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BA Speaks

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Contains Interview with Raymond Lotta, Timeline of The REAL History of Communist Revolution, and more...


Anger and Protest Erupt Over the Los Angeles Police Murder of Brendon Glenn

May 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader

Shouts of “Murder!” and “Show Us the Video!” filled the crowded auditorium as a standing room only crowd burst forth with their anger over the murder of Brendon Glenn, a 29-year-old unarmed, homeless Black man. Glenn was gunned down just a few blocks from the famous Venice Beach area during an altercation with the cops.

Venice Beach town hall meeting

Venice town hall meeting
Town hall meeting, Venice.

300-400 people inside and dozens outside came to confront the Los Angeles Police Department and their spokespeople, who were holding a town hall meeting in the Venice district of LA to try and throw water on the anger that was being expressed since Glenn’s murder on Tuesday, May 5. When the LAPD’s Community Engagement Specialist opened up the meeting and spoke for a few minutes, Keith James from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network stood up and shouted at him, “You haven’t said anything about murder!” Someone else shouted out, “Say it!” When the area’s city councilman Mike Bonin spoke, it was reported that “he was booed almost completely off from the podium.” reported that “The event soon became an outpouring of rage and grief from the crowd that lasted almost three hours.”

The crowd was outraged that Police Chief Charles Beck and Mayor Eric Garcetti were not in attendance, as the crowd wanted to confront them. People were saying, “Where is the mayor? Where is the chief of police?”

People were demanding that the security video of the murder be released, but the cops aren’t releasing it. Those who have seen it have told the Los Angeles Times that they could see no clear reasons on the video as to why the cop shot Brendon, when “it appeared the officers had control over him.” A witness to the murder, who was standing just 10 feet away from the shooting, said that Glenn was asked for his identification, and when he reached in his pocket to get it, he was shot in the chest.

Before the town hall started, SMIN unfurled a large vinyl banner of the Stolen Lives and walked around inside the room with it. They passed out Stolen Lives posters to the majority of the crowd, and people were grabbing them up. They got out Revolution newspaper and spoke to people about how revolution IS possible and that we need to get organized for that, and THAT is what will deal with this problem. Nothing else can or will.

Keith James of SMIN spoke about the murder of Brendon Glenn and said that it was part of the epidemic of police murders taking place all throughout the country—Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, and thousands of others, including Freddie Gray in Baltimore—and that these murders by police must stop. He spoke about the people who have stood up in Baltimore, making clear the days when police can murder people and get away with it are over. He said that the LAPD has murdered hundreds of people, there has never been a single indictment for murder for any of these cops, and those sitting in the front of the room are giving a green light to these murders. He talked about how these same people were trotted out for a town hall when Manuel Jaminez was shot to death by LAPD in Pico Union, and pushed the murder under the rug. He spoke about the LAPD murders of Ezell Ford, Omar Abrego, and Brother Africa and said that we are going to have to fight for justice if we want to see justice and the murderers held, indicted, convicted, and put in jail. He also spoke to how the murder of Brenden Glenn is part of a campaign of murders of homeless people by police across the U.S., including Kelly Thomas in Fullerton, James Boyd in Albuquerque, and Brother Africa in Los Angeles.

People from all walks of life spoke. There was a large section of people who are very concerned about the homeless. Their anger and angst was genuine, with real concerns—demands for bathrooms, housing, and mental health care. One guy got up and said, “We don’t want a police officer in the car. We want a professional mental health person in the car who understands what the problem really is.” Then the crowd erupted in applause.

There was a section of broadly progressive middle strata. They came to hear the police and the powers out. They didn’t like the disruptions, saying “give them a chance,” speaking about the police and council people. They were saying that the Democratic leadership in LA is good and has potential. But they were also in some real flux. They were open to hearing a different perspective, including revolution as the solution to this problem and other outrages here and around the world.

There was a section of people very outraged, including people voicing this has been going on a long time, since the ’60s some might say, some said for hundreds of years, and they were looking for answers. This included a smaller section who were very angry, including some who live in Venice who are homeless and/or are somewhat transient, and some others. These folks were a diverse mix of Black, Latino, Asian, and white. Most were in their late 20s or 30s, while a few had been through the liberation struggles that took place in the 1960s.

A retired journalist gave all sorts of examples of how the cops use violence and said that “the problem is disproportional use of violence against the poor.” Then she told the panel, “I don’t think you’re going to change it,” but “fucking prove me wrong.”

A lot of people spoke to who Brendon Glenn was. A community organizer said, “I don’t think they realize this person was someone people really cared about. He was connected to all the [homeless] services and he was struggling to improve his life.”

Another guy said, “He always watched out for me. I saw him two hours before the shooting. I wish I never left him.... This cop needs to be in prison like I would be if I killed somebody. Brendon was unarmed.”

“He was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met,” Paris Edwards told KPCC, while another person at the meeting said, “That man that got shot was a good man; he was a good man, and he didn’t deserve that. And it was murder.”

Brendon’s family in Troy, New York, spoke to the LA Times about him: “His 79-year-old grandmother told the Times that his family was shocked to hear he had been shot by police. Ann McGuirk said her grandson wasn’t a troublemaker and had kept in touch with his family and 3-year-old child since he moved to California.” She said that her “grandson came to Los Angeles because a friend lived there and he thought it would be a good place to work. The family encouraged the move” because he was young and “they thought it would be a good experience.” She went on, “He didn’t do anything to deserve to be shot dead. It was uncalled for. He had his whole life ahead of him.”

Earlier in the day, there was a march through Venice, and later that night more than 100 people held a candlelight vigil for Glenn on the sidewalk not far from where he was shot. People did a die-in that day at the spot where he was murdered. This Saturday there was a protest held at the site where Brendon was murdered. We will report further on this as things develop.




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