Eric Harris—Another Black Life Stolen By This System!

Tulsa Sheriffs Caught on Video Murdering a Black Man!    

Statement by Carl Dix

April 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Another Black man gunned down by police. This time it happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Eric Harris is the man whose life was stolen. On April 2, officers of the Tulsa Sheriff's Department chased Harris, and wrestled him to the ground. Harris is swarmed by cops who struggle to handcuff him. In the midst of this, Robert Bates, a 73-year-old reserve officer, which means he is a part-time cop, pulls out his gun and fires one shot, killing Harris. The Tulsa Sheriff's Department quickly announced that Bates had neither committed a crime nor violated any police policies. To use their words, the shooting was the result of a stressful situation, and Harris' own actions contributed to his death.

The inhumanity the cops showed in taking Harris's life is stunning After Bates shot Harris, the cops kept wrestling with him and telling him to “stop fighting.” As Harris cried out again and again, “He shot me,” the cops continued to kneel into his back and twist his neck. Near the end of the video, Harris cries out: “I'm losing my breath.” And the fucking pigs respond, “You fucking ran! Shut the fuck up!" And "Fuck your breath." In exonerating these killer cops, the authorities explained that the other pigs didn't know Harris had been shot.

Bull Shit! They didn't care that he had been shot. This was a free one because Harris had run from them. This meant that they had a free hand to brutalize him, and even kill him as a lesson to both him and anyone else who might think about forcing the cops to chase after them. Eric Harris didn't have to die. His death resulted from the way Black people are demonized and dehumanized in this country, treated like permanent suspects; guilty until proven innocent, if they can survive to prove their innocence. So, if a part-time pig kills one of them, no big deal.

And I don't want to hear any shit about Harris being a dangerous criminal the police needed to use deadly force on. Or that this was just an accident caused by Bates getting confused between a taser and a gun. The cops had swarmed Harris and wrestled him to the ground. And it is a symptom of the sickness of this system that someone who donates money to the local sheriff's election campaigns and to buy equipment for the cops gets to go out on the streets with a badge and a gun, inflicting brutality and even murder on oppressed people.

This wasn't an older, part-time cop bungling things, and it, together with all the other videos and stories of cops brutalizing and murdering people, shows that this doesn't come down to few bad apples or rogue cops. This was the police doing what they are out there to do: to beat people down and even murder them as part of playing their real role in society: protecting and serving the system that rules over the people—keeping the exploitation and oppression; the poverty, misery and degradation the system inflicts on people in effect.

These sheriffs were swaggering thru a Black neighborhood like an occupying army. This is racist and illegitimate and must be STOPPED! It's up to us to STOP it!

This murder underscores the need for people all across the country to stand up and say NO MORE to police being given a green light to murder people.

April 14 is the day to act. If not now, when? If not you, who?



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