2 thoughts on “‘I am the Church. I am the State’: Diaz Sr. Faces Younger Voices in Bronx Primary

  1. Rev. Diaz served with dedication and distinction with me, on the CCRB from 1993-to 1996. He and I spent hours and many nights going through reports and putting pins on city maps to see if there were any discernible trends indicating police brutality. We found a problem in the 45 precinct in the Bronx ( young men not arrested but sent to city hospitals with stitches from police officers) and presented our findings to the full Board, we asked for an inquiry. They did it.When PO Livoti choked Andres Baez to death he and I demanded that Livoti be fired. When the CCRB failed to find cause against a police officer for the beating of an ACT UP gay activist ( Christopher Hennelly) Rev. Diaz brought to the Board a video of the beating of Hennelly had it played for the full Board and demanded they reopen the investigation. They did so, immediately. Rev. Diaz was not forced to resign from the CCRB. The “Gay Games comment,’ taken from an article he wrote for Impacto, was not relevant to work done on the CCRB, did not require or cause him to resign. Rev. Diaz, apologized for the reference in a letter to NY Newsday which were publicized by a staff member of Mark Green. The tenure of the Reverend on the CCRB, was praised by both Michael Meyers of the NY Civil Rights Coalition and Norman Siegel of the ACLU. The fact is that after he and I were gone from the CCRB, the number of substantiated brutality cases declined. The Rev. resigned , I believe because interests opposed to his crusading anti brutality message began to dominate the CCRB. They were assisted by certain elected officials( Alan Helevsi and Mark Green) who tried to score points in calling him homophobic- thereby obscuring his great success at reducing police brutality ( it was not their constituents who were being sent to the hospital with stitches by the police) and it perhaps for Rev Diaz, this was too much. He never asked for thanks. Each day I served with him, I gave thanks for him being there.

  2. Thanks to the City Limits Student Journalists for producing a wonderful, in-depth analysis of an extremely important and under-reported race in our City. The work presented by these young journalists under the guidance of their tutors at City Limits offers a glint of hope for the future of journalism. It is particularly refreshing that such detailed coverage on a local political level is presented, as this is where the most light desperately needs to be shed, if we are to restore faith in our ailing political system. Keep writing…. We will keep reading!
    – Jim Carney, Dept. Of Journalism & Media Studies, Lehman College, CUNY

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