Thousands Shot by Police in Southern California—Only One Cop Prosecuted

This System Has No Answer to Police Murders—The Revolution DOES

February 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Yes there's a conspiracy, to get the cops off

"Yes there's a conspiracy... to get the cops off" Is a clip from Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian, given in 2003 in the United States. More about Bob Avakian here

According to a recent investigative report by Jack Dolan in the Los Angeles Times, since the year 2004, more than 2,000 people have been shot by the police in the six Southern California counties (Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Imperial)—and only one of those cops was prosecuted, and he was acquitted. Further, since the year 2000, more than 1,300 police shootings have occurred in Los Angeles County and not one single cop has been prosecuted.

This is an astonishing statistic, even for someone who knows the cops are almost never prosecuted for killing people.

Despite the fact the police are not tried for killing people, the municipalities they work for are brought to court in civil suits filed by the families of those who have been murdered. The six counties and the cities in them in Southern California have paid out at least $150 million in settlements for the murders committed by their police since 2004. And why are there these settlements? Because the evidence—videos and photos and witnesses—show their cops have wantonly, brutally, and illegally gunned down people, and the funds that are paid are essentially admissions of guilt. And sometimes, the money is aimed at keeping the families quiet.

Take the case of shooting of Elio Carrion, who was a passenger in a car that was pulled over after a high-speed chase in Chino, CA in 2006. Carrion was unarmed and was shot while on the ground by a San Bernardino County deputy. Carrion was not killed. The video of this speaks for itself. It shows Carrion on the ground saying “we mean you no harm” to the cop, who fires three shots at him seconds later. This video drew national attention, and it was the centerpiece of the only trial to be held since 2004 in Southern California charging an on-duty cop with the crimes of attempted manslaughter and assault for shooting someone. This pig was acquitted! Carrion then sued in civil court and settled for $1.5 million.

In 2006, Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies fired 61 rounds into the back of Alfredo Montalvo’s car following a brief pursuit in Lynwood, killing him. The cops were not prosecuted because the D.A. said that the car had been used as a weapon to ram into a patrol car and the cops said they had been knocked over and one car ran over the foot of another cop, injuring all three. But in civil court several cops and other eyewitnesses testified that they did not see any cop “fall down or get run over,” and the medical report said that none of the cops had any injuries. Photos of Montalvo’s vehicle and the patrol car that was rammed showed “almost no collision damage.” The photo did show 12 bullet holes in the back window of Montalvo’s car. The jury awarded Montalvo’s family nearly $9 million.

According to the investigative report, “Montalvo’s widow, Annette Montalvo, said the money is bittersweet because she thought the officers should have been prosecuted. ‘I think the officers should pay a price. They’re the ones who keep doing this.”

Then there was the Brian Beaird car chase in 2013 that ended with Beaird being murdered by the LAPD on live television. When Beaird got to downtown Los Angeles, he hit another car and then careened into a light post. Beaird, who was unarmed, stumbled out of his car and as he attempted to walk away, he was shot in the back by three Los Angeles police. That video is posted on YouTube, and his murder comes during the 21st minute of the video.

Despite the fact that LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said the shooting of Beaird was “not justified,” the D.A. would not press charges against the murdering pigs.

The LA City Council decided to pay Beaird’s father $5 million prior to a lawsuit coming to trial.

If you go to You Tube and search for “police shoot unarmed man” you get over 97,000 videos. There are hundreds and hundreds of videos of people being murdered by the cops, but hardly any of these murderers ever get prosecuted. What does that tell you about putting body cameras on cops in order to stop these shootings?

Besides the police, the legal system—the courts, the judges, the district attorneys and prosecuting attorneys—is, as Bob Avakian has said, a part of the forces of the ruling class and its state apparatus of repression. They’re part of the machinery that enforces, on behalf of the ruling class, and with all the violence they deem necessary, the existing system of exploitation and oppression...”(from The Science, the Strategy, the Leadership for an Actual Revolution, and a Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation.)

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