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Angry and frustrated residents are demanding answers after a police-involved shooting left an unarmed, Black man dead. Stephon Clark, 22, was fatally shot in his Meadowview area backyard Sunday, March 18, after two Sacramento Police Department (SPD) officers shot at him more than 20 times. Local and national Black leaders have vowed to demand justice for Clark and his family. Black Lives Matter and Rev. Les Simmons of South Sacramento Christian Center spearheaded vigils and rallies, where those who knew Clark called him a loving son and father of two young boys, who didn’t deserve to die.
I was the founding chairman and national organizer of the Black Panther Party. Our first organizing tactic was to legally observe the police in our Oakland and Berkeley Black communities. During those hard core late 1960s racist, fascist times, we took a big chance with our lives patrolling the police. It was a time of rampant vicious police brutality and murder of Black people by police that was 10 times worse than today.
Hundreds of people took to the streets here on Saturday to demonstrate against police brutality and call for accountability for the police officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old who died April 19 as the result of a severe spinal injury that occurred when he was taken into custody a week earlier. Demonstrators chanted “shut it down.”
After two officers were shot, police conducted an unjustified dawn raid on a house in Ferguson. A woman and her 6-year-old son had the red laser sights of police rifles trained on their chests as they emerged into their garden under orders from the officers, who arrived in military-style vehicles.
Wait. Patience. Stay Calm. We’ve been waiting for dozens, hundreds, thousands of indictments and convictions. Every death hurts. Every exonerated cop, security guard or vigilante enrages. The grand jury’s decision doesn’t surprise most Black people because we are not waiting for an indictment. We are waiting for justice – or more precisely, struggling for justice. The young people of Ferguson continue to struggle with ferocity.
On Wednesday, Oct. 30, join a mass march and vigil for Andy Lopez, 13, gathering in Roseland (Sebastopol Road near Dutton) at 5 p.m., marching to Courthouse Square for a 6:30 rally and carrying candles back to Roseland. On Oct. 22, the very day we recognize as the National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality, this 13-year-old child was shot down and killed by Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies. We must form alliances within our community in order to deal with this issue of misconduct by law enforcement. We must do it now before someone else’s child lies dead at the age of 13.
Police Chief Greg Suhr and the SF Police Commission finally scheduled and held the required community forums, where Suhr and Comdrs. Richard Corriea and Mikail Ali described the Electronic Control Weapon (ECW) proposal and invited community input. This updated story includes a report on the Tenderloin community forum, organized by residents. All testimony was anti-taser.
President Obama, who has organized, taught and represented this city, knows the situation well. He knows the guns are not made here. He knows Chicago’s tough gun laws are undermined by lax enforcement and lower standards outside the city. He knows that as the guns and drugs are flowing in, the jobs are flowing out.
Hundreds turned out for Oakland City Council's Public Safety Committee meeting on Jan. 15, 2013, to oppose paying $250,000 to bring “supercop” William Bratton and his "stop and frisk" and other zero tolerance police policies to Oakland. The bid for Bratton’s consult seems to be simply Oakland throwing good money after bad.
A horrific shooting on Nov. 29 resulted in the death of two unarmed African Americans, Malissa Williams, 30, and Timothy Russell, 43. This may be the worst example of excessive use of deadly force in the history of the United States. The fact that 12 of the 13 Cleveland police officers were white and the victims were Black in a city which has an almost 70 percent minority population is a crisis. We all know that 12 Black police officers would never have fired 137 shots at Black or white citizens.
Revealing evidence of a fabricated police report, excessive force against a blameless merchant and police theft, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi called Thursday on the SFPD to: 1) launch an immediate investigation into new reports of police misconduct, and 2) to institute a zero tolerance policy for officers who steal or who lie in police reports.
A time bomb is ticking, waiting to explode in communities of color across the nation. Law enforcement officers have become an occupation force. If we are to have peace, we first must place economic justice at the top of our agenda. The day Lovelle Mixon died, those close to him mentioned two explanations: He dreaded being sent back to prison yet he couldn't find a job.
Seattle teen Malika Calhoun, 15, tells what led up to the vicious attack on her, caught on video, by police Deputy Paul Schene, how it felt and what she would like to see happen.
Political remedies to hold police more accountable for outrageous acts such as the shooting death of an African-American youth here on New Year's Day have been blocked by even supposedly "sympathetic" Democratic Party politicians.