Justice for Melissa Williams and Timothy Russell!
Jail the 13 Killer Cops!
Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution!

June 23, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


This statement was issued by Revolution Books in Cleveland.

In Cleveland, on May 29th Grand Jury indictments came down on one of the 13 cops who shot 137 bullets at two unarmed Black people, Melissa Williams and Timothy Russell on November 29, 2012. Also, five supervisors got charged with misdemeanor counts for dereliction of duty in how they followed procedures, of course nothing about how they should have stopped the chase and the killing. So of the 13 shooters only one cop, Michael Brelo, got any charges. He got two voluntary manslaughter charges. This is outrageous that a lynch mob killing of two unarmed Black people, with the clear intention to kill, gets voluntary manslaughter (that is, when someone kills someone because of sufficient provocation or in the heat of passion).

Now let’s ask ourselves: Provoked by what? That the two were Black? He said he feared for his life. Brelo said he had been in Iraq as a Marine, never used his weapon and never faced such fear. He said he heard on the radio, “shots fired” and then said he saw the suspects “point a dark object at us” as well as seeing the victims’ car moving towards the police. First off, the shots were being fired by the police, not by the victims who were being pummeled with bullets. More lies to cover up the killings. Who was fearing for their lives? It was Timothy and Melissa being chased by the armed enforcers—THEY were fearing for their lives.

The Prosecutor and the Grand Jury indicted Brelo on these charges because he shot 15 rounds at the two after 122 shots had already been fired and the car was surrounded by police cars, immobilized. So Prosecutor, Timothy McGinty, said that Brelo went too far, because after the police had shot 122 times at the car, he jumped on the hood and shot 15 more rounds down on the two occupants. For McGinty and the system he is part of, it is all right to chase two unarmed Black people down but once 122 shots have been fired at them after they surrounded the car, starting the shooting again looked too extreme for the massacre it was. In fact, McGinty cited a recent Supreme Court Decision that police have the right to use excessive force during a police chase that endangers the lives of residents. So it is all right to chase and gun down two Black people but after 122 shots, you can’t do more shooting when there is no danger to residents or the police. It is like saying in a lynching, you can hang a Black person, but it is going too far to then burn them up.

It all started on November 29, 2012 as Melissa and Timothy were driving in downtown Cleveland when suddenly they were being followed by the police. What had they done? What law had they broken? None, they were just hanging out with each other, knew each other from being in the homeless shelters. The police claim they “thought” there was gunfire but no gun was found, and that it probably was the car backfiring. After over 20 miles, the chase ended in a parking lot, their car hemmed and stopped, but that was not enough. Those 13 depraved pigs fired 137 shots at two unarmed Black people, Timothy and Melissa. As soon as it happened the media ran out their “criminal” records, demonized them as though they deserved what they got. In fact, Jeffery Folmer, head of the police union, said “Our officers did a great job….to blame anyone else but the two occupants…for their own death, is ignorant and self-serving.” Patrick D’Angelo, lawyer for the police union, said, “It’s a class of society that is anti-social and sociopathic…and in areas where the streets are crawling with serial offenders and others engaged in criminal behavior. When you hear what’s out there, it’s not surprising that sometimes the police have to shoot people.” By blaming Timothy and Melissa for their deaths, vilifying them, and making up the usual bunch of lies to cover up their murders is to again reveal in the most horrible ways what the role of the police is. In BAsics 1:24 Bob Avakian writes, "The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and the order that enforces all this oppression and madness.”

For 1½ years the system and its politicians told us to be PATIENT because the legal system was taking much time and care to make sure “JUSTICE” was carried out. This system’s laws are to protect the cops, their “Just-us”. Of course, we know from thousands of cases of police killings that the prosecutors don’t know how to prosecute when it comes to the police but when it comes to us, we get sent up for years for offenses much less than murder. And now the local authorities are having the FBI and federal investigators come in to look into workings of the Cleveland police department. This is not the first time. If these investigations did anything good, why do these killings keep happening here and around the country, hundreds each year? These investigations give the illusion that they will expose and correct the role of the police, that somehow this system can correct itself and that the police will be there to serve and protect. If it made a difference, many cops would be in jail today for murder. Only the people’s outrage and protest ever made a difference in getting any sort of justice.

Some people say well at least one of the 13 got manslaughter. No, charges of murder should have been brought down on all 13 cops. And the fact that even one cop was charged with manslaughter was because of the continuous outrage and protests by the people. The powers that be were afraid that there could be potentially more radical resistance if no charges came down. Though it is unprecedented that a cop has been charged with any crime in the killing of people, especially Black and Latino, in Cleveland, we cannot let this stand. We have to fight hard for justice for Timothy and Melissa to get the charge of murder for the 13 killer cops.

And again there are forces, politicians who say to us to stay calm, stop the protest, let the system run its course, let the system work. The system did work its course by taking a year and a half to get manslaughter on one cop; it did work to let 12 pigs off with no charges. It was in fact our protest not the system WORKING that even got manslaughter. It's going to take continued and much more radical and broader mass resistance to have a chance for justice in this case. Across the country there are almost daily police killings of Black and Latino people part of a system that criminalizes our youth, making them suspects with permanent targets by the police or racist vigilantes, a system that has over 2 million people, mostly Black and Latino, incarcerated, more than in any country in the world. Because of this, Stop Mass Incarceration Network has called for October to be a Month of Resistance. (To endorse and to get information to make October 2014 a Month of Resistance go to www.stopmassincarceration.net) The resistance against these horrors needs to grow, get stronger and involve different sections of people who stand up and fight these abuses as an important part of preparing the ground for the time when the masses in their millions can make revolution.

To end police violence and terror, for NO MORE to be no more, we need revolution when the time is right to sweep away this system and establish a system of socialism as the first step to communism. This capitalist system relies on the police to violently enforce conditions of poverty, misery and degradation, racism and male supremacy. Revolution can and will put an end to that system. And Day One after the revolution: no more police brutality and murder. Right now be part of building a movement for revolution with the Party as the leading core.

As Carl Dix recently said, “We are determined to make revolution to seize power from these bloodsucking capitalist rulers and build a whole new society. We have the leadership needed for this revolution in BA, the leader of our party. We have a strategy for revolution, and we are politically preparing for the time when we could lead millions in seizing power and sweeping this blood-soaked system off the face of the earth. Learn more about this revolution. Get into BA’s writings, and get with the movement for revolution.”

Revolution Books, 2804 Mayfield Rd, 216-932-2543, www.revbookscle.org

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