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Toxic environments, as evidenced by human exposure to dirty water or polluted air, are deadly for everyone. The police, or band of brothers, who fill quotas and shoot first are also toxic. To connect the dots completely, we must understand how police brutality and toxic environments are inextricable forms of violence that impact communities. We must understand how this violence intersects and demand an incompatible alternative to what we now endure.
As we continue to raise awareness and lift up our voices so that we may be heard on the issues of systemic racism and economic exploitation in the criminal justice system, as well as prison slavery and police killings and brutality, we continue to see an evil and determined enemy dig in its heels in the name of White Supremacy. In October 2017, it was reported that the Trump administration is seeking more immigration jails and detention facilities to house more immigrants that they plan to arrest.
On Wednesday, Feb. 8, the vigil for Amilcar Perez-Lopez amped it up. Usually held weekly from 6-7 p.m. at the Mission District Police Station – where his killers still work – this time we went directly to the home of San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. Feb. 26 will mark two years since Amilcar was murdered in the Mission District, right outside his residence. Locals know six shots cut him down, fired by undercover cops Craig Tiffe and Eric Riboli.
The trial of the killer cop who shot an unarmed Black man (named Walter Scott) is off. Hung jury. If the videotaped killing of Scott wasn’t shock enough, the hung jury certainly suffices. The images are, to say the least, chilling. But video, apparently, wasn’t enough, at least to one of the jurors hearing the case, who refused to convict ex-cop Michael Slager of the killing. The murder of Walter Scott, caught on tape, proves, if proof were needed, that Black lives don’t matter, at least for that juror. And guess what? Apparently, videotape doesn’t matter – when a Black person gets killed by a white cop.
International peace activist Cynthia McKinney brought a very important point to me recently when she asked me to think about the fact that every time Black people reach a moral high ground over the police, something tragic happens to the police. It drives home the subliminal point that other ethnicities should be sympathetic to police who are paid to control these Black animals, who, untrained or barely trained and armed, can kill multiple elite, trained officers. Consider the cases of Larry Davis in New York and Lovelle Mixon in Oakland.
Sen. Sanders, you have spoken out against the depredations of Big Pharma, refused to take donations from any of them, and call for “Medicare for all.” You’ve also spoken to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Currently in Pennsylvania there is a case before a federal court which embodies both of these battles, Abu-Jamal vs. Kerestes. Mumia Abu-Jamal is suing to force the Department of Corrections to immediately provide him treatment with the Hep C drug.
On May 23, Cuyahoga County Judge John P. O’Donnell found Officer Michael Brelo not guilty of felony involuntary manslaughter in the killing deaths of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell. Williams and Russell were killed in November 2012 after Cleveland police officers unleashed 137 gunshots into the couple’s car following a police pursuit. The family of Timothy Ray Russell released the following statement in response.
It’s now a century after the founding of Mother’s Day, and our sons are still being taken from us. Society has not disarmed, but instead has militarized to the teeth. Mothers’ sons everywhere are still killing and being killed. Police militarization has ripped apart the fabric of our communities. Armed with military-grade vehicles and weapons, warrior cops cultivate an atmosphere of tension and fear, exacerbating conflicts instead of resolving them. We all know we’re going to die one day, but it certainly shouldn’t be at the hands of a public servant who’s supposed to serve and protect us. Mothers are powerful; if we come together, we can be unstoppable.
On Thursday, April 9, 2015, I visited my husband, Mumia Abu-Jamal, at SCI Mahanoy. I saw the photos taken of Mumia during the visit on Monday, April 6, but I still wasn’t prepared for how Mumia looked. Seeing him in the prison visiting room, he was worse. I felt my husband is about to die. He was shivering so hard, I put my arms around him and my head to his chest to hear his heart and to bring some warmth to his body because he said he was freezing. We need to keep up the pressure. Let the warden and state corrections secretary know we insist that Mumia have medical specialists of his own choosing examine and treat him.
If America hadn’t become a nation that excessively incarcerates Black men for minor, nonviolent offenses, Walter Scott’s funeral would not be happening because he’d likely still be alive. That’s the conclusion drawn by Ezekiel Edwards, director of the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project.
The bystander who recorded a South Carolina officer fatally shooting an unarmed Black man eight times said the cop had control of the situation before he pulled out his gun. “I remember the police had control of the situation,” Feidin Santana said during the interview. “You can hear the sound of a Taser ... I believe [Scott] was just trying to get away from the Taser.” Update: Watch a powerful video of the reunion between Santana and Walter Scott's family.
A white South Carolina police officer was arrested and charged with murder Tuesday after video showed him fatally shooting a fleeing, unarmed Black man in the back. North Charleston Police Officer Michael T. Slager, 33, can be seen shooting 50-year-old Walter Scott after a confrontation on Saturday. Slager chases Scott and shoots at him eight times in the video recorded by a passerby