ABOVE: Al Sharpton and Dr. Leon Koziol, in South Carolina protesting the police murder of Walter Scott, an unarmed father shot dead five times in the back while fleeing a child support warrant at a traffic stop.
In Leon’s report two months later to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Justice Department, Leon warned that he could be similarly targeted as a white civil rights attorney. Fatefully that happened at a traffic stop in 2018 due to a racist judge, Gerald Popeo.
The above report was also delivered to Congressman Jim Clyburn following the Walter Scott murder. He was called to task by Koziol at a national news conference during Walter Scott’s funeral in 2015.
Despite promises of meetings and reform, nothing came in response even after our Parent March on Washington in 2019 when we visited the same offices with an updated report citing more carnage.
Dr. Leon Koziol joins fellow advocates at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. during the annual whistleblower convention in 2017
Leon Koziol with David Patterson, the first African-American governor of New York when the witch hunt began against him in 2008 for his conscientious stands
Civil Rights Advocate Leon Koziol with Super Bowl winner Jamie Brown of the Denver Broncos and a marine veteran. Both served as parade marshals during our Parent March on Washington May 1-3, 2019.
The above news articles are only a few that describe the litigation history of civil rights advocate, Dr. Leon Koziol, before New York’s Appellate Division suspended his law license in 2010 after 23 unblemished years of practice. The Stephen Patterson case was his last one.
The victim there was subjected to years of persecution after Leon obtained a $333,000 jury verdict argued before Justice Sonia Sotomayor in Manhattan, see Patterson v City of Utica, 370 F.3d 322 (2nd Cir 2004). The city was found guilty of wrongful discharge of Stephen Patterson, the first African-American Public Works Commissioner of an upstate New York city. Leon obtained another $90,000 for Stephen’s father, a church pastor, who suffered retaliation by the same city.
Facing his own persecution for doing so, Leon was compelled to return in a later case as Patterson’s attorney without charge when learning that his former client had attempted suicide in the city lock-up. The presiding judge, Gerald Popeo, was eventually censured by a judicial conduct commission after being charged with using “N” slurs, threatening assault from the bench, and jailing litigants in violation of their due process rights for such behavior as a “smirk.”
Koziol complained that Judge Popeo should have been removed altogether much like his custody judge was for admitted pedophilia years earlier (Syracuse family judge Bryan Hedges). Judge Popeo avenged that public censure by having himself assigned as a city judge to Leon’s family court case leading to a near fatal event.
That event occurred on August 30, 2018 when a traffic cop purporting to enforce a support warrant issued by Judge Popeo threatened to shoot Leon “on sight.” The scene resembled the Walter Scott case. A dangerous suspect warning had been added secretly to that warrant and eventually leaked to the media. But as fate would have it, Leon was not present in his vehicle when that threat was made to its driver.
This is a horrific John Grisham ordeal, but it is no novel. It is a true story that continues to be covered up. Black Lives Matter, NAACP and all victims of racial abuse need to support civil rights advocate, Dr. Leon Koziol, in his time of need during license reinstatement proceedings now underway in Albany, New York.
This comes after an excessive and unjust license suspension of 10 years on a six month term long completed in 2013. In contrast, Attorney Stanley Cohen was reinstated by New York’s Appellate Division in 2018 after only two years from the time of his prison release for tax evasion (involving some $3 million in unreported fees and income).
Despite a felony conviction, Cohen suffered only a license suspension, not the standard disbarment, despite representing cop killers, a relative of Osama bin Laden and terrorists. Leon was never even charged with a crime and represented law enforcement as well as genuine civil rights victims.
Here is the bottom line of all this. The Leon Koziol ordeal supports recent calls for white advocates to join Black Lives Matter. That movement needs to add judge brutality and a broken court system to the targets of reform. This is the case that will stand as precedent for that in the memory of George Floyd. Help us spread the word on this highly censored ordeal to make it happen.
All who would like more detail on the persecution of civil rights advocate, Dr. Leon Koziol, and a “shoot on sight” threat by a traffic cop on August 30, 2018 are encouraged to view his recent video summary below:
THEN AND NOW: The below video summary of our 2019 Parent March on Washington was produced by Philadelphia Attorney Lawrence DeMarco. That video proves how peaceful and respectful we were at Lafayette Square Park in front of the White House and throughout our procession under police escort down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol.
However, despite over 600 reports delivered to members of Congress and meetings in such offices as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, not a single reply was offered. Is violence then the answer as rioters have proven today for getting our government’s attention? Today’s politicians are praising our kind of protest over the violent one also pictured below, but without even the respect of acknowledging it.