US police killing of Black people should see America in international court

An international report by human rights experts from around the world has called for the US to be taken to the International Criminal Court over the police killings of African Americans.

The 100-page report details the ongoing catalogue of murders and brutality that is systemic to the US and continues as part of its legacy of slavery and the racist white supremacists attitudes and practices it gave birth to.

The report highlights:

  1. violating its international human rights obligations, both in terms of laws governing policing and in the practices of law enforcement officers
  2. tolerating an “alarming national pattern of disproportionate use of deadly force not only by firearms but also by Tasers” against Black people
  3. operating a “culture of impunity” in which police officers are rarely held accountable
  4. police routinely subjecting African-Americans to torture

Six dead within 24 hours of Chauvin murder verdict

Within 24 hours of the guilty verdicts against Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd six more people were killed by police, not all of whom were Black. Thos deaths follow the US police killing of Daunte Wright just 10 miles away from the trial as the court was sitting.

From the US News and World Report:

A 16-year-old girl in Columbus, Ohio.

An oft-arrested man in Escondido, California.

A 42-year-old man in eastern North Carolina.

The deaths, in some cases, sparked new cries for justice. Some said they reflect an urgent need for radical changes to American policing — a need that the Chauvin verdict cannot paper over. For others, the shootings are a tragic reminder of the difficult and dangerous decisions law enforcement face daily.

An unidentified man in San Antonio.

Another man, killed in the same city within hours of the first.

A 31-year-old man in central Massachusetts.

more

US police killing of Ma’Khia Bryant

On Tuesday last week a Black teenage girl Ma’Khia Bryant was shot dead by police in an instant in Columbus, Ohio.

Cops were called to a fight outside her foster home. In the body-cam release by the police the teenager is seen lunging at someone with what appears to be a knife. She lunges at a second and the officer – Nicholas Reardon – shouts “Hey! Hey! Get down! Get down!” and then shoots her dead as the chaotic scene unfolds.

After the four shots are discharged, a shocked onlookers shouts: “You didn’t have to shoot her! She’s just a kid, man!”

The officer replies with his explanation: “She had a knife. She just went at her.”

Another neighbour verbally accosts the officers: “Do you see why Black lives matter? Do you get it now?”

Nope, they don’t get it. Sure, she has what looks like a knife but why didn’t;t the policeman shoot in the legs, why shoot to kill?

The same question could be asked of many many other murders carried out by the police. That’s to say, as far as Black people are concerned they deem it as always the preferred option to shoot to kill.

The fact that Ma’Khia was a child has been deliberately lost by the media and the defenders f the police who prefer to describe her as “a big woman’, “out of control” etc.

Her treatment in life and death is the same as that experienced by other black girls, who are often held to adult standards in the weird racist ‘adultification’ that goes on in America.

For more on the racist adultification of Black girls read what Dr. Jamilia Blake, a co-author of the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality report and a psychology professor at Texas A&M University has to say.

There have also been a number of recent incidents of children as young a five being handcuffed and brutalised by police in the US.

…and another US police killing: Andrew Brown Jr ‘execution’

Then there was the killing at the hands of the police of Andrew Brown Jr. in North Carolina.

This from CNN:

Andrew Brown Jr., 42, was fatally shot by Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies in Elizabeth City on Wednesday when they attempted to serve him with an arrest warrant, the sheriff’s office said.

Few details — and no video — have been released publicly about the shooting.

In dispatch audio from that day, first responders can be heard saying a man had gunshot wounds to the back. A copy of his death certificate says he died as a result of a gunshot wound of the head.

On Monday afternoon, after an earlier delay, Pasquotank County Attorney Michael Cox showed Brown’s family and attorneys a short clip from one deputy’s body camera that family attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter said showed an “execution.”

And it isn’t just Black people being killed. Brown people are disproportionate targets also. Adam Toledo – just 16 years old – was shot dead by Chicago police as he raised his hands. more

Maxine Waters is right: Chauvin is guilty and we need to step up our action

America and the world waits pensively for the verdict from the jury in the trial of racist ex cop Derek Chauvin who killed George Floyd.

Although the evidence against him was overwhelming given what we all saw with our own eyes, such is the depth of racism in the US that police are still given great leeway in their dealings with black people.

The sad reality is that all black people in the US are seen as a problem to be controlled. This is a mindset that goes back to slavery and continues to underscore the racist attitudes of police but also of many ordinary white people.

Attempts to blame Floyd’s history of drug taking and the impact that may or may not have had on his physiology for his death were desperate, or to suggest that Chauvin acted “reasonably”, were laughable.

But it only takes one jury member to decide there is sufficient doubt in the prosecution case for Chauvin to be acquitted.

Defend Maxine Waters for telling the truth

However, there is another risk that has emerged following comments made by congresswoman Maxine Waters and the interpretation put on them by the judge in the trial.

In an unusual statement from the judge, he explicitly claimed that the statements by Waters attending the scene of the killing of Daunte Wright just 10 miles way from the court, may somehow provide grounds for an appeal seeking mistrial.

Judge Peter Cahill described Waters words as “disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch”. So what did she say exactly?

Waters merely said she hoped Chauvin would be found “guilty, guilty, guilty”, just like the rest of us.

But if he walked free from the court Waters said, “we’ve got to stay on the street, and we’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”

In other words the BLM movement will have to step up the fight. Again, there is nothing controversial in any of this but the racist republicans are now using it as an excuse to indulge in one of their favourite sports: attacking black women.

On this occasion Waters is to be applauded. However it should also be noted how few congressmen and women actually take part in protests on the streets.

Break from the Democrats

Leadership is about taking risks but also speaking truth to power. Waters deserve our support and the support of the rest of the ~Democrtas in Congress. But more than that we need black leaders to take to the streets regardless of the verdict from the jury.

Furthermore, the movement needs to stop putting its faith in Democrat politicians and the left more widely needs to break from that party, which after all has its roots as the vehicle of the slave power for the pivotal moments of US history.

America needs a truly progressive political formation that puts the struggle first not getting elected to office.

Daunte Wright killed by Minneapolis cops for driving while being black

Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old black man is dead after being shot by racist police in a Minneapolis suburb.

The murderous shooting took place during a traffic stop on Sunday and shortly after the man had phoned his mother, Katie Wright, to say he was being pulled over by cops.

The community has risen up in protest against the latest police killing of an innocent black person.

Protests broke out last night and continued into Monday morning, with the Brooklyn Center suburb at the centre of the rebellion.

Underlining the horror of the latest shooting is the fact that it took place a mere 10 miles from where the cop – Derek Chauvin – who murdered George Floyd is on trial, just before the 11th day of that trial.

Justice for Daunte Wright protests met by more violence

As is typical of racist America, the authorities instead of arresting the killer cops, have launched a repressive push back against protesters, firing rubber bullets and other weapons at members of the community.

Brooklyn Center’s mayor has put in place a curfew until 6am

Even with the eyes of the world on the Minneaplos police force, their impunity still knows no bounds.

As is usual for such police crimes, the cops got in their narrative (lies) first.

Chief Tim Gannon of the Brooklyn Center Police Department said that as the traffic stop unfolded the police discovered that there was a warrant out for the arrest of the motorist, as if this was excuse enough for the shooting dead of Wright.

Katie Wright said her son told her he had been pulled over “for having a dangerous air freshner on his car window”.

The ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] said his mother heard the cops tell him to get out of the car but they refused to say why. Then she heard scuffling followed by gunshots.

The bodycam of the latest police murder has yet to be released, despite calls from family members and the community.

The killing of Duante Wright follows outrage over the treatment by racist police of US Army Lieutenant Caron Nazario, who was assaulted and threatened with being shot by cops in Virginia. Nazario is of mixed Africa-American and Hispanic heritage.

Richard Okorogheye found dead after Met police refuse to search for him

The body of missing student Richard Okorogheye is though to have been found in a pond in Epping Forest by Essex police.

Although the body has not been formally identified, the Met police have told Richard’s mother, Evidence Joel, that the description matches.

Sadly the discovery comes more than a week after after the family reported him missing and the police refused to help. The student went missing on 22 March

Indeed when Richard’s mother reached out to the police ‘public servants’ for assistance, she was told: “How do you expect us to find him if you can’t?”.

It was only after the family made a plea to the public and concerned citizens demanded that the police take action, that a police search began.

As we all know, locating missing persons is a police responsibility, as is investigating domestic violence and bringing perpetrators to justice, but in reality neither tasks appear to be taken seriously by police.

Richard Okorogheye failed by police because he was black

The negligence is likely compounded by the fact that Richard was black.

Why do we say that? users of this website will be familiar with the case of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry – two sisters who went missing in August last year. When they were reporteed missing by the family to the police, they refused to go and look for them. Suffice to say the sisters were black.

Perhaps in the case of Richard the police may not have been able to locate him in time to prevent his death, but maybe they could have. We will now never know because of the racist negligence of the Metropolitan police.

Richard suffered from Sickle cell anaemia and left home without his medicine.

Still fighting for justice for Belly Mujinga one year on

It is one year since Belly Mujinga died from Covid after a racist attack in which she was deliberately spat at and coughed on by a man who said he had Covid.

Belly’s family have been fighting for justice ever since, both to prosecute thee racist and to bring the railway worker ticket inspector’s employer – Govia Thameslink – to account for not providing Belly and other frontline workers with personal protective equipment as the pandemic took hold.

British Transport Police have. so far refused to bring a prosecution, claiming there is not sufficient evidence.

The Coroner is yet to decide whether there should be n inquest into her death.

Also, although the train company knows the identity of the racist assailant, they still refuse to reveal the name.

Standing alongside the family, Manuel Cortes, general secretary of Belly’s union, the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, is demanding action: “We are asking people to take a minute out of their day to remember Belly Mujinga and to think of all the frontline workers who have died from coronavirus during the pandemic.

“There must be justice for Belly and our union will go on demanding that.

“This is vitally important, not just for Belly’s family but for all transport workers who have done so much to keep our country moving during this deadly pandemic.”

Today socially distanced protests have been held at Victoria, Brighton and Bedford train stations.

If Tony Sewell – who chaired the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities – is struggling to work out what institutional racism is, he could start with this case.

Pimlico Academy school students revolt against institutional racism

Pimlico Academy school students have risen up in revolt and racism and sexism at their school.

Instead of educating children the new headmaster has been more concerned with ‘discipline’, which in this case has been a conduit for re-establishing institutionally racist practices.

Black students have told they cannot have afro hair cuts. Muslim students have been told they cannot wear any hujabs other than black.

One of the first things the new head did was to get rid of Black History Month.

He didn’t leave it at that – he also insisted the school started flying the union jack flag – a symbol of imperialism and the racism of Empire.

As if all that wasn’t enough, the head also ordered the LGBT+ noticeboard to be taken down.

Pimlico Academy school “like going to prison”

Some students ikened going to school as “going to prison”.

Sixth form students have been told they have to wear ‘business suits, but many parents are not able to afford to buy them.

Students footwear has been damaged, with labels cut from Kickers shoes, for example, before thinking of at least asking permission from parents first.

Yesterday the school students said enough is enough and with chants of “black lives matter” and “we want change”, organised a protest in the school basketball court after being prevented from congregating on the astro turf sports area.

Pimlico Academy school students protest against racism

The protests involved hundreds and saw students also wearing red arm bands in solidarity with Sarah Everard and against the failure of the school to do anything about sexism at school.

Such was the impact of the protest that it got onto local and national TV news.

The sitdown protest took place the entire morning, forcing the school to eventually close early.

“I’m in Year 11 and it used to be a very positive place,” he said. “Now I feel intimidated in school. It feels authoritarian and restrictive, which makes it harder to learn. The culture is different—it’s very ‘British’ oriented, even with the food,” said one student.

“We all come from very different cultures. That should be respected.” 

For more reporting direct from the students, parents and teachers themselves, see this report.

Although not initiated or led by teachers, they supported the protest.

The teachers at the school have called for the head to resign.

Rumours are now circulating that the head is indeed going to resign.

More soon when we get it.

Racism in the USA: cops handcuff 5-year-old black child

Racism in the USA brings forth more shocking scenes, this time from a newly released body camera footage from January 2020 showing two police officers in Montgomery County, Maryland, berating and handcuffing a 5-year-old child.

You won’t be surprised to know that the child is black. But what is perhaps more surprising is the fact that the cops responsible for the child abuse were themselves African-American.

Such is the deep institutional racism of the police in the US that even the black cops conform to type and learn to see all black people as worthy or ‘special treatment’ – even five-year-old boys.

The police officers have still not been disciplined, let alone sacked.

The officers were responding to a call to bring back the child, who left school after allegedly breaking a computer. The child’s mother has filed a lawsuit against the police department.

A few minutes into the footage, the following interaction take place:

“I don’t care if you don’t want to go to school — you do not have that choice, do you understand?” says one of the two cops, before he decides to get more aggressive. “Get back over there! Now!” he screams.

The boy does not respond, so the cop grabs him by the arm and begins walking him back to the school. The boy starts coughing and crying uncontrollably.

“There is no crying!” the female officer yells.

The male officer, who has the boy by the arm, tells him: “Cut it out!”

Kill the bill protests set for cities and towns across UK this Easter

Kill the bill protests will taking place all over the country on Friday and Saturday, when there is a day of action.

The Tory Police and Crime Bill would give police the powers to shut down protests for making too much noise or causing ‘disruption’ – but all protests make noise and cause at least some disruption, after all that’s the whole point of protests.

In reality the Tories fear a long hot summer and so are getting tooled up, legally speaking, although they already have enough laws to orchestrate a clampdown on our democratic rights.

The BLM movement last summer and the Extinction Rebellion actions earlier really upset the Tories and this is the backlash from the right.

Fortunately for democracy in the UK, people have no intention of taking the imposition of this draconian legislation lying down and have been taking to the streets, from Newcastle to Bristol to Manchester.

It is not illegal to hold protests providing they are Covid safe, which means maintaining social distancing and mask wearing and use of sanitiser on hands and for wiping down equipment.

Jeremy Corbyn MP is slated to speak at the London protests according to information on social media.

Update: Saturday’s London protest details latest – Meet 1pm Speakers Corner Hyde Park – Jeremy Corbyn is now speaking

Kill the bill protests – check social media for details:

blm_cardiff  PROTEST ANNOUNCEMENT

Nation Day of Action – defend your right to protest

Bute Park, Cardiff
Saturday 3rd April
2PM

#killthebill #justiceformohamud #justiceformouayed

Sewell commission was written by house slaves

The government’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, chaired by right winger Tony Sewell, denies that institutional racism exists in the UK.

In a blatant attempt to sweep the issues of racial discrimination under the carpet, the commission wants to eradicate all mention of racial inequality, as seen in one of its centrepiece proposals, which is to end the use of the term ‘BAME’ [black and minority ethnic] in the public sector.

Whatever we might think of the limitations of that acronym, the government is not looking to get rid of BAME to help fight racism, but instead to write people from black and minority backgrounds out of the data sets.

Sewell was put in place by the racist Tory government’s useful idiot Munira Mirza who was once a member of the fake-left Revolutionary Communist Party – an organisation that spent its time undermining left-wing causes in the name of “freedom of speech”.

She is now being paid handsomely for her crimes against multiculturalism.

As for Sewell, he used to head up a project called Generating Genius, which would be more accurately titled ‘generating obedience’.

Malcolm X correctly characterised people like Sewell as ‘House Negroes’, who see their lives as bound up with the well-being of their master, as distinct from the field salves who would take the first opportunity to slay the oppressor.

Malcom X: “I’m a field Negro”. Tony Sewell is a house slave who does his masters’ bidding

The cornerstone of the commission case seems to be that some ethnic minorities do well in the education system, so that must prove that there is no institutional racism, despite all the data that contradicts any such conclusion.

Here’s some institutional racism stats to remind the Tory racists and their little helpers:

• Black people are 9x more likely to be stopped and searched by police

• 60% of NHS staff deaths during the Covid pandemic have been of people from minority ethnic backgrounds.

• Kids from African-Caribbean backgrounds rare 4x more likely to be excluded from school

• Unemployment among people from Black and minority backgrounds is running at 8.5% but among white people it is 4.5%, according to a recent TUC report.

• Black women are 5x more likely to die in child birth.

The Tories are trying to claim that those who are the victims of racism are making it all up, but the reality of institutional cannot be ignored. The fact that this government is seeking to ignore it speaks to their own racism and of course their racist policies that brought us the continuing Windrush Scandal and the barbaric deportation flights and immigration detention centres.

This report, which we are yet to see in all its gory detail, adds fuel to the fire of the burning anger that drove the BLM movement last summer.

We didn’t just march for justice for George Floyd but also for the 1,750 people killed by police in this country since 1990, and all those from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds – and the poor working class people too, who have died disproportionately in this Covid pandemic due to government ‘herd immunity’ policies.

More now than ever we need to be back on the streets. Spread the protests. Fight racism! Kill the bill!

George Floyd murder trial: ‘When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad’

The trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd has put America on trial for its institutional racism.

Already the Chauvin defence strategy is clear – assassinate the character of the victim and insist on the unblemished professionalism of the killer police officer.

In this weird police union world it is not the knee on George Floyd’s neck that killed him but his poor heart condition and alleged drug use.

All this simply piles pain on the family, despite the ‘financial compensation’ they have received from Minneapolis city authorities. But no amount of money will bring George back from the dead.

The trial is expected to last a month and will prove to be both tortuous and painful.

One thing is certain – if the jury fails to convict Chauvin on the second degree murder charge, which is too weak a charge in any case – there will be hell to pay, both in the US and around the world. BLM will make sure of that.

Witnesses to George Floyd’s killing: ‘It seemed like he knew it was over for him’

The most powerful testimony at the first day of the trial came from Darnella Frazier, the teenager who was one of the bystanders filming the murder and is now 18 years old.

Having witnessed the killing, she is still traumatised by the experience and sometimes finds it hard to sleep as she thinks over if it she could have saved George’s life by intervening.

She spoke of how she would lay awake “apologising to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life.”

“When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad,” she added. “I look at my brothers. I look at my cousins, my uncles because they are all Black. I have a Black father. I have a Black brother. I have Black friends. And I look at that, and I look at how that could have been one of them.”

“It seemed like he knew it was over for him. He was terrified. He was suffering. This was a cry for help, definitely.”

The onlookers at the scene were understandably scared to intervene and noted how all the police on scene refused to respond to warnings from bystanders about the threat to George’s life their restraint clearly showed.

Calling the police on the police

Donald Williams, 33, a mixed martial arts fighter called the police on the police, such were his fears, as he saw the life being squeezed out of George. “I believe I witnessed a murder,” he informed the 911 phone operator.

Genevieve Hansen, 27, was another. witness to the murder. She is a firefighter and just happened to be passing by.

Hansen told the police to check George’s pulse but they told her to go away. “I would have been able to provide medical attention to the best of my abilities, and this human was denied that right,” Hansen stated to the court.

Chauvin’s lawyer Eric J. Nelson tried to claim that the police officers on the scene were being threatened by the small crowd of onlookers.

Hansen probably had the best response to that twisting of the truth: “I don’t know if you’ve seen anybody be killed, but it’s upsetting.”

Another thing that is emerging already from the trial is the bias of the judge, who took issue with several comments from witnesses, telling them not to argue with the court, and admonishing Hansen for daring to point out the trauma of watching someone being killed in front of their eyes.