Do You Like Free Speech?
The TRUE account of CXB's arrest
by Jessica Delfino
I would like to begin by saying I don't necessarily agree with Christopher's tactics or appreciate his delivery. I've told him before that his delivery stinks. But I don't think he should be brutalized, slandered by the press or have his constitutional rights violated. I also feel this way about every other human being out there. It just so happens I'm invested in this one, and that is part of why this is being written on my blog. I also wrote similar essays about other friends who's rights were violated, such Erzsi Pongo, a very kind and sensitive woman who was chained to a fence for several hours by the police when she was arrested at 2:30 am on the subway for not having any ID. With that being said, I'll begin with my account:
As all good activists have been prior to him, Christopher X. Brodeur, aka CXB was arrested Wed, Nov. 2nd with harrassment A and B charges. The specifics involve him calling a journalist and saying "I could stab you in the face and I'd be a hero like Bernie Goetz". The journalist, named Ben Smith of the Observer, had instigated Christopher by erasing comments he'd written on his blog to later call or email Christopher with approving and accepting comments, and letting him post other comments. In Christopher's opinion, Mr. Smith had been 'covering up lies regarding crimes committed by the Bloomberg administration that resulted in the victimizatin of hundreds of innocent New Yorkers.' CXB also said, I'd never do that, this is not a threat and I have no intention of ever harming you. But they didn't write that in the newspapers. With a quote taken out of context, you could arrest anyone. CXB argues that you could arrest Eric Clapton for saying "I shot the sherrif" because he admitted to shooting a police officer, if you wanted to. CXB and Ben Smith know eachother and have even had a friendly repoire on and off over the summer. Ben kept removing Christopher's ability to comment on his blog, The Politicker, just to give it back a few days later. He'd also edit or delete choice comments which Christopher had written regarding various crimes committed by various politicians, such as Bloomberg arresting protesters during the RNC.
CXB was arrested at his home on Wed Nov. 2nd, after surrendering himself to the police. Police put cuffs on very tight and threw away his lawyer's phone number. CXB went in front of a judge for arraignment on Thursday. The Judge, Patricia Nunez, ordered him to have a 730 remand (fancy speak for psychiatric evaluation) though it was recommended CXB let be released on his own recognisance. CXB got a bail application for the next day after I pleaded with the lawyer to file it. This brought him in front of a second, different judge who would listen and re-consider bail. The second judge said the 730 remand would stay and CXB was held without bail.
According to the law, CXB "doesn't have a lawyer" though he was given a public defender, named Jess Berkowitz. His lawyer didn't return any of his calls over the summer, and his lawyer hasn't visited him in jail. According to research and advice, these things constitute not having a lawyer. So, technically, he was sent to 730 remand without a lawyer. In court, Jess suggested to myself and my friends that we encourage Christopher to pretend to be crazy so the charges will be dropped, which I thoguth was simply unethical, and my opinion was seconded in a conversation with Norman Siegel.
In holding before the trial, CXB was brutalized by police and denied medical attention. I visited him yesterday and saw that his wrists were black and blue, bruised and cut from the tightness of the handcuffs. He said they slammed him into many walls, etc. He thinks he has nerve damage in one hand.
Some points that have come up ni discussions with various lawyers and friends are that the 730 remand or psychiatric evaluation is generally something the defense asks for to get clients off, as in, "My client is too crazy to be held responsible for these crimes." In this case, prosecution asked for a 730 remand, even though CXB has already had a 730 evaluation during a prior arrest (interestingly, just a few days before the Giuliani election - and now, again, just a few days before the Bloomberg election). One can't help but to find that coincidence too coincidential to be a coincidence. The DA even told me that he was pretty sure Christopher would be found fit to stand trial. Everyone knows he will be found fit to stand trial. In addition, most VIOLENT criminals aren't asked to have a 730 remand. CXB has never broken an order of protection or been charged with any violence-related crimes. Many believe this was a means to circumvent due process, and to keep him in jail til at least after the election.
As I mentioned earlier, CXB was already hit with a 730 remand when he was held without bail during the Giuliani election. Coincidence - CXB was taken into custody a week before election to hold him in until a few days after the election on two separate elections? Chris was going to do a huge protest in front of the Observer exposing media and government lies. It was scheduled for just before the election. There is a huge stack of fliers on his desk for this protest as I write this.
The DA, named Duncan Levin (212-335-9302) told the judge at the bail application hearing and said CXB refused to come out of his apt. for three days and resisted arrest. This is not true. He surrendered himself. We have it recorded on video tape. The cops first showed up on Halloween without a search warrant, so he refused to open the door. At 6 pm, the detectives went home at the end of their shift, though they said "We'll be waiting out here ALL night!" It was odd, then, that they weren't around when CXB left to go perform. The detectives knew where he'd be. They even left a note on my bike saying they'd be at the show they thought he was to perform in ("We love the band The Howl! See you later at the Bowery! This was the wrong band and the wrong show, which I thought was funny since they are detectives...) But then a detective called me an hour later on my cellphone to say, "I hear this great band called Haunted Pussy is playing at Irving Plaza tonight. We'll see you there! (The band CXB plays guitar for, Haunted Pussy, opened up for Fisher Spooner at Irving Plaza on Halloween). The detectives never showed up.
The DA, Duncan Levin, also told the judge CXB threatened a 9 month old baby of another journalist. This is simply not true. Christopher did no such thing. I heard the phone calls, and though I wish they had not been made and often disagree with his tactics, I didn't hear anything that constituted as a threat to an infant. The journalist in question here is Maggie Haberman and the infant is her newborn child. He was insinuating that by covering up crimes, she is allowing for her child to be exposed to the same kind of victimization that thousands of New Yorkers are going through on a daily basis.
Duncan Levin should give Christopher a fair fight in court. He doesn't need to say things that are not true if he really believes Christopher is guilty. You can reach him in his office at 212-335-9302 if you would like to tell him this yourself.
I had cash for bail and was there two days in a row waiting to bail him out, but he got the fake 730 remand instead. He's been in jail for 3 days and hasn't even seen a psychiatrist yet. They can do an evaluation asap, but they're putting it off. His lawyer will not return his or my calls or visit him in jail.
Even if you disagree with CXB or dislike him, please don't believe things that are written about him, just because they are written in the paper.
Christopher told me of several people who are being held in the Tombs on violations!! That is less than a misdemeanor crimes!!! That is like this: Imagine going to your parking meter, seeing it's one minute over, and the next thing you know, you are in handcuffs and being taken to jail. He said one man, not from this country, was walking through a playground. Next thing he knew, he was surrounded by 7 cops and being taken to jail, because it is now a law that you can not be in a playground unless you are accompanying a child. What is happening in this country?
Christopher's Book and Case # is: 3490517731. He is currently being held in the tombs. He needs a good lawyer, one who will return his calls and my calls, and one who believes in our constitutional rights. Unfortunately, his lawyer is an 18B lawyer. He's required to do a certain amount of pro bono cases a year, and is only getting paid $10 per hour to represent Christopher. He is probably also busy with other cases and in addition, he might not be sympathetic to or familiar with civil rights, activism or free speech cases.
Christopher is still running on the ballot. Read his 100 Innovations for NYC, which include making it illegal for politicians to lie (like plumbers, carpenters and construction workers, if they promise to fix something and then they don't fix it, they don't get paid.) He also wants to make the subways free, paying for them with the hundreds of other taxes we pay on a daily basis, from buying groceries and snacks to feeding the meters.
If you have any questions or know a good private criminal defense lawyer, please email me at email@example.com.
And don't forget to vote on Nov. 9th. Christopher X. Brodeur is still running as a write-in candidate. So, write him in. If you vote for Bloomberg, you are voting for protesters getting arrested at the RNC, you're voting for activists and mayoral candidates being silenced illegally, you're voting for rich people to get richer and poor people to get poorer. You're voting for people getting arrested for going the playground. You're voting for Snapple as the official drink of NYC. You're voting for the status quo. If you want to protest without having to carry signs or wear pachouli, just vote for CXB on Nov. 9th. Write his name on the line. Christopher X. Brodeur. No, he won't win, but voting for CXB is another way of voting for "None of the Above". If you refuse to write in Christopher, write someone else in. Write in your boyfriend, or write in None Of The Above, or write in your friend, or your cat, or yourself. Why don't we have that option on the ballot to begin with?
IF YOU WANT TO HELP BUT DON'T KNOW HOW:
CXB should be in court on Nov. 13th or 14th if you'd like to be there to cheer him on (silently). He'll be at 100 Centre St. You can find court information by calling 646-386-4505 and giving them CXB's book and case # - "3490517731" and asking them when CXB will be going in front of a judge. You can donate money to his lawyer fund on his website at www.mayorbrodeur.org. If you have a friend involved in criminal law or politics who you think might help, you can email me with information. If you have a tv show or radio show, you can tell people to vote for Christopher X. Brodeur or announce his website address, which is www.mayorbrodeur.org. You can tell your friends about this or forward them this link. You can get fliers from me to hand out at your school or shows or workplace or to put in bookstores. You can read his 100 Innovations for NYC and learn more details about this story.
Thank you for your support. Christopher is a mayoral candidate who got 17,000 votes in the primary in Sept. 2005 (running as a democrat) and he also beat Gifford Miller in the Bronx. What makes this special is that Gifford Miller's budget was 5 million bucks, CXB's was $150.
Imagine if he was in charge of the city's budget.
The most important thing we have are our rights. Exercise your rights. Speak out and do your part to stop activists from being jailed and held without bail. Educate yourselves. Don't become sedate and distracted by your Ipods and jobs.