To win justice for Michael Brown, send the Black press to Ferguson, Missouri

Listen below to JR’s first interviews: ‘Live From Ferguson: St. Louis reporter Dani Rae speaks’ and Cephus Uncle Bobby’ Johnson, uncle of Oscar Grant, in Ferguson

by SF Bay View

This is the official response to the Black community’s outrage at the senseless murder of a beloved teenager by an officer they pay to serve and protect. – Photo: AP/Voice of America
This is the official response to the Black community’s outrage at the senseless murder of a beloved teenager by an officer they pay to serve and protect. – Photo: AP/Voice of America

Within the last month, the nation has been rocked from coast to coast with the murder and beating of unarmed Black people by uniformed police officers. We’ve all seen the footage by now of a Black woman, Marlene Pinnock, in Los Angeles being pummeled MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)-style by a CHP officer on the side of a road; then there was the NYPD choking Eric Garner to death, which happened during the Detroit trial of Ted Wafer, who is accused of shooting 19-year-old Renisha McBride in the face after she knocked on his door in the early morning asking for help after a car wreck that resulted in her having a concussion; then there’s young John Crawford, who was shot to death when he picked up a toy gun that was for sale in an Ohio Walmart. We’re not talking about what has happened since the police murder of Oscar Grant five years ago; we’re just talking about the summer of 2014.

The SF Bay View newspaper is working to gather enough funds to send JR Valrey to the frontlines in Ferguson, Missouri, site of the biggest protests against police terrorism since Oakland rose up to demand justice for Oscar Grant. They started Saturday, when a police officer murdered unarmed Michael Brown, 18, for walking in the roadway with his friend.

Most corporate media is working to distort the story and demonize the righteous anger of the people. Michael’s family and friends and the people of Ferguson need the Black press to tell their truth.

Most corporate media is working to distort the story and demonize the righteous anger of the people. Michael’s family and friends and the people of Ferguson need the Black press to tell their truth.

If you need some way to support the Black people of Ferguson in their time of distress and in the heat of the battle, you can do it by donating to this campaign so that you can be sure that the SF Bay View reading community is getting real info in a timely manner as to what is happening at ground zero. The plan is for JR to leave Thursday night, so we need to hustle up funds asap for a plane ticket, room and board, and on-the-ground travel once he touches down. The SF Bay View is also looking to buy JR a used camera for the assignment. His original digital camera was stolen by the OPD in 2009 during the Oscar Grant rebellions. He has never been able to replace it.

Remember what it took to get just a little bit of justice for Oscar Grant? This is a march on Jan. 14, 2009, only two weeks after Oscar’s murder, the night JR Valrey, Bay View associate editor, shown leading the march, was arrested after urging the mayor to take a stronger stand. – Photo: Bill Hackwell
Remember what it took to get just a little bit of justice for Oscar Grant? This is a march on Jan. 14, 2009, only two weeks after Oscar’s murder. JR Valrey, Bay View associate editor, shown leading the march, had been the only journalist arrested at the first rebellion a week earlier after urging the mayor to take a stronger stand. Charges were eventually dropped after a long court battle. – Photo: Bill Hackwell

Remember what it took to get just a little bit of justice for Oscar Grant? This is a march on Jan. 14, 2009, only two weeks after Oscar’s murder. JR Valrey, Bay View associate editor, shown leading the march, had been the only journalist arrested at the first rebellion a week earlier after urging the mayor to take a stronger stand. Charges were eventually dropped after a long court battle. – Photo: Bill Hackwell

For those of you who may not be familiar with the work of JR Valrey, aka The People’s Minister of Information, he was one of the main journalists who kept the Oscar Grant story alive until it got international media attention. He has also reported on less famous cases of police terrorism like the police beating of Nadra Foster at KPFA, the police murder of Gary King, the police murder of Lovelle Mixon, the police murder of Anita Gaye, the police murder of Terrance Mearis, the police murder of Kenneth Harding, and the police murder of Parnell Smith, to name a few. He is also currently engaged in a campaign exposing mayoral candidate Dan Siegel of Oakland, who is responsible for bringing armed police into the Oakland Unified School District, resulting in the police murder of Raheim Brown in 2011.

Donating to the campaigns of journalists you support, who are rallying up funds to cover stories that are important to our community, is a step in the right direction – because we all know that we cannot depend on corporate broadcast television or radio or newspapers to tell our community’s side of the story. We need to fund the kind of media that we think is important and that we want to see.

We need to fund the kind of media that we think is important and that we want to see.

Thandisizwe Chimurenga, author of “No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant,” just did a beautiful job covering the Ted Wafer murder trial, where he was found guilty of killing Renisha McBride, and it was funded by regular everyday people. We need to do more of this kind of on-the-scene reporting by the Black press. Will you help us?

Donating is easy: Go to http://sfbayview.com/support/ and hit the Donate button. You can also call the Bay View to make a donation by credit card, or mail your check or money order to SF Bay View, 4917 Third St., San Francisco CA 94124-2309. Email editor@sfbayview.com for more information.

Also, sign the petition to demand justice for Mike Brown, at https://www.causes.com/trayvons-law.

Listen to JR’s first interview: ‘Live From Ferguson: St. Louis reporter Dani Rae speaks’