DeKalb County, Georgia: Anger at Police Murder of Unarmed Anthony Hill: It's Time to Stand Up!

March 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From the Atlanta Revolution Club:

On Monday March 9, Anthony Hill, a 27-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by white DeKalb County (in the Atlanta metro area) police officer Robert Olson. Hill, known by his friends as Tony, was met by police after a neighbor reported that he was walking around the apartment complex naked and confused. Rather than trying to help him, the pig fired two shots into Tony’s chest, leaving him on the ground naked for over an hour as friends and neighbors begged them to cover his body as children got off their school buses. The cop claimed that Tony “lunged” at him, leading him to shoot him dead—however even the DeKalb County Chief of Police had to admit that Tony was unarmed. The cop was carrying a Taser and pepper spray, but instead chose to reach for his gun and take Tony’s life.

According to local news reports, Hill was in the Army and served a tour in Afghanistan before being medically discharged. Some reports also claim that he struggled with bi-polar disorder and his Twitter posts seem to support that claim. His posts on social media and accounts from his friends and neighbors who spoke with the Revolution Club Tuesday, also show a kind, loving person who was deeply concerned about the police killing Black and brown youth. Several of his recent posts ended with #blacklivesmatter.

Tuesday, the day after Tony’s murder, the Atlanta Revolution Club went to his neighborhood. When we got there we unfurled a massive Stop Mass Incarceration Network banner with the names and images of dozens of people slain by the police. Most of Tony’s neighbors are Latino, but despite some language and cultural barriers, they really seemed to love and respect him.

Within minutes we were surrounded by middle and high school youth on skateboards asking questions and reading the banner. They took handfuls of #ShutdownA14 stickers. A lot of people expressed that the police “treated them like garbage.” An older woman in the crowd said they had been stepped on too many times and that it was time to stand up. The youth helped translate what the revolutionaries were saying to older folks and vice-versa.

Finally, about 40-50 mostly youth gathered as we marched through the complex chanting: Policías Asesinos, ¡No Mas! and Police Murder, No More! Several youth, including a young woman that was a friend of Tony’s took the megaphone, leading chants and calling people from their apartments out into the street – and they listened. Nearly every TV news station in the city rushed to catch the impromptu demonstration.

We stayed and talked with people in the neighborhood about the importance of stepping up resistance at this moment and not allowing the system to get away with this murder. Many of the residents said that they wanted to see the cop tried for murder and expressed some worry about resisting when many people are already under the gun due to their immigration status. We talked about how important it would be to bring together people from in and outside the neighborhood of multiple nationalities to demand justice, blow the whistle, and prepare for April 14. Together we decided to call for people to come to Tony’s neighborhood Saturday to BLOW THE WHISTLE ON POLICE MURDER and march into the broader community. The youth said that they would announce the event at school and several people mentioned taking it to their churches. A young woman told us how people at school had been encouraging her to protest for justice for Tony, but she had thought “me and what army?” As we left she said, “Now that I’ve met you all, I have my army.”

Tonight (Wednesday) there was a march and die-in with about 200 people in downtown Decatur (the Dekalb County seat) for Anthony Hill.

One more reason to SHUT IT DOWN on APRIL 14!

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