Police Murder of Antwun “Ronnie” Shumpert: A Modern-Day Lynching

July 4, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Ronnie Shumpert
Antwun "Ronnie" Shumpert
Photo courtesy family of Ronnie Shumpert

In Tupelo, Mississippi, the state flag with the hated “stars-and-bars” symbol of the Confederacy still flies over City Hall. And on the streets of Tupelo, a Black man who ran from police was mauled and mutilated by a police dog, then beaten and shot dead by a Tupelo cop—no different than how they would have run down and murdered a runaway slave back before the Civil War or what the KKK did to many thousands after outright slavery was mainly abolished.

On June 18, Antwun “Ronnie” Shumpert was driving his friend’s car while his friend rode in the passenger seat, when they were pulled over by Tupelo cop Tyler Cook.

This is the USA—where over and over and over again, the pigs jump on any pretext to beat, arrest, or even kill Black people. Ronnie Shumpert had every reason to fear that’s what would happen. He took off running. According to his family’s lawyer, Carlos Moore—who has interviewed witnesses to the incident—Shumpert hid in some bushes.

Officer Cook then unleashed his K-9. At that point, Moore says, Shumpert attempted to surrender but was attacked by the police dog, which ripped at and mutilated his testicles. As Shumpert attempted to get free of the dog, Cook came up on him and beat him so badly that his teeth were jammed down into his throat. Cook then shot him four times—in the stomach and chest—then handcuffed him. Ronnie Shumpert died five hours later.

K-9s, like their masters, are more than just dangerous savage beasts—they are trained by those in authority to do what they do, whether it is ripping at the testicles of a helpless Black man or shooting him dead. They are rewarded for doing this, and protected by the system from any accountability. Both dog and cop are vicious servants of an unjust order.

Shumpert was unarmed. No drugs or weapons were found in the car. Shumpert’s friend was held, questioned, and released without charges.

Two weeks later, police have given no justification for the initial traffic stop. They have given no explanation for unleashing a dangerous beast (the K-9) to attack a man who was not even suspected of any serious crime.

The only “explanation” given by the police for the beating and shooting was their claim that Shumpert, unarmed, jumped out of the bushes and attacked the police dog!! So, according to their own ridiculous lie, they felt it necessary to murder Shumpert to protect their dog!

Ronnie Shumpert was murdered for running from the oppressor—just like Freddie Gray was murdered in Baltimore for running from the oppressor, just like Walter Scott was murdered in South Carolina for running from the oppressor... and on and on.

This system was built on the oppression of Black people through slavery as a foundation stone, and it has an unbroken record of maintaining and enforcing that oppression with terror and atrocity, even as the particular forms of oppression have changed over decades and centuries. It will take an actual revolution and a whole new, liberating system to put a stop to these never-ending and unspeakable crimes.



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