I first learned of Captain Ray Lewis, shortly after his arrest in New York City, during the beginnings of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. At first I thought he was a government plant, but that was not the case. Ray had seen the film, “Inside Job” and understood what the people at OWS were doing and why. He also felt anger that the police were acting violent - pepper spraying and arresting the peaceful none violent demonstrators rather than those they were calling to have arrested. After some soul searching and a little contemplation with his wife, Ray decided to go to Zuccotti to join in with the demonstrators. Once a man on the other side, arresting demonstrators in Philadelphia, Ray chose to join the good fight and really make a stand.
Ray’s stand was a bold one. He would join in with the demonstrators, dressed in his former police captain’s uniform and get arrested with the rest of the protesters. He arrived at the park, not knowing anyone and began to fly his sign. When the cops came in to make the arrests, Ray just stood there waiting his turn. He watch the people get arrested as the New York City police officers went all around him to make arrests on the others. Ray told them that he too was a demonstrator and was finally arrested.
What former police captain Ray Lewis did, in his uniform, was one of the gustiest, most bravest, things this hippie has ever seen or heard of. While I was attending Grateful Dead concerts in Philadelphia during the 80’s and 90’s, Ray was in uniform arresting the crowd for “statutory” crimes. I met Ray in Philadelphia during the first Occupy National Gathering and we exchanged stories. After learning about me and what I have been doing for over 20 years he told me he was glad we never met then; seeing what I do to those cops who try to arrest me when I am hurting no persons or property. Today we are on the same side. Weather or not he agrees one hundred percent with this web site is irrelevant, we both are working towards a peaceful solution to the corruption in American government and capitalism.
Captain Ray’s arrest didn’t go unnoticed. He knew when he stepped on to the street to get arrested he would become famous and that is exactly what happened.
He wasn’t famous in the sense that he was talked about on NBC, CBS, FOX or even ABC. No. There was a rule about not making a big thing out of this “occupy” movement. Rather, though, he became famous in the RT, Salon, Thom Hartman, Huffington Post, You Tube, police trade publications (some of which were just nasty) and all the other none mainstream internet web sites. But that was not all. The Philadelphia police chief wrote him a letter...and Ray Lewis answered it.
Ray had given me copies of the letters from and sent to the Philly police chief and to the Fraternal Order of Police, the FOP. His response to these letters is exactly how every activist should act. I therefore present them to you. They are presented in the column to the right.
One more note: Since the occupy movement, Ray Lewis has engaged in other acts of disobedience, protesting for such causes as the LGBT community, legalizing marijuana and outlawing GMOs to name a few. He’s come a long way and he has all of our love, respect and admiration.