Waukegan, Illinois, Pigs Murder Unarmed Black Youth

“Mama, they shot us for nothing”

| revcom.us


On Tuesday, October 20, police in Waukegan, Illinois, north of Chicago, shot and killed Marcellis Stinnette, a 19-year-old Black man. The police gunfire also injured Tafara Williams, who was driving the car she and Stinnette were in. Williams and Stinnette are parents to a young child.

While releasing little information, police officials claim that the car driven by Williams was stopped because it was “suspicious” and that one of the cops fired when he “feared for his safety.” The police found no weapons.

This outrageous police shooting took place not far from where Justus Howell, an unarmed 17-year-old Black teenager, was killed by pigs in 2015 with two shots to the back as he was running away.

Williams’s mother, Cliftina Johnson, said on Wednesday she visited her daughter at the hospital, where she is in serious condition with wounds to her stomach and hand. Johnson told reporters, “When I got there, she said, ‘Mama, they just shot us for nothing.’ My daughter said she put her hand up, and if she didn’t put her hand up, she said, ‘Mama, I would be dead.’” In a phone video that WLS news in Chicago reported as being shared by the family, Tafara Williams says, “Why did you shoot? I didn't do nothing wrong. I have a license. You didn't tell me I was under arrest. Why did you just flame up my car like that? Why did you shoot?”

A Waukegan police media briefing was interrupted on Wednesday by protesters demanding to know, “Why did they fire?” On Thursday, October 22, about 100 protesters marched through the streets of Waukegan, with chants of “Black Lives Matter!” and “Say his name! Marcellis Stinnette! Say her name! Tafara Williams!” Another 100 protesters followed the marchers in a car caravan. Among the protesters were relatives of Jacob Blake, 29-year-old Black man who was shot seven times in the back by pigs in August in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a little north of Waukegan.

How many times do we have to hear the murdering pigs say they stopped a Black, Latino, or Native American person on mere “suspicion” (which means they were stopped just for the color of their skin)? How many times do we have to hear the police claim they “feared for their safety” to justify their shooting and brutalizing people of color—and then walk away free or with a slap on the wrist? What does it say about the system that rules over us that even after masses of people around the country have risen up against murder by police and systematic racism, their cops still keep killing with impunity? As a relative of Marcellis Stinnette said at the Thursday protest: “This has to stop!”

Marcellis Stinnette

People in Waukegan, Illinois, march on October 22, 2020, to protest the police killing of Marcellis Stinnette. Photo: AP



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