Minister: "More of our black boys are being killed by police than were killed by the Ku Klux Klan by rope"

Behind Three of the Police Murders in September

September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


September 21, 2014. This past month there have been reports of dozens of people killed by the police in the United States. The following are three of those stories:

Saratoga Springs, Utah: "They killed my son because he's Black"

The Saratoga Springs police killed 22-year-old Darrien Hunt on September 10, 2014.

The police say they were responding to a call about a "suspicious" man walking down the road carrying a "Samurai-type sword" and that they shot him after he lunged at them. But an independent autopsy performed at the family's request shows that Darrien Hunt was shot numerous times from BEHIND as he ran away from the police. And Randall Edwards, an attorney for the Hunt family said, "This is consistent with statements made by witnesses on the scene, who report that Darrien was shot to death while running away from police." Edwards went on to say, "It would appear difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile these facts with a story that Darrien was lunging toward the officers when he was shot."

Darrien's mother, Susan Hunt, received a photo from someone who was on the scene showing the police confronting her son just before shots were fired. According to the Deseret News, "In the picture, two officers are standing on either side of Darrien. The sword is not visible in the picture. The family believes, based on the limited information they've been given, that at some point during that confrontation, a shot was fired by police. Susan Hunt doesn't know if that shot hit her son or not. But she suspects he then ran toward the Panda Express, where she believes multiple shots were fired and he was struck and killed while running away. 'I've been begging the police, why from the time I saw the pictures of you just standing by him with his hands to his side, does he end up seconds later with a bullet in him? And then if he's running (according to eyewitnesses), why you had to put in more bullets, and I don't even know how many. That's what I want to know,' Susan Hunt said." (September 13, 2014)

Darrien Hunt's mother is white, his father is Black. The Deseret News reported that his mother described her son as someone who "loved everybody and was deeply concerned about travesties in other parts of the world, particularly Africa.... He wanted to make a difference... His potential was amazing."

Susan Hunt said, "They killed my son because he's Black. No white boy with a little sword would they shoot while he's running away.... Those stupid cops thought they had to murder over a toy. This is my baby. This is my family. And they ruined my family."

Savannah, Georgia: "Why was he shot in the head? He was handcuffed?"

The Savannah police killed 29-year-old on Charles Smith on September 18, 2014.

News reports say that the police arrested Charles Smith on outstanding warrants, handcuffed him and put him in the back of a patrol car. Police say that Smith was able to move his hands to the front of his body and kick out a window of the patrol car, that he had a gun when he tried exiting the car and was then shot by an officer.

But this contradicts what eyewitnesses say. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported: "Eyewitness Maurice Williams, 27, said he knew Smith from the neighborhood. He said about 11 a.m. he saw Smith in the back of a police car. He stopped to watch it go by when Smith, who was about 6 feet 7 inches tall, kicked out the window, folded his legs out and pushed on the door. Williams said the officer exited the patrol car as Smith kicked the window a third time. Williams said he heard the officer say, 'Do you want to die?' while he shot Smith in the legs. Williams said he saw Smith, still handcuffed, escape out the window and fall to the ground. He said the officer fired his weapon three more times, striking Smith in the head and back."

The night of the killing, a crowd of people marched to the Savannah police station demanding justice for 29-year-old Charles Smith, who was shot and killed Thursday morning by a Savannah police officer while in custody. Andrina Hardy, Charles Smith's aunt said, "We want to know why he was shot in the head. He was handcuffed."

A minister told the crowd: "More of our black boys are being killed by police than were killed by the Ku Klux Klan by rope."

Richmond, California: The police murder of Richard "Pedie" Perez

Revolution/ received the following correspondence:

Richard "Pedie" Perez was shot to death by a Richmond Police Officer on September 14, 2014.

24-year-old Pedie Perez was standing with friends out in front of a liquor store when Officer Wallace Jensen drove up for a "security check." An older woman who was with Pedie when the police rolled up said she was there when Pedie was gunned down, "Police told me 'go, go' and made Pedie sit on the ground. As I turned the corner I heard shots." She said she ran back and tried to go to Pedie and the police pointed a gun in her face and told her that if she didn't move back she would be "laying down with him."

John Burris, the family's lawyer, says Pedie was unarmed when Jensen shot him at least five times and that the cop's claim that the shooting was necessary because Pedie had grabbed for his gun was a "flat-out lie," contradicted by every single witness they had interviewed. Burris said, "This officer should be prosecuted for murder."

On Saturday, September 20, over 50 friends and family members came from the funeral to stand together and express their outrage at a press conference before attending a memorial to celebrate Pedie's life. In the days since the murder there have been vigils at the store, and friends held a protest in front of the police station and the Revolution Club has been a part of this. As of this writing, the cop has not been charged and is on paid leave.

At the press conference friends and family, young and old, people of different nationalities spoke about Pedie's kind and caring nature, buying food or cigarettes for the homeless and other people who had no money. Cephus Johnson, the uncle of Oscar Grant, spoke in solidarity with the family, and Pedie's father, grandfather, and aunt also spoke.

One young woman talked about how "Pedie was an outspoken, special person" and then said, "It [police murder] needs to stop. This is why people in the community don't like the police: They say they protect and serve but they really don't. All they doing is just killing us and I'm tired of it!"


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