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Press Conference on Settlement in the Freddie Mason Case

On Sunday, August 4th CAN-TV will broadcast its coverage of last week's press conference announcing the settlement in the case of Frederick Mason, Jr. an African American gay man who survived a brutal July 2000 attack by police in a West Side police station. Mason's case has long been championed by the Chicago Anti-Bashing Network and was the subject of a landmark February 2001 Amnesty International report, A.I.'s first-ever report on gay-bashing by police in the United States.

The press conference discussed the attack at the Harrison District station in which Officer Luis Alejo (#10381) jammed a police billy club up Mr. Mason's rectum. Officer Hector Alfaro (#19618) witnessed Alejo's racist, anti-gay abuse of Mason which preceeded the physical attack, but did not intervene. Previous to this, the City's Office of Professional Standards had already sustained three complaints against Officers Alejo and Alfaro for brutality. The City's failure in these earlier cases to fire, let alone criminally prosecute these officers meant they that were empowered to victimize yet more citizens, such as Frederick Mason.

Besides Mason, speakers at the press conference included Robert Schultz, Amnesty International, Rev. Karen Hutt, co-pastor of Church of the Open Door, Rev. Paul Jakes, Jr., President of the Christian Council on Urban Affairs, Ruth Peña of the Comité Exigimos Justicia (We Demand Justice Committee), Lydia Taylor, Executive Director of the Justice Coalition of Greater Chicago, and Andy Thayer of CABN.

The conference will be broadcast at 3 p.m., August 4 on Cable Channel 21 in Chicago. More information on Mason's case and others can be found in the archives section.



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