Carl Dix on the Shift of the Amadou Diallo Case to Albany

Powers-that-be Try To Deny Justice:
What's Our Comeback?

Revolutionary Worker #1037, January 9, 2000

February 4, 1999--Four New York City cops gunned down African immigrant Amadou Diallo in a hail of 41 bullets--as he stood unarmed in the doorway to his own home in the Bronx.

December 16, 1999--a panel of New York judges moved the murder trial of those cops away from the Bronx and New York City--to upstate Albany county.

These five white state judges--one of whom is a crony of the lawyer of one of these killer cops--took the case away from the city and put it in a county where 86 percent of the people are white and only 9 percent are Black. New York City's Mayor Giuliani naturally applauded this move.

The judges said that that these cops can't get a "fair trial" in the Bronx, or anywhere in New York City.

What does it mean that the authorities fear allowing the people of these neighborhoods the chance to judge these cops? If their claim that the police "serve and protect" is true, what are they afraid of? Perhaps their fear reveals the reality of their policing mission--that they are really like an occupying army that brutalizes and murders people and are afraid of being judged in the communities they patrol?

The judges said that people in New York have already made up their minds. What they really mean is that people in the city know too much about how these cops operate. People know that what happened to Amadou was no accident. So the authorities are afraid that the jury panel will be able to see thru the lies that these cops and their lawyers will tell.

Then the judges had the nerve to claim that the reason that the cops "can't get a fair trial" is because the massive protests after Amadou's murder supposedly poisoned everyone's minds. This is standing reality on its head. The struggle of the people was the whole reason a taste of justice became possible. If there hadn't been any protests, these cops would probably never have been indicted at all.

Now the judges claim Albany will be "sufficiently diverse." Diverse enough for what? To give them a better shot at acquitting these murdering cops!

This is what Los Angeles authorities did with the first trial of the LAPD cops who beat Rodney King. They moved the 1992 trial from Los Angeles to a pro-police suburb called Simi Valley--where a mostly white jury let the cops off. But when the cops did get off, the masses in L.A. rose in a powerful rebellion, and people all across the country took to the streets in support of them. This forced the authorities to try those cops again and send them to jail.

Why are the New York authorities doing this same thing now? Gunning down Amadou had nothing to do with fighting crime. He didn't even look like the suspect the police claimed they were looking for that night. But murdering Amadou has everything to do with the real job of the police--which is enforcing a brutal clampdown on the people who are exploited and held down by this system. The power structure wants--and they need--their cops to have a free hand to arrest, harass, beat down and even murder people. And they want them to know they'll be protected if they get caught doing it. So they have applied their Simi Valley strategy.

The question now is: what do we need to do to make this blow up in their faces? To get right to the point, the people need to mount determined resistance that says to the authorities loud and clear, "We won't let you get away with giving a green light to this foul murder."

Our actions need to make it crystal clear that we're going to fight thru on this case until they convict these murdering pigs. And if they don't convict these pigs, we'll make them wish they had!

The people need to be outside the court in Albany in force when the trial opens on January 31 and as it goes on. And we need to mount determined resistance in our communities, at our workplaces, and schools.

Everywhere, the cry has to be--JAIL AMADOU'S MURDERERS! And we have to do what's needed on different levels to back that cry up--to let them know we're for real when we say it.

We also need to learn the valuable lesson they're teaching us on how their system operates with this case. They always tell us we should trust in the laws, rules and procedures of the system. The reality is that 95 percent of the time, these laws, rules and procedures operate in a way that messes over the people. When that one-time-out-of-twenty comes up, when it looks like the people can get justice by playing by these rules, they turn around and change the rules--like they did in this case. It's a question of power. As long as the capitalist rulers wield power over us, the people will never get real justice.

We gotta fight to get justice in this case, and that means seeing these cops go to jail with some real time. But as we carry on the fight for justice in this case--and all the cases of police brutality and murder--we need to be real clear that this system can never give us complete justice. It's set up to oppress and exploit us, and, like a leopard, it can never change those spots.

We need to fight this battle for justice as part of getting ready and in position for what we need to win real justice--rising up in revolution, getting rid of this system once and for all, and going on to build a whole new world on the ashes of this messed-up one.



Carl Dix, National Spokesperson, Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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