Policing

Providence family facing harassment and violence after police altercation

“My family has been targeted since the last press conference,” said Taffii Moore, who has lived in her home for the last decade. “We’ve had death threats. We’ve had our house attempted to be set on fire – the surroundings were set on fire.”
Photo for Providence family facing harassment and violence after police altercation

Published on July 23, 2021
By Uprise RI

Taffii Moore held a second press conference outside her Providence home to talk about the ongoing threats and violence her family has been receiving since an altercation with Providence Police that resulted in the arrest of her 21-year old daughter and four children. During the arrests Providence Police pepper sprayed and beat those they arrested. Three officers have faced discipline for their actions – not for use of force, but for comments they made during the altercation or other reasons.

Previous reporting:

“My family has been targeted since the last press conference,” said Moore, who has lived in her home for the last decade. “We’ve had death threats. We’ve had our house attempted to be set on fire – the surroundings were set on fire.”

Moore says that right-wing media, such as John DePetro and Aidan Kearney, who runs Turtleboy Sports, have been defaming her and her family.

Citing a specific Facebook post from DePetro, Moore countered the assertion that she lived in Warwick and did $70,000 in damage to a home there:

“I never lived in Warwick, never did $70,000 worth of damages to anywhere. I’ve been living in this house for almost 10 years now,” said Moore. “I don’t get assistance from the state. We own this home. We don’t rent. It’s not section eight. Nor have I been living anywhere else to cause havoc anywhere else.”

The picture accompanying the DePetro post depicts Moore wearing a “Juan After Dark” tee shirt. The picture is altered to make it appear that Moore was wearing a John DePetro tee shirt. DePetro claims that the picture was a joke, but it was not identified as such.

Turning to a post on Turtleboy Sports, Moore said that a post racistly referred to her children as “hood rats” and “niglets.”

The costs to her family have been significant. Moore’s husband, Raymond Lee, has been suspended from his job as a bus driver for RIPTA (Rhode Island Public Transit Authority). “He’s been placed on paid administrative leave without no explanation, right after the news conference,” said Moore.

People drive by the house hurling bottles, insults and death threats. “They’re yelling out, go kill myself, die. Throwing bottles, all of it,” said Moore.

Online harassment includes the claim that the family is exploiting the altercation with the police for money, due to the existence of a GoFundMe to help the family. All the money, and more, was spent by Moore, she says, on hotel rooms to secure the safety of her children during the harassment.

But it was the fire that was the last straw.

“Two nights ago my bushes were set on fire and my grandchildren were asleep in the living room cause they were watching a movie. So they fell asleep in the living room. If my oldest son wasn’t [there], it could have caught onto my house,” said Moore. “The fire department, and everybody else came out.”

Family friend Cedric Russell was at the house after the Fire and Police Departments responded. “I asked the police what they were going to do to protect this family,” said Russell. “The police looked me dead in my face and said, ‘That’s not my job.’ The arson investigator came by. He wasn’t fully able to do his job because he didn’t want any friction with the police.”

The police, said Moore, told her, “that they hate coming to this house. So why would I want to call them and tell them anything?”

“We don’t feel safe calling [the police],” said Russell. “When this situation happened Taffii was so nervous to even call the police because she knew what they were not going to do. And that’s a scary situation. This woman is getting penalized for her children getting beat up. And that’s just crazy. These police officers are grown men and in their communities they would never pepper spray any of their children, let alone punch them and knee them and all types of violence that was taken upon these children.

“Our community, we’re going to stand behind Taffii and if the police have a problem with her, they got a problem with all of us,” continued Russell. “That’s just how we’re coming. We’re not letting this go on anymore. This is it. And it’s been going on for too long and it’s time for communities to stand together and protect each other because [the police] are not going to protect us. They’re not going to lock us up and take us away from our families, from everything that we have to the point when we come back, we’ve got to start all over again. We’re tired of it.”


Here’s the video:

Taffii Moore, introduced by family friend Tara Dorsey:

Cedric Russell:

Press Q&A

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