City Council candidate for the 28th Councilmanic District, Albert
Baldeo, condemning violence, and calling for unity amongst all Americans
at the rally last Sunday.
CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE ALBERT BALDEO CONDEMNS
VIOLENT & HATE CRIMES & CALLS FOR UNITY AMONGST ALL NEW
City Council candidate for the Ozone Park, Jamaica,
Rochdale and Richmond Hill District, and prominent Attorney at Law
Albert Baldeo condemned the recent brutal killing of Jagat Ram Balram,
a Guyanese father who was beaten to death by a Mexican youth who
had been drinking. His death received media attention. Balram's
body was taken back to Guyana for cremation in accordance with his
wishes. His death sparked outrage in the South Asian and Caribbean
community of Ozone Park and Richmond Hill.
Speaking at a protest rally held outside the 102 precinct, which
he jointly organized with community leader, Mr. Dilip Nath, who
is running for the 24th City Council District, and who recently
formed the New Americans against Hate Crimes Coalition, Baldeo called
upon the District Attorney to institute the murder charge instead
of the present manslaughter charge, "so that a strong message
will be sent to those who engage in violent crimes, or any crime
for that matter, that the long arm of the law will reach out and
grasp them, and that punishment will fit the crime! This may not
have been a hate crime per se, but it is a wanton and brutal act
of taking another human's life. I condemn all violent acts."
Candidate Baldeo, who is assisting the family with legal matters,
and who gives pro bono assistance in cases like these, has also
filed a request for compensation with the Crime Victims Compensation
Board, so that the family can get back on its feet upon their return
from Guyana. Baldeo also condemned the recent attacks on a Sikh
priest who was taunted and beaten in Richmond Hill, and the killing
of Beharry, another Guyanese immigrant who was stabbed to death
by a parolee out on early release.
"The City must review parolees cases in the interest of society,
or be held negligent for early releases like these. Balram and Beharry
were breadwinners and exemplary residents. No family in America
should suffer like this. America is a nation of immigrants, just
as how New York is a diverse community, and each group must respect
each other, regardless of race, creed, or class. We must be our
brother's and our sister's keeper. We must keep hope alive, build
bridges and alliances with each other, and advocate common causes
that benefits our community as a whole," Baldeo urged.
He also chastised the City's school system for failing in its duty
to identify that the killer Roque was a troubled teenager who had
a violent past, and have him treated. Had Roque's tendencies been
taken seriously, as it should have been, Balram would still have
been able to provide for his family today. Baldeo called upon teachers
to identify students who need guidance, counseling and professional
help, before it is too late. "Out teachers must actively supplement
the role of parents, especially when parents are too busy to notice."
"As an attorney, if I am elected, I will pilot legislative
changes to alleviate conditions in housing, medical care, education,
public benefits, city services, transportation, police relations
such as profiling and stereotyping, and other quality of life issues,
and lobby Congress for appropriate reforms, for our entire community
in District 28," Baldeo said. "I live and work here, and
I will be here for everyone, because I can identify with issues
which affect us. I will be meeting many businesses, alliances and
community groups in Jamaica and Rochdale, so that I can highlight
the problems which affect all of my fellow District 28 residents."
Baldeo also called for reforms to post 9/11 legislation, highlighting
constitutional and human rights which were abrogated.