HARLEM, NY – A man from East Harlem has made history after winning the Democratic nomination for the vacant Assembly Seat.
Not only is he Hispanic in an area primarily led by people of those heritage, but he is also a convicted felon.
Congratulations to one of my good, good buddies, actually he's Fam 4 Life… Eddie Gibbs on his appointment to the New York State Assembly… https://t.co/O9PDRPbp4G
— Da Homeless Hero (@homeless_hero) December 25, 2021
Gibbs thought his candidacy was a long shot. After all, he was running for Democrat leadership in an area that is known for prominent Puerto Rican communities and is referred to El Barrio.
Regardless of the odds, he and his team were able to pull it off by winning the nomination.
During a meeting on December 18th, Gibbs felt that the tides against him had shifted after one of the other people running publicly decried that it was a “Puerto Rican seat.”
Gibbs felt the move by the unnamed politician alienated those who were black which swayed them towards him. He said:
“You could see a little shift, and people started gravitating towards me.”
During Gibbs’ acceptance speech, he addressed the division and rift that his area seemingly has and even compared it to the divide that was present with former Republican President Donald Trump.
“I knew it was an opportunity to have a conversation. You guys [Puerto Ricans] made El Barrio, but realistically, times are changing now. All are welcome.”
Eddie Gibbs is making history in 2 respects as East Harlem's new Assembly nominee.
Gibbs, who is Black, will take over a historically Latino seat after a racially fraught nominating process. And he may be NY's 1st lawmaker to have served time in prison.https://t.co/LgCTQp0I9a
— Nick Garber (@nick_garber) December 23, 2021
Gibbs was convicted of manslaughter in 1988 after he had an altercation with another man in Manhattan.
Gibbs claims that the victim had stabbed him in the leg which prompted him to shoot and kill him.
On December 19th, Gibbs went to Facebook to explain his side of the incident:
“As a matter of public record, it is no secret that I was previously incarcerated. As a result of the remorse, I showed and the mitigating circumstances, I was given a lenient sentence by the court.
Until this day I am very apologetic and disappointed by my actions and do not make any excuses for them. I can assure you that 17-year-old boy who made those poor decisions, those 35+ years ago, is not the man who stands before you today.”
After Gibbs was convicted, he was sentenced to three to nine years for the crime he pled guilty to in 1988. Gibbs completed over five years in prison before he was released.
The Daily News noted that Gibbs’ manslaughter conviction is not the only time that he has been arrested…and convicted of crimes.
In 1977, Gibbs pled guilty to a domestic violence case, and he was also convicted of selling crack cocaine in the 1980s.
— Drudge Report App (@drudgereportapp) December 23, 2021
Gibbs does not seem to have an issue with talking about his past and embraces it, claiming that he is an example of second chances, or in his case, his fourth chance.
He has said that he has turned his life around. Gibbs said:
“What defines a person is not how he falls, but how he gets up.”
Gibbs believes that his criminal past gives him credibility with his future constituents because, according to him, many of them have gone to jail or know people that have served time.
He hopes that record will allow others to see they can turn themselves around. Gibbs said:
“My 2022 candidacy for the NYS Assembly seat…represents more than just a run for office. My name on the ballot serves as the outcome of a fair criminal justice system and a commitment to redemption.
My life would not be what it is today without the relationships I have cultivated. As a way to give back, my plan is to dedicate a large part of my campaign to educating my constituents, and all former incarcerated individuals on local politics.”
The young adult was already on probation for three separate robberies.
On December 11th, a man called 911 after he had been carjacked by three people armed with guns.
The victim told the dispatcher that the three suspects held guns to his head and took his phone and vehicle before fleeing in the 7900 block of South Albany.
An Illinois State Trooper who was in the area saw the stolen vehicle pass by them and crash shortly after he observed the vehicle.
The Illinois State Trooper and other members of local law enforcement moved in as three males got out of the car and took off on foot.
The trooper was able to capture the driver, identified as 18-year-old Larry Grant, while other officers were able to catch one of the passengers, who was reportedly a juvenile.
There is no information regarding the third suspect in the case that would determine if he was captured or is still on the run.
Officers allege that when they caught up with the juvenile in a nearby laundromat, they found him armed with two different firearms.
The juvenile, whose age and name were not released, allegedly had a .22 caliber rifle hanging from his chest and a .9-millimeter handgun somewhere on the front of him.
Police detained both individuals until a show-up could be conducted by the victim in the case.
A show-up is when law enforcement picks up the victim and transports them to wherever the suspect has been located for the purposes of identification.
When the victim arrived with the police, he positively identified Grant as being one of the three who had held him at gunpoint while the group stole his vehicle.
There is no indication as to whether the victim was able to identify the juvenile that was arrested in the case.
When police researched Grant, they learned that he was on active juvenile probation for three different robberies which he had committed before becoming an adult.
Police noted that two of Grant’s prior robbery convictions were considered aggravated while one was listed as just a robbery.
Instead of spending any time in a juvenile confinement center for the three violent convictions, he was sentenced to only two years worth of juvenile probation.
Police have not reported if Grant was in a possession of a firearm when he was taken into custody for his alleged involvement in the carjacking.
They did, however, note that Grant had an active warrant for domestic violence battery out of DeKalb County.
Grant was arrested and charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking with a firearm, possessing a stolen vehicle, and aggravated fleeing and eluding. Grant appeared in front of Judge Charles Beach who assigned a bond of $350,000.
Violent crime in the area of Chicago is making everyone, including business owners, concerned with their safety and ability to thrive in the area.
People like Jack Lavin, the president and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, noted that people are beginning to demand the political leaders in the city to step up and do something to deter crime. Lavin spoke to the Chicago Sun-Times and said:
“Our businesses – and it’s not just retail as you hear on the Mag Mile. It’s restaurants, offices, returning to work, banks. They want to know how are we gonna solve the violence and the public safety problem this week. This weekend. Tomorrow.”
While Lavin notes that he is in support of Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan on filling 1,000 Chicago Police vacancies as well as putting stimulus dollars to work, the business community wants something more.
They need to know there is a plan in place to stop the violence. He said:
“[We need a] strategy for the short and medium-term for how we’re gonna reduce retail theft, carjackings, shootings and who is prosecuted.”
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