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BREATHE! New Bedford’s request of City of New Bedford’s Human Relations Commission


The following is a statement from BREATHE!

“Members of New Bedford Human Relations Commission,

We hope this email finds you seeking justice for Malcolm Gracia. We are writing to inform you that BREATHE! will not be able to meet with the Human Relations Commission on September 8th, 2020 from 3-4 PM. BREATHE! will discuss your commission’s desire to meet with us at our next meeting and contact you back with our response shortly thereafter.

We have noticed that no one from the New Bedford Human Relations Commision has been on any of the “The Malcolm Gracia Story: A Presentation of Evidence” Zoom calls. We had spoken with your executive director Marcelina Pina-Christian and chairperson Estella Ribeiro about the presentations and handed both the presentation schedule on August 5th, 2020 after honoring the life and legacy of the late Congressman John Lewis outside of the New Bedford City Hall.

Given that the Human Relations Commission advocates for the human and civil rights of all residents of the City of New Bedford, we imagined the commission would prioritize attendance at these important public presentations, especially considering the fact that Malcolm Gracia was a 15 year old child, who had his civil rights violated when the New Bedford Police Department illegally stopped him on May 17, 2012.

New Bedford Superior Court Judge Rules New Bedford Police Stop of Malcolm Gracia Unlawful – Standard Times June 22, 2019

Additionally, after the Human Relations Commission’s noticeable absence from Part 1 of “The Malcolm Gracia Story: A Presentation of Evidence” on Sunday August 30th we sent an email to your organization’s executive director addressing this absence. We have attached a copy of the email below along with a flyer for Sunday September 13th’s 2 PM presentation which will cover the illegal stop of Malcolm Gracia and Adam Carreira by the NBPD Gang Unit. We anticipate that members of your commission will prioritize attendance for this presentation and all remaining presentations.

Moreover, we insist that the New Bedford Human Relations Commission publish a public statement regarding Malcolm Gracia’s murder by NBPD including the following demands:

An immediate rescinding of New Bedford Police Department’s Directive 06-71 “High Energy Patrol Initiative” which led to what a Superior Court Judge deemed an unconstitutional stop and includes problematic language ripe with racial overtones.

The immediate firing of New Bedford Police officers Tyson Barnes, David Brown, Paul Fonseca, Brian Safioleas, and Trevor Sylvia for their involvement in the murder of Malcolm Gracia.

That Detectives David Brown, Tyson Barnes, Paul Fonseca, Trevor Sylvia and Sgt. Brian Safioleas be charged for filing false police reports based on their affidavits filed on October 22, 2018 in the case of Christina Gracia v. City of New Bedford et al. Docket No. 1573CV00467

That Detectives David Brown and Tyson Barnes be charged for violating Malcolm Gracia and Adam Carreira’s civil rights.

That Detective Trevor Sylvia be charged with Second Degree Murder based on the evidence in the case, which shows that Detective Sylvia shot Malcolm three times in the back as he was running away from officers.

That Detective Paul Fonseca be charged with First Degree Murder based on the evidence in the case, which includes Fonseca’s statements to Massachusetts State Police.

Creation of an independent and fully funded civilian review committee with subpoena power led by those most impacted by structural racism and state-sanctioned violence.

A thorough and independent investigation into NBPD’s use of surveillance technology, including its costs relative to its efficacy, the violation of civil liberties, and most importantly, its disparate impact on communities oppressed by structural racism, class domination, and xenophobia.

In the pursuit of JUSTICE and community healing,


BREATHE! is a New Bedford grassroots movement that seeks to strategically create change in the policies and practices that have upheld institutional racism, state violence, and injustice. We seek to bring awareness and to educate local residents and organizations on the issues that disproportionately impact people of color and their basic human rights.

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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