14 THE QUEENS COURIER • JUNE 11, 2020 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Flushing community leaders and supporters stand in solidarity with George Floyd protests
BY CARLOTTA MOHAMED
Flushing community leaders and representatives
of Black, Latinx, and Asian-
American-led organizations are standing
in solidarity with protests sparked by the
death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis on May
25, aft er Derek Chauvin, a white policeman,
knelt on his neck for nearly nine
minutes, reigniting the issue of police
brutality against African-Americans and
Black people in the United States.
On Friday morning, the
group stood on the steps of
the Flushing Queens Public
Library, at 41-17 Main St., condemning
the murder of Floyd,
police brutality, and calling for
unity based on human rights,
justice and accountability.
Ron Kim speaks at the
event (Photo courtesy
Cops cuff man who threatened peaceful protesters with multi-bladed weapon in Whitestone
Photo via Twitter/lambomursy
State Assemblyman Ron Kim
speaks at the event
of the Greater
Th e leaders highlighted
of recent victims
who were killed
incidents such as
Tony McDade in
Florida, Finan Berhe
in Maryland, Breonna
Taylor in Kentucky,
Ahmaud Arbery in
Georgia, and Manuel
Ellis in Tacoma, WA.
“Th ese names only
scratch the surface of a
seemingly endless list of violence on Black
lives. Exacerbated by the current pandemic,
Black communities have already
been experiencing COVID-19 related
deaths at three times the average rate, further
evidencing the distinct circumstances
and structural inequities along racial
lines,” the leaders said in their statement.
In Flushing, a largely immigrant community
the city, the racialization
of the virus
has led to a spike in
crimes and decimated
minority and immigrant
owned small businesses.
Every week, long lines
to La Jornada’s food pantry
have become longer
amid permanently shuttered
mom-and-pop stores and
restaurants. As Flushing residents and
small business owners continue to care
for and support each other, the leaders
said they “cannot allow the crisis brought
on by the pandemic to lose sight of Floyd’s
life, the layers of circumstances surrounding
his death, and the persistent systems
of violence and structural oppression”
against Black and African people spanning
400 years of European colonization
of the Americas.
“We are committed to honoring the
wishes of George Floyd’s family and
amplifying their vision of justice,” the
leaders said. Photo courtesy of the
Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce
Th e leaders are also appealing to Asian-
American communities to reexamine
their role when participating in the policing
of other communities of color and
how to hold themselves accountable.
Th is includes former Police Offi cer
Peter Liang, who fi red a gun that killed
Akai Gurley in Brooklyn in 2014, according
to the leaders, and most recently, former
Police Offi cer Th u Th ao’s role in the
death of Floyd.
“For too long, Asian-Americans have
been propped up as foils to undermine
the struggles of Black liberation — from
the coining of the term ‘model minority’
in 1966 to undermine the Civil Rights
Movement, and more recently with conservative
Asian-Americans being used as
a tool in an eff ort to dismantle affi rmative
action,” the leaders said.
According to the group, structural racism
and the assault on BIPOC communities
is not isolated and takes many forms
within the criminal justice system, housing,
healthcare system, education and the
school to prison pipeline, militarization of
police on a global and local level, and the
harassment and devaluation of Black life.
“Asian-American communities have
greatly benefi ted from Black freedom
struggles and our shared struggles against
oppression and the fate of our communities
are inextricably linked: in our struggles
for social justice, none can reach the
fi nish line unless we fi nish together,” the
Th e community leaders and its supporters
say participation in anti-Blackness
Th ey’re calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio
to defund the NYPD and shift towards
allocating $1 billion to human services
and passage of the #SaferNYAct bills.
One of the bills include the repeal of New
York state’s policy secrecy law, Section
50-a, which shields police misconduct
and abuse records from the public.
Other bills include the Police Statistics
and Transparency (STAT) Act, a Special
Prosecution Legislation to strengthen
and codify Executive Order 147, the
Marijuana Taxation and Regulation Act,
and the reduction of unnecessary arrests
for non-criminal off enses.
“As our communities work to recover
from COVID-19 and the killing of George
Floyd, we reject going back to the normal
where Black lives continue to matter less.
Black Lives Matter,” the leaders said.
Photos courtesy of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce
BY JACOB KAYE
A man who threatened peaceful protesters
in Whitestone with a multi-bladed
weapon earlier this week was arrested
and charged with attempted murder
on June 4.
Multiple videos uploaded to social
media showed Frank Cavalluzzi, a
54-year-old man from Flushing, screaming
at protesters and threatening them
with a weapon on the Cross Island
Parkway overpass in Whitestone on
Tuesday, June 2.
Cavalluzzi has been charged with
attempted murder in the second degree,
attempted assault in the fi rst and second
degree, reckless endangerment in
the fi rst degree, menacing in the second
degree, endangering the welfare of a child
and criminal possession of a weapon in
the fourth degree, according to Queens
District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Th e incident began when Cavalluzzi
pulled his car up in front of the protesters,
who were calling for justice for George
Floyd and supporting the Black Lives
Matter movement, at the intersection of
the Cross Island Parkway and Clintonville
Street around 3:45 p.m., on Tuesday.
In one video, he can be seen getting
out of his car and yelling at protesters for
allegedly throwing an object as his vehicle.
Cavalluzzi then chased the protesters
with the weapon, which appeared to be
attached to his right arm.
While waving the blade and chasing a
protester, Cavalluzzi yelled out, “I will kill
you,” according to the DA. Cavalluzi eventually
got back into his car and drove off ,
mounting the sidewalk and nearly running
over demonstrators as he left , according
Police responded to the incident and
remained at the site of the protest until
early evening, according to witnesses at
the gathering. Cavalluzi turned himself
into the 109th Precinct on June 4.
Cavalluzi’s bail has been set at $100,000
and he’s been ordered to return to court
on July 2. If convicted, he faces up to 25
years in prison.