Revolution #279, September 2, 2012

Letter from a Reader in L.A.

Blow the Whistle on Police Brutality: We Will No Longer Accept All This Injustice in Silence!

This summer the "new and improved" LAPD revealed once again that its cruel and vicious nature is unchanged.

Alesia Thomas, a 35-year-old Black woman, takes her two children—one 3 years old and the other 12—to the LAPD Station in South Los Angeles. She tells police that she is a drug addict and feels she cannot care for her children. The police station is supposed to be a "safe haven" for abandoned babies. She is doing exactly what the system tells her to do to keep her children safe from harm. The police, as if mocking her, go to Thomas' home to arrest her for child endangerment. The video recorded by the police cruiser camera, which has not been made public, shows what happens next (the description is from the LAPD): one officer sweeps Thomas' legs from beneath her while two others handcuff her hands behind her back. Two more officers are called and a "hobble restraint device"—an adjustable strap—is tightened around her ankles. They try to get Thomas into the back of a patrol car. One woman officer threatens to kick her in the genitals if she did not comply, and then follows through on the threat. Thomas is put in the squad car and dies there.

Utterly infuriated and cursing under my breath, I flashed to BA's response to the police murder of Tyisha Miller, shot 12 times by Riverside, CA police as she slept in her car.

"If you can't handle this situation differently than this, then get the fuck out of the way. Not only out of the way of this situation, but get off the earth. Get out of the way of the masses of people. Because, you know, we could have handled this situation any number of ways that would have resulted in a much better outcome. And frankly, if we had state power and we were faced with a similar situation, we would sooner have one of our own people's police killed than go wantonly murder one of the masses." (from BAsics 2:16)
The police killing of Alesia Thomas happened on June 22 and only came to light in August because the investigation of the death revealed there was videotaped evidence. In the same period, two more LAPD incidents happened within a week of each other and became public because they were caught on video.

Ronald Weekley, a 20-year-old Chemistry/Pre-Med student at Xavier University in Louisiana was home in Venice, CA, for the summer. He was skateboarding near his home and according to police was on the wrong side of the street. He ignored the police coming toward him because he thought they were going to question some other youth nearby. As he opened the door to his house he was tackled from behind by the four cops. A cell phone video shows the police piling on him and one punching Weekley repeatedly in the face. Weekley went unconscious. He suffered a broken nose, fractured cheekbone, and a concussion. He is being charged with felony resisting arrest stemming from supposedly riding on the wrong side of the street. Weekley's attorney, Benjamin Crump, who is also the attorney for Trayvon Martin's family, asked at a press conference, "Was he (Weekley) stopped because he was on the wrong side of the road, or was he attacked because he was the wrong color?" Weekley is African-American.

And again: Two LAPD officers pulled over Michelle Jordan, a 34-year-old white woman, registered nurse and mother of two, because she was driving with a cell phone in her hand. This is considered an infraction. She parked and got out of her car. The cops claim she failed to comply with orders to get back into her car so they slammed her to the ground and handcuffed her. While cuffed, they slammed her to the ground a second time because—her husband said—she swore at them. A parking lot surveillance video recorded the whole incident and shows the officers doing a fist-bump after the second take down—a lesson passed from the 22-year veteran commander to the 10-month rookie on how to handle women who talk back.

As if these are not enough to make you want to scream, two more incidents surfaced from earlier this year. In May, LAPD was called to help an actor from the porn industry who was threatening to commit suicide. The police called an ambulance and accompanied Marland Anderson, a Black man, to the hospital. Anderson arrived at the hospital in critical condition with brain damage and died five days later. The autopsy released this summer reveals "neck compression." Experts suspect the police used a chokehold, or sat or stepped on his neck. The second incident happened in April when a distraught, but cooperative, Deutsche Bank executive was picked up late at night in a working class part of LA by the LAPD and ended up in the hospital with face bones broken in 15 places. The executive recently filed a $50 million dollar lawsuit against the LAPD.

In the quote above from BAsics 2:16, BA makes this very important point:

"[T]he role of their police is to terrorize the masses, including wantonly murdering them, murdering them without provocation, without necessity, because exactly the more arbitrary the terror is, the more broadly it affects the masses. And that's one of the reasons why they like to engage in, and have as one of their main functions to engage in, wanton and arbitrary terror against the masses of people."

This is why on September 13 everyone who hates the brutal murdering pigs, the racial profiling, the mass incarceration; who wants to see a nationwide movement change the political terrain and contribute to building a movement for revolution—you must answer the Call for Nationwide Resistance to Racial Profiling, Police Brutality and Murder and the Pipeline Leading to Mass Incarceration. On that day, PEOPLE MUST BLOW THE WHISTLE and say: "WE WILL NO LONGER ACCEPT ALL THIS INJUSTICE IN SILENCE!"

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