George Orwell predicted that 1984 would be a bad year. It was. A posse of the NYPD stormed the home of Eleanor Bumpurs in the Bronx to enforce a warrant of eviction in 1984. The police claimed that she had a knife to stop a home invasion. The invaders were the police.

When the smoke had cleared, Ms. Bumpurs’ limbs had been tied to a pole and she was taken out of the apartment naked with two fatal shotgun blasts to her body. This is the way that hunters take a deer out of the woods. Her alleged possession of a knife invoked New York’s no-sock law.

History repeated itself on May 8 in Canarsie. The female victim was a Haitian immigrant, Ginette Denize. There was a landlord-tenant dispute. According to the police version, the victim had a knife to stop a police-inspired home invasion. The police had to take her down. New York’s no-sock law was the cause of death.

On July 11, 1984, I was taken out of a courtroom in handcuffs and charged with assaulting two court officers. Everyone in the courtroom started behaving like the “three monkeys” or they started hallucinating about my “criminal behavior.” The trial judge was in the mix .My legal career was supposed to have ended in 1984.

New York’s no-sock law strikes again. One of my witnesses was my client, Willie Bosket, with a rap sheet that would cover New York City, and the other one was a courageous, Black transit worker. State-sponsored witnesses would support the prosecution’s case.

Bosket was an unpopular defendant. His misadventures were credited with subjecting Black and Latino youth to South Africa’s version of youth justice: “New York Juvenile Offender Law.” This law was the vehicle for sending the “Central Park Six” to prison. I best remember Michael Stewart for kissing a white girl before embarking on a subway train for Brooklyn. He never made it. This is reminiscent of Emmett Till. Eleven transit cops beat him into a coma in Manhattan. He died. This is called “Jedburgh justice.”

Attorney Louis Clayton Jones was not going to take it lying down.Attorney Michael Warren was Jones’ law partner.I had been recruited to ride shotgun. Law is still trial by combat. There was no grand jury action until 1984 and, at first, it was thumbs down. One day we left the courthouse in Manhattan and never went home that night. Scores of Blacks trekked to the World Trade Center. Our feet got tired so we went inside and white folks officially evacuated the building. Under the slave codes, it is defined as an unlawful assembly.

We had never thought of occupying the building until law enforcement accused us of taking it over. For the first time, the World Trade Center became the focus of a political struggle. We had simply intended to confront Gov. Mario Cuomo over the appointment of a special prosecutor.

While the late Bill Tatum and Al Vann were mediating a truce, we convened a people’s convention. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” And plan we did. Before we left the World Trade Center, Gov. Cuomo promised to hear the demands of Black activists. It later became only a brief encounter and we promised to get even.

Attorney Mason became a candidate for the office of Manhattan district attorney in 1985.This was part of the plan. He captured one-third of the vote against Robert Morgenthau on a shoestring budget. It was a people’s campaign. We were plotting the future of Blacks in New York City against the backdrop that the NYPD had the worst record in the nation for hiring Blacks.

Bronx District Attorney Mario Merola unsuccessfully prosecuted Police Officer Stephen Sullivan of the NYPD for pumping two shotgun blasts into Ms. Bumpurs’ body. The knife in her hand was the police version of the shooting. A posse had unlawfully entered her home. The NYPD perceived it as a slave quarter.

The New York Legislature has a prescription for these police-inspired home invasions–a bench trial. The U.S. Constitution guarantees a jury trial. It refuses to guarantee a bench trial. It is still a workable formula for the police. Ask the assassins of Sean Bell. No effort has been made to change the law.

When Merola stepped down as Bronx district attorney, Black activists were on Gov. Mario Cuomo like white on rice. Nonetheless, he appointed another Caucasian. The Creator had the final say, however. The new district attorney’s skeletons would catch up with him.

Gov. Cuomo had to raise the white flag. Robert Johnson would become the first district attorney of African ancestry in New York history after serving a tenure as an obscure criminal court judge in New York City. The seed was planted at the World Trade Center. Last Friday, as I was leaving WBAI-FM after being a guest on “Caldwell Chronicle,” Howard Jordan introduced me to Cyrus Vance Jr., who is a candidate for Manhattan district attorney. His father was a secretary of state in the Carter administration. His father’s finest hour was as a member of a blue-ribbon committee that found that New York’s judicial system was “infested with racism.”

I am disappointed that Morgenthau’s successor will probably be a white person. This will extend white minority rule in New York City. After the municipal elections in 2009, whites will still control the three branches of government.

Vance, on WBAI-FM, did not sound like his father. The son refused to say yes about compensation for the “Central Park Six.” In his opinion, this is apparently a “hot potato.” The right position on this question will be the tiebreaker in the Manhattan district attorney’s race if the issue is not moot by September.

Vance also pooh-poohed answering questions on police misconduct, residency for police personnel and the appointment of a special prosecutor in police misconduct cases. He is undoubtedly the frontrunner, but things could change with a progressive rival. Blacks already know that the police are incapable of policing themselves and the district attorney’s office is incapable of prosecuting its agents. This is a conflict of interest. There must be a permanent special prosecutor in police misconduct cases. The NYPD is a foreign occupier.

I have a sneaky feeling that Blacks and Latinos will decide the September 8, 2009, Democratic primary for Manhattan district attorney. In its 20th year of a miscarriage of justice, the “Central Park Six” will be on the minds of many Black and Latino voters in Manhattan. Mr. Vance and his rivals better sharpen their position papers on compensation for the “Central Park Six.”

Former Cong. Newt Gingrich has already signed a petition favoring compensation for the “Central Park Six.” Mort Zuckerman, publisher and editor of the Daily News, has followed suit. On the other hand, Donald Trump has been silent lately.

The late Gov. George Wallace pardoned Clarence Norris, a member of the Scottsboro Boys. None of these public figures have ever been accused of being strong advocates of civil rights for Blacks. Where are the Black politicians and preachers?

Your support and letters are needed in filing, on April 27, 2009, a petition for writ of certiorari in Maddox v. Prudenti et al in the U.S. Supreme Court.

April 29: UAM Weekly Forum at Elks Plaza, 1068 Harriet Tubman (Fulton Street) near Classon Avenue in Brooklyn at 7:30 p.m. Take the “C” train to Franklin Avenue. Three blocks to Elks Plaza. Admission is free.

May 22-25: UAM’s bus trip to the Gullah Festival in historic Beaufort, S.C. July 5-August 1: Freedom Retreat for Boys and Girls for children ages 7-15 in the Catskill Mountains. Call UAM at (718) 834-9034 for further information.

See: for “Letter to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly,” “Somali Pirates or African Robin Hoods?” “War: A One Way Street” and “Barron and Central Park Victims at Elks Plaza.”