Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Congress of Afrikan People

Stop Killer Cops

Struggle Against Police Brutality – Your Child May Be Next!

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First Published: n.d. [1976].
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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CONGRESS OF AFRIKAN PEOPLE’S STOP KILLER COPS CAMPAIGN

The Congress of Afrikan People in alliance with many progressive organizations has been waging a national campaign with the theme, “STOP KILLER COPS – STRUGGLE AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY”. The worsening economic crisis in the United States is directly related to the intensifying police brutality. The Police are instruments of the state, that is, they are used by the government to protect the rich, whom the government represents, and suppress the vast majority of poor and exploited people who must struggle every day just to survive. With the increase in layoffs, closing of factories and auto plants, increase in unemployment lines, cut-backs on food stamps, medicare, and etc., cut-backs in educational services and day care services, the masses of people are going to struggle harder for the things they need to survive, and so the Police are also “working harder” to suppress us. In Black and working class communities across the country, there has been case after case of the police killing black and working class youths in cold blood. The police are the “hit men” of the ruling class, legal assassins whose job it is consciously or not, to keep the poor and oppressed masses from TAKING what we need: i.e., full productive lives. TO DO THIS THEY MUST OFTEN KILL! The only way the oppressive rich people’s government can maintain its control over the multitude of poor and oppressed people, is by force and violence!

The Stop Killer Cops Campaign is to expose these “legal” murderers to the people, so they will struggle against these repressive and oppressive measures to keep us poor. We understand that as long as the Rockefellers, Duponts, Mellons (the “16 families”) continue to rule, police brutality will not end, that in fact police brutality will heighten, together with repressive legislations, such as the impending S-l Bill, which, if passed will make this country a police state. We also understand that as people become more and more aware of the role of the police and of the state, they will seek answers, that is, seek ways to stop their oppression and exploitation. We know the only answer is revolution – that is, socialist revolution – to take the power out of the hands of a few, and put it in the hands of the many. The answers the people seek will only come from an organized, disciplined body of people armed with a theory which correctly analyses reality and gives direction Marxism-Leninism-Mao-Tse-Tung Thought. A revolutionary Marxist-Leninist Communist party which will lead the multi-national working class and oppressed nationalities to revolution, is missing now, and we see the issue of party building as being key, because without a Party there is no ultimate way to Stop Killer Cops.

This pamphlet cites factual examples of police violence and brutality, which clearly show whose interest the police work in, and at the same time give some direction for struggle.

EXPOSE THE “LEGAL” MURDERERS!
STRUGGLE AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY!
STOP KILLER COPS!!!

INTRODUCTION

When you talk about Police Brutality, first you need to ask, well, Who are the Police?? If you can answer this question clearly, then you will be able to answer the question of why are they brutal.

The Police are the government’s hired gorillas. They are hoodlums the state pays to threaten and intimidate people who don’t have any money, who don’t own any property, no stores, no businesses. Police are the state’s uniformed hit men. Yeh, they are simply hit men in uniform, paid assassins. Paid to keep those people who don’t have nothing in this society from rebelling against the poverty and seizing what produces wealth.

We are not poor because we want to be. We are poor because we don’t feel we can get away with rippin’ off the people we know control all the wealth. Because it ain’t no secret where the money is nor whose got it.

The police are trained to stop people who don’t have anything from taking what they need by force. They will kill you if you try to get unpoor! Try to move into one of those apartments on East 60th Street. Just get your stuff together, your family and what not, and try to move out of your slum, into one of those fabulous cribs on the Upper East Side. You know what’all happen. Yeh, the police will take you out of there, and depending on how determined you are, to move from where you are, into that new crib, they would probably blow your head off your neck if you insisted past a certain point.

You don’t have no money. You need some money. Maybe you’re hungry, or need some clothes, your family needs oil and its winter. You need money and don’t have it. Maybe you just got laid off...again. Or got fired because you asked for a raise. You go where you know some money is. Walk in there and ask one of David Rockefeller’s henchmen for a sudden loan. The hit men will show. Waste you on the spot. At least lock you up for a long time. And whatever you do, don’t try to take a little bit. You do that you’re sure to get killed or at least get 12 to 20, You want to get off light, rip off a lot. If you get real good and try to rip off the whole country, you’ll get a pardon...right away. And get filmed on TV going to the hospital, that’ll cool that out.

But the police are the government’s intimidators and killers. Legitimized Hoods, who bash heads or blow ’em off to see that the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. They get trained so hard, to put down the poor who rebel against poverty, that some times, they just go off and kill without reason , just can’t help themselves. Like a dog you train to respond every time he hears a bell. And with the police, a black face, a Puerto Rican face or accent, a poor person, is that bell. They can’t help themselves they just start to slobber. Cause they’ve been trained hard. To get nasty at the sight of poverty. Because they know, cause they’re masters taught em, that the poor got to be watched, otherwise they might get ideas about not being poor, maybe you’ll wake up one day and say, Dammit, how come I’m living like this. How come I got to be in this dump–in this project. How come my children got to go to schools and struggle with junkies, or how come my children got to be junkies. You might wake up and ask that question and that’s why the hit men are on the scene, to threaten you or beat you or kill you back into submission. Into submission to capitalism. Capitalism, the system which keeps most of us poor and a few people sickenly rich. Like this fiend Rockefeller on TV...trying to come on like he’s like moderately well to do, “Well you know I only make 60 million a year. Damn why yall gon make believe that’s a whole lot a dough!”

If you challenge the right Rockefeller has to have 60 million a year and billions in his slide, that’s when the hit men show. But they’re trained so hard that sometimes they just react just when they see us. They see you walking down the street, or walk in on you getting a room straightened up for a surprise birthday party, and, DING!!, the bell rings, your black face, your Puerto Rican face, your poor face, and before they know it, BANG! BANG!, they shot you in the back of the head, cause they thought you was getting ready to try to over throw this degenerate sick ass capitalist system. BANG, they shoot you in the back of the head and tell somebody you charged them with a hand saw– musta been runnin at em backwards!

Police Brutality and killer Cops are not accidents, they are necessary for this sick system to survive. The cops are only as sick as this system of capitalism is. Racism, is one sick byproduct of capitalism. Somebody thinking they are superior to you because of their color. But racists don’t just think they are superior, they got uniformed killers whether they call them police or national guard or an army, to prove their superiority by shooting you down in the street, any time they get ready!

We can never stop police brutality. We can never really stop killer Cops, unless we, the people, control the police, and decide who need to be a policeman and who does not. The people must control the police, it can’t be the other way around. Like now the bankers, the merchants, the businessmen, control the police, and the police protect the businessmen and kill the people. The People must control the police, just as finally the people must control the very government itself. The very state itself. When we say all power to the people, that is what we mean, that the people, the masses of us, must control this government. If we are ever to be anything other than poor and oppressed. If we are to ever change the police from rich people’s hired assassins, then we must organize ourselves, put together massive movements not just based on emotionalism, but on study and reason and logic and work and struggle. Then we can challenge the rich criminals that run this country... STOP KILLER COPS!

STRUGGLE AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY!
THE PEOPLE MUST CONTROL THE POLICE!
LONG LIVE THE STRUGGLE OF OPPRESSED PEOPLE WORLDWIDE!
VICTORY TO THOSE WHO STRUGGLE!

Amiri Baraka, September 25, 197[last number missing in original – EROL]
Claude Reese Rally City Hall
Brownsville, New York

NEWARK POLICE REPRESSION, THE LABOR DAY REBELLION

During the Labor Day weekend, from Sept-lst to 3rd, 1974, there were three days of police violence and straight out fascist tactics used by the Newark police department with collaboration with Newark Mayor Adolf Gibson on the Puerto Rican community.

These three days saw the eruption of a police riot and brutality that was thrust to the surface by the courageous reaction of the Puerto Rican people to mounted county police attacks on a Puerto Rican folklore festival in the Branch Brook Park, Sept. 1st, 1^74, and the savage ambush the Newark police perpetrated on Puerto Ricans and Blacks that night, and the following day in downtown Newark, once as racist vigilantes and the second time under the orders of Mayor Kenneth Gibson. In directing some aspect of police terror on the Puerto Rican community, Gibson had sunk to a new low, and if his often repeated dictum that, “whereever America’s cities are going, Newark will get there first”, is to be believed, then America’s cities and America are going straight to fascism.

Gibson gave directives that no more than three people could congregate on the street– clearly unconstitutional, though, like any neo-fascist, he dared people to sue him. To most people in Newark, our court is the side-walk, and we are suing Gibson every night, while the maniacs who masquerade as the Newark Police Department do pretty much what they want to, sometimes in defiance of Gibson’s impotent bureaucracy. The police are an capitalist agency of racist violence, and the Mayor in his so called search for the causes of the Labor Day Rebellion had only to look at the inequalities and horrors of the capitalist system of wealth for a few and poverty for the many, and see how the Puerto Rican community suffers directly under this regime, but also he should look directly at the police themselves, especially at the wanton murder of Francisco Cordova, apparently walking down the street completely removed from the area of the disorders and David Perez, beaten to death by licensed killers, Gibson dared not expose.

The Puerto Rican community in solidarity with the rest of the Newark community put forth certain key demands of Gibson’s neo-colonialist, now neo-fascist administration. The People’s Committee against Repression and Police Brutality, which is composed of the Congress of Afrikan People, Puerto Rican Socialist Party, the Black Panthers, Harambee and other organizations and individuals, called for the indictment of all police superior officers on duty during those rebellion days, if no other names were forth coming.

On February 25th, 1975, the Essex County Grand Jury charged that the Puerto Ricans killed during the Labor Day Rebellion were killed by unlawful police action. This was still an attempt to white wash the murders since no murderers had been singled out for prosecution. The statement that the murders and the Labor Day Rebellion itself was caused by unlawful police action, only tailed behind and attempted to belittle the consciousness of the people, who by and large knew from the beginning that not only had Fernando Cordova and David Perez been murdered by police, but also that the rebellion itself had been triggered by irresponsible police action, and police brutality. The fact that neither Prosecutor Lordi nor the grand jury, named the Killer Cops involved, was simply more evidence that the entire law and order mechanism is a massive and continuous conspiracy to exploit and oppress the people. There was never any intention to reveal the actual killers, public pressure made Lordi and company admit the police did the murders and ignited the Labor Day Rebellion, but at no time was there any intention to name names., Finally on April 26, 1975 the Essex County Grand Jury indicted police Officer John Morello for the death during the Puerto Rican Rebellion. But he remains on duty in another section of the Newark Police Department.

BROWNSVILLE POLICE REPRESSION

14 year old Claude Reese was shot in the head by police Officer Frank Bosco of the 72nd Precinct before witnesses in the Brownsville Community. The Ad-Hoc Committee for Justice for Claude Reese was formed by community people who lived on Powell Street and headed up by Mrs. Irene Austin, to wage continued struggle against “Killer Cops”. Demands were formulated that could be put forward and pressed for. A silent funeral march was planned that brought together various community leaders. While the march proceeded it picked up hundreds of people standing on the side who actively got involved.

In the face of a silent march there was an example of extreme chauvinism and opportunism coming from the Progressive Labor Party, as usual tailgating the people’s struggle, by coming late and chanting, belittling the consciousness of the people by assuming that the people did not know what they had conceived of doing.

Once the march ended and the funeral was over the police used the same tactics against the people that characterized the Newark police riot against the Puerto Ricans, waiting until the crowd began to disperse and then beating and brutalizing small groups of people as they left the funeral. Also, obviously, national police meetings have recommended that police cars be used to slam crowds of people (poor and oppressed people that is) into buildings and crush them to the pavement, since they’ve used the same tactic in Newark and Brownsville. Meetings were held with Mayor Beame and Police Commissioner Codd to discuss the suspension of Bosco and putting him on trial for murder which they refused to do, and then tried to rip off the meeting by opening the doors and letting cameramen come in taking pictures to show the public that everything was calm, and distorting the reality of the situation, which was supported by. colored Deputy Mayor Paul Gibson, who is a tool of imperialist rule, and his twin brother, Councilman Sam Wright. The youth organizations have made a commitment to recall Wright: he only got elected by 600 votes last time, most of them from his family. To tell the truth about the meeting, a community rally was held on Powell Street. Some speakers called for an all black police precinct. But Champ, the head of the youth organization, “The Champions” warned the people by stating, “Don’t let anybody soup you up into believing that things will change in the community for the better by hiring black cops because they put on them blue uniforms and act just like white cops.” In other words, things will not change by having black faces in high places. Only when the capitalist system of exploitation is destroyed and a new social order comes into being.

A mass demonstration was held at City Hall in New York City that included boycotting stores, closing of schools, and anti-poverty agencies in Brownsville. A meeting was held with a few politicians and Board of Education officials to get them to support the moves of the Ad-Hoc Committee because it was understood that they represent the vacillating petti bourgeoisie who either support the people or support the system! Many choose to go with the system until they were struggled with relentlessly and criticized by the Youth Organizations for only coming around when election time comes, but never being accountable to the people. After much struggle they finally squeezed four buses out of Assemblyman Griffin. But the anti-poverty agencies, generally, and poverty pimps were not on the scene. A meeting was held to pull different organizations together to get them to support the demonstration; some volunteered to contribute resources and mobilized people to participate. That Wednesday 1,500 people showed at City Hall and demonstrated for two hours. It was one of the largest demonstrations of youth and outraged citizens to be held in quite some time. Talks go on with the administrative stooges and midget Beame himself, but nothing will change until the people make it change. The People United will Never Be Defeated!!

“Stop Killer Cops” forums were held in the five Boroughs of New York and surrounding cities to discuss Police Brutality. The first forum was held in the Brownsville community of Brooklyn on October 19, 1974.

Because of this agitation and harassment Frank Bosco was forced to resign from the Police Department because the mass sentiment in the Brooklyn community was that Bosco had to go, and Bosco was gone. We see this as a real victory for the people in Brooklyn in building the need to struggle in our people, but not as an end in itself.

STOP KILLER COPS! LONGBRANCH, NEW JERSEY

A Stop Killer Cops Coalition of Long Branch was formed on December of 1974 by the New Jersey Black Assembly, Congress of Afrikan People, and various groups and individuals from the Long Branch community following the shooting death of a Black, 16 year old, Steven Russell by a Long Branch cop, John Adams, who shot Steven in the back when he supposedly ran from a police stakeout area, he unknowingly walked into on his way home from work.

The Killer Cop, John Adams, was acquitted after being charged with first degree manslaughter by a State Grand Jury investigation following months of mass action and demands by the Unified Coalition and the community. The Unified Coalition has led these numerous actions, such as, demonstrations, petitions and mobilizing the community to pressure the City Council to probe the Police Department and demand the resignation of racist, incompetent police director John Buffin, force the State Prosecutor to take the case out of the hands of local and county authorities who are notoriously racist and corrupt, and made countless attempts to cover-up the facts in this case – Watergate style.

The Unified Coalition of Long Branch sponsored mass meetings and forums to expose the true functions and role of the police, as hit men for the ruling class to repress poor people and oppressed nationalities in particular, who struggle against poverty for the many and riches for the few (the capitalist ruling class – .6 of 1% of the population – and it’s lackies).

Great successes have been made in the struggle against fascism and police terrorism in Long Branch, such as the sustained organization and struggle of the Unified Coalition itself, and victories against the racists and ruling class lackies in Long Branch.

We have seen the resignation of the racist corrupt police director John Buffin due to intense community pressure demanding his removal, also the city business administrator, John Mazza, who quit for the same reason. Finally the subpoena of over one third of the police department as part of the City Council investigation of the police and the Russell incident demanded by the Unified Coalition, which includes a Police Review Board with civilian participation (though they were all selected by the City Council).

The Unified Coalition of Long Branch will continue to heighten the struggle against Killer Cops and the rise of fascism as the crisis in capitalism grows more acute.

CIVILIAN COMPLAINT REVIEW BOARD

In August, 1973, the Central Ward residents in Newark, New Jersey held a demonstration at City Hall in protest of the subhuman living conditions in their ward, which had been previously characterized as a disaster area. The Newark police department, especially the Tactical (TAC) Squad, attacked the people at the demonstration. Earlier this year, Newark had witnessed the police attacking members of the Temple of Kawaida at Kawaida Towers; the police shooting into the African Free School Building and the Congress of Afrikan People’s head- quarter’s window, as well as police terrorizing Black people during the North Ward Imperiale-led[1] “riots”. These incidents served as a basis for a broad coalition of community organizations, ministers, students, tenants, workers, to form an Interim Committee for a Civilian Complaint Review Board, and in December of 1973 this committee launched a petition campaign to establish a Civilian Complaint Review Board within the city, an autonomous board with “jurisdiction over all complaints received from the citizens of Newark alleging police misconduct, police corruption, the use of unnecessary or excessive force, abuse of authority, discourteous or insulting language or ethnic discrimination”.

The Interim Committee also began holding public hearings, “Peoples’ Courts”, around incidents of police brutality and harassment. Two hearings were held and people readily came out to expose various incidents of police brutality.

In 1974, the vicious attack by the Newark police on the Puerto Rican community during the Labor Day Rebellion, the beating and murder of 21 year old Charles Sutton in Newark police headquarters, and the police attacks on Neighborhood Youth Corp students, who were protesting because the city “ran out of funds” to pay them, emphasized the urgent need for a Police Review Board.

The Interim Committee concentrated their efforts on getting petition signatures and on June 6, 1975 the committee submitted over 25,000 signatures to the City Clerk’s Office for verification. In a conspiracy to block the Police Review Board, the City Clerk, City Councilmen, in open collaboration with Superior Judge Kimmelman claimed that only 8, 364 of the signatures were valid. (Only 9,056 signatures were necessary according to the law). Also, 10,000 signatures were never counted, which would have insured enough signatures, and Judge Kimmelman stalled on making a ruling on the matter in a conspiratorial way, to actually stop the placement of a Civilian Complaint Review Board on the ballot as a Public Referendum in the upcoming Election. That ruling was appealed and on November 18, 1975 Kimmelman ruled that there were a “sufficient” number of valid signatures to have the Civilian Complaint Review Board on the ballot. The people should be in control of the police, not the police in control of the people. The police, the courts, jails, city government are all part of the state mechanism set up to suppress the people. We understand that even if the Police Review Board is established in Newark, this will not be an end in itself. Because finally the only way the people can control the police is that the people must take control of the government and rip it out of the bloody claws of the rich criminals that control the world. The Civilian Complaint Review Board is a reform that will be used to mobilize people and expose the class nature of the police, the courts, jails and the state, and thus will heighten the level of struggle.

THE STATE AND THE ROLE OF THE POLICE

“The state is a machine for maintaining the rule of one class over another”, according to V.I. Lenin. The state exists because, whether we are talking about slavery, feudalism, or capitalism, “A small minority of people could not dominate over the vast majority without coercion.” (Ibid, p. 15) Before society was divided into classes, i.e., during primitive communalism where there are no classes, where there was neither exploiter or exploited, in this era there was no such thing as a state. But with the rise of slavery, the economic system where there are slaveowners and slaves, where slaveowners have all the rights and slaves have no rights at all, with this basic division of society into classes, we find the historical origin of the state – a machine for maintaining the rule of one class over another. Without the state, a small minority could not rule over the vast majority of laboring masses, all history since the end of primitive communalism and the rise of slavery has been the history of class struggle, of slave revolts and civil wars, where the “oppressor and the oppressed stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary re-constitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.” (Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels, Communist Manifesto, p.31).

And this is exactly the importance of the role of the police, because with the violent clashes between the oppressor and the oppressed in class society, the oppressor established the state, as a machine for class rule, “a special category of people who are set apart to rule others, and, for the sake and purpose of rule, systematically and permanently wield a certain apparatus of coercion, an apparatus of violence, such as is represented at the present time, as you all realize, by the armed detachments of troops, the prisons and the other means of subjugating the will of others by force, all that which constitutes the essence of the state.” (The State, V.I. Lenin, p. 7). The chief instruments of state power are the standing army and the police. In a word, the police are the hitmen of the ruling class, because when the oppressed masses rise up against the bourgeoisie or private property, the role and function of the police is to suppress us through armed violence.

The only way the working class and the oppressed nationalities can liberate themselves from the oppressive and exploitative yoke of capitalism and racism is smashing the bourgeois capitalist state, ie, smash the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie,’ and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat to insure the rule of the majority of the people for the first time and to guarantee our liberation from capitalist exploitation and to build socialism for the masses of working people For the first time in history, socialist revolution, and the establishment of a new type of state power, the power of the majority of working people over the small handful of superrich billionaires, the dictatorship of the proletariat, democracy to the working class and the oppressed nationalities, because under capitalism, democracy is a fraud! There can be no democracy for the masses of working people as long as there is exploitation, there is no equality between the oppressed and the oppressor. “Lastly, only communism makes the state absolutely unnecessary, for there is nobody to be suppressed, “nobody” in the sense of a class, of a systematic struggle against a definite section of the population. We are not Utopians, and do not in the least deny the possibility and inevitability of excesses on the party or individual persons or the need to stop such excesses. In the first place, however, no special machine, no special apparatus or suppression, is needed for this; this will be done by the armed people themselves, as simply and as readily as any crowd of civilized people, even in modern society, interferes to put a stop to a scuffle or to prevent a woman from being assaulted. And, secondly, we know that the fundamental social causes of excesses, which consist in the violation of the rules of SOcial intercourse, is the exploitation of the people, their want and their poverty. With the removal of this chief cause, excesses inevitably begin to “wither away”. We do not know how quickly and in what succession, but we do know they will wither away; with their withering away the state will also wither away.”

At this time we see the main task as the building of a Anti-Revisionist Vanguard Communist Party, that will lead the Multi-National working class (Blacks, Latins, Asians, Whites) and oppressed nationalities, which represent the strategic leadership for revolution in the United States. The strategy is to unify the whole working class and in doing so, unify the working class and oppressed nationalities and deliver the crushing blow that will smash the bourgeois ruling class. The unity of multi-national working class and oppressed nationalities can only be achieved by struggling against racism, against national oppression by struggling against the oppression of women. The direction of that blow will remain essentially the same throughout this stage of revolutionary struggle, directed at the intermediate lacky sector, the social force created specifically to “represent”, manage and confuse the working masses. The strategic leadership of the revolution in the United States can never be drawn together except by exposing and fighting with the Democrats, Republicans, ”independent” lacky forces, corrupt union leadership and revisionists. One incorrect ideal in the anti-revisionist communist movement we have been struggling against is that merely by proclaiming a multinational party that is still almost all white, does nothing to fight racism, in fact it stabilizes chauvinism, and gives it operating sanction within the Marxist-Leninist movement. This is the main reason there is no real multinational vanguard communist party. Scientific Socialism must be brought to and injected into the working class movement. The intermediate lackies must be grappled with, struggled against, and exposed as “practically bankrupt”. But that must be done in day to day combat with them, not indirectly or only academically or merely in ingrown “we are the greatest” debates. But in direct hand to hand combat, to win the workers to scientific socialism and revolution and away from reform or “leadership” by the bribed labor aristocrats.

Police on Rampage in South Bend, Indiana

South Bend police in a savage move against the Black community, recently attacked the family and home of Shirley Winston. The situation developed when two white officers patrolling the South East Side ghetto area demanded that a group of young blacks get off the car they were sitting on. The car belonged to one of the youths and was parked in front of his home, so, of course, they refused to move. These racist killer cops, infuriated at not having their commands obeyed, immediately attacked the youths and arrested one of them for disorderly conduct!!?? The other young brothers courageously repulsed the attack and freed their captured friend. He then ran across the street into his house closely followed by the fascist goons who finally caught him and began to double-team him. Mrs. Shirley Winston, the young man’s mother, came to defend her son and together they were able to send the two bullies scrambling out of the house, bruised and bleeding, to the hospital emergency ward!

But these cowards not accepting defeat, called in more of their brother officers to take up the fight for them. So, in just a matter of minutes some 24 policemen stormed into Mrs. Winston’s house, Gestapo-style, and began smashing every piece of furniture in her house. Still not satisfied, these fiends then attacked three of Mrs. Winston’s young children and several other people there. Once child was handcuffed and rammed head-first into the side of the police van. In all, three people were injured and eight were arrested, including Mrs. Winston’s children. The chief of police, John Walsh, who promised a “complete investigation” of this incident, surprised no one with the “findings” of his “investigation”. He just accepted as a matter of fact the lies handed him by his police officers and never even bothered to ask Mrs. Winston for her version of the incident!!

But it should be clear that the police act as the private army for society’s rich ruling class. Their job is to keep the lid on the boiling frustrations and anguish the people feel from being ripped off by the capitalist system. And collaboration with the police are the other corrupt arms and lackies of the state. That is why neither Mayor Miller (Mayor of South Bend) or Mayorial candidates Nemeth and Slafkosky or any other sell-out politicians spoke out against this brutal attack. This also explains why the press, who had an eyewitness reporter on hand, didn’t expose the naked brutality of the police; because they like the police are tools of capitalist rule.

As capitalism stumbles around on its last legs the rulers try to shift the burden of the depression onto the people, and the police repression stiffens. The people need to unite to fight this repression and ultimately the entire corrupt system of profit for the few and poverty for the many.

MURDER IN WILMINGTON

On the evening of August 7, 1975, Sheila Ferrell a 13 year old Black girl was shot in the back by John Bailey, a 24 year old white man for allegedly taking 2 Peaches from his peach tree. The shooting occurred at approximately 7pm at night when little Sheila and a few of her friends were standing alonSside the Bailey property on 35th Street, picking peaches from an overhanging tree. Bailey drove up, spotted the youths, and began chasing them. The youths immediately scattered while Bailey pursued Sheila. Witnesses saw him pull a gun from his pocket, fire twice, with the second bullet hitting the child. Screaming, she continued to run, finally collapsing on a cousin’s porch, one block and a half away from the Bailey house. This racist killer was then heard to say, as he stood over her fallen, bleeding body, “you stole my peaches, don’t you know I’ll kill you!” He was subsequently pursued by a bystander, but managed to jump into his car and drive away. He was later found and arrested at his father’s house about midnight that night, and released the following morning on a ludicrously low bail of $25,000.00.

Sheila Ferrell was taken to the Delaware Division Hospital and listed in critical condition, having lost 70% of her blood when arriving at the hospital. She never recovered from the wound and was reported “officially dead” at about midnight, August 30, 1975. Bailey was then arrested for the third time and held for 1st degree murder, without bail.

Following the shooting incident, a number of events occurred that necessitated being spoken to. The most important of these was the demonstration/boycott that was planned by the Black community for August 11th at the downtown Mall area, and the events leading up to this. It was during and after this incident that the Wilmington Police Department again revealed its true racist nature by attacking peaceful demonstrators, arresting several people, including, Comrade Rahsaan, Chairman of the Wilmington Congress of Afrikan People on trumped-up charges of “disorderly conduct and inciting to riot”, At approximately 11:45am, August 11th, a mass rally was held at Rodney Square to plan strategy and tactics for the demonstration/boycott. Prior to this rally, the only question was: how this demonstration and boycott was going to proceed, since the majority of the people who had been involved with continuing activities around the shooting, had already agreed to hold a demonstration and boycott at a mass meeting the day before. Strangely enough though, some of our “community leaders” (opportunists of the lowest variety) who had previously supported this demonstration decision, vehemently opposed it at this rally–Herman Holloway, Jr., and Madison Avans, for instance, both of whom had taken no real active role in any of the demonstrations or meetings up to this point, crawled out of the walls to attempt to sway the people from having the demonstration. But in spite of this, and numerous other vacillations, the people decided to hold a demonstration/boycott at the Mall. We had decided to: 1) Block the Mall, 2) Discourage potential shoppers, and 3) Obtain signatures on a petition that had been written up, demanding a meeting with the Governor.

By the time the orderly procession approached the top of the Mall, they were stopped by about 50 police, standing and mounted. Folks were surprised by the excessive number of police plus those of the SWAT-type menacingly lined-up across the Mall entrance, obviously ready to pounce on a group of peaceful demonstrators and prevent them from exercising their democratic rights. The people decided to stop and remain gathered at this entrance, while another group was sent to the other entrance. At 2:30, the police seemingly relaxed their guard, allowing people at one entrance to proceed down the Mall. The people at the other entrance moved up to merge with this group. Subsequently, the entire demonstration of about 200 people proceeded up one entrance and then back down to the other, When the demonstrators attempted to return to the first entrance again, the police moved in to prevent this action. At this point, it was decided by the people to march to Bailey’s house, through the city. Meanwhile, the police were actually provoking the crowd by moving their horses towards the demonstrators, one brother being struck on the foot by a hoof of a horse. Finally, a Chief McCool threw his hands into the air and tear gas was shot in the faces of the demonstrators. All hell broke loose as people ran trying to escape this vicious coldblooded attack. One brother was knocked unconscious; a sister was struck in the eye by a nightstick; other people were knocked down and beaten. All the while, these bloodthirsty killer cops were laughing gleefully. The attack ceased only after they had chased the demonstrators back to the Westside Black community. At this point, the Congress of Afrikan People and other comrades moved to disperse the people, essentially because we wanted to avoid a confrontation that we were unprepared for and also to avoid being cordoned off by the police.

It should be clear that the only “riot” that occurred was the police riot. An orderly demonstration broken up...fascism’s creeping presence!! The black community has to struggle against the racist double standard of justice in the first place. Bailey is arraigned but then released on an incredibly low bail considering the racist, unprovoked offense–a massive demonstration is held to demand that Bailey be re-arrested with a higher bail–but the people get beat up for doing this. In light of the fact that Bailey’s family resides in Brandywine Hills, an exclusive middle class neighborhood, clearly displays the class nature of justice in America. But the black and oppressed communities will continue to struggle against these racist killers and these killer cops, and resolutely fight the rising tide of fascism every inch of the way.

STOP KILLER COPS: ELKHART, INDIANA

In November of 1975, Kevin Pergues was picked up at school by his mother; she was taking him across town to attend a class at the Technical and Vocational School. Shortly after leaving the parking lot of the school, Kevin noticed a police car following them. They were overtaken shortly thereafter and stopped by two police cars who pulled in front of their car – two police cars pulled in back of them and two police cars along side of them–six police cars in all. Kevin and a friend of his who was riding with him, were placed under arrest. Neither Kevin or his mother were told why he was arrested.

After Kevin reached the Police Station and was photographed, Kevin was told he was being held because he was in possession of a postman’s mail bag, which he had obtained from a friend, in which he carried his school books. Shortly after, Kevin was questioned about the recent school break-ins and other break-ins that had happened across the city. He was also asked to take a lie-detector test, which he refused. Kevin’s friend was turned loose, but Kevin was kept in jail for two days on an open charge, although he had not committed a crime. The following day, two boys confessed to the school break-ins. One of the days Kevin was in jail, he spent without any drinking water–the guards simply refused to give him any. Only when Kevin’s parents got a lawyer was Kevin set free. The mailbag was kept by the police–what for we still do not know.

The people of Elkhart demand that all police repression stop immediately! The people demand a Civilian Complaint Review Board to monitor all cases of police brutality and harassment. These demands came as a result of the December 7, 1975 “Stop Killer Cops” forum held in Elkhart. Every person and organization left that forum committed to form a working coalition to stop police repression.

STOP KILLER COPS: BALTIMORE, MARYLAND

The gundown of 20 year old Kevin Scott, while he was trying to surrender to police over an alleged petty theft of a juke box; the murder of Marie Williams, a 32 year old mother, who was shot in the back by police while she struggled with her boyfriend over an unloaded shotgun (known only to police); the proposed curfews which would demand youth under 17 be off the streets by 10:30pm on weekdays and 12:01am on weekends – a curfew which carries a stipulation that when a youth violates the curfew, the parents are fined $100 and/or up to 10 days in jail. These attacks and oppressive laws are being stepped up in Baltimore. This harrassment, beatings and murders are the examples that we are to stay in our place–for the police are supposed to kill, jail or control all those willing to struggle against the capitalists’ continued repression. This repression is aimed at the working class as a whole and black people even more intensely, who are subject to police repression and police brutality daily. The police are tools of the ruling class and are paid to keep us in our place, and this is necessary to maintain a system under capitalism where a few people have all the wealth and the majority have no wealth. But we will not continue to be oppressed. Revolutions in Russia, China, Cuba–the liberation of Viet Nam, Mozambique, and Guinea Bissau teaches us that the people united can never be defeated!! We must unite the many to defeat the few!

STOP KILLER COPS: ALBANY, NEW YORK

In Albany, New York the campaign to “Stop Killer Cops” is exposing the present corrupt bourgeois class control over the police as well as the racist brutality that is being utilized against blacks and other oppressed people. The Mayor has taken the command over the forces to stop the people’s organizing to struggle against police brutality, police repression and the rising tide of fascism, which is open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary sector of the monopoly capitalists–brutal suppression of the democratic rights of the masses. The people are struggling for a Civilian Complaint Review Board, controlled by the people, that can begin to investigate cases of police brutality, exposing the reality that the ruling class will not give up their control over the people willingly or without a fight. Since the murder of Keith Ballou (17 year old Black youth) by State Trooper J.F. Taylor on January 1, 1975, there has been a political consciousness being built around the contradiction between the police and the people and the need for an organized movement to oppose the police to oppose their masters, to struggle for a Civilian Complaint Review Board with the peoples’ “control” over police activities and actions. The Albany Congress of Afrikan People initiated protest demonstrations and the call for an Ad Hoc Committee for Justice for Keith Ballou, which led to a broader coalition of organizations and individuals, the United Front Against Police Brutality and Police Repression. This United Front has gone to the people to expose the racist and oppressive institution of the police, also proposing that a militant demand for a police review board be raised to the entire voting public in Albany in a November referendum, so that Mayor Corning and the other lackies of the ruling class will be opposed by the People determined to control the police for their own interests. More than 3,000 signatures were turned over to the City Clerk’s office supporting the call for this referendum. The legal struggle to bring about this reform is creating class conflict and exposing class contradictions which are dialectically turning this question into a struggle of a revolutionary nature since it exposes class character of police and the state. This call for a reform is bringing the contradictions to the surface advancing the struggle against police brutality as well as intensifying the level of class struggle.

DETROIT STILL HOT – 8 YEARS LATER
Rebellion and Repression in Detroit

On July 23, 1967, Detroit, Michigan, like many other urban cities where black people live, exploded into the most devastating and powerful black urban rebellion in recent times. The 60’s Rebellions are an important part of the history of the Black Liberation Movement. Now, 8 years later, Detroit explodes again. This time under the administration of Blacks, headed up by Coleman Young, Mayor.

On Monday, July 28th, 1975, Obie Wynn, an 18 year old Black youth was brutally murdered outside of Bob Boltons’ Bar. Obie was shot in the back of the head by the white owner of the bar, Andrew Chinarian, supposedly for breaking into a car in the lot (witnesses have said that Obie was sitting on the car). A crowd of angry black people from the surrounding community gathered at the bar demanding justice. Demanding that the police bring Chinarian out, under arrest and in handcuffs, to assure the crowd that he was going to jail. This was not done. The crowd got bigger and the word spread fast. The rebellion was on.

Groups of Black people started to gather (mostly working class black youths) and small skirmishes began with the police. A few stores were entered, but most of the activity Monday night was centered around fights with the hundreds of police who had flooded the area. The police response was to begin arresting people and to saturate the black community with teargas. The police made several attempts to disperse the crowds of Black people in the community, but each time they were met with a barrage of bricks, bottles, and pipes that drove them back to the main street, and out of the interior of the black community. This lasted all night Monday.

The immediate response of the city administration was to call together the entire black middle class elite, and use them along with hundreds of Black cops, to begin and carry out what was called the “cool-it” campaign. This campaign was like the black show of stars, with most of the ex-60’s militants, Barry Hankerson, Larry Nevels, Tom Moss, Jim Ingram (all of whom are now on the city payroll in one position or another) plus the council of Baptist Ministers, Joe Madison, Executive Director of the Detroit NAACP, Reverend Hooly, head of Detroit PUSH, Tom Turner, President, AFL-CIO, Larry Doss, President of NEW DETROIT. The whole middle class black superstar elite group turned out to tell the black working class to go home. And this entire circus is led by Coleman Young.

The rebellion was sparked by the killing of brother Obie Wynn, which was a violation of the democratic rights of all black people, just like when a brother or sister was lynched in the South it was an attack on all black peoples’ rights to live. The rebellion was a response to all of this plus the inability of our so-called city leaders to lead blacks out of our oppression. Based on the economic crisis and sharpening contradictions of imperialism, this intermediate lackey sector will be constantly exposed as practically bankrupt. And they will not be able to stem the rising tide of revolution in the United States.

Endnote

[1] White youths, in ganglike mobs, rampaged the Black and Puerto Rican sections of the North Ward, turning over cars, and burning anything in sight.