Two More Outrageous "Justifieds"

April 7, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader in California:

In BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, Bob Avakian talks about "two of the most hurtful words in the English language these days—'justifiable homicide'" and how murders by the police and other enforcers of this system are regularly and routinely approved and excused.

Check out the news from this past week:

First, the Pasadena, California, police department issues its internal report on March 21, clearing its officers of any wrongdoing in last year's murder of Kendrec McDade. Police said they'd received a report of an armed robbery at a taco truck. McDade, a 19-year-old Black college student, and a friend of his allegedly fled when the cops rolled up. One cop in a police cruiser fired at least four shots out the open window after he said McDade "reached for his waistband." Reports said the cop fired on him from less than a foot away. A second cop fired four more shots.

McDade was hit a total of seven times, as many as four of them in the back, then was handcuffed while he was still alive and left to die without receiving first aid. His family's attorney said the trajectory of the bullets indicated he'd been shot while either falling or already on the ground. And guess what? The "gun" McDade supposedly was reaching for turned out to be a cell phone he was carrying in the front of his sweatpants.

To compound the outrage, Pasadena police announced the findings that clear the officers on the first anniversary of Kendrec McDade's murder.

Second, one of the local radio stations runs a story on suicides in the California state prison system. The reporter talks about how an average of 31 prisoners a year have killed themselves in the state's prisons over the past decade and a half. A prison-rights attorney exposes how prisoners who are feared suicidal and are waiting for a psychiatric assessment are stripped to their boxers, then stuck in a holding cell the size of a telephone booth. The reporter talks about the increase in lockdowns and long-term segregation and what that does to a prisoner's sense of hopelessness—she gives an example of a severely depressed prisoner who was sent to the acute-care facility in one prison, was accused of "malingering" by prison staff and kicked out, and within three hours he'd hanged himself.

The story itself is almost too much to bear: Prisoners confined in conditions that drive them to want to end their lives just to finally be free of the brutality of their surroundings, many of them already diagnosed with mental illness and getting little or no compassionate treatment. More than 30 people a year ending their own lives because they see it as their only means of escape. But then the reporter provides the kicker:

Former chief prison psychiatrist Alan Abrams justifies the suicides by saying, "You know, people finally understanding that they're going to spend the rest of their lives in prison, who's to say that it isn't an acceptable solution to a failed life?"

Outrageous! And completely unjustified!

If anyone is still in need of a reason why this horrendous and heartless system needs to be done away with through revolution, they just got two more.

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