The sad fact of the matter is that too many killer cops are still walking around free
I call it murder by Cynthia McKinney, Jan. 31, 2010
They shot this Black man in his genitals and in his back. It sounds like a hate crime to me. How else could one describe it?
Well, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, it was self-defense. But how many times have we heard self-defense by cops used as a cop out?
Well, what about Amadou Diallo? Amadou Diallo was murdered on February 4, 1999 by New York Police Department (NYPD) cops who mistook a wallet for a gun. They claim that they thought he was going to shoot them and so they shot him in self-defense. One officer fell as if he had been shot. 41 bullets later, Amadou Diallo had been shot 19 times. Young Amadou was only 24 years old. He could survive the itinerant life of an African trading family, moving from Africa to Asia, but he couldn't survive the mean, racist streets of America. And the killer cops went free. Diallo's mother and step-father settled with the City of New York for $3 million in a lawsuit alleging wrongful death, racial profiling, and violation of Amadou's civil rights.
Kathryn Johnston was 92 years old when she was murdered by Atlanta Police Department (APD) officers who claim that they shot her in self-defense after narcotics officers broke into her home on November 21, 2006 using a "no-knock" warrant. Police forced their way into Johnston's home and claimed to have found a stash of marijuana there. The APD officers claimed that she had injured them with her rusty revolver. Sadly, it was all lies. Later, it was learned that the Atlanta Police officers were actually injured by friendly fire after discharging their firearms 39 times; that they planted marijuana in the Johnston basement; lied on the drug warrant authorizing the raid; invented an informant justifying the raid; and pressured an actual drug informant to lie for them. Atlanta's lying, killer cops did serve time--either for manslaughter, conspiracy to violate Johnston's civil rights resulting in death, or perjury. The three officers were also required to reimburse the Johnston estate the $8,000 cost of her burial.
In the wee hours of November 25, 2006, Sean Bell was murdered in a hail of 50 bullets fired by officers in the New York Police Department. Bell was celebrating his upcoming wedding and was leaving the club where he had just held his bachelor party. Police opened fire after they suspected the victim had a gun. Bell was struck 4 times in the neck and torso and died from his wounds. When no gun was to be found, they concocted a mystery witness who could possibly have had a gun. New York's killer cops were acquitted on all charges.
Although Diallo, Johnston, and Bell were Black, Blacks in the United States are not the only ones who can be victimized by murderous U.S. law enforcement. While on a visit to Cuba, I had the opportunity to meet and apologize to the widow of Filiberto Ojeda Rios, a leading Puerto Rican Independentista. Wanted by U.S. authorities for actions stemming from his belief that Puerto Rico was a U.S. colony that should be independent, Ojeda Rios was murdered on September 23, 2005, shot by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at his home. An FBI press release stated that Ojeda Rios opened fire on the FBI and that the FBI retaliated, but that claim was not substantiated by an Inspector General's report that noted that the FBI opened the attack on Ojeda Rios with a "flash bang" device. Ojeda Rios shot 10 times and the FBI fired one hundred times. Ojeda Rios was struck in the lung by a single sniper's bullet, fell to the floor, and bled to death over 12 to 15 hours with no medical help allowed to save his life.
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