Petition to Manhattan DA: drop charges against Derrick Ingram, and hold NYPD accountable!

This is Derrick Ingram.

photo of Derrick IngramDerrick Ingram
Black Lives Matter Protester and Organizer
Co-Founder,Warriors in the Garden
(photo via Amnesty International USA)

On August 7, dozens of NYPD officers in riot gear swarmed his apartment’s hallways, his fire escape and surrounding locations. They had no warrant. They did have a helicopter hovering overhead, though. They also brought police dogs right to his door and threatened to break it down. They lied to him about his rights and tried to interrogate him without legal counsel.

This siege lasted FIVE HOURS. It ended only after Derrick started livestreaming the incident: in response, a large group of protesters showed up, along with some media types who started asking questions. That is when the NYPD Stormtrooper Squadron™ finally took their toys U.S. military surplus equipment and went home.

Derrick went with his lawyer to the local police station the next day. He’s been charged with two misdemeanors in connection with a June 14 Black Lives Matter protest. The first charge is an (alleged) “assault” on an officer by shouting into a megaphone at a protest. The second is (alleged) “obstruction of government administration” at the event.

Emoji: big eyeroll

Amnesty International has taken note.

About the petition

Amnesty International USA’s petition is directed to New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., demanding the charges against Derrick Ingram be dropped with prejudice, and that his investigation into the NYPD’s treatment of him be “prompt, impartial, independent, and transparent.”

The petition letter to Vance Jr. contains more details about the NYPD’s egregious actions on August 7, as well as arguments regarding broader issues including First Amendment rights, due process and the use of facial recognition tech. Co-signers of the petition can edit that text as they wish; I kept the original text and just added my own preamble. If you sign the petition, feel free to steal or modify it as you see fit.

Dear Mr. Vance:

I write to you as a white New Yorker who for many years has been disgusted and enraged by the tactics and militarization of the NYPD, and particularly by their actions directed at people of color. It must stop.

BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTESTERS AND LEADERS ARE NOT OUR ENEMIES. They are our friends and family and neighbors and coworkers. Frankly, I would be protesting right along with them if I were not a homebound cancer patient. Please use the considerable power of your office to investigate and hold accountable police who treat our city like a racist, fascist civil war zone – not just in Derrick Ingram’s case, but in every case (Noche Diaz also comes to mind).

You probably do not know who Noche Diaz is. But Cyrus Vance Jr. and the NYPD sure as fuck do! Here is a Google News search on Noche (worth noting from that search is how often our Liberal Media™ headlines refer to him as a communist – as if that has anything whatsoever to do with protesting police brutality against people of color). This short article from 2015 about his latest arrest and trial should give you the snapshot of who Noche is; I also wrote about the first time I met him here.

Here again is Amnesty’s petition link. Please sign and share it if you are so inclined and safely able to do so.

About Warriors in the Garden

photo of Warriors in the Garden members(photo via Warriors in the Garden)

In the wake of George Floyd-inspired Black Lives Matter protests in NYC, Warriors in the Garden, the group co-founded by Derrick, received national and international media attention.* It’s mission statement reads:

Warriors in the Garden is a collective of activists dedicated to non violent protest. We are determined to protect our community from police brutality and all forms of systemic oppression. We will create and activate the educational, social, and economic sectors in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all people of color in New York City.

The group is currently securing non-profit status in both the state of New York and with the federal government (501c3), after which contributions will be tax deductible. In the meantime, you can follow them on Instagram and Twitter.

Derrick noted during a June interview with Amnesty that the NYPD seemed to be looking for ways to interfere with the group’s events, stating, “They find ways to intimidate and inconvenience us.”

In light of more recent events, that is certainly putting it mildly.

About Cyrus Vance Jr.

In March 2018, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the New York State attorney general will investigate the Manhattan district attorney [Cyrus Vance Jr.]’s handling of a 2015 sexual abuse case involving disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein…the investigators were at the time under the belief that Vance would undermine the case, given that he had previously dropped a similar case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Vance has heavily prosecuted possession of gravity knives, disproportionately arresting and indicting defendants of color. The law banning them [was] interpreted broadly by Vance and [was] enforced mainly in Manhattan…Despite the 70,000 people arrested under this law in ten years, Vance declined to take action against the more than 100 hardware stores selling potential gravity knives in the city.

On March 27, 2019, in Cracco v. Vance, No. 14 Civ. 8235 (SDNY), a federal judge ruled that Vance’s office had applied the law unconstitutionally.

Seventy thousand unconstitutional arrests, overwhelmingly against people of color.


Until 2015, Vance served alongside Donald Trump as a member of the Board of Directors of the Police Athletic League of New York City.

Nothing to worry about, though! Cyrus Vance Jr. is a Democrat!

Emoji: big eyerollEmoji: big eyerollEmoji: big eyerollHere again is Amnesty’s petition link. Please sign and share it if you are so inclined and safely able to do so.

Thank you.

*Press links via Warriors in the Garden:

Inside the George Floyd protests in New York: We are not the Problem
—The Guardian

Young organizers led N.Y.’s protests. Now they’re taking charge of policy change.
—NBC News

How the New York Protest Leaders Are Taking On the Establishment
—The New York Times

Warriors in the Garden’s First Children’s Protest