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RI Candidates Speak Out on Nonviolence at Institute Forum

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Teny Gross

Candidates for Governor of Rhode Island and Mayor of Providence took part in a panel discussion at the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to "articulate their visions for nonviolence.'"

"I believe this forum is the first of its kind in the country focusing on addressing nonviolence," Institute Executive Director Teny Gross told GoLocal. "This is just the start of the dialogue moving forward during the campaign season."

Gubernatorial candidates included Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, General Treasurer Gina Raimondo, and Todd Giroux. They were followed by a Providence Mayoral contender panel that included Brett Smiley, Lorne Adrain, Michael Solomon, Jorge Elorza, and Chris Young.

"Until recently, we weren't able to challenge our society as to what we're going to invest to get peace," said Gross in his opening remarks. "We almost don't teach nonviolence in schools, and we've never asked elected officials and others the serious questions. Everyone who gets a government job should get trained in nonviolence."

Gubernatorial Candidates on the Record

Todd Giroux, Angel Taveras, Gina Raimondo

Candidates were asked a number of questions, from general thoughts on addressing violence -- and nonviolence efforts -- to how they would address and fund each as Governor.

"Violence is a cancer -- if we don't focus on it, we'll see it spread," said Mayor Taveras. "What can we do? Jobs. Summer jobs -- at the state level, we can do more through the DLT." Taveras called for a doubling of summer job training funds from $2.1 million to $4.2 million.

Raimondo spoke on looking to support "results oriented programs" -- and called for a ban on assault weapons.

"I will commit myself to supporting and funding results-oriented programs we need to fund nonviolence training in schools," said Raimondo. "I did the training here for public officials. People don't just know this -- they need to be taught this."

Raimondo added that part of her focus was to "redouble out efforts" against domestic violence. "Let's keep people safe in their homes first," said the General Treasurer.

Giroux touched upon a personal experience to illustrate that "we need a different response -- education begins a new generation."

"I was bullied in school and sent to karate," said Giroux. "I came back and beat up the bully, and the teacher shook my hand. Would that happen today? I don't think so."

Mayoral Hopefuls Weigh In

Brett Smiley, Lorne Adrain, Michael Solomon, Jorge Elorza. Not pictured: Chris Young

"Gun violence is a two fold problem -- stopping the violence, and starting a new culture of nonviolence," said Smiley, who noted he would be introducing legislation for a 10% supplemental tax on gun sales. "The minimum [result] would be $2 million," said Smiley, noting as Mayor he would use the funds to support nonviolence initiatives.

City Council President Michael Solomon touched upon a proposal he would unveil to address nonviolence training in the public schools. "We rely too much on suspension policies as opposed to mediating conflicts," said Solomon. "Too much emphasis on high stakes testing, when we need to teach nonviolence to teach students to deal with conflict. I have a plan to work with the Institute to work with a 3 year plan," noting that it would involve 12 schools a year for three years.

Elorza articulated his vision for addressing nonviolence in schools. "I want to focus on the school to prison pipeline we seem to be forming," and pointed to the current initiative of "restorative justice" in Central Falls as an example to "hold students more accountable."

"Out of school suspension doesn't work," said Elorza. "It takes students out of classroom, when they should be receiving instruction. This has shown to be a way to show students the harm they've caused the community -- and gives them a way to restore the community."

Adrain focused strongly on the notion of community. "I will say that we all as a community need to think about who we are. The culture has to be lead by City Hall, and seen in what's said and done. I started National Neighborhood Day, to take the time to meet the folks across the street, around the corner, so we come to know each other, and care about each other. How do we think about this place that we live in -- wouldn't it be great if people chose this place."

"We are all the Mayor of Providence," said Adrain.

Young, spoke to the issue of the Davey Lopes pool closing, said it was a "systemic way to deconstruct a community."

"Summer jobs should provide skills to kids that they can use in the future, practical vocational training is the priority," said Young. "Summer jobs were a start, but they needed to be tied to something."

Next Steps?

Institute co-founder Sister Ann Keefe said was heartened by the discussion -- but wanted to see the talk put into action.

"I want to hear what the Governor-elect -- he or she -- will say in the State of the State address when they take office," said Keefe. "Only then we will see that their nonviolence priorities outlined in the campaign are given the support that they spoke to."

"Let's not go through another election...let's give ourselves as the peace community," said Gross in closing. "We're a strong community, but we need determination as tough as those who cause the violence." 


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Another echo chamber meeting of the most ill-informed, anti-second amendment Progressives who hide behind their well armed body guards and gated community homes.

Violence? Raping the taxpayers is a violent act but nowhere is this being discussed. Just more libtard Bloomberg anti-second amendment back slapping.


Ted Kennedy has murdered more people with his car than any of my guns. Ban Democrats who drive cars!

Comment #1 by Killary Klinton on 2014 01 21

Let's ban those assault rifles while all the punks run around with their pistols killing each other

Comment #2 by lupe fiasco on 2014 01 21

I have an idea for Mr.Smiley-why don't we have a $500 surcharge on marriage licenses for gay males to help defray the costs of treating HIV/AIDS at free clinics?I realize Mr.Smiley didn't probably spread any disease but neither did I commit a firearms related crime.So if have to pay for something I didn't do why shouldn't he?
It never fails to amaze me that Teny Gross,a guest in this country who cannot even vote has these progressive fools bowing down to him in his employment agency for ex cons,including convicted killers.
I'd really like Gina Raimondo,the Wall Street tool, to specify when and where "assault weapons"were used in crimes in RI and perhaps she can explain exactly what an "assault weapon"is.These people always get hung up on the details.
It's nice to see the Republican candidates didn't play Gross' little game.

Comment #3 by Joseph Bernstein on 2014 01 21

They only call it violence when it benefits them. Todd Giroux didn't go to a resolution by discussion class, he took up marshal arts to force through violence his opponent into submission.

They even talk about more taxes. Ready for this? Taxes are taking by force aka violence a citizens property. Cause if I don't submit I will be taken from my home by armed government officials and put in jail. If I resist with force more force will be brought against me.

If you want to stop violence do your job and keep violent criminals locked up out of society.

Comment #4 by Wuggly Ump on 2014 01 22

It's an industry-it consists of cultivating wealthy fools in foundations and obtaining grants which pay for handsome salaries for people like Gross.Gross opposes any bills impacting gangs and parole and tracking of released offenders.It is amazing he has any input-can one imagine telling the Israeli Knesset what laws they should pass if one were not a citizen of Israel?It would never happen-any such person would be swiftly deported-too bad we don't emulate Israeli immigration enforcement.They have incredibly restrictive statutes.Meanwhile Gross prattles about how "we"need more immigration-
particularly from the South,which I guess means Latin America.
It's like visiting someone's house and telling them who else should be welcome there.

Comment #5 by Joseph Bernstein on 2014 01 22

Some might find it a sad representation of the free press to cut out my picture, Chris Young, from the above candidates pictures, I do as well.

Thank you to those who have looked at the movie Maafa 21 and other information I presented in a courageous manner at this hostile "non violence" event.

This event was in a building I helped restore over 35 years ago and next door to the inner city school I attended and in the neighborhood I lived. It is disappointing that RI Future and other supposed members of the "free press" wish to distort what I alone had the courage to attempt to convey at what was supposed to be an open exchange of ideas on how to end violence in Providence.

If they had allowed me to speak I would have said how abortion increases the rate of breast cancer according to 57 epidemiological studies with 34 of those studies establishing showing actual causation, and that girls who have had abortions have a 6x higher rate of suicide and are much less likely to build long term family units according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

If only I was allowed to speak, but this was not the point of this forum, the point was to get more funding to pay high salaries for non profit corporate leadership and a former nun who I have known and loved for 40 years but who has said to me in private that all she cares about now is money. It does not matter to her anymore what Cicilline really represents with regards to drug trafficking and gang violence over the distribution of drugs in the inner city. This is at the expense of those they pretend to serve. No longer is speech free in this country.

I did speak on education, jobs and public safety in Providence as well as numerous other issues but this was not covered by the "free press."

It appears that if you do not say what the powers that be want to hear, then you are silenced in this most un-American manner.

I did speak on Maafa 21 and the over 600,000 people who are marching in the Pro-Life March in Washington, D.C. this Wednesday against the racism of abortion, another event that will be distorted by a press that is no longer free.

Thank you for at least posting the link to Maafa 21 to hear Alveda King, Martin Luther King's niece (who is a friend of ours), speak on Planned Parenthood's plan to eliminate the poor, and to cause great violence on the baby in the womb. She would say that truth honors her uncle's dream more than lying politicians and corrupt members of the media pushing the very opposite agenda in a covert and deceptive manner.

Please vote for Chris Young for Mayor of Providence in 2014.

MAAFA 21 film to inform www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAF2GPT_79Q

Sincerely yours,

Chris Young

Providence Mayoral Candidate for 2014


Comment #6 by Chris Young on 2014 01 22

How about answering the question, "Why is violence becoming such a problem?" Answer, bleeding hearts trying to control everything that goes bad. Kids don't know how to lose. Don't hurt their feelings. Don't keep score at the game, don't fail the child that does poorly on the test, don't call names. Instead of helping kids overcome the fail, and call it experience. Sorry kids at some point you will fail. The thing when you fall, get back on your horse.

Let's go back to "Love thy neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these. Mark 12:31"(Oh that's right, no Christianity in school)

**Joseph Bernstein has a great point. Politics. Bureaucracy is feeding itself, creating problems and making us pay for them, all the while claiming they have the answers.

Comment #7 by Wuggly Ump on 2014 01 22

democrats and scams go hand in hand.

Comment #8 by LENNY BRUCE on 2014 01 22

Cicilline’s brother, Bevilacqua charged in drug scheme
01:00 AM EST on Saturday, January 6, 2007
By Mike Stanton

Journal Staff Writer
BOSTON — John M. Cicilline and Joseph A. Bevilacqua Jr., two names prominent among Rhode Island criminal-
defense lawyers, were charged in federal court yesterday with scheming to collect $150,000 from drug-dealer
clients to manipulate the criminal-justice system.

Cicilline, the brother of Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline, and Bevilacqua, the son of the late Rhode Island
Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph A. Bevilacqua, were charged, along with two legal assistants, with
conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making false statements to federal authorities.

The 21-page indictment, unsealed yesterday, alleges that the lawyers conspired with interpreters/paralegals Juan
A. Giraldo and Lisa Torres to provide the authorities with information about other drug dealers, which would then
be used to bargain for more-lenient sentences for their clients.

In return, a husband and wife whom Cicilline and Bevilacqua defended in a federal drug and money-laundering
case in Boston, John and Jacqueline Mendonca, allegedly gave them $115,000 between late 2002 and early
2004. (The remaining $35,000 sought was never paid, according to the indictment.)

Giraldo, a former interpreter, investigator and confidant of Cicilline’s and Bevilacqua’s, has been described by a
federal prosecutor as a high-level drug dealer and by a judge as someone who “played the system.” Giraldo, who
lived near Bevilacqua in an upscale East Greenwich development and owned a vacation condo in Cancun, Mexico,
is serving a federal prison term of nearly six years after pleading guilty two years ago to charges of cocaine
trafficking and tax evasion.

The indictment yesterday caps a long-running investigation, one that authorities say continues.
“Today’s charges should make it clear that justice is not for sale,” U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan said in a
statement. “It is especially troubling that these allegations involve lawyers — who are expected to hold to the
highest ethical standards and conduct themselves with honesty and integrity.”

Torres, 39, of Cranston, was arrested at T.F. Green Airport about midnight Thursday as she returned home on a
flight from the Dominican Republic. She was held without bail.

Cicilline, 49, of Cranston, learned that there was a warrant for his arrest yesterday morning and drove to Boston to

Bevilacqua, 57, was just 12 days away from completing an 18-month federal prison sentence for leaking a
confidential FBI videotape to Rhode Island TV newsman Jim Taricani, a conviction that led to his disbarment.
Bevilacqua had been in home confinement, and was taken into custody about noon yesterday after arriving at a
new work-release job in Rhode Island; he was taken to the Barnstable County Correctional Facility in
Massachusetts and is expected to be arraigned Monday.

Giraldo, 41, is in a federal prison in Youngstown, Ohio, and will be arraigned later.

Digital Extra
Read the indictment against Bevilacqua, Cicilline and their two co-defendants All four were charged with
conspiracy. Cicilline and Torres were also charged with obstruction, Cicilline with two counts of making false
statements and Torres with one count of making false statements. Obstruction carries a maximum prison term of
10 years; the other charges a maximum 5 years and $250,000 fine.

Late yesterday afternoon, Cicilline stood before the judge and pleaded not guilty. He was released on $10,000
unsecured bond.

Afterward, flanked by his lawyer, Richard M. Egbert, and his father and law partner, John F. Cicilline Jr., Cicilline
walked out of the courthouse and through a gauntlet of news photographers, declining comment.

The road to indictment for Cicilline and Bevilacqua began in the summer of 2002, with a celebrated drug bust
outside a Motel 6 in Warwick.

Federal agents and local police seized more than $1.3 million in cash and nearly 5 pounds of marijuana from
John C. Mendonca, who gave addresses in Warwick and Fall River. Mendonca and his wife, Jacqueline, were
arrested, as he tried to flee in a taxi.

The Mendoncas, subsequently indicted in Boston, hired Bevilacqua and Cicilline to defend them.
In November 2002, Bevilacqua met with John Mendonca at the Plymouth County House of Correction. According to
yesterday’s indictment, Bevilacqua “told him that for a payment of several hundred thousand dollars, he ... could
keep John Mendonca out of jail.”

In December 2002, the indictment says, Bevilacqua and Giraldo met with Mendonca again and said that in return
for an “up front” payment of $100,000, they would provide information about “a large drug bust” that Mendonca
could pass on to federal authorities to help win a lighter sentence.

Later that month, Giraldo allegedly went to the home of Mendonca’s mother and collected $70,000 in cash from
her and $30,000 in checks made out to Bevilacqua, Giraldo and two unidentified Giraldo associates. Giraldo told
the mother that with this payment, her son “would get out of jail,” the indictment alleges.

In June 2003, with Mendonca still incarcerated and awaiting trial, Cicilline allegedly told Jacqueline Mendonca that
he had spoken to Bevilacqua and Giraldo about the $100,000 payment and “reassured her that Juan Giraldo
would provide information on drug activity that she and her husband would pass on to the DEA as their own in
order to get a sentence reduction.”

But in November 2003, the indictment says, Cicilline asked Jacqueline for another $50,000, telling his client that
he would show the money to Bevilacqua and Giraldo to induce them to provide the promised information about
other drug dealers.

The indictment suggests, however, that while the Mendoncas continued to discuss the scheme to win leniency,
they also began working with the authorities against their defense lawyers.

Starting with a Dec. 1, 2003, meeting that Jacqueline had with Cicilline, Bevilacqua and Giraldo in their Providence
law office, the indictment quotes several conversations that were secretly recorded by the Mendoncas, and even by
the federal prosecutor dealing with Cicilline on the case.

At that meeting, Jacqueline pressed the men to deliver what they had promised or return the $100,000. Giraldo
told her that they would have to come up with information to help the feds make three or four drug cases to earn a
reduced sentence.

“Right. The more the merrier,” says Cicilline, according to the indictment.
On Jan. 11, 2004, Bevilacqua visited John Mendonca in jail and allegedly told him that he would be “getting credit
for a 900-pound marijuana bust that Juan Giraldo had arranged,” according to the indictment, plus another 1,000-
pound marijuana bust that Giraldo was in the process of arranging. Giraldo had gone to Mexico, Bevilicqua
allegedly said, to “initiate” the marijuana deal.

On March 5, 2004, Cicilline allegedly told Jacqueline Mendonca that he would help her misrepresent the truth to
get credit for helping the authorities make a “50-kilogram cocaine bust” — “Juan’s probably got that by truck this
weekend . . . We just want to make it believable.”

In another meeting, Bevilacqua allegedly told Jacqueline, “Don’t you see what [Giraldo] did with some of the
money? ... He gave it up, and he set somebody up with 900 pounds of pot ... That’s what he does.”

The indictment also accuses Cicilline, Bevilacqua and Giraldo of pressuring the Mendoncas to plead guilty so that
they could get credit for the bogus information on other drug deals. In one jailhouse meeting, Cicilline and Giraldo
allegedly told Mendonca that they had recently “gotten someone else credit” for a 500-kilo cocaine bust, but that
Mendonca would have to plead guilty to get a similar break.

Prior to a Sept. 8, 2004, meeting with the federal prosecutor on the Mendonca case, Cicilline allegedly met with
Jacqueline and Torres at the Barking Crab restaurant, next to the Boston courthouse, “to rehearse what they would
say.” The three then went into the courthouse and lied to the prosecutor, the indictment charges.

A few months later, in early 2005, the Mendoncas hired new lawyers, according to the court record. Last year, they
pleaded guilty. Documents in their case remained sealed, however, due to “ongoing legal proceedings and other
confidential matters.” They have yet to be sentenced.

Mendonca, who was released on $100,000 bail last fall and is on house arrest in Fall River, declined comment
yesterday when called by a reporter.

In the spring of 2004, while Giraldo was allegedly conspiring with Cicilline and Bevilaqua in the Mendonca case,
he became the target of a DEA investigation after an informant reported that he was selling large quantities of

The informant arranged to buy a kilogram of cocaine from Giraldo for $23,000, with the DEA and Providence police
monitoring the deal. Giraldo was later arrested. His lawyer, Jack Cicilline, disputed that he was a major drug
dealer, attributing his prosperity to his hard work as an interpreter and his success at the blackjack tables at
Foxwoods. John M. Cicilline defended Giraldo as “a good guy ... a friend.”

Yesterday, in a news conference at Providence City Hall, David Cicilline, who worked in the law office with his
brother and father before running for mayor, said that he knew Giraldo, but that Giraldo didn’t work for him.“I spoke
to my brother earlier this morning, told him that I loved him and I support him and that I would be there for him and
his family,” said Cicilline.

With staff reports from Daniel Barbarisi and Amanda Milkovits

Suspect claims police setup
01:00 AM EDT on Wednesday, July 4, 2007
By W. Zachary Malinowski

Journal Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE — An accused crack-cocaine dealer has alleged that Mayor David N. Cicilline’s brother and
members of the Providence Police Department conspired to set him up and take more than $200,000 from him
and his partner.

During a two-day hearing in U.S. District Court, Khalid Mason, who faces three counts of possessing and
distributing crack cocaine, claimed that the Providence police planted the drugs in his apartment and that lawyer
John N. Cicilline, the mayor’s older brother, vowed to make the criminal charges go away if Mason and his
codefendant, Derek W. Isom, each paid him $100,000.

Mason said that Cicilline worked with Lisa Torres, a paralegal/interpreter in his law office, and a Providence police
detective. He testified that Torres told him: “We can make this all go away if you give us the money.”

The allegations surfaced at a suppression hearing before Judge William E. Smith in which Mason’s lawyer,
Michael J. Connolly, of Boston, subpoenaed Cicilline, Torres, Mason and several other witnesses.

The allegations have infuriated the Providence police who privately say that Mason, a felon, has no credibility and
should not be offered a public forum to tarnish the reputation of its officers.

Deputy Chief Paul Kennedy, who attended yesterday’s hearing with Col. Dean Esserman, said they cannot
comment until the proceedings conclude. Three more witnesses are scheduled to testify on July 11.
“I look forward to commenting at the end,” Kennedy said.

If Judge Smith believes Mason and his witnesses, he could suppress some, or all, of the evidence against him
and Isom. Without enough evidence, the case against both men would unravel.

Cicilline and Torres both took the stand but invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. They
refused to answer any questions because they are under indictment on federal charges in Boston for allegedly
participating in a similar scheme. In that case, Cicilline, Torres and lawyer Joseph A. Bevilacqua Jr., the son of the
late Rhode Island Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph A. Bevilacqua, were charged with plotting to collect
$150,000 from drug-dealer clients to manipulate the criminal-justice system.

Juan A. Giraldo, a paralegal and interpreter for both lawyers, was also charged in the scheme. They have all
entered not guilty pleas and are awaiting trial.

The Mason case is not connected to the federal case in Boston, but the allegations are strikingly similar.
Mason, according to his testimony and court documents, alleged that after he was arrested with Isom on drug
charges in January 2004, he hired Cicilline and his father, John F. Cicilline, to defend them.
Torres, he said, demanded a $25,000 cash retainer fee.

He also said that Torres explained to him that she and Cicilline would work with Providence police Detective Scott
A. Partridge “to resolve things for him and Isom,” and she referred to the officer as “Scotty.”
Mason said he spoke with Cicilline several times and told him that he would be taking him to see the New
England Patriots play in the Super Bowl in 2004 and that they would “figure out a way to take care of things.”
After the Super Bowl, Mason said that Cicilline told him that he had taken Partridge to the game and that they had
discussed the cases against him and Isom. Cicilline, he said, told him that they would need to come up with
$100,000 each “to make things go away.”

Mason said he refused to pay the money and demanded the $25,000 retainer fee back. He also threatened to go
to the police if the money was not returned. He said that Torres returned $15,000. She said the other $10,000 was
used to take Partridge to the Super Bowl and for other work she and Cicilline had done “on their behalf with law

Partridge, now a sergeant, took the stand over the course of two days and vehemently denied the allegations. He
said that he did not attend the 2004 Super Bowl with Cicilline or anyone else. He said that he met Torres once, in
summer 2005, in a parking lot on Reservoir Avenue where she was meeting with several Providence detectives.
He said he did not know what the meeting was about. He said that he never talked to her before or since.
Connolly, Mason’s lawyer, grilled Partridge about surveillance that he and other members of the Providence police
conducted in December 2003 and January 2004, outside Mason’s apartment at 214 Pavilion Ave., in Providence;
and Isom’s apartment at 85 Dunnell Ave., in Pawtucket.

Partridge conceded that he did not make note of the surveillance work in investigative reports. He also took
umbrage at the suggestion that he or anyone else from the Providence police planted the drugs in either

“I’m insulted by the accusation, your honor,” he said.
During cross-examination, Sandra Beckner, a federal prosecutor, attacked Mason’s credibility and pointed out that
he had past convictions for drug possession and for shooting someone in 1999.
“I’m no angel,” he said. “I’ve done some bad things in my life, but I never killed nobody.”
Mason conceded that he never met Cicilline, Torres or Partridge. He also said that he never “saw or heard”
Cicilline or Torres talk to Partridge. Beckner accused him of fabricating a story to avoid a lengthy prison term on
the pending drug charges. She also accused him of concocting the story after Cicilline was indicted in Boston.
“Your real complaint is that your $25,000 wasn’t working,” she said.
Beckner’s pointed questioning unnerved Mason.
“My real problem is that there isn’t an honest person in the Providence Police Department,” he shot back. “I’m not
jumping on no bandwagon in here.”
Mason disappeared after his arrest in January 2004. He assumed a new identity and remained a fugitive until
federal marshals arrested him in Ledyard, Conn., last fall.
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Comment #9 by Chris Young on 2014 01 22

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