Update: Chicago Whitewashes Continue

No Indictment for the Pig Who Murdered Ronald Johnson

December 8, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


In one day, Monday, December 8, here is what happened in Chicago. If you think about it, the two major events show the appearance of changes and at the same time the actual essence of how the system will continue to defend the police because it needs them to terrorize the communities of the oppressed.



Chicago continues to scramble to contain the outrage that has been roiling since the recent release of the video showing the execution of Laquan McDonald in October 2014.

The head of the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) was forced to resign. The chief of detectives for the Chicago Police Department, who was just appointed to that position this October, resigned. The new head of IPRA is a former federal prosecutor with close family ties to the Obamas. This is the appearance that “something is being done” to bring meaningful change. The reality is just the opposite.

The Department of Justice announced it was opening a “patterns and practices” investigation into the Chicago Police Department. An investigation everyone acknowledges could take a year or even years! (See “Reality Check: Answers to Burning Questions arising in the wake of the release of the video the murder of Laquan McDonald and the extensive cover-up that followed” at www.revcom.us)


Another sickening video documenting another police murder of a young Black man on the South Side of Chicago was released today (December 8). This murder happened one week before the police executed Laquan McDonald, and the “investigation” and suppression of this video was also dragged out for more than one year. The video clearly shows a cop jump out of a squad car and within seconds shoot Ronald Johnson as he is sprinting full tilt away from police. Ronnieman, as he is known, was fatally shot twice from the back. The Cook County State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez, not only released the video but then spent 25 minutes with an elaborate presentation to the assembled media to justify the shooting and defend the murdering pig. She declared Ronnieman’s murder a “justifiable homicide” and refused to press criminal charges.

Alvarez justified all this by claiming Ronnieman had a gun in his hand when one is definitely not visible on the video.

Dorothy Holmes, Ronald Johnson’s mother, and her attorney, who is suing the police, held a press conference afterward to refute Alvarez’s findings. The lawyer was very clear in calling this out as a cover-up. He made the following points:

» Ronnieman did not have a gun OR anything in his hand. The gun was planted after they shot him and his blood smeared on it. There is DNA but no fingerprints found on the gun. The gun is old and rusty.

» The state’s attorney’s office had called just three days earlier to ask if he, the attorney for Dorothy Holmes and her family, had evidence that the gun was planted! In outrage, he said the state’s attorney has subpoena power, grand juries, and a lot of investigators, NONE of which were used to investigate this case. Then they have the nerve to call to ask about evidence!

» Alvarez said she relied entirely on IPRA’s investigation, when the head of IPRA had just been forced to resign due to its shoddy investigations. The attorney for Ronald Johnson’s family declared that this was a JOKE! The state’s attorney never even took a statement from the cop who was the shooter, or any of the other police on the scene, for that matter. The only person who took a statement under oath was the attorney for Ronnie’s family in a deposition he gave, because the cop said he already knew he was not going to be prosecuted. The family’s attorney demanded to know how the cop knew this months ago.

» The family’s attorney pointed out that Alvarez must not have read any of the depositions that he had taken in the case. A key witness cited by Alvarez and the media as saying he had the impression Ronnie might have had a gun, said under oath that the police introduced that whole narrative to him as the only logical explanation for what had transpired. One can only imagine how this witness was threatened to adopt this story.

This is the reality: they will continue to defend and whitewash police murder.

Trying to get ahead of the release of other damning videos, the city released another one, showing the vicious brutalization and murder while in police custody of a Black man, Philip Coleman, in December 2012. Coleman was a 38-year-old graduate of the University of Chicago and the son of a veteran cop who worked for departments in the suburbs south of Chicago. Coleman had a mental breakdown, and his mother called police for help. His father arrived back home and actually helped the police subdue Philip and put him in the police car to take him for psychiatric help. Instead of a hospital, the cops took Philip to jail where, as the father put it, their “bright, talented” son was killed. Philip Coleman was tased repeatedly in his jail cell, “taken down” and dragged out in handcuffs. He was then tased 13 (!) more times and beaten with a baton at the hospital. In spite of the fact that he had many visible marks and signs of having been unbelievably brutalized, the Independent Police Review Authority ruled that he died of a reaction to medication at the hospital and exonerated all the cops involved.





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