Revolution #237, June 26, 2011
Justice for Flint Farmer! Indict the Chicago Cops Who Killed Him!
Flint Farmer, 29 years old, was shot multiple times and killed by Chicago police at about 1:30 am, June 7. The spokesperson for Flint’s family made one thing clear when speaking to the press: “This was a murder!” Surrounded by a crowd of Flint’s family, friends, anti-police brutality activists, and revolutionaries, he stated that “this was not an accident” and that people were not going to let this be swept under the rug.
Witnesses report gunshots just going on and on. The Chicago Tribune reported the following: “Officers discovered that the object [Flint Farmer was holding] was a cell phone, according to law enforcement sources.” His body was left lying in a pool of blood from 1:30 am to 5:00 am when it was taken away in a police car. Not even an ambulance—a police car! For all those hours, family members were forced to stand half a block away, not even allowed to approach the body and insulted by police—some of whom were parading around grinning and laughing.
The family did not have access to the police autopsy. Photographs were taken at the funeral home, and family members who reviewed the photos were able to describe that Flint was shot in the back of the neck, the back just below the shoulder, the back of the leg, the chest, the stomach, the thigh, and the hand.
According to a family member, the police came because a call was made about domestic abuse. Flint left the house through the back when the police were arriving in the front of the house. Several days after the murder, one of the family members read a quote from BAsics (2:16), which was being passed out and posted in the neighborhood. In the quote, Bob Avakian addressed the 1998 killing of Tyisha Miller, a 19-year-old African-American woman, by Riverside, California police. Miller had been passed out in her car when the police claimed she suddenly awoke and had a gun; police fired 23 shots at her: “If you can’t handle this situation differently than this, then get the fuck out of the way. Not only out of the way of this situation, but get off the earth. Get out of the way of the masses of people. Because, you know, we could have handled this situation any number of ways that would have resulted in a much better outcome. And frankly, if we had state power and we were faced with a similar situation, we would sooner have one of our own people’s police killed than go wantonly murder one of the masses. That’s what you’re supposed to do if you’re actually trying to be a servant of the people…” The family member reflected on this quote, saying that the situation with Flint could have been handled in any number of ways that would have resulted in a better outcome.
In the following days, we spoke with people in the neighborhood. Many described the daily police brutality and harassment by the police. One man told us he was sitting in his van with some friends—just hanging out—when the police came on them, and forced the young men from the van. The cops then took clean laundry that was in the van and threw it onto the ground, found an unopened bottle of whiskey in the van, opened it, and poured it in the van, and then had the van towed. It cost him a thousand dollars all told to get the van back.
The day after Flint was killed, we first met members of his family hanging out at the memorial people had set up where he had been killed. We had brought a banner saying “Stolen Lives” with pictures of 20 of the many people killed by police just in Chicago and just in the years 2007-2010. Family members helped us hang it behind the memorial. People driving by stopped when they saw the banner. Some got out and people gathered. Some knew other people on the banner. A couple of people talked about Matthias Mayhorn—killed by police only a few blocks from where Flint had been murdered.
Many times, both on Wednesday and Friday at a public memorial on the same spot that drew 50 people, we turned to quotes in BAsics that go into the role of the police, violence among the people, and other crucial questions. We talked about our slogan, “Fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution.” We talked with people about how we saw building resistance to police brutality, the struggle for justice for Flint, and much more as part of building a movement for revolution.
On Monday, June 13, there was another vigil/rally to demand “Justice for Flint Farmer” and the indictment for murder of the police who killed him.
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