Welcome to Passive, New York
As Andy Henriquez, a 19 year old from Washington Heights lay in his
cell dying from a tear in his aorta, an artery that supplies blood to
the heart, he asked a guard if he could call his mother just to say
goodbye. For days he suffered in pain barely able to breathe as the
blood made its way down to his groin. He request was denied. His fellow
inmates knew something was wrong. They screamed and kicked doors in a
failed bid to get Andy some help.
A doctor who visited him earlier that day prescribed him hand cream and wrote the prescription in the wrong name.
Hours later he was found dead on the floor of his cell.
This happened in April of last year, New Yorkers are just hearing
about it today because a suit has been filed by the lawyer of Mr.
In this last year I have been thinking about some things….
I have thought about the death of Eric Garner and the muted outrage that followed.
I have thought about all the black men who were set up by Detective
Louis Scarcella from Brooklyn, who have languished in jail for years and
are just now having their cases reviewed after it was discovered
Scarcella was crooked and the silence that followed.
I have thought about how everyone just accepts that Stop and Frisk is
a thing of the past and that the rights of black and brown men here in
New York City are not still being violated.
I have thought about how slick it was for our Mayor to parade his
black family in front of the cameras to get elected and how New Yorkers
have yet to check him for basically being Bloomberg 2.0.
I have thought about those who live in the projects whose stewards,
NYCHA, last year said they had a surplus of money to fix them and are
now saying this year they have no money.
I have thought about how “affordable housing” here means you must
make damn near 100k, yet no one seems to believe that this city hates
I have thought about the fact that this city has the highest rates of
workplace discrimination lawsuits in the country, yet no one wants to
address racism in the workplace.
I have thought about how gentrification of this city has made many
neighborhoods I once loved and enjoyed unrecognizable and in my view
turned its residents into the quietest, softest, most passive lot of New
Yorkers I have ever experienced in my lifetime here.
Who the are you people?
There will be very little outrage over Mr. Henriquez’s death. This lot of New Yorkers would be more outraged if you kicked a cat than if you choked a young black man to death or allowed one to internally bleed to death on the floor of a jail cell.