USM supports InPDUM campaign to stop deadly police chase policy in St. Pete, FL

USM supports InPDUM campaign to stop deadly police chase policy in St. Pete, FL

Police chase policy results in public bus crash into an apartment building. Several people were injured

St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster has implemented a murderous police chase policy against the African working class community on the south side of St. Petersburg.

His policy has caused the death of at least one African person and created an atmosphere of terror against the black community.

Uhuru Solidarity Movement unites with the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement’s efforts to end this escalating war. We unite with InPDUM’s demand for genuine economic development in the African community.

InPDUM St Pete branch has been collecting hundreds of petitions to end the police chase policy. USM organizers have also been winning residents of the white community to sign this petition as well.

The actual policy of the police around the chases is found in their “General Order 111-17.”

This order states in part, “III. A. Whenever an officer attempts to perform a vehicle stop and the operator of the suspect vehicle indicates by their actions an intent to elude or evade apprehension, the officer must determine if there is reasonable cause to believe the person(s) in the vehicle has committed or is committing a forcible felony as defined by this order.”

According to the general order, a forcible felony is defined as “treason, murder, manslaughter; sexual battery, carjacking, home invasion robbery, robbery, burglary, arson, kidnapping, aggravated battery, aggravated stalking, aircraft piracy, unlawful throwing, placing, or throwing of a destructive device or bomb, and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.”

It is clear the police have given themselves almost any reason to chase based on this definition. A number of chases occurred for alleged car theft. However, this is not included in their list of forcible felonies. The broad definition allows them wide latitude for a chase.

We recognize these police chases are part of the overall policy of police containment of the African community. The strategy of police containment is designed to surround the African community with police at the same time maintaining an economic quarantine that prevents economic development and the creation of commerce in the African community. The black community of St Pete faces a 70 percent poverty rate and the lowest graduation rate for African males in the entire country. We support InPDUM’s demands for a public policy of economic development in the African community.

Below is a timeline of the recent attacks by the St Pete police against the African community:

Monday, January 9, 2012- Two Uhuru Movement members, Janice Kant and Johnny Brinson are given bogus Stop sign and seat belt tickets respectively after they are surrounded by the Street Crimes Unit on the side of the Uhuru House. A clear challenge to the influence and stature of the Uhuru Movement.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012– At Approximately 1:30pm, Tony Sands Welch an African who had been arrested on Friday, January 6th by the Street Crimes Unit and apparently beaten brutally during his arrest, dies at St. Anthony’s Hospital after complaining about being beaten by the police.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 – At 5:30pm the Street Crimes Unit undertakes high speed chase through residential neighborhoods of  a car driven by Frank Roberto. Roberto’s Passenger is Kenneth Gordon Davis.  The high speed chase results in a terrible crash and Kenneth Davis is killed. Subsequent to the accident. Police claim that Davis was wanted for Armed robbery. Two days later the police retract this claim and say that Davis was wanted for snatching a purse three days before the crash.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 – Arthur Brown pulls out of his drive way. More than two mile away he is stooped by the Street Crimes Unit and is given two bogus tickets. One ticket for a stop sign violation and one ticket for not having his seatbelt on even though the cops see his seatbelt fastened when they stop him.

Thursday, November 8, 2012- The St. Petersburg Police Department announced that they will be using armored trucks with four cameras mounted behind bullet-resistant glass to patrol the African community. The exterior of the armored trucks are wrapped in an industrial design featuring large eyeballs and the words “St. Petersburg Police.” This represents an escalation of the colonial occupation of the African community.

As written in Point 16 of the Revolutionary National Democratic Program of InPDUM, “We demand an end to the public policy of police containment of African people within the U.S. and its replacement with a public policy of economic development through massive capital infusion that would be used to uplift the entire community by supporting existing African businesses, establishing new African businesses, including cooperatives, and by contributing to the general self-reliance of the African community.”

We in the Uhuru Solidarity Movement recognize that we have a responsibility to stand in solidarity with the African community. We support the African community’s demands for economic development, NOT police containment.

We call on all white people to support InPDUM’s campaign to end mayor Foster’s deadly reign of terror against the African community. InPDUM holds local weekly meetings on Sunday, 4pm at the Uhuru House, 1245 18th Ave S.

The African People’s Socialist Party, the revolutionary African working class organization that leads the Uhuru Movement, created the African People’s Solidarity Committee as a way for white people to get organized under the leadership of the African working class in solidarity with the struggle for African Liberation. APSC is the cadre organization that leads the Uhuru Solidarity Movement.

APSC will be holding its international plenary conference in St. Pete, FL on January 6-8, 2013. We call on all of our members and supporters to attend this conference, which will be held under the theme, “African Resistance, White Solidarity.” More information is available at apscuhuru.org.

Get involved in the local campaign to end the St Pete police chase policy.
Contact USM St. Pete. Email us stpete@uhurusolidarity.org or call 727-683-9949.

UHURU!

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