Killed for being Black while changing a tire in Daly City: The poLice murder of Roger Allen

On Wednesday, April 7, 2021, Roger Cornelius Allen was killed by Daly City police while trying to change a flat tire on his car. Daly City police have no body camera requirement due to “delays” – so there is no released video of the event that we know of. Roger has received minimal media coverage. Civil Rights Attorney John Burris is currently investigating the case. On Thursday, June 24, Roger Allen’s family along with 4DalyCity and POOR Magazine held a Home Coming Block Party at Garfield Square Park on 26th and Harrison in San Francisco. – Photo: Tiny Gray-Garcia

by Akil Carrilo and Ziair Hughes, Youth Poverty Skola Reporters for POOR Magazine

Editor’s note: Akil and Ziair are students at Deecolonize Academy, the poor and indigenous people-led liberation school on the sacred land we houseless poverty skolaz call Homefulness.

“The police pulled my brother out of the car and left his two white friends alone,” said Talika, sister of Roger Allen at a prayer ceremony for Roger Allen and his family that POOR magazine youth and family elders reported and supported on last week.

On April 7, 2021, Roger Allen was killed by Daly City Police for being Black while changing a tire. He was on the side of the road with a flat tire, a drug task force unit of the Daly City PD pulled up. Instead of helping him with the flat they began to harass him and were trying to search his car for drugs. 

Roger Allen was with two white friends. The cops asked only Roger Allen’s friends to step out of the car while he was asked to remain inside. One thing led to another, and the cops shot and killed Roger Allen. 

This happened April 7, about three months before we wrote this story – there is absolutely no media coverage of it. Roger Allen’s life is just one of the many Black and Brown lives lost due to police brutality. After they are killed, everything is forgotten about and never learned. The only thing left are the tears of the family left behind.

A human was killed for a flat tire.

George Floyd and Roger Allen are no different, but why was George Floyd’s death on national TV while Roger’s was not on any mainstream media outlet? 

This happens on a daily basis – so many people are killed by cops that no one knows about. This is a common occurrence. It’s not a surprise anymore, just a constant struggle – living each day with the fear that it might be the last.

Roger Allen’s family has been working nonstop to address Daly City Council meetings and the public, calling for justice for Roger and accountability for the police who killed him. Initially, names of the police were not released. At this time, we still do not have the name of the specific officer who fired the shot. On the far right is Talika Fletcher, Roger’s sister, and at center is his beautiful auntie. – Photo: Tiny Gray-Garcia

“A human was killed for a flat tire. We know it’s because of systemic white supremacy,” said Conamor Jas, one of the organizers of the beautiful ceremony at Garfield Park, near where the Allen family lives.

The cops used a division tactic with Roger Allen. They separated him from his friends, leaving him alone and vulnerable. These tactics have been used for years. This is why racism exists: to separate us and, once we are alone, we slowly get picked off.

The Home Coming Block Party welcomed the community to come and honor the life and family of Roger Allen. Photo: Tiny Gray-Garcia

“Daly City and South San Francisco are klan towns – it’s dangerous to be a Black person there. Period. The family of Shaleen Tindle were pulled out of their car in that area and seriously harassed in 2010, which is just one of many experiences we have reported and supported on of this sickkk place,” said Tiny Gray-Garcia, POOR Magazine co-editor. 

These corporations, laws, cops are all the same people. It’s all the same hate and fear. They all see us as pests that need to be squashed. We are nothing to them. This is shown to us on a daily basis when poor, houseless, Black and Brown people get murdered, when we aren’t allowed to build solutions for ourselves.

Read more about issues of poverty and race written by the people who face them daily at POOR Magazine and POOR News Network, www.poormagazine.org and www.racepovertymediajustice.orgEmail poormag@gmail.com and follow them on Instagram @poormagazine.