Posts made in February, 2014

Justice denied in Florida – The people must act!

Posted by on Feb 17, 2014 in News, Stop Police Crimes | 0 comments

February 17, 2014 The jury in the case of The State of Florida v. Michael David Dunn was not able to return a verdict on the charge that he murdered Jordan Russell Davis, a 17 year old African American.  The jury found, however, that Dunn was guilty of three counts of attempted murder and one count of shooting his gun into the car in which Davis and three other African American youth were passengers.  The jury consisted of 4 white men, 4 white women, 2 Black women, one Asian woman and one Latino man. They were reportedly split over whether the murder of Davis was First Degree Murder, Second Degree Murder, or Manslaughter. Leaders of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression characterized the verdict as only a “partial victory” in the struggle against white supremacist vigilante violence, and called for mass protest and action to defend civil rights. “This verdict should spur all of us,” the Alliance said, “regardless of color, gender, or nationality, to act to demand that the U.S. Department of Justice intervene and seek an injunction against so-called ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws in Florida and elsewhere.  They are in violation of the 14th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution and the Civil Rights Act of 1875, U.S.C. Article 18 Section 242.  These laws, in practice, grant armed vigilantes license to kill African American youth.” Observers have noted with alarm that in every case, only white vigilantes have apparently been authorized to use deadly force by these laws.  No one has mentioned that Trayvon Martin, murdered last year by George Zimmerman, or Jordan Davis had any right to stand their ground in the face of a clear and present danger to their lives, proven by the murders of these unarmed young men. Davis’s mother and father, Lucia McBath and Ron Davis, expressed some relief when interviewed after the verdict, that Dunn would spend at least 75 years in prison – a minimum of 20 years on each attempted murder charge and 15 years on the shooting charge.  They also expressed deep anxiety that Dunn ultimately must be held to account for the murder of their son. Florida State Attorney Angela Corey told reporters after the verdicts were announced that the state would retry Dunn on the charge of first degree murder of Davis.  “Justice for Jordan Davis is as important as it is for any victim,” Corey said. “It’s sad for Mr. Dunn that he will live the rest of his life in that sense of torment, and I will pray for him,” Lucia McBath said. “And I’ve asked my family to pray for him.”  But this is not enough, she added.  She and her husband demand justice for their son as well. In a statement signed by Clarice Durham, Ted Pearson, CAARPR Co-chair people, and Frank Chapman, Field Organizer and Chairperson of the Organizing Committee to Stop Police Crimes, the Alliance declared: “The verdicts in the case of the murder of Jordan Russel David and the attempted murder of three others by Michael David Dunn in Florida are only a partial victory in the struggle against white supremacy.  They can offer only mild satisfaction, in that Dunn faces a mandatory sentence of at least 75 years in prison for attempted murder of three African American youth with a gun. “But even though he may spend the rest of his life in prison, the failure of the jury to find Dunn guilty of killing Jordan Davis says to the people of the world that in Florida, and elsewhere in the U. S., the lives of...

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NATO 3 trial puts focus on police accountability in Chicago

Posted by on Feb 16, 2014 in News, Stop Police Crimes | 0 comments

One thing we learned from the NATO 3 trial: The Chicago Police Department’s Red Squad is back. And, critics say, it’s back to breaking the law. Not just around the 2012 NATO summit, but on a permanent basis. Not just to prevent terrorism, but to monitor constitutionally protected activity. Read More

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A Brief Look Back At How Our Movement To Stop Police Crimes Got Started

Posted by on Feb 2, 2014 in News, Stop Police Crimes | 0 comments

                 A BRIEF LOOK BACK AT HOW OUR MOVEMENT TO STOP POLICE CRIMES GOT STARTED April 2012 -January 2014  By Frank Chapman, Educational Director and Field Organizer, Chicago Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression In the last 20 months our peoples’ movement to stop police crimes and torture has proven at least one thing very clearly and that is that the present system of policing is not impervious to change and that police crimes and torture can be stopped when the people rise up in organized protest and demand justice. We have had some significant victories in the Rekia Boyd case and in several of the torture cases. Our persistence has helped to stimulate a more open public debate on the question of community control of the police. Our movement has been recognized and is being assessed by the powers that be. That is what the Mayor’s apology in the torture cases was all about; he apologizes to the torture victims and admits that the police who perpetrated these crimes were morally and legally wrong. But the Mayor did not set forth a program of action that would bring about any systemic change. They know their system is plagued with racism, corruption and injustice and so do we. The difference is we want change and they don’t; we want justice and they are hell bent on maintaining this system of injustice. Hopefully these brief notes will help us as organizers to see where we’ve been in order to get a better handle on where we are going.  We can be effective organizers when we realize that to dare to struggle is to dare to win.  The Organizing Committee To Stop Police Crimes was born as an idea on April 19, 2012 when the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR) met with Lew Myers at Kennedy-King College to discuss the possibility of having a community meeting on police crimes and torture. Coming out of this discussion was an agreement with Brother Myers and the Kennedy-King Criminal Justice Project to co-sponsor a Peoples’ Hearing on Police Crimes with the CAARPR at Kennedy-King College. Later, on April 23, 2012 we convened our first meeting, and those present were Khalid Abdullah, Jeff Baker, Lamont Burnett, Jesse Caver, Mark Clements, Randy Ryder and Ted Pearson.  I, as the Field Organizer for the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, presented to the committee a plan of work for organizing a Peoples Hearing on Police Crimes to be held at Kennedy-King College on June 9, 2012. After some detail discussion the various elements of the proposed plan were agreed upon and a plan of work and a call to action that could unite us all around the issue of police crimes in order to move forward. Thereafter, we sent out a Call to the affected communities, and known victims of police crimes and torture. The Call’s message was as follows: “ We, the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression call upon all our sisters and brothers, representing all strands of the people’s movements, to join us in initiating a call for A Peoples Hearing Against Police Crimes (i.e., brutality, murder, torture, complicity in vigilantism and racial profiling). The purpose of this hearing will be to provide a public forum where the victims of police crimes and the various organizations fighting against police brutality and torture can present their cases and demands for justice… “ The facts and evidence are clear; the police throughout our country are out of control. Most striking is their use of use brute force...

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