A press conference was held this morning in Stuyvesant by a group of activists to discuss several hangings that were said to have occurred in Columbia County over the last 30 years or so. Here is the Press release that was sent out:
PRESS CONFERENCE – April 6, 2017 10:30 AM
48 Riverview St
Stuyvesant, NY 12173
COLUMBIA COUNTY LYNCHINGS
Thank you all for coming out this morning. My name is Lowell Siegel, I am serving as an attorney and spokesperson for those persons who can no longer speak for themselves.
I have with me today, Michael Moore, a resident of Greenport and a true civil rights activist, who has sought to bring to justice those who have perpetrated heinous crimes and intimidated an entire community.
We also are extremely proud to share our venue together with a man whose reputation for seeking, no demanding justice even while placing himself in grave danger everyday that he placed his NYPD badge on his chest. While serving his community Frank Serpico confronted corruption in the ranks. Frank Serpico paid the price that must be paid for all of those who refuse to follow along to get along.
Additionally we have today with us a number of people whose loved ones perished by lynching in the County of Columbia.
Lamar Autery: Death by Hanging
Mr. Autery had told his closest family members and friends that a yet to be named police officer was going to kill him. The last time that he was seen a few days later, he was dangling from a tree with his hands allegedly tied behind his back with a belt. This killing was ruled a suicide. But there were witnesses unknown to the police who have now expressed a willingness to speak about what they had seen of Lamar Autery just prior to his death.
Ron Woods: Death while in police custody
In 2015 while Ron Woods was walking a mere two blocks from his home, he had been accosted by police who possessed no probable cause to detain or seize the persons of Ron Woods. Yet police officers yet subjected Ron Woods to an unlawful seizure of his person and thereafter physically assaulted and forced him to physically submit to arrest without being charged. While in police custody, Mr. Woods was subdued and died as a result. The same Columbia County Coroner determined that Mr. Woods’ heart exploded as a result of a drug overdose. This man did not use drugs.
Kamal Coleman: Beaten with Hammer, no arrests made
In 2014 I was contacted by a black man, named Kamal Coleman who had been beaten about the head with a hammer and when he proceeded to the Hudson police station in order to file charges, he was taken to Albany Medical Center Hospital instead of the local hospital, where his mouth was swabbed for possible drug use. No arrests were ever made.
Arturo Salago: Death by Hanging
In 2016 Artura Salago, a businessman in Columbia County was unfortunate enough to engage in an argument with men at or on his property. Although we have witnesses today who overheard the struggle that Mr. Salago had put up as his assailants placed a material around his neck, tied the other side of the material in a hangman’s knot and tied the knot around the trucks exterior mirror. The assailants then pushed Mr. Salago from a height that was steep enough to snap his neck with violent force. Steve McKay, Mr. Salago’s soon to be husband, has sought, but been deprived of any information concerning Mr. Salago’s death, which again had been determined to be death by suicide by the Columbia County Coroner.
Sue Anne Crisp: Death by Hanging
In the early 1980’s Sue Anne Crisp who had been detained for a minor offense was found hanging in the Columbia County Jail. The determination made by the same Columbia County Coroner was that the cause of death was suicide.
Jerome Vincent Bell: Death by Hanging
In the early eighties Mr. Bell who had been detained on criminal charges at the Columbia County Jail was found hanging. The determination made by the same Columbia County Coroner was that the cause of death was suicide.