What part of ‘killed_unarmed_Black_man = murder’ doesn’t OPD understand?

March for justice for Brother Derrick Jones Thursday, Nov. 11, 3 p.m., from Bancroft & Seminary to Oscar Grant (Fruitvale) BART Station

by mesha Monge-Irizarry, Idriss Stelley Foundation

Another unarmed Black brother, Derrick Jones, 37, a beloved Oakland barbershop owner and father of an infant girl, met a violent death on Monday night, Nov. 8, 2010, shot and killed by two white Oakland police officers while “fleeing,” after they “thought” they saw a metallic object in his hand.

This OPD homicide occurred only THREE days after Judge Robert Perry sentenced the killer of Oscar Grant III, Johannes Mehserle, to two years in jail, less credit for 146 days of time served plus another 146 days for “good behavior” for a total of 292 days, for “involuntary manslaughter.”

This is the third OPD officer-involved homicide of people of color in 2010.

Derrick Jones’ grieving family has retained the services of John Burris, Oscar Grant’s family’s attorney.

‘This incident has nothing to do with the case of Oscar Grant’

The next day, Tuesday, Nov. 9, I caught the end of a Channel 7 talk show, during which a complacent African American conservative anchor contended, “By the way, it is my belief that the Oscar Grant shooting was ACCIDENTAL.”

He interviewed a white former OPD officer and current prosecutor who exhorted the public not to jump to racially biased policing conclusions: “This incident has nothing to do with the case of Oscar Grant. Grant’s killing was involuntary, while yesterday’s shooting was voluntary. You must understand that officers have to make split-second decisions when they have a reasonable belief that a suspect is armed and dangerous and constitutes a life and death threat against themselves or others. Please, you have to understand that it is the scariest scenario in an officer’s life.”

The day after the shooting, OPD’s official version of the killing keeps changing. The corporate press trickles cautious tidbits of information throughout the day.

At first, the race of the dead brother and of the shooting officers is hidden from the public.

Then an OPD spokesperson reluctantly admits that Jones was UNARMED and that a “confrontation” occurred. Note the constrained terminology.

Initial communiqués from police usually emphasize: “Suspect lunged at the officers who feared for their lives” or “Suspect pulled out a gun, knife” etc. or “Suspect turned around and repeatedly screamed ‘C’mon, M-F-ers, go ahead and kill me’” or “Suspect made a sudden furtive move.”

Initial communiqués from police usually emphasize: “Suspect lunged at the officers who feared for their lives” or “Suspect pulled out a gun, knife” etc. or “Suspect turned around and repeatedly screamed ‘C’mon, M-F-ers, go ahead and kill me’” or “Suspect made a sudden furtive move.”

Apparently there was no physical confrontation in Jones’ case. Throughout Tuesday, the official party line kept changing, from “confrontation” to “appeared to reach for his waist band” to “officers thought they saw a metallic object in the suspect’s hand.”

Hit list on Oaktown contemporary plantation continues to grow

Remember young Brother Laronte Studesville, 15, shot by OPD in 2007 while fleeing and attempting to pull up his sagging pants? Luckily, the child survived after two weeks in intensive care, scarred for life, shot in the back of his neck while running, the bullet came out of his chin.

Or Brother Jody “Mack” Woodfox, shot in the back and killed in 2008 while “fleeing”? Both were shot by OPD, and the hit list on Oakland’ contemporary plantation, the land-of-the-proud-and-the-free-OPD is endless and continues to rage on.

Yet in one year, two months and two weeks or maybe sooner, killer cop Johannes Mehserle is “eligible for release.”

‘He is portrayed as a monster, and he wasn’t; this is all so senseless’

The Associated Press, in its Nov. 9 story, “Family says man shot by Oakland police was unarmed,” reports:

“Loved ones of a barber shot and killed by officers during a foot chase disputed police’s account Tuesday that he appeared to be reaching toward his waistband for a weapon.

“Family and friends of Derrick Jones, 37, called Monday’s shooting unjustified and said witnesses did not see the Oakland man make such a move. They also said Jones was unarmed and that police used excessive force.

“’My cousin is not the type of person to harm anybody,’ said Charles Jones … ‘It’s outrageous for somebody to just kill him like that.’

“Police have declined to say how many times Derrick Jones was shot or whether a weapon was found on him, citing the ongoing investigation. …

“When officers arrived, Derrick Jones fled on foot, apparently ‘to escape arrest for assaulting the woman,’ Israel said. …

“But family and friends said Tuesday that Derrick Jones is being wrongly depicted as a ‘monster’ and was only trying to fend off an ex-girlfriend who came to his barbershop causing trouble.

“… (T)he two officers repeatedly told Derrick Jones to stop and tried unsuccessfully to use a stun gun on him. He said the officers also saw Derrick Jones refuse to put up his hands, and he reached toward his waistband several times.

“… (O)ne of the officers saw a metal object in Jones’ hand, Israel said. …

“An attorney representing Jones’ family, John Burris, said Tuesday that witnesses he has spoken to said Derrick Jones was unarmed and was not reaching toward his waistband when police opened fire. …

“’Any time a human life is lost, the surviving family suffers the grief of that loss, so I offer my sympathies to the family of the man who lost his life last night,’ (Oakland Mayor Ron) Dellums said.

“Family and friends said Jones is the father of an infant girl, has been a barber for more than 20 years and has owned his barbershop for the past eight years.

“Scott Riley, 40, another childhood friend, said Jones served about a year behind bars for carrying a gun to protect himself after he was robbed at his barbershop.

“’He’s being portrayed as a monster, and he wasn’t,’ Riley said outside police headquarters. ‘This is all so senseless.’”

What part of killed_unarmed_Black_man = murder doesn’t OPD understand? Too little too late … enough!

Is the Mehserle verdict ensuring OPD’s license to kill with impunity? Is there no correlation between the murders of Derrick Jones and Oscar Grant III?

Apparently, civil rights attorney John Burris does not think so. Neither do we … or the 152 Oakland protesters arrested on Nov. 5 after the public release of the Mehserle sentence.

Mayor Ron Dellums slapped together hasty damage control “condolences” to Brother Derrick Jones’ grieving family. Too little too late, enough!

Legendary warrior against police abuse mesha Monge-Irizarry, who founded the Idriss Stelley Foundation following the murder of her only child, Idriss Stelley, by San Francisco police, can be reached on ISF’s bilingual crisis line at (415) 595-8251 or on Facebook.