Murder and Brutality by Police Is Unjust, Immoral, and Illegitimate

Updated June 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


In just a matter of a week, infuriating, outrageous, and defining images of a vicious, violent, degrading war on our youth were flashed across the globe, shining a light on the nature of the system that rules the USA: To be Black or Latino in AmeriKKKa is to live knowing that any moment you can be insulted, assaulted, terrorized, criminalized, locked up, and murdered by police—for nothing.

* * *

There was the disgusting, humiliating assault on Black teenagers doing nothing more than trying to enjoy a pool party in McKinney, Texas, on June 5. As part of a police assault on these youths, a manic pig threw a young sister to the ground in her bikini and kneeled on top of her for no reason—and pulled his gun on the teens! A white youth who made and distributed the video of the assault said, “You can see in part of the video where he tells us to sit down, and he kinda like skips over me and tells all my African-American friends to go sit down.” Other whites on the scene have also called out the racism in the attack. For what? For doing what kids do, for daring to have a pool party on a hot day.

* * *

In Cleveland, a so-called independent investigation of the murder of Tamir Rice by the sheriff’s department resulted, on June 6, in no recommendation for indictment despite the fact that the whole world saw a pig blast this 12-year-old playing with a toy gun in a park just two seconds after he rolled up on Tamir. There are demands being raised in the wake of this that the murdering police must be indicted NOW and a judge ruled there is probable cause to bring the police to trial. But there is STILL no indictment. Still no arrest! Indict! Convict! Send the killer cops to jail! The whole damn system is guilty as hell!

* * *

Kalief Browder was sent to New York City’s hellish Rikers Island prison in 2010 when he was 16 years old, accused of stealing a backpack. He spent three years being tortured there without trial. He was repeatedly beaten by guards. He was subjected to violence from other inmates—a culture fostered and provoked by prison conditions. He spent two of his three years at Rikers in solitary confinement—something globally recognized as torture. After three years, charges were dropped and Kalief was released and his case became a national scandal. He never recovered from the torture he was subjected to, and on June 6 he took his own life. (See “Statement by Carl Dix: Kalief Browder’s Life Was Stolen by This System.”) And nothing has changed at Rikers Island. Just four days later, an 18-year-old held at Rikers for “a parole violation” took his life in this hellhole. NO MORE! Close this hellhole down right now!

* * *

Black and Latino people can’t even go to a concert and have some fun without being assaulted by cops. People who paid hundreds of dollars for tickets to New York City’s Hot97 Summer Jam on June 7 were told by authorities they couldn’t get in because some people were trying to get in for free. People expressed outrage and resisted assaults by police in militarized armored personnel carriers and in riot gear who sprayed people with tear gas and pepper spray, and blasted them with deafening noise. Dozens were arrested.

* * *

On June 8, Shabaka Shakur, a Black man who spent 27 years of his life in prison for murder had his conviction overturned and was released from jail. A New York State Supreme Court justice ruled that there was “a reasonable probability” that the confession that was the basis of his conviction “was indeed fabricated” by former New York Police Department detective Louis Scarcella. A 2013 New York Times investigation reported that Scarcella used “the same eyewitness, a crack-addicted prostitute, for multiple murder prosecutions” and repeatedly produced “confessions” from defendants who insisted they had not made them. Scarcella’s “investigations” played a role in sending countless people to jail, many serving long sentences. As evidence of his frame-ups comes to light, the NYPD continues to cover them up—just last week refusing to turn over Scarcella’s notes on a 25-year-old homicide conviction.

* * *

And the list goes on and on. On June 8, Mario Ocasio was Tased to death by police in the Bronx, New York. They initially claimed he was carrying a pair of scissors. As if carrying a pair of scissors warranted a police execution! But then—after every mainstream media outlet had put out this “justification” for the police killing Mario Ocasio, small articles carried news that “a police official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the death was still under investigation, acknowledged that Mr. Ocasio did not have the scissors in his hand.” And family members say, “Mario was laying on the floor, calm” when he was killed. Friends were concerned that he was having a mental breakdown and had taken some bad drugs. Police who responded are part of a unit specially trained to “handle” people with emotional or psychological problems. They “handled” the situation like murderers.

* * *

Albert WoodfoxAlbert Woodfox (Photo:

On Monday, June 8, a district court judge ordered the release of Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3, after over 40 years in solitary. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture has said that the long solitary confinement Woodfox has been subjected to “clearly amounts to torture.” In 2012, Albert Woodfox said, “I do not have the words to convey the years of mental, emotional and physical torture I have endured. I am not sure what damage has been done to me, but I do know that the feeling of pain allows me to know that I am alive. If I dwelled on the pain I have endured and stopped to think about how 40 years locked in a cage 23 hours a day has affected me, it would give insanity the victory it has sought for 40 years.” The Angola 3 were falsely convicted of killing a guard in Louisiana’s notorious Angola prison, based in part on their membership in the Black Panther Party. (See “Herman Wallace of the Angola 3—Full of Courage and Revolutionary Spirit to the End.”) Even the widow of the guard who was killed said that after looking at the evidence, “I believe the Angola 3 are innocent.” Despite the June 8 court order that Albert Woodfox be released, Louisiana authorities have appealed, and on Friday, June 12, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued a decision to stay his release pending the outcome of the appeal.

* * *

We are out of space and time here, but police continue to murder. On June 11, Miami police shot Fritz Severe, a 46-year-old homeless man, five times outside a public library. They claim he failed to drop a stick he was holding—as if (if true) that could possibly justify murder. The police murdered Fritz Severe in front of dozens of traumatized children attending a YMCA summer camp taking place at a park nearby.

Murder and brutality by police is unjust, immoral, and illegitimate. It has to STOP.



Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.



"The film brings you up close inside Cornel West's and Bob Avakian's dialogue: the passion, the audacity, the science, the morality, the revolutionary substance. Two courageous voices modeling a morality that refuses to accept injustice – pouring heart and soul into standing together challenging all of us to fight for a world worthy of humanity."

Andy Zee,
co-director of the film


BA Speaks

"No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born. I say no more of that."

BAsics 1:13

Do you know anyone else—any person or organization—that has managed to bring forth an actual PLAN for a radically different society, in all its dimensions, and a CONSTITUTION to codify all this? — A different world IS possible — Check out and order online the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal).