The “Crime” in a Skid Row Murder—and
Who Are the Real Criminals?

August 3, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


A quick quiz—and another sickening lesson why this system of in-justice is intolerable and has to be stopped—NOW. Watch again the video of the cold-blooded LAPD murder of a homeless man—Charly Keunang, or “Africa” to his friends—on LA’s Skid Row March 1 of this year. Now, guess who committed an assault so vile that it warranted a bail of over $1 million and a possible sentence of 25 years to life. Not the shooter; in fact, none of the gang of cops who tackled Africa and punched him over and over before they decided to shoot him five times while he lay on the ground, did anything “outside of police policy.”

It turns out, according to the frontline enforcers of this ugly, unjust system—the police and the prosecutor’s office—that the assault deserving of the heaviest hammer of the law was carried out by the small, 34-year-old woman who appeared to briefly pick up a police baton thrown down by a cop who was about to pull out his gun. The woman—Trishawn Cardessa Carey—was quickly grabbed and thrown to the ground, roughly handcuffed, and then forced to watch as the police murdered her partner Africa seconds later.

It is not out of the question that if she, or others, had actually been able to intervene in some way, with or without the baton, Africa would still be alive.

Instead, she was roughed up and dragged off. How she was treated after that can only be measured by the fact that she was taken to a prison hospital facility, and when she was arraigned days afterwards she came in with bruises and bandages on her face and head. In that hearing, bail was set at over $1 million!

Trishawn’s lawyer, Milton Grimes, in a report filed in an effort to have her released, described a long history of medical and mental health disorders, including being hospitalized several times for “acute episodes of psychosis.” (“A homeless woman hoisted an LAPD nightstick during the skid row shooting—and could get life on prison,” Los Angeles Times, July 23, 2015) Related to her mental illness, she has been arrested multiple times; and two of the convictions were for assault. That means she faces California’s “Three Strike Law,” which makes life in prison mandatory for a third felony conviction like this one—assault with a deadly weapon against a police officer.

Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?

"Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?" is a clip from the film REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN. Watch the entire film here.

Attorney Grimes explained her treatment this way: “I’ve seen the video, you’ve seen the video; she doesn’t go after anybody. Is possession of a baton an assault? No. The legal basis appears to me to be a distraction or cover-up of the killing of a man by the police.”

On July 23, after nearly four months in jail, Trishawn’s bail was lowered to $50,000. She was released from custody the next day, still facing charges that can put her in prison for life.

In every class society like this one—which rests on exploitation, inequality and poverty, ugly racist humiliation and oppression of Black, Latino, and other oppressed people, the patriarchal degradation of women, unjust wars and occupations, and more—the state’s ability to maintain this setup ultimately relies on its monopoly on the “legitimate” use of violence. At a time when that “legitimacy” is increasingly being called into question, the message of this ruling class, its enforcers, and the whole justice system has to be delivered in the clearest and bluntest fashion—don’t even think about questioning their “right” to rule, and to use wanton violence to maintain that.

For anyone with a genuine sense of justice, Trishawn Cardessa Carey did nothing wrong; and the state must not be allowed to punish her, while the cops who murdered Africa go free to kill again.




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