Support Tanika Dickson’s Parole Efforts

DSC_0232-1Tanika was honored at last years event! Take Action Today!

Almost 15 years ago, Tanika Dickson was convicted of murder for defending herself from a racist assault which resulted in the death of David Gallup. Let’s Get Free – The Women and Trans Prisoner Defense Committee believes that self defense is not a crime and that she was wrongly convicted. She was sentenced to 15-life and has served 14 and a half years.

Tanika has applied for Limited Time Credit Allowance (LTCA) in New York State which allows an applicant to apply for 6 months off of the sentence after meeting certain criteria. It could takes several months to get an answer, but if approved the earliest she may see the parole board is in February.

We are asking people to send letters of support through Tanika’s lawyer by January 28th, in attempt that they will arrive before February. Below is background on the case.

Take Action –Mail your letter before January 28th

Tips : Do not say anything like “it was a mistake”. Do highlight remorse .

Sample Letter for Parole Board

Please write your support letters addressed to the NY Parole Board in support of Tanika Dickson. Send them to her lawyer, Cheyry L. Kates-Benman Esq. is hoping to have received the letters by January 31 – So please get them in the mail by Tuesday January 28th! They are collecting all the letters to present them in a book.

Address the letter to:New York State Department of Corrections Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (NYSDCCS) Board of Parole
1220 Washington Ave Building 2 Albany, NY 12226
Send the letters to Tanika’s Lawyer –Cheryl L. Kates PO Box 734 Victor NY 14564

IT WILL ONLY TAKE 10 MINUTES OF YOUR TIME TO PERFORM THIS SMALL ACT OF SOLIDARITY THAT COULD HAVE A MEANINGFUL IMPACT – WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT

Background on Tanika’s Case –

Tanika Dickson pled guilty to the Murder of David Gallup. Accounts from witnesses indicated David Gallup, the brother of a Glenville police officer was in Casey’s Bar in Schenectady, NY, drinking for approximately 12 hours prior to the instant offense. He was severely intoxicated, and made some other patrons in the bar uncomfortable from acting strangely. Several witnesses knew this victim and indicated that on the day the crime was committed, he had been fired from his job at Wal-Mart for making racially offensive remarks. It was verified through police reports, the victim had a history of domestic violence against women and alcohol-related offenses.

The instant offense involved Ms. Dickson stabbing David Gallup in the neck while trying to exit the bar resulting in his death. Several disturbing things took place prior to the stabbing that led up to this event. A verbal altercation took place at the bar where David Gallup referred to Tanika as a “n*#%!r slut bitch.” At this time, the parties were separated by the bar’s security. David Gallup should have been escorted out of the bar due to the fact that he had been in the bar for at least 12 hours and was clearly in an intoxicated state. The bar continued to serve him alcohol.

Tanika tried to leave the bar peacefully. She recalls Mr. Gallup blocking her exit to the street. Out of fear, she reacted and stabbed Mr. Gallup. She was charged with Murder in the second degree. A plea was negotiated within 12 hours of the instant offense. Ms. Dickson was intoxicated at the time of the instant offense.

Because Tanika entered a plea waiving her right to appeal, she has limited legal remedies available to her. All post-conviction remedies pursued have failed.

During preparation of Tanika’s clemency packet, Tanika was evaluated by a psychologist who stated:

“From a record review and direct observation of Tanika Dickson, this examiner opines there is a mitigating factor of extreme emotional disturbance that contributed to the instant matter. Tanika was extremely intoxicated at the time of the crime after drinking that evening. The blood alcohol level probably present in Tanika would have diminished her control as well as diminished her capacity for rational thought. Secondly, Tanika felt threatened by the victim. His face was angry and he was saying threatening things. Tanika stated, “I was scared…I didn’t know what he was capable of doing to me.”

He continued:

“Tanika had a history of being raped as well as being physically abused. These strong memories also affected her emotional state in that she saw herself as a potential victim with no sense of being helped or anyone else as she approached the victim who suddenly blocked her exit from the bar.”

He further indicated:

“It is this examiner’s opinion that when Tanika refers to being blacked out that she is referring to an emotional black out caused by her extreme emotional disturbance and fear. This was not an alcoholic black out.”

The psychologist concluded:

“Tanika’s behavior was motivated by an understandable fear that she would be physically harmed and killed by the victim. He had threatened her verbally and non-verbally to a significant degree enough that the staff felt compelled to make him go to the other end of the bar.”

To Hear Tanika Dickson tell the story in her own words see the movie The Mothers of Bedford.

That information again–

Take Action –Mail your letter before January 28th

Tips : Do not say anything like “it was a mistake”. Do highlight remorse .

Sample Letter for Parole Board

Please write your support letters addressed to the NY Parole Board in support of Tanika Dickson. Send them to her lawyer, Cheyry L. Kates-Benman Esq. is hoping to have received the letters by January 31 – So please get them in the mail by Tuesday January 28th! They are collecting all the letters to present them in a book.

Address the letter to:New York State Department of Corrections Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (NYSDCCS) Board of Parole
1220 Washington Ave Building 2 Albany, NY 12226
Send the letters to Tanika’s Lawyer –Cheryl L. Kates PO Box 734 Victor NY 14564

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