CZAR ENTERTAINMENT, REV. AL SHARPTON, THE HIP-HOP SUMMIT ACTION NETWORK’S RUSSELL SIMMONS AND DR. BENJAMIN CHAVIS ORGANIZE CALL TO ACTION AND PUBLIC GRIEVANCE IN RESPONSE TO ASSAULT BY G-UNIT MEMBER, TONY YAYO ON AN INNOCENT 14-YEAR OLD BOY
Victim’s Mother, Cynthia Reed, The Ramirez Family (Family of the Bodyguard Killed While On Duty at a Busta Rhyme’s Video Shoot), Along with Community Leaders, Parents, Students and Religious Leaders Participate in Public Grievance and Peaceful Rally for Change in Manhattan on Monday, April 2nd
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(March 30, 2007 – New York, NY) In response to the inconceivable physical and verbal assault by G-Unit member, Tony Yayo and his associates on an innocent 14-year old boy in Manhattan last week, Czar Entertainment, the victim’s mother, Cynthia Reed, Rev. Al Sharpton, The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network’s Russell Simmons and Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Stiles Ramirez, son of the bodyguard who was murdered at a Busta Rhymes video shoot and his mother, Stephanie Hires, along with various community leaders including parents, students and religious leaders will gather for a public grievance and call for action to advocate change against G-Unit, Tony Yayo and the industry executives looking to profit from violence and such deplorable acts against youth in hip hop.
“I’m disgusted and emotional. Upon hearing that an innocent child was assaulted for wearing a shirt, following the death of Israel Ramirez who was innocently killed for doing his job, I am coming forward now to ask — When will this nonsense stop?,” says Stephanie Hires. “I am speechless and angered that the severity of the situation and Israel’s death wasn’t recognized the way it should have been and I refuse to sit back. As a mother myself, who has to care for a young boy who has lost his father to a senseless crime, I feel for Cynthia Reed and her family. Her concerns should be of great concern to everyone. This isn’t just about her son; it’s about what the overall message of this assault represents for our children and families. It is time that the corporations and music labels that support these artists who commit senseless crimes against one another and our youth are held responsible for their actions with measurable consequences.”
“We will be spreading a message to those in the industry that would so pollute our community with the kind of behavior that would make our young people feel that there’s some source of manhood and macho respect in acting in a savage way,” says Al Sharpton. “If we’ve gone now to where we permit the beat down of people’s children, then where’s the line going to be drawn? What we’re trying to do is send a message that there must be standards, there must be a line, there must be an example. But more importantly, it’s to let the kids know that this is not something to be applauded or looked up to. The rally is necessary to make a bigger point because it represents a real message to others of what we will no longer tolerate in our community.”
“We are involved to try to help mediate this problem. In truth, every child in our community is precious. The theme of the Hip-Hop Summit is taking back responsibility. With artistic freedom comes responsibility. Therefore anytime a child in our community is harmed it is of great concern to us,” says Dr. Benjamin Chavis, President of The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network. We are hoping and praying that this matter can be resolved peacefully and resolutely. At the end of the day the interest of our children will be better served.”
The private press conference will be held for media only on Monday at 11:00am in Manhattan, immediately followed by a peaceful public rally.