Police get acquitted and African people’s lives are disregarded
(Written in response to the Philadelphia Inquirer for the article ‘City Police Shootings get Mired in System,’ Sept.3)
We in Uhuru Solidarity Movement would like to thank the Inquirer for keeping in the forefront the facts that District Attorney Lynne Abraham never prosecutes police for murdering African people in Philadelphia, the fraudulent investigations drag out forever, and the officers always end up being acquitted anyway. We unite with the African community’s demands for justice!
In 2006, Philadelphia police killed twenty people in this city, the most since 1980. It was the most people killed by police in the 10 largest cities in the entire country that year. In 2007, six people were shot and killed by the Philadelphia Police Department. Bryan Jones was the first person killed by the police in 2007. Bryan was taking his little cousin home from a New Years Eve Party, when the police shot him in the back of the head.
The D.A.’s office is supposedly still investigating, but not one officer has been prosecuted and Bryan’s family is still grieving the unjustifiable death of Bryan.
The African working class-led Uhuru Movement understands that the D.A. is carrying out the public policy of police containment of the African community. This is obvious in the fact that the D.A. never initiates the prosecution of any police officer. When a prosecution is initiated it is usually initiated by the family of the victim, or from a public demonstration such as those held by the Uhuru Movement.
The police in this city have a long time record for being scandalous and corrupt, such as the unfounded raids in 1985 during Operation Cold Turkey and the notorious Five Squad and the 39th District & 25th District scandals which made it clear it’s not a scandal at all but policy from top to bottom to plant drugs, steal money, and frame and imprison innocent African and Latino people. The people locked up by police officers participating in those illegal raids are still in prison today! This Philadelphia Police Department is the same organization responsible for the murder of innocent men, women, and children in the bombing of the MOVE family, and the criminalization of the African community with policies like Stop & Frisk today.
The struggle to end police terror is part of a world-wide movement of the African working class, organizing to take back all their stolen resources, their land, and culture. We understand the public policy of police containment of the African community brings wealth and security to the white community through the drug and prison economies, through gentrification and land-grabs, and it is all at the expense of African people. There is no economic development for African communities in Philly – over half African men are unemployed, and more Africans go to prison from Philly than anywhere in the US!
The Uhuru Movement demands that Lynne Abraham be brought to trial for her disregard of the lives of people like Bryan Jones, Moses DeJesus, Ronald Timbers, Abebe Isaac, Raymond Pelzer and the list goes on. Also, the Uhuru Movement demands that the murderous Philadelphia Police Department be held accountable for these crimes immediately, before another African person is tortured or killed.
Uhuru Solidarity Movement