A Chinese national was arrested in Chicago today for allegedly acting within the United States as an illegal agent of the People’s Republic of China.
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Chinese National Arrested for Allegedly Acting Within the United States as an Unregistered Agent of the People’s Republic of China
Man Charged With Murder; He and Girlfriend Charged with Mutilating Body and Discarding Remains in Bronx Parks
Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced the indictment of two defendants in connection with the murder and dismemberment of a Bronx woman.
District Attorney Clark said, “In a series of horrifying acts, the victim was fatally beaten and her body was dismembered. In the ultimate degradation of a human being, her remains were put in garbage bags and discarded in two public parks. The defendants stand accused of conduct that is beyond the pale.”
District Attorney Clark said Daquan Wheeler, 31, was indicted on second-degree Murder, first-degree Manslaughter, second-degree Criminal Facilitation, and fourth-degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon. Ciara Martinez, 30, was indicted on second-degree Criminal Facilitation and first-degree Hindering Prosecution. Both defendants were indicted on Concealment of a Human Corpse, Tampering with Physical Evidence, and fourth-degree and fifth-degree Conspiracy. They were arraigned today before Bronx Supreme Court Justice George Villegas and remand was continued. Wheeler is due back in court on January 8, 2019 and Martinez is due back on December 20, 2018.
According to the investigation, on August 22, 2018 at 1006 Longfellow Avenue, where the defendants were living in an apartment, Wheeler allegedly struck the victim, Lisa Marie Velasquez, 25, in the head with a hammer, causing her death. Velasquez had gone to the apartment to aid Martinez, who was fighting with Wheeler. The defendants allegedly moved the victim’s body from the bedroom to the bathroom and cleaned the bedroom to conceal the murder. Martinez and Wheeler then allegedly placed their clothes and Velasquez’s clothes in garbage bags and took them to a park nearby, where they dumped them in the water.
According to the investigation, the defendants then went to a hardware store and bought garbage bags and a machete. They allegedly cut up the victim’s body and placed the parts in bags, and placed some of the bags in the water off Barretto Point Park. Wheeler and Martinez then got a van and retrieved the other bags from the apartment and took them to Crotona Park, where they left them. The defendants then went back to the apartment and cleaned and painted the interior of the residence, in an effort to conceal the crime.
On August 24, 2018, a city Parks Department worker found the bags containing Velasquez’s remains in Crotona Park and on August 28, 2018, people visiting Barretto Point Park discovered the bags containing the rest of her remains. They were matched to Velasquez, who had been reported missing.
District Attorney Clark thanked NYPD Detective Sasha Brugal of the 42nd Precinct Squad, NYPD Detective Dominic Robinson of the Bronx Homicide Squad and the NYPD Crime Scene Unit for their work on the case.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.
New Comptroller Stringer Report: Options for Working New Yorkers Vanishing as City Lost Over One Million Affordable Apartments Since 2005
Stark Shifts in the Housing Market
Since 2005, the rental market landscape has shifted from one predominantly consisting of lower-cost units to a market dominated by middle, and, even more so, by high-rent apartments.
Erosion of Rent-Stabilized Housing Fuels Affordability Crisis
Contributing to this broad shift toward higher cost housing over this period was a continued erosion in the inventory of rent-stabilized housing.
PS 127 in Parkchester was built in 1953, and has evolved into MS 127 and PS 567. MS 127 and PS 567 are also known as the School for Global Leaders and Innovative Studies, as well as the Linden Tree Elementary School. The three story building has one floor for the elementary school, and two floors for the middle school. There is also one classroom for Pre-k children. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and the local councilman who just happens to be his father Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. visited PS 567 to check on the investments the borough president has made at the school. New Smartboards and laptop computers were a recent addition to PS 567 by BP Diaz Jr. Principal Lisa DeBonis, her staff, parents, and the students welcomed both the Borough President and the local Councilman.
As the Borough President and Councilman toured PS 567 they went from room to room speaking to students who were not shy to answer them, and have a few questions of their own for the elected officials. The BP and Councilman finally arrived at the Family Homework Lab to see how family and students can work together helping the children do their homework. The ribbon cutting and other photos are below.
Above - Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. points to the local councilman he brought with him to see PS 567 who just happens to be his father Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr.
Below - Both the BP and Councilman are holding gift bags that were given to them by the students.
Above - BP Diaz stands by one of the lap top computer storage areas which are in each classroom at PS 567 that were bought with BP discretionary funds.
Below - (L - R) PS 567 Principal Ms. Lisa De Bonis, BP Diaz Jr., Assistant Principal Ms. Jamie Sorhiando, Parent Coordinator Alison Walsh, and Councilman Diaz Sr. stand in front of a new Smartboard.
Above - A group photo with students, parents, staff, and the two elected officials.
Below - The ribbon cutting ceremony for the New Family Homework Lab at PS 567.
ENGEL STATEMENT ON TRUMP’S UN SPEECH
Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding President Trump’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly:
“America's standing in the world has plummeted so far in the last 20 months, and President Trump's blustery and bullying speech will serve only to isolate us further. As usual, the President exaggerated his accomplishments, literally drawing laughter from world leaders gathered at the UN General Assembly; offered kind words for strongmen and dictators while insulting our allies and international institutions; and, despite making ‘sovereignty’ a key theme of his speech, was silent about the greatest current threat to American sovereignty: Russia's ongoing attack on our democracy. Mr. Trump has repeated these refrains ad nauseum, but it remains deeply unsettling to see an American president stand before the United Nations—a body in which American leadership has changed the course of the world for decades—and espouse a worldview that undermines so much of what we helped build on the global stage.
“With respect to the President's threats to cut off foreign assistance, I want to remind him and Secretary Pompeo that under the Constitution, Congress determines how much we spend on foreign policy and we will continue to assert our prerogatives. But sadly, that's just a small part of the damage this Administration is doing to our leadership, values, and security. Until this Administration drastically changes course, America's standing will continue to diminish and the threats to our security will continue to grow.”
DEMOCRACYNYC: MAYOR DE BLASIO PARTNERS WITH “MAYORS FOR OUR LIVES” FOR STUDENT VOTER REGISTRATION EFFORT ON NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY
Collaborative outreach effort with Mayors For Our Lives and launch of new City website will make it easier for youth to stay informed about the latest opportunities to get civically engaged: nyc.gov/studentvoice
To mark National Voter Registration Day, Mayor Bill de Blasio teamed up with Mayors For Our Lives to register students to vote in schools across New York City. This is a continuation of an effort that began last spring which successfully registered more than 10,000 first-time student voters in New York City. Mayors For Our Lives is a national movement led by March For Our Lives that aims to register high school and college students to vote and increase civic engagement. Mayor de Blasio is a leading voice in this effort, helping to mobilize a bi-partisan group of 200 mayors from across the nation who are also participating in this effort.
The Administration also launched a new website where students can sign up to be a #DemocracyNYC leader to help register fellow students to vote and promote civic engagement in their schools. Students interested in participating in these efforts can find more information at nyc.gov/studentvoice.
“Our students are the future leaders of our country, and their voices matter as much today as they will years from now,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “They should know that their vote and civic participation at all levels of government is crucial in our effort to strengthen our democracy. Our non-partisan outreach with Mayors For Our Lives will remind them of this and mobilize countless young people to have their voices heard.”
“Our job as educators is to create active, engaged citizens who are going to change the world. By bringing voter registration into our schools and combining it with the work our teachers are doing every day, we’re making it easier for our students to have a say in the future of this City and this country. I’m proud to stand with Mayor de Blasio to support a new generation of leaders, activists, and citizens,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza.
“Today’s leaders have a responsibility to make civic participation as easy and equitable as possible for every New Yorker. I am excited that we are taking the lead to proactively help New York City’s youth learn about the importance of playing a direct role in our community and democracy. We will continue using the tools at our disposal to increase participation in elections while advocating for the State to modernize archaic laws that create unnecessary barriers to voting,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives J. Phillip Thompson.
“It is the responsibility of all Americans, young and old to vote. Since the march, we have traveled the country meeting, talking and listening to people of all backgrounds. While many agree with our platform to prevent gun violence, one thing we can always agree upon is that it’s in our country’s best interest to have an informed and representative electorate committed to protecting all people. We believe that the more Americans we have participating in our democracy, the better off our country. That is why we are proud of the over 200 members of Mayors For Our Lives working to empower voices in their communities by encouraging and registering them to vote.” said March For Our Lives Co-Founder David Hogg.
To kick off this outreach effort, Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza, New York City student activists – including Ramon Contreras – and Stoneman Douglas High School student activists David Hogg and Delaney Tarr visited City-As-School, a high school in Manhattan, to help register students to vote. They also joined a civic engagement discussion with City-As-School students.
As part of this outreach effort, the Administration distributed a Civics for All toolkit to all public schools that includes voter registration lesson plans for teachers; guidelines on where to access and how to fill out voter registration forms; and information on the new DemocracyNYC website where students can sign up as school leads for future voter registration drives. “The City’s Civics for All initiative includes Student Voter Registration Day (SVRD), the first-ever citywide event through which more than 10,000 students registered to vote this past spring, as well as new curricula, funding, and teacher training to promote instruction in civics and hands-on civic engagement opportunities.
The Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit also will be sending multilingual outreach specialists to 25 schools with the largest population of eligible student voters. PEU staff will be working directly with these students to help them register to vote and encourage them to sign a DemocracyNYC pledge to become a voter registration lead at their school.
This registration effort is part of Mayor de Blasio’s 10-point democracy agenda known as DemocracyNYC, which aims to increase civic engagement and strengthen democracy locally and nationally.
“New York City’s students represent the next generation of leaders and we are excited for their voices to be heard in the upcoming elections,” said Mayor’s Public Engagement Acting Director Eric Rotondi. “Our democracy works best when it’s shaped by everyone it represents and I encourage all New Yorkers – especially students who are eligible for the first time – to register to vote and cast a ballot this November.
“The Mayor's Community Affairs Unit is proud to be part of the National Voter Registration Day effort. A democracy is only as strong as the generation that will inherit it and we look forward to continue engaging young people throughout the city,” said Marco Carrión, Commissioner of the Community Affairs Unit.
We edited this as to leave out any and all comments from the elected officials Mayor de Blasio was able to find.