Reverend Floyd D. Harris Jr. is known to many in the Southwest Fresno area as a community and political Civil Rights Activist. In 1982 as a teenager, Floyd started cutting lawns with his father. In 1989, due to a family crisis he declined a 4-year college basketball scholarship and then went on to take up another trade, joining the Cement Mason's Union where he received an apprenticeship certificate. Within that same year, he volunteered his services in the community and became a designated School Bus Driver and Instructor for the West Fresno School District, EOC, the Orange Center, Pacific Union and Washington Union High School. In 1990, Floyd and his father founded the Harris Lawn Manicuring Service. For nine years Floyd held the position as Superintendent of Operations, getting weed abatement contracts from several different agencies such as the Cities of Fresno & Clovis, Union Pacific & Santa Fe Railroads, PG& E and other companies throughout the state of California. In 1998, Floyd started his own business, C & H. Landscaping Maintenance Service, which was named after his daughter Chynell Harris. Floyd got married and added two more of his children’s names to his business, Jeremy Perry and Floyd D. Harris III calling it CJF Harris Disposal & Vendor Services (CJF).
Reverend Harris was appointed by his community and Council Members to the Edison Southwest Advisory Committee, as Chairperson of Southwest Fresno Neighborhood Watch. He currently serves on different boards and committees; Member Fresno NAACP; Former Board of Trustee member for the West Fresno School District; Former Board Member of the Californians for Justice; Former Board Member of the Fresno Community Alliance; Former Board Member of the ACLU; Former President of the West Fresno Democratic Club, and the National President of the National Network in Action. He also has received high recognition Awards, in 2006 the African American Heritage Award, by Assembly member Juan Arambula; 2006 Way of Peace Award of Fresno Center For Nonviolence; 2008 Risk Takers. Dream Makers Award; Southwest Fresno Community Leader Award from Fresno West Coalition; 2008 Southwest Fresno Community Leader Congressional Recognition from Congressman Jim Costa ; 2009 Superstars of Justice Award from Californians for Justice; 2009 Outstanding Leadership and Devotion from The Committee of a United Community; Bill Lockyer, Attorney General, Recognition for Participation on the Civil Rights Commission, 2000; Fresno City Students’ Service for Participation, and Recognition, 2001; Former Board Member Fresno County Democratic Central Committee; Freedom and Justice For Justin Acknowledgment, 2004; and Fresno County Charter Democratic Central Committee in 2007 and 2006.
Reverend Harris could see the injustices going on in his community and knew that he needed help from someone on a national level. Reverend Harris contacted Reverend Al Sharpton in New York and from this conversation in December 2002, was granted a charter. In May of 2003 the National Action Network (NAN) Chapter in California was formed. Reverend Harris opened the local chapter in Fresno and a year later was appointed to be the California State President. Reverend Harris has traveled across the country educating and empowering people to take a stand for justice. He is actively working with the Central California Criminal Justice Committee to reassure that the Fresno community gets an independent Police Auditor. Focusing on the Southwest Fresno area as well as being an advisor to the department, Reverend Harris was approached by his community to represent them on the Fresno Police Department Advisory Board.
In 2006 Reverend Harris founded a civil rights organization called National Network In Action (NNIA) in which Reverend Harris has appointed Field Marshalls to the NNIA in different cities and states: Elder Norris Kemp, Bakersfield CA; Dyronnica Harible, Antioch, CA; Grantrina Davis, Visalia CA; Sconny Scroggins, Kansas City KS; Reverend Tim Malone, Sacramento, CA; Rhonda Erwin, West Sacramento CA; Nathaniel Lipscomb Madera City; Gloria Velyines, Pixley, CA; Mother Teresa Robinson, Madera County; Yvette Smith, Antioch CA; Dr. Liz Swearengin, Boise Idaho.
Reverend Harris has been asked to travel into different states to hold rallies and to speak to truth to power. Fresno West Coalition for Economic Development; Fresno Black Men and Boys; Fresno Know Your Rights When Confronted by Police Officers, Kansas City; California State University, Craig School of Business; Fresno City College, African American Studies Department; Fresno Unitarian Universalist Church, Panel Discussion; California State University Fresno, Women’s Studies Department; California Central Valley Journey for Justice; Madera National Boycott of Whirl Pool; Benton Harbor, Michigan; The California Prison Moratorium Project; Southwest Fresno Neighborhood Watch; Fresno May Day Immigration March/Rally; Peace Fresno Rally In The Valley; Fresno Death Penalty Focus; Worlds Aids Day, Fresno; Kansas City Kansas. Know Your Rights When Confronted By Police Officers; Shreveport Louisiana Police Abuse Training; New York City National Convention of Civil Rights Organizations, and the Portland Oregon Rape Case.
In 2009, Rev. Harris received his California State contractor's license D63 - Construction Clean-up & D49 - Tree Service Contractor. Reverend Harris is one of the top African American Construction Contractors in the San Joaquin Valley. Reverend Harris was very concerned about African American people not being employed in his community, thus he, aggressively sought the following contracts: Fresno Housing Authority, The City of Fresno Weed Abatement, City of Clovis Fire Department Weed Abatement Brown Construction, Madera County Fire Department and many private jobs. CJF implemented a training program to provide skills to help teach every employee to become successful and confident in his job. CJF hired 49 employees in this community who had been unemployed. While working in his business, Reverend Harris began donating food and services to senior citizens in his community. From his experience with the City of Fresno concerning weed abatement, he spearheaded a task force to revitalize the community he lives in. He began by establishing the Walnut Garden Neighborhood Watch. Some targeted projects for the Neighborhood Watch were cleaning of the alleyways behind residential homes, cleaning yards of abandoned homes, tree trimming and maintenance of gutters & drains. Reverend Harris is taking his business to another level while he is processing his application for the 8A program to receive Federal Contracts.
On August 29, 2003, Reverend Harris was involved in a civil disobedience rally with Fresno's SEIU and 10,000 Home care Workers. Reverend Harris spoke at the rally in support of a better contract for better wages, medical insurance, and access to job training. Reverend Harris took part in blocking the doorways of the County Hall of records so that no one could go in or out. The sheriff’s department arrested everyone but Reverend Harris. On June 24, 2004 after almost one year of difficult negotiations, the Board of Supervisors approved the SEIU's first contract.
In 2008 Reverend Harris stood in support of the Fresno Homeless Community against the City of Fresno regarding their consistent violations against the Homeless community. As a result of those violations the city was ordered to pay $2.3 million for their violations. Reverend Harris then organized a sleep over at the Fresno City Hall where over 100 people took part to bring more attention to Fresno’s homeless crisis. Reverend Harris has traveled across the country exposing racism and injustice. He is dedicated to educating his people about standing boldly and knowing their rights. Reverend Harris states, "We will teach our community how to use their own resources and empower their neighborhoods through education." Reverend Harris continues by saying that his Chapters will build membership on the same concept at the local and national level, based on visibility, support and speaking out against injustice when it occurs. In 2011-2012, Reverend Harris's National Network In Action. (www. Nationalinactionnetwork.org) and (www.west fresno.org) stands in solidarity, supporting the Occupy Fresno movement to deals with issues around homelessness, school board, financial institutions, and foreclosures.
On September 2, 2012 Reverend Harris happened to be in Vallejo California relaxing. While watching TV at his hotel he noticed a mother on TV crying, saying her son was murdered by the Vallejo Police Department. Mario Ramiro was shoot at 30 times while he and his brother-in-law sit in the car. Reverend Harris felt the urge to go pay his respects at the candle light vigil at 7:00 pm that evening. Reverend Harris felt that for two white police officers to shoot two African American males sitting in front of their house with no weapon was wrong. Reverend Harris organized and mobilized 300 residents of Vallejo Bay-Area to march to the Vallejo Police Department. This murder- lynching was brought to a national Level with National Radio Host, Dave D interviewing Reverend Harris about the killing. He put Vallejo on high alert organizing a Vallejo Cop Watch web site. Reverend Harris called in an experienced organizer, Andrea, from Berkley Cop Watch to train the Vallejo citizens how to video and document the police actions. Reverend Harris was not finished, he contacted Minister Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam Western Regional Minister, Christopher Muhammad of San Francisco, and Student Minister Keith Muhammad from Oakland, CA. Together, Reverend Harris and the Nation held a gathering in front of murder victim Mario Ramiro’s home and told the community that Vallejo is ran like a plantation. Andrea from Louisiana, who son was making a nonviolence video, was shot in the chest while holding a foam cup in his hand. Reverend Harris held a press conference with Andrea to file a class action lawsuit against the Vallejo Police Department.
Reverend Harris will earn his Honorary Doctorate Degree in Theology and will be hooded with dozens of other graduates July 27, 2013 from the College of Ecclesia University of Divinity. Congresswoman Waters will be the main speaker for the graduation.
Reverend Harris has been featured on many talk shows across the country and has created three Blog Talk Radio Shows. He and Dr. Jean Kennedy from Atlanta, Georgia have teamed up to create the number one radio show in the Country,” Real talk” with the number one Doctors, on Blog Talk Radio featured every Monday through Friday, 8:00 pm to 8:45 pm, “National Network in Action,” every Saturday, 8:00 pm to 8:45 pm and the “New Light for New Life Church of God” every Sunday, 8:00 pm to 8:45 pm.
Reverend Harris currently serves as the Assistant Pastor for New Life for New Light with Senior Pastor, Reverend Paul McCoy. Reverend Harris’s preaching, has been described as a "liberated theology" preaching style because he always speaks to the social injustices within the communities. It's not unusual to attend his church and to see the congregation with a bible in one hand and a local newspaper in the other as they refer to the injustices taking place in their community.
Reverend Harris, is a dedicated father who role models a strong sense of empowerment to his young sons, Floyd Harris III, Jeremy, daughter Chynell Harris and 2 grand kids Jalaina & ja'marcus. Reverend Harris thanks his grandmother Bertha Harris for raising him to be passionate about his community, which he still is today. Reverend Harris’s demonstrations begin wherever injustice begins; whether it's in the form of a protest, a rally, or a meeting of minds. The National Network In Action will always Educate, Motivate, Energize, Mobilize and Organize to take our community to a higher level.
Reverend Floyd D. Harris Jr., National President of The National Network in Action, a civil and human rights organization, with The Mexican-American Political Association, The Fresno Brown Berets, and New Light for New Life Church of God, together held a community rally against police brutality, harassment, racial profiling, excessive force & deadly force.
On a Sunday evening over 100 People gathered at the corner of Arthur & Strother where Mr. Jerel Stanfield was shot in the head, leg, and in the back, on Easter Sunday. The African America community came out to receive information on Cop Watch and Know Your Rights When Confronted by Police. Civil Right leader Rev. Floyd D. Harris Jr. said, "when Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer can laugh in a press conference while former city council member Jerry Duncan who was planning to run for Mayor of Fresno who said, “ Make no mistake about they are Terrorist (making reference to “ Black People “). They are much like terrorist like those people in Iraq who are blowing up innocent people". On August 29, 2007 Chief Jerry Dyer said he was launching Operation West Side with a simple approach to eliminate black gangs which means to MURDER them (http://www.youtube.com/watchv=nhnR8zlCjDM).
Rev. Harris said it’s business as usually with Fresno Police Department giving our kids a hot dog and a bounce house, pat them on head at the age of 5 years old, and then shoot them in the head or back when they get older. Rev. Harris said the black community has a constitutional right and human right to protest against police brutality, harassment, racial profiling, excessive force & deadly force. Pastor Paul Mc Coy from New Light for New Life Church of God said the solution is not just for our community but we must set the example for all community so we can hold each other accountable. We as a community and a neighborhood must understand what goes on, has a direct relationship with our daily behavior. The bible tells us “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4v6). Where there is an absent of knowledge, destruction will fill the void. We destroy ourselves as well as those who live outside our neighborhoods, will destroy us.
Gloria Hernandez educated those gathered on the amounts of money we are losing as tax payers defending Chief Dyer while many city jobs are being lost or contracted out to private industries. The discrimination complaint filed by two deputy chiefs was settled prior to going to trial. The two deputy chiefs and their attorney won $100,000 while we the taxpayer paid Dyer’s Hollywood contracted attorney over $800.000 to quietly settle this case. If Dyer is not a racist or anti-woman or anti elderly cops then why did he not go to a jury trial? Gloria expressed concern that there are too many ongoing cases that the city quietly settles prior to going to court and the Department has 28 repeat shooters who feel free to kill because they carry a badge. (See Color lines online magazine April 2010.) Juan Avitia, National President of the Mexican-American Political Association (MAPA), supported the rally & made the point that police dressed up in ski masks & carrying military assault weapons descended into west Fresno armed with what appears to be a "tank" and ready for war. This is something never done in the more upscale parts of town. In addition, Avitia noted that the police continuously justify their actions with the defense that a suspect was "appearing to reach in his pants for what might have been a gun". Yet in the latest shooting the young black male was shot in the back. A young Mexican male also suffered on the east side of Fresno in 2012.
During the event on Sunday, black men and community members walked up to the microphone and said they saw everything that happen yet the Fresno Bee and the TV Stations are not printing the truth because they never talk to us and there is two sides to a story. The citizens are outraged at the Fresno Police Department in how they brought danger and a hostile environment to a quiet community on Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday is a historical day for African Americans and many others, faiths and family to enjoy. However, on this particular Easter Sunday, people were placed in the middle of gun fire by the Fresno Police Department who tried to execute Mr. Jerel Stanfield by shooting him in the head, leg, and in the back. In addition, chief Jerry Dyer appears to have over-reacted to "threat" to his officers by "gang members" and has launched an all out war on the community, including arming his officers in a paramilitary manner & terrorizing black & brown people under the claim that his officers were threatened.
The Fresno Police Department has a history of shooting and killing many people of color who have been unarmed. As to the latest situation, there were children who were playing and witnessed the Fresno Police shoot Mr. Stanfield in the head and past out. There was no counseling services offered to the children and family who witnessed this plan of execute by the Fresno Police. This history includes the deliberate hunting & killing of Joaquin Figueroa in 2006, a disturbing assassination by Fresno police officers that haunts our community to this day. Why do Fresno Police Shoot at citizens who have not shot at them? Why did the Fresno Police and the local Fresno Government call Black males and the Black community in Fresno a "Terrorist"? The Fresno Police Department does not have the right to be the JUDGE, JURY, AND EXECUTIONER
There will be a Copwatch and Know Your Right When Confronted By Police Officers April 20, 2013 at New Light For New Life Church of God 1106 W. Woodward Fresno, Ca 93706 Contact: Rev. Floyd D. Harris Jr (559) 213-5886 or Juan Avitia ( 559 ) 977 - 42476
Fresno PD street tank
2013-04-14 "Community Rally Against Fresno Police Brutality"
Location: Corner of Arthur & Strother (West Fresno)
Contact: Rev. Floyd D. Harris Jr (559) 213-5886, or Juan Avitia (559) 977-4247
Reverend Floyd D. Harris Jr., National President of The National Network in Action, a civil and human rights organization, with MAPA, and The Fresno Brown Berets, will be having a community rally against police brutality, harassment, racial profiling, excessive force & deadly force.
The citizens are outraged at the Fresno Police Department in how they brought danger and a hostile environment to a quiet community on Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday is a historical day for African Americans and many others, faiths and family to enjoy. However, on this particular Easter Sunday, people were placed
in the middle of gun fire by the Fresno Police Department who tried to execute Mr. Jerel Stanfield by shooting him in the head, leg, and in the back. In addition, chief Jerry Dyer appears to have over-reacted to "threat" to his officers by "gang members" and has launched an all out war on the community, including arming his officers in a paramilitary manner & terrorizing back & brown people under the claim that his officers were threatened.
The Fresno Police Department has a history of shooting and killing many people of color who have been unarmed. As to the latest situation, there were children who were playing and witnessed the Fresno Police shoot Mr. Stanfield in the head and past out. There was no counseling services offered to the children and family who witnessed this plan of execute by the Fresno Police. This history includes the deliberate hunting & killing of Joaquin Figueroa in 2006, a disturbing assassination by Fresno police officers that haunts our community to this day.
Why do Fresno Police Shoot at citizens who have not shot at them? Why did the Fresno Police and the local Fresno Government call Black males and the Black community in Fresno a "Terrorist"? The Fresno Police Department does not have the right to be the JUDGE, JURY, AND EXECUTIONER!
* National Network In Action
* The Mexican-American Political Association (MAPA)
* The Fresno Brown Berets
2013-04-15 "SW Fresno Community Rallies Against Police Brutality"
by KSEE News [http://www.ksee24.com/news/ARTHUR-OIS-RALLY-SUN-202963971.html]:
Members of the New Light For New Life Church of God, the Mexican American Political Association, and the Fresno Brown Berets stood together.
They expressed outrage over the actions of police on Easter Sunday.
Officers chased and shot Jerel Stanfield, who was suspected of murder.
He survived, but protesters say he suffered gunshot wounds to the head, back and leg.
They say the shooting was excessive and put several people in danger.
Fresno Police reacted to gang threats, after the shooting and conducted several raids...
Protesters are also upset about that, calling it harrassment.
Organizers are now planning a series of meetings for what they call "cop watch training."
Those meetings will begin next weekend at New Light For New Life Church.
2013-04-13 "Southwest Fresno residents protest police shooting"
by Angel Moreno from "The Fresno Bee" [http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/04/14/3258201/southwest-fresno-residents-protest.html]:
About 60 people gathered in southwest Fresno on Sunday to protest what they say was police brutality, racial profiling and excessive force by Fresno officers in the shooting of a gang member two weeks ago.
On March 31, officers crashed the SUV of Jerel Stanfield near Arthur and Strother avenues and shot him in his head and back when he began to run away, witnesses said.
A man who identified himself as the victim's cousin, but who declined to give his name, said Stanfield, 24, never was a threat to officers and didn't deserve to be shot.
Right after the shooting, Police Chief Jerry Dyer said officers opened fire when Stanfield, who was wanted in a recent homicide, appeared to arm himself while fleeing. Police said they found a gun on him.
In the wake of the shooting, the department said its officers were being threatened by gang members, and it doubled patrols in some neighborhoods.
Neighbors said officers engaged in racial profiling of southwest Fresno residents.
Community leaders, neighbors and Stanfield's mother and relatives, gathered near the scene of the Easter Sunday shooting to protest and tell their side of the story, said the Rev. Floyd Harris Jr., of the New Light for New Life Church of God.
Stanfield's mother, Chantal Lewis, was at the protest but did not speak.
Pastor Paul McCoy told the crowd that the solution to the area's problems isn't in the hands of Fresno police, but in the hands of the community. The community can end the violence that plagues it, he said.
"It starts with us and when it starts with us we have the power to finish it," McCoy said.
2013-04-14 "Fresno residents rally against Fresno PD"
by Mariana Jacob from "ABC-30; KFSN-TV/DT" [http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=news/local&id=9064822]:
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Dozens of people are protesting what they call excessive force by the Fresno Police Department.
They rallied at the scene of an officer-involved shooting that injured Jerel Stanfield on Easter Sunday.
About 75 people gathered near the corner where an officer-involved shooting took place two weeks ago. Many who attended the rally came prepared with signs and angry words targeted at police. "This is a wakeup call to this community here to hold each other accountable," said Revered Floyd Harris Jr.
24 year old Jerel Stanfield's mother was at the rally but would not talk to us on camera following the advice of her attorney. Other family members did tell us Stanfield is now in the county jail but they believe he needs more medical care at a hospital following brain surgery. "He's in pain that's the only thing he does say when he does talk, it's murmured," said his sister Jasmin.
Witnesses who didn't want to appear on camera told us they say he was shot while running away in the back of the head on March 31st. Fresno police officers were not available for comment but hours after the shooting, Chief Jerry Dyer had this to say, "At some point the suspect according to the officers made some type of movement that officers believed he was arming himself. The officers did fire the weapons at the suspect and when they were detaining him they did locate a handgun on him."
Organizers say they're hoping to put an end to what they see as racial profiling and police brutality.