Families of Victims of Police Speak Out

Oct 24—"It's PIVOTAL!"

July 13, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


These statements appear at the Stop Mass Incarceration Network website at www.stopmassincarceration.net. (Photos: StopMassIncarceration.net)


Nicholas Heyward, Sr., Juanita Young, and Joshua Lopez, all of whom lost family members murdered by NYPD, at June 30 #RiseUpOctober meeting

Chris Silva, brother of David Silva, murdered by Kern County Sheriffs and California Highway Patrol, May 8, 2013

Statement from Chris Silva, brother of David Silva, murdered by Kern County Sheriffs and California Highway Patrol, May 8, 2013

October 22-24 is a great idea - it's PIVOTAL! People think there is justice served because some cops are indicted. No. True accountability isn’t happening, not in California and not in the U.S. Not from the Sheriff's “investigations” and not from the District Attorney’s or the Federal Justice Department. Rise Up October is more than a stance, it’s resistance, and it’s urgent. There can be no more waiting. We have to be in NYC. On April 14, the walls were caving us in - we had to break out. Now, what are we going to do about it? it can be hard to “get it” if it’s not happening to you - everybody has to “get it.” I’ll be in NYC in October and I am bringing people with me.

I’m getting my plane tickets. I’ll go wherever I am needed. It’s necessary for me to be in NYC. Police brutality and murder and stopping it is like a scientific riddle - it’s a problem, and it can be solved. We are living examples of what fighting for justice is. The Federal government - the FBI and the Justice Department - they think it fine to put someone to sleep forever.

For 9 cops and a dog to beat to death my brother, David Silva, for 20 minutes. The Feds say it is fine. In what world is it fine?! Society can get numb to it. They hand out scoops of money and call it a day - that is NOT justice! They’ll hand out money and call it an “in-custody death” and move on. Society should not accept this! Families should not accept this! THESE OFFICERS NEED TO BE PUT BEHIND BARS!

Let’s not have it be our faults because we didn’t rise up. Some people say negative things about Black Lives Matter. All Lives Matter, yes! That white man in that church in Charleston - he did that for a reason: he is a racist. Yes, All Lives Matter - but let’s be clear Black Lives Matter and we can get somewhere, because these racists, and the those cops - they are shooting Black people in the back. Charleston should be a wake up call for everybody. It should put us on edge. It shows Black Lives Matter is real, and now you got those racists defending the Confederate Flag. On October 24 - everyone needs to take a side!

Feras Morad with his cousin Kareem Morad

Statement from Kareem Morad, cousin of Feras Morad, 20-year-old college student murdered by Long Beach, California Police Department, May 27, 2015

Rise Up October - definitely! it’s a great movement. It’s in NYC, but all the other states and cities should take it up. Not only the families who have lost loved ones to police murder, but EVERYBODY. We need a change in police culture. Justice for Feras Morad, my cousin, will not be enough especially since he was one who wanted to make a change in the world and stop police brutality. True Justice for Feras will be in the form of change.

True justice will come when there is a change in police culture of which police brutality is just one aspect. Too many unarmed Americans are being murdered! Who are the police to decide who lives or dies?! There needs to be change in America. I don’t think our family will ever get over the fact that Feras was murdered by police. We will carry this with us for the rest of our lives. Feras will be in our hearts forever, and he’ll drive and motivate us to see change happen. I want the families to know you are not alone.

We are all here to support the families who lost loved ones victimized by police brutality. I want the families and this movement to STAY STRONG! To the families: stay strong and keep fighting for your loved ones! In Charleston, we see the true meaning of terrorism. It shows terrorism isn’t an ethnicity or a religion and it can come from within our own in America. Charleston shows discrimination. It’s extremely sad to see these victims of white supremacy.

The victims' families are amazing people and we need to support them and all come together to try and bring peace to the U.S. We fight wars in other countries when our biggest threat is within our own borders. I have seen movements become loud and then fade away. This is not a movement that should fade away. This is not a movement that is impossible - no, this movement to stop police murder and discrimination is very possible and it’s going to happen very soon. History repeats itself. We will fight for what's right and the people will win. If we keep standing up we will see a change in police culture and that change is going to be drastic.

Pamela Fields, mother of Donte Jordan, killed by Long Beach CA police, 2013

Pamela Fields, mother of Donte Jordan, killed by Long Beach, California Police, on November 10, 2013

Rise Up October needs to happen! It has got to be stronger than the Million Man March - that is what I think, because it has to be everybody out there! The life you save may be your own. To all the families, my heart goes out to you, I feel your pain. My heart went out to Trayvon and his family - and then it hit my family, and the police took my son. Stay encouraged - let’s stick together. Let them not forget what they did to our children. The vision for October 24 is wonderful! Let the world know we have not gotten off of this, that we have not forgotten. My son Donte Jordan was racially profiled and they didn’t say “Stop... put your hands up” - no, they just shot him dead. I could say what about them Tasers and rubber bullets - why not use those instead of murder people. But my nephew Dante Parker was Tased 17 times and killed because he was riding his son's bicycle.

A woman called the cops to say Dante stole the bike. He was Tased to death as he was on the side of the road, on the bike, collecting his breadth - that was his son's bike he was riding! And the police have been covering it up all the way from the Tasing to the hospital to now. This police brutality is my reality, It destroys families. The police are not held accountable for any of it. My son is killed in Long Beach and I confront the police chief to let them know we are watching.

And they keep killing... Feras Morad, Hector Morejon, Tyler Woods and on and on. I read the Call for October 24! This is something that needs to be done, because it’s not only police brutality but mass incarceration. They do gang injunctions against 12 and 13 year olds, say they are affiliated with gangs, stop them and take them to jail, build up a record, then give them felonies and warehouse our people. And when they get out there ain’t no jobs - the jobs go to the jail and prison guards. They are targeting poverty communities. Something has to be done to stop police murder and mass incarceration and we got to be the ones to do it, otherwise it’s felonies for life and all that is left is to rob someone, sell drugs, or end up on drugs yourself. They’ve closed all the doors.

Now with Charleston - that hate crime - it’s finally hitting home to these churches. My heart goes out to the families, I am so sorry. Let me say this: I went to all the churches in my area to help me when Donte was shot down by Long Beach cops. Not one church wanted to get involved. The churches should have stood up before but now. But it has hit home and the churches need to stand up and make sure these murders - by police and by these hate crime people - don’t take any more lives!

Ruben Gonzalez Marejon speaking at a vigil

Ruben Gonzalez, brother of 19-year-old Hector Morejon, murdered by Long Beach Police Department, April 23, 2015

On October 24 we need 100,000’s of people in NYC! That will be a powerful statement that murder by police is happening nationwide. We need "accountability" and transparency. October 24 is very important for the community because it will show we are standing together. Enough is enough. October 24 is an amazing idea to take on their harassment and murder. Rise Up October is time to make a statement. I feel betrayed by the Long Beach Police Department. What they did to my brother, Hector.

And now I am becoming more involved I am learning more details about other people being shot and killed. There is no accountability - just cover up - from the cops to the DAs. Nothing is transparent - they let you know what they want you to know but not the facts. What are the facts? Hector Morejon was unarmed! He wasn’t doing anything to deserve being killed.

For all this time, since April 23 since he was killed, they are not releasing the 911 call. it’s a cover up. Hector, my brother, was only 19 years old. He was full of life, he was beginning to be an adult but he was just a kid, with a great sense of humor. It’s heartbreaking.

The people united will never be defeated! Everybody - Speak Up! We have freedom of speech so let’s speak up and let the world know that police murders must stop. In closing, I want to send my condolences to all the families who lost loved ones in Charleston. This is insane! We are all human beings - human beings with a heart, no matter what color!

Jean Thaxton, mother of Michael Nida, killed by Downey CA police, 2011

Jean Thaxton, mother of Michael Nida, killed by Downey, California Police, on October 22, 2011

I want to see October 24 happen! We have to reach Middle America. Middle America doesn’t believe what is happening because they want to believe that cops are out there protecting them, keeping criminals off the streets - so we need to reach them. And the media - they’re not honest. They just report what the cops tell them, instead of unbiased reporting. Middle America needs to OPEN ITS EYES and look at cops with a wary eye. I didn’t know what was happening in this country, until my son was murdered by a cop. But now I know that people in high positions are just as prone to corruption, dishonesty and are self serving like anyone else can be.

Police officers... they are supposed to be the finest and well-trained. I didn’t know they were acting as judge, jury and executioners. Now I know they stop people because of the way they look, the way they dress, the color of their skin. It’s the Daryl Gates mentality - “go get them before they get you.” I am so sorry I hadn’t realized how Blacks were discriminated against and mistreated. I was blind, but now I see.

I was raised in the hills of West Virginia and didn’t socialize with anyone from a different race until I came to Los Angeles in 1968. That was when I was exposed to other races and other cultures. I am so proud of the Black community for standing up against these injustices. They have raised their voices to bring awareness. I am so proud of them. Their courage in Ferguson, in NYC and other cities has been encouraging. White people need to take lessons from our Black brothers and sisters and learn to stand up against our corrupt system! When police officers have murder in their eyes they’ll kill anyone... like Bobby Henning, Kelly Thomas, Erik Scott, Zachary Champommier and Doug Zerby.... all white people.

My son Michael Nida was murdered by cops in Downey, California on October 22, 2011, which happens to be National Anti-Police Brutality Day. Michael was unarmed and profiled as a robbery suspect because of the way he looked, even though his skin color and clothing did not match the description of the robbery suspects. He ran and he was shot down in the back with an MP5 submachine gun. Why did he run? The cop put the gun to his head and said “I am going to blow your head off.” Michael was afraid of the cops because they were always stopping him because of the way he looked, with a bald head, and the way he dressed. And, Michael also knew that the cops murdered his uncle Mark Nida in Charleston, West Virginia in 1999. Mark was hog-tied (which is illegal) and suffocated to death.

I have to say even after they murdered Mark I didn’t realize what the cops were doing. Now I do realize that cops murder people because of the way they look, the way they dress, the music they play and the community they live in. On October 24, all the groups have to come together! It will make a much bigger impact!

Terri Thaxton, brother Michael Nida was murdered by Downey, California Police in 2011

 100,000’s in the streets of NYC - that is awesome and I want to be there! The iron is hot and we have to strike back. People are rising up and we have to make a big plan with social media, which is helping us to organize. Bottom line: we need to change the laws. The police are getting away with murder because the laws protect them, and they have no reason to stop. To all the families: you are not alone in the fight. Families all over the country support you. You are not alone just like we are not alone. We didn’t know where to turn when Michael was murdered, but we have reached out to many families all over the country to offer our support. When my brother Michael Nida was murdered in 2011, I knew that he did not die in vain. There must be change. 100,000’s in the streets of NYC will get the attention of the law makers.



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