This post originally appeared on the Equality Texas Blog
On March 8th, 1970, New York Police raided the Snake Pit Bar, a gay
bar in Greenwich Village, arresting all 167 patrons and staff present.
Diego Vinales, a 23-year old undocumented Argentinian immigrant was
one of those arrested. Depending on which account you believe Vinales
either, fearing deportation, jumped from a 2nd story window in an
attempt to escape and was impaled on the wrought iron fence below, or
was pushed out of the window by police officers.
In a flyer protesting the police violence against Vinales the Gay
Activist Alliance said “Any way you look at it, Diego Vinales was
pushed. We are all being pushed… Anyone who calls himself a human being,
who has the guts to stand up to this horror, join us.”
If this narrative sounds familiar to you: the story of someone
arrested while disputably breaking the law then horrifically brutalized
in police custody with a dispute ensuing over whether the brutality was
self-inflicted or not – it should.
On July 10, 2015, a State Trooper pulled over a woman driving in Waller County, arresting her.
The woman arrested was Sandra Bland, a 28-year old business woman and
civil rights activist from Illinois. Depending on which account you
believe Bland either hung herself after being kept in a cell for five
days following a minor traffic violation, or was hung by police.
Any way you look at it, Sandra Bland was pushed. We are all being pushed.
Tomorrow , July 30, the Texas House County Affairs Committee will
convene hearings on “jail standards, procedures with regards to
potentially mentally ill persons in county jails, as well as issues
stemming from interactions between the general public and peace
officers.” Thursday’s hearing begins at 2 pm in hearing room E1.026 at
the Texas Capitol in Austin. If you are able to attend in solidarity,
Anyone who calls themselves a human being, who has the guts to stand up to this horror, join us.