things that matter

Teenage Inmate Pedro Hernandez Is A Free Man After A Year Of Maintaining His Innocence His Case Was Thrown Out Amidst Allegations Of Corruption By Police

WPIX 11
Credit: WPIX11

After spending a year in prison, 17 year-old Pedro Hernandez of the Bronx, has been set free. Hernandez was arrested for the shooting of another teenager back in 2015. When he went to trial, instead of taking a plea bargain that would have set him free and allowed him to take advantage of a college scholarship, he maintained his innocence. His bail was set to $250,000 and his trial date pushed back beyond the date he needed to be a free man in order to accept the scholarship, in essence, losing it. Although things looked bleak for him, Hernandez, found a way to become a leader while incarcerated at Rikers Island, mentoring others and completing his studies.

Things changed when his family hired private investigator Manuel Gomez, who uncovered corruption by the arresting officer, who once gambled with dice for one young man’s freedom. Gomez says there are up to 49 other cases tried by the same prosecutor and police officer where corruption has played a role. At one point, a crowdfunding page was set up to help pay for Hernandez’s bail. After hearing the case, a judge dropped his bail to $100,000, at which point the Robert F. Kennedy human rights organization stepped in to post bail. As of this week, the case was dismissed in court. Hernandez is set to return for another robbery charge in the coming weeks. Those charges are also expected to be dismissed.


[H/T] WPIX11

READ: This Bronx Student Won A Full Scholarship To College But Can’t Use It Because He’s In Jail Trying To Prove His Innocence


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Here’s Why AOC Called Her Address At Bronx’s Pride “The Most BX” Speech She Ever Gave

Things That Matter

Here’s Why AOC Called Her Address At Bronx’s Pride “The Most BX” Speech She Ever Gave

Twitter / @_SanchezSabrina

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) made an appearance at Bronx Pride 2019 on Sunday, where she gave an air horn-accompanied address that she called “The most BX pride speech I ever gave.”

As the Puerto Rican congressional freshman, who hails from the borough, shouted LGBTQ  policy points she has advocated for in her five months in elected office, spectators blasted “bwa-bwa-bwa-bwaaah” air horns, a familiar sound to the community that birthed hip-hop.

“They really cued up the horns for our policy points. There’s no place like home,” she later tweeted alongside a couple laughing-crying emojis.

During her short talk, AOC touched on what Pride, a time to commeorate the trans women of color-led Stone Wall riots that birthed the gay rights movement and led to the LGBTQ battles and wins of today, means.

“Pride is about honoring the community workers, the people who work in the clinics, the community organizers, the people who work with LGBTQ youth, the people who are fighting to make sure that it’s not just about marriage equality, but quality of life for all people in the community,” she said.

The congresswoman also highlighted some of the biggest issues impacting queer communities at the moment.

“What does the LGBTQ fight mean in a post-marriage-equality world? Here’s what it means: It’s making PrEP free for all people,” she said, as an air horn blasted. 

In Congress, Ocasio-Cortez has led the fight for affordable PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), which could decrease the spreading of HIV during sexual intercourse, criticizing the CEO of Gilead, the pharmaceutical company behind the PrEP drug Truvada, in May during a congressional hearing over the high cost of the drug.

“It means tackling the homelessness crisis among our LGBTQ youth,” she continued, with the sound of another “bwa-bwa-bwa-bwaaah” following. 

“It means decarcerating our society so that no trans woman and no person ever dies again in custody,” she said, alluding to the death of transgender Afro-Latina Layleen Polanco earlier this month in New York’s Rikers Island, as another round of air horns exploded. 

“It means no one is denied a job because of their gender identity, no matter what it is,” she said to a final blast.

Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t the only elected official at Bronx Pride. State Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Senator Chuck Schumer were also in attendance, supporting and taking photos with those who participated in the parade.

Since taking office, the young congresswoman has made issues confronting the LGBTQ community a top priortity.

Read: Historians And AOC Agree That Detention Centers Look Like Concentration Camps But Conservatives Don’t Want To Hear It

Graffiti Is Popping Up On NYC Subway Cars Again And Not Everyone Knows How To Feel About It

Things That Matter

Graffiti Is Popping Up On NYC Subway Cars Again And Not Everyone Knows How To Feel About It

Back in the ’70s and ’80s graffiti art thrived in New York City, especially on subway trains. All of that changed in the ’90s and today it’s extremely rare to see a moving subway train with graffiti on it. It just doesn’t happen mainly because artists would risk getting arrested if caught spray painting a train. But things might be changing, and it’s so refreshing to see.

A working Q train on 96th Street station in New York City was covered in brilliant graffiti art.

Credit: @MrEdgardoNYC / Twitter

The images went viral on social media earlier this week because you just don’t see this kind of art display anymore. The New York Post spoke to an MTA official, and they said the artist probably painted the train while it was parked in the station overnight. We could have sworn all MTA subway stations had surveillance cameras everywhere. We suppose the artist is extra slick.

The artist has not come forward to claim their work.

Credit: @NYCAntifa / Twitter

They’d probably be arrested if they did.

“If they can go back there and have the time to do all of that graffiti, they have time to do something to the train,” Train conductor Tramell Thompson, a transit activist who runs the Progressive Action Facebook page said to the Post. “It’s obvious they have no security back there.”

If artists know that no one is watching the trains overnight, we may have another resurgence of subway graffiti art on our hands once again.

Credit: @JMartinezNYC / Twitter

However, what may look cool to some commuters doesn’t sit well with local lawmakers. According to The City, in 2018, New York City Transit spent $610,956 to clean graffiti, which they say was “an increase of 364% from the $131,539 spent just two years earlier.”

Here’s how some people are taking the news about new subway graffiti art.

Credit: @yerrritsdsy / Twitter

It’s beautiful artwork.

The artist must know this area is not monitored by security.

Credit: @SKastenbaum / Twitter

Some say that the job had to be completed by more than one person so it could get done fast.

When you’re working on a time constraint, the adrenaline gets you moving fast.

Credit: @Horace_Badun / Twitter

They are master craftsman.

The more exposure it gets, the more people will get inspired.

Credit: @trips760 / Twitter

We hope to see more of it!

READ: Graffiti Artist Completes Inspiring Mural in Oakland, CA

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