Obama’s “Let Legal System Work” = Let Murdering Police Walk

May 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


First, Barack Obama called those who rose up demanding justice for Freddie Gray “thugs.” Then, when that uprising—and other struggles around the country of all kinds of people including students, many white people, and others—forced the system’s hand and charges were brought against six police involved in the murder of Freddie Gray, Barack Obama said: “All the evidence needs to be presented. Those individuals who are charged obviously are also entitled to due process and rule of law. So I want to make sure that our legal system runs the way it should.”

Well you can tell something about the way a system should run by the way it does run. And over and over again, where charges are brought, murdering pigs either get off, or get only the most token sentences: the authorities bring charges to release some of the pressure, drag out a trial, use the trial to sow confusion and bullshit, and then let the pig off.

Rekia Boyd
Rekia Boyd

Aiyana Stanley-Jones
Aiyana Stanley-Jones

Sean Bell
Sean Bell

Look at what happened to the cop who went to trial in Chicago this year for murdering 22-year-old Rekia Boyd back in 2012. Rekia Boyd was hanging out with friends when Dante Servin, an off duty Chicago cop, pulled up near the group and had words with one person. Servin shot over his shoulder five times into the group who were all facing away from him, hitting Rekia in the back of the head and another man in the hand. She died within 24 hours. Servin claimed that he “feared for his life” but the investigation later showed that none of the people he shot at were armed, nor were they threatening him. Rekia Boyd’s family and supporters waged a tenacious struggle for justice, and three years later, Dante Servin went to trial. But before the trial was even over, a judge essentially ruled that Servin was guilty of a much more serious crime than the one prosecutors charged him with, and so he threw out the case!

Or take the particularly egregious case of Aiyana Stanley-Jones. She was seven years old when she was murdered during a SWAT raid in her grandmother’s living room on May 16, 2010. Police fired a flash grenade into the house at 12:40 am, burst in, and shot and killed Aiyana. Only after national and global outrage, was one of these murdering thugs charged—and just with involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment with a gun. Three years later, his first trial ended in a mistrial, as did a second trial. On January 28, 2015, a prosecutor cleared Weekley (the cop who killed Aiyana) of the last remaining charge against him, ensuring there would not be a third trial.

If those pigs got off after murdering an unarmed seven-year-old in her grandmother’s home, this system can find a way to let any murdering cop off.

Again, this is a pattern. On November 25, 2006, New York City police fired fifty times on three men sitting in a car, killing Sean Bell on the morning of his wedding, and severely wounding two of his friends. As outrage threatened to erupt, three of the five detectives involved in the shooting went to trial on charges of first and second-degree manslaughter, first and second-degree assault, and second-degree reckless endangerment. They were found not guilty.

LA police beat Rodney King
LA police beat Rodney King, 1991.

After the famous televised vicious police beating of Rodney King back in 1991, of the mob of pigs who beat him, four were charged with assault with a deadly weapon and use of excessive force. None were found guilty. It was only after days of sustained rebellion—what the system calls the “LA Riots” in 1992, were the police retried and a few went to jail.

Just the few examples we’ve listed here show, and as the whole history of unpunished police brutality and murder shows, the system working “the way it should” means letting the cops get away with murder.



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