Justice For Chanice Reyes

My name is Chanice Reyes and I am a twenty-four year oldwoman, born in Trinidad, raised in Brooklyn, New York. I am about to begin my second year as a first generation, full time student at Queens College, studying Art Education. I am an artist and a writer – but above all else, I am an activist. I strive to help people become fully free. I advocate, support, and dedicate myself to the liberation of all those oppressed. Every day for the past two months, I have been out protesting against police brutality and injustice within a system that is broken at the core.


On July 16th, 2020 I was arrested and accused of attacking a police officer. Now I need help to defend myself from this broken and unjust system.


Around 4:30 AM, I was in my car early that morning off to get breakfast for the residents and protestors at Occupy City Hall. Out of the back window, I saw that several NYPD police cars were following me. Within moments of attempting to park my car, roughly ten NYPD officers surrounded me with guns drawn and tasers pointed at my chest; their fingers on the trigger, ready to shoot at any moment. Coldness struck my body like a blizzard storm, sending me into a paranoid and extremely troubled state of mind. My life was on the line.


“Don’t shoot, don’t shoot, I’m putting the car in park!” I said.


“Get the fuck out the car!” they aggressively screamed over and over again.


I nervously stepped out of my car, without wearing any shoes. Immediately, this group of male officers grabbed and pushed me. As a victim of sexual assault, when I noticed there were no female officers in sight, I began screaming and shouting, “I want a female officer present,” expressing how uncomfortable I felt.The officers actively ignored my requests and one even said, “just put her in the van.” They refused to tell me why I was being arrested and each time I cried out, they tightened the cuffs to the point where I still have marks on my wrists, three weeks later.


Given the context of everything that is happening in Portland right now with the unjust kidnappings and arrests, I became more alarmed and scared. The same thing was happening with me in the way they grabbed me and stuck me in the van. I felt like a child being ripped out of my mother’s arms. I started to think that what happened in Portland was happening to me, right here in New York City.


Once forced into the police car, one officer kept caressing my right thigh over and over again, making me feel violated, triggering traumatic memories of my past. Another officer who was holding me from behind intentionally pulled my shirt to expose my bra strap. At the precinct, I was isolated, cold, and repeatedly accused of assaulting an NYPD lieutenant on the Brooklyn Bridge. I was denied any phone calls and I had to beg them before they finally gave me my prescribed asthma pump so I could breathe freely.


While locked in a cell by myself for thirty hours, I noticed I still had the string in my pants. The officers were so obsessed with putting me in a cell that they didn’t even search me properly. As time went on, I felt everything around and inside of me going dark. I don’t know how else to describe it, other than to say I started contemplating how I could kill myself with the string in my pants. I would rather die than be there.



Jail Support and my family were barely given any information, and they were told no bail could be paid, further delaying the process. My car was taken – my living space and livelihood to get by. I work in transportation and cannot make any money without my car. Several sentimental objects, valuables, and artwork have been taken from me. All of my assets are still being held to this day. This past week, I received a letter of harassment from the KKK.


Hate mail like this is one of the many reasons why I continue to stay strong and believe that my fellow activists and I are making a difference in the world. Thanks to Jail Support, my Occupy City Hall family, and all of my allies, we were able to pull together the $7,500 to pay my bail. While free at the moment, I am facing felony charges, the possibility of deportation from my home, friends and family. I have found a good lawyer who believes in me and my case, but the legal fees will cost more than my combined annual income. My family is not in a position to help defend me.


I am asking you – the people who hold more power than what we are made to believe – to help me raise the money needed to remain free and continue to fight for justice. Every small donation will be appreciated.


Here’s to a brighter future where We The People Will Be Emancipated.​​​​​​​​​​​​​


Traumatized Women
Brooklyn, NY

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