officers have established with youth in the Westlake Park area? Are they engaged in any sort of unethical relationships with these youth? Are they granting impunity to these youth, allowing them to engage in violence against critics of the police, in return for some sort of financial or social benefit to the officers themselves? Or are they granting impunity to the youth to attack other marginalized people as long as they reinforce the police as some sort of vigilante force on the streets? If any of these things are happening, how far up the SPD chain of command does the corruption go, and are these practices also happening within community policing efforts in other Seattle neighborhoods? We know the city runs a Youth Violence Prevention Initiative. Are there also youth violence instigation initiatives within the Seattle Police Department? If so, are these authorized or rouge operations?

Why did Judge Rosen choose such punitive measures during the trial? Is he biased in favor of officers Chase and Clay? Is he allowing the officers to hide something the public should be aware of? Is he contributing to the silencing of a prominent critic of the police by having him locked up?

Other questions may arise in the course of the investigation, as more information becomes available.

We will continue to publicly reiterate these demands at every available opportunity until you meet them. We want to make sure that what has happened to Mr. Erickson does not happen to other Seattle residents. We support all communities’ demands for an immediate end to police brutality, racial profiling, racist vigilantism, and mass incarceration. We want to make sure that what happened to Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown does not happen to someone in Seattle, and that what happened to John T. Williams does not happen here again.

We urge you to take immediate, concrete steps to investigate this situation. You can reach us at stoplegallynching@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your response.

Sincerely,

The Stop Legal Lynching campaign

Also see

UPDATE: Video from Sentencing Day and Demand Delivery

If you didn’t catch the updates elsewhere, at sentencing day (November 13th) we had a powerful interfaith vigil before Matt E went in for his sentencing hearing. He was sentenced to 4 months with another year suspended. He was also banned from a core transit area downtown, from Union to Olive and from 3rd to 9th. He was given a report in date of November 27th to serve his time in jail. On November 14th, Holly was released from jail for the contempt charge from Judge Rosen. Chris and Cameron were released on November 17th. That same day we also learned that Judge Rosen accepted the request to set appeal bail for Matt E, and he set it at $10,000. This mean that Matt E remains free for now and if the appeal process goes well he will not have to serve any time at all for the acts of self defense he has been charged with. Below is video from the day of the sentencing hearing which includes our demand delivery of our letter to Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle City Council (download and view .pdf by clicking link, or read below Demand letter to city hall 2014-11-13).

November 13, 2014

From: the Stop Legal Lynching campaign

To: Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle City Council
600 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 684-8888

Dear mayor and city council,

We are a diverse group of community members and activists. We are writing concerning a troubling court case which may reveal possible complicity of Seattle police officers Chase and Clay with mob violence against anti-police brutality activist Matthew Erickson. We are asking you to investigate the behaviors of officers Chase and Clay. We are also asking you to investigate the actions of Judge Rosen, who presided over what we believe was an unjust trial of Mr Erickson, where he was criminalized for defending himself from the mob attack.

Matthew Erickson grew up in South Seattle and has been a vocal critic of police brutality, especially as it effects Black communities, communities of color, and working class/poor communities in the city. He is one of the founders of Seattle Copwatch (a group that films the police to ensure they do not harass or brutalize people). He was also a prominent member of the Decolonize/ Occupy Seattle movement.

Last year, Mr. Erickson was filming officers Chase and Clay at Westlake park as they were harassing a young man of color. While he was filming, the officers called over a crowd of youth, telling them it would be “dangerous for them” to have Mr. Erickson around. The youth began to threaten Mr. Erickson with weapons, demanding that he stop filming the police. It appears that the two officers incited the crowd; at the very least, they allowed the crowd to attack Mr. Erickson.

Fearing for his life, Mr. Erickson defended himself by holding a knife in front of him as he backed away from the crowd. He did not actually hurt anyone with the knife. The two officers arrested him at gunpoint; they did not arrest any of his attackers. He dropped the knife, and as he was arrested he covered his face and upper torso out of fear the cops might allow the crowd to attack him further. Indeed, video footage from the Pacific Place mall security cameras shows the officers rolling him toward the crowd, and at least one individual in the crowd stomps or kicks him as he is held down by the officers.

Because of this situation, Mr. Erickson was recently tried and convicted of resisting arrest and use of an illegal weapon, in a trial presided over by Judge Rosen. His public defender failed to argue the fact that his knife was indeed legal. There was not a single Black person on the jury, so it was not a jury of his peers. And Judge Rosen instructed the jury not to consider Mr. Erickson’s actions self-defense, claiming he should have relied on the police officers for safety instead of using his knife, even though there is evidence they incited the crowd and/ or granted them impunity to attack him.

Because Mr. Erickson is a well-respected member of multiple, diverse communities, dozens of people came out to his trial to support him. When people expressed spontaneous verbal reactions to the clearly unjust verdict, Judge Rosen had them arrested and slapped them with maximum contempt charges (30 days each for two people, and eight for the third). He also set a ridiculously high $50,000 bail for Mr. Erickson; his friends and supporters raised the bond for this on short notice.

To many of us, this is an unsurprising situation; it is a continuation of what Michelle Alexander calls the New Jim Crow regime, where Black people are disproportionally criminalized due to lack of adequate defense representation, and court procedures that favor the prosecution. To some, this may seem to be a bizarre incident; it might seem unbelievable until one watches the footage and hears the court testimony (which is available at https://stoplegallynching.wordpress.com). In either respect, this situation calls into question the city of Seattle’s claims to be a diverse and racially equitable city. It also calls into question the Seattle Police Department’s community policing initiatives, which officers Chase and Clay mentioned they were a part of during their trial testimonies.

We demand that you convene an investigation into the behaviors of officers Chase and Clay, and Judge Rosen. We demand that you allow friends and supporters of Mr. Erickson to be a part of the investigatory team to ensure proper transparency and community accountability. In particular, we demand answers to the following questions:

  1. Did officers Chase and Clay incite the crowd?

  2. Why did they allow the crowd to attack Mr. Erickson?

  3. Were these officers motivated by a political and/or personal vendetta against Mr. Erickson due to his vocal opposition to police brutality and his activities copwatching (filming the police)? Was this incident retaliation for complaints he had filed against them, or verbal criticisms he had made against them in public?

  4. What is the exact nature of the “community policing” relationship these officers have established with youth in the Westlake Park area? Are they engaged in any sort of unethical relationships with these youth? Are they granting impunity to these youth, allowing them to engage in violence against critics of the police, in return for some sort of financial or social benefit to the officers themselves? Or are they granting impunity to the youth to attack other marginalized people as long as they reinforce the police as some sort of vigilante force on the streets? If any of these things are happening, how far up the SPD chain of command does the corruption go, and are these practices also happening within community policing efforts in other Seattle neighborhoods? We know the city runs a Youth Violence Prevention Initiative. Are there also youth violence instigation initiatives within the Seattle Police Department? If so, are these authorized or rouge operations?

  5. Why did Judge Rosen choose such punitive measures during the trial? Is he biased in favor of officers Chase and Clay? Is he allowing the officers to hide something the public should be aware of? Is he contributing to the silencing of a prominent critic of the police by having him locked up?

Other questions may arise in the course of the investigation, as more information becomes available.

We will continue to publicly reiterate these demands at every available opportunity until you meet them. We want to make sure that what has happened to Mr. Erickson does not happen to other Seattle residents. We support all communities’ demands for an immediate end to police brutality, racial profiling, racist vigilantism, and mass incarceration. We want to make sure that what happened to Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown does not happen to someone in Seattle, and that what happened to John T. Williams does not happen here again.

We urge you to take immediate, concrete steps to investigate this situation. You can reach us at stoplegallynching@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your response.

Sincerely,

The Stop Legal Lynching campaign

Community Calls for Investigation into SPD Community Policing Model

[UPDATE 9:30PM PST NOV 13: Good news is: Matt E was not taken into custody today! The interfaith vigil in the morning was a great inspiration to many of us present, more details may come out in the coming days. Kiro 7 showed up and filmed some of that and also did an interview with Matt E before we all went in to King County Jail courtroom 2 for the sentencing hearing before Judge Steven Rosen. A reporter from Real Change was also present throughout and they will be publishing a piece on the story soon. At the hearing, the courtroom was entirely packed with supporters of Matt E.  Matt E told the Judge that he still cannot apologize for taking the actions he took to not get killed. Although it is still unjust that Matt E is getting any time at all, at least we have him free for another two weeks. The terms of his sentencing: 120 days in jail with 364 days suspended; a conviction fee; and Matt E is banned from the area between 3rd and 9th avenue and from Union to Olive. This last part is of great concern because all of the main transit lines in Seattle are accessible in that area. The Judge chose that area to keep Matt E far from Pacific Place Mall and Westlake Park, where the incident occurred. The entire trial has already entered an appeal processing in response to the unfairness and racism present in the first one. We are currently waiting to find out if we will be able to post appeal bail, which if accepted, will allow Matt E to remain free at least for the duration of the appeal trial, and presumably after that if it is a fair trial. In the early afternoon a group of about 20 people hand delivered a demand letter to Mayor Ed Murray in City Hall. The letter is addressed to Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle City Council, text will be uploaded soon. Video and audio also coming soon!!!]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

12 November 2014

Contact: Matt E & Cody Lestelle (310) 613-4319

                stoplegallynching@gmail.com 

Local Black Man Convicted and Faces Sentencing For Escaping a Lynch Mob;

Community Calls For Investigation into SPD Community Policing Model

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13

8:30am press conference

Outside of Seattle Municipal Court

On 5th between Cherry & James

Matt E, aka MC Bypolar the Toxic Cherub, will be hosting a press conference outside of the Seattle Municipal Court before he faces sentencing for a false conviction he received on October 23rd for escaping what amounted to a lynch mob.

The community will be holding an interfaith and non-religious gathering outside of the jail with Breakfast 8-9am, Lunch 11:30a-12:30p, and another meetup at 4:30p.

Matt E was found guilty of possession of an unlawful weapon, despite the knife actually being legal. Moreover, Matt E never used the weapon, but drew his legal knife to create space while retreating from an armed and attacking crowd that was pursuing him with intent to injure or even kill him.

This attack, incited by SPD officers Chase and Clay, is being referred to as an attempted lynching because a large group of people was directed to harm or kill Matt E in an extralegal manner. Furthermore, we do believe the attack was racially motivated as Matt E is black, the two officers who incited the attack are both white in a police force with a history of racism, and the crowd was yelling racial slurs at Matt E throughout the incident.

Matt E is a founding member of Seattle Copwatch. The night of the attack, Matt E was copwatching officers Chase and Clay as they were targeting another individual at Westlake Park. The officers responded to Matt E’s presence by calling the attention of a large crowd of street kids who were Westlake Park regulars to Matt E. Officers Chase and Clay notified the group it would be ‘dangerous’ for them to have him around. Subsequently, 20-30 street kids who possessed chains, skateboards and other weapons pursued Matt E all the way into Pacific Place Mall as he backed away using his legal knife to keep his attackers at bay and stay alive.

The mall security video, which can be found at stoplegallynching.wordpress.com, shows officers Chase and Clay rolling Matt E towards the same crowd who pursued him into the mall. Members of the group can be seen hitting and stomping on him while the officers hold him down. In their report, officers Chase and Clay list the attacking persons as “assisting in the arrest” of Matt E.

This attack was both politically and racially motivated. While the officers were targeting Matt E for his copwatching, the mob was heard yelling “GO BACK TO JAIL N***ER!”

Matt E and the community are demanding an investigation into SPD Officers Chase and Clay and the Community Policing model that these officers discussed in their testimony during Matt E’s trial.

Three friends of Matt E were found to be in contempt of court by Judge Steven Rosen for their reactions following the announcement of a guilty verdict for possession of an unlawful weapon and resisting arrest. Cameron Coale and Chris Schulz were sentenced to the maximum possible—30 days in jail. Holly Johnson was sentenced 8 days.

Members of the community are also asking for an investigation into Judge Steven Rosen to see if he is involved in covering up the crimes committed within SPD’s Community Policing model.

Matt E’s original bail was set at $25,000; but when the community was able to raise that amount to post bail, another charge was added and an additional bail of $25,000 was set. Matt E’s community nonetheless managed to post a bail bond for the added bail.

Please write to Judge Rosen urging leniency with Matt E’s sentencing and/or that Judge Rosen recuse himself from the case. The sentencing hearing will take place at 9am.

###

(download .pdf of this press release:  Community Calls For Investigation into SPD Community Policing Model)

***************************************************************************

Open Letters to the Judge

The following are letters of support that have been written to Judge Rosen (or any other Judge who takes over Matt E’s case). More letters have been written, but these people decided to make their letters open letters, for all to see. None of the Matt’s listed below are Matt E himself, all letters are written by people from the community, in support of Matt E.

1) from Rose to Judge

2) from Matthew to Judge

3) from Matt to Judge

4) from Rosie to Judge

5) from Sisy Bas to Judge

6) from Susan to Judge

7) from Ed to Judge

8) Your open letter? Please send it to stoplegallynching@gmail.com