Depraved LAPD Murder of 18-Year-Old Richard Risher: Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution

August 1, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


From members of the Revolution Club, LA:

Late Monday night, July 25, Los Angeles Police Department pigs murdered 18-year-old Richard Risher in Nickerson Gardens housing projects in Watts. Right away the LAPD worked overtime to justify this murder with accounts in the media getting repeated over and over that there was a “running gun battle” that left a cop with minor injuries and one “suspect” dead. While we don’t know all the details of what actually happened, we do know that friends were hanging out together when police came at them and people ran from the police. We know that Richard was unarmed when he was shot. We know the police shot him while he was running away. We know he stumbled after being shot and they kept shooting. And we know that after he fell to the ground the police officers went to his dying body and kicked him and spit on him. Then the LAPD occupying army blocked off the area where they had just murdered him and sealed off the entire neighborhood. They left his body there overnight while they worked to cover up their crime. And at the same time, more police came in and ran into the homes of people living in the area, forcing whole families to stand out on the street while they ran through their homes, supposedly searching for a “shooter.”

Watts, July 26

Revolution Club with friends and family of Richard Risher, marching in the streets of Watts, July 26. Photo: Special to

On Tuesday, the Revolution Club went to Nickerson Gardens to stand with people being terrorized by police and to provide leadership to strengthen the ability of people to stand up and not let the police get away with this crime and organize people to do what is the only answer to this madness: overthrow this system at the soonest possible time to bring into being a new and better society. People were in a lot of pain. Not only had they just had Richard violently stolen from them at the hands of police, a dear friend of Richard’s overdosed after Richard was killed and by Tuesday night had died in the hospital. A crew of teenage women, loved ones of Richard, began to gather where he was killed, trading funny stories. Then someone started passing around a video of the police kicking Richard on the ground. His cousin fell to the ground, crushed by her pain and tears. One of the other young women began to yell out the names of all the friends and loved ones she had lost, screaming out and sobbing uncontrollably.

In another part of the projects, others began to gather to remember Richard. We and the young women went over to join them. Many were youths from the neighborhood caught up in the gangs, some were older guys. We went through getting out the RCP Central Committee Message, “Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution,” and talking to people about what that means, especially “Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution.”

The Revolutionary Communist Party IS ORGANIZING NOW TO OVERTHROW THIS SYSTEM AT THE SOONEST POSSIBLE TIME. Preparing to lead an actual revolution to bring about a radically new and better society: the New Socialist Republic in North America.

From Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution—Message from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

There was a lot of struggle over what’s it really going to take to stop police terror once and for all and is that really possible. More than a few people were aware of the trials of the cops who had been indicted for killing Black people, like the cops responsible for the murder of Freddie Gray. They were saying the fact that none of these cops were getting convicted and instead are being let off the hook shows that protesting and uprisings like in Baltimore make no difference. We talked with people about how police getting away with murder shows the nature of the police as enforcers of a whole system that has never treated Black people as anything other than something to make profit off of and then throws people away when they can’t do that anymore. We put forward the need for an actual revolution and that the RCP is organizing now to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time. We told people we have a leader, Bob Avakian, who has answers to how we could fight and win, and how we could lead a whole new society. We struggled with people to see that when they stand up against the crimes of this system and refuse to put up with oppression, it is part of people strengthening their ability to fight this system. We talked about how it is possible for millions to rise up and tear this system down, but people will never be able to do that if they don’t learn how to fight back, if they just keep getting crushed down.

One of the other big questions we encountered as soon as we started engaging people is that people will never be able to fight to fundamentally change things, because they can’t come together, they can’t unite. They were speaking specifically about Black people and in particular what is happening in that area, with people from different gangs fighting and killing each other. In the recent period, several people have died in this kind of violence. One young guy we talked to said straight out, “I don’t think all Black lives matter—the lives of those people over there don’t matter to me at all”—pointing towards the “rival” neighborhood. Others were very torn up about this kind of thinking, at one and the same time caught up in some of it themselves, but also really wanting things to be different and not seeing how that could ever be possible.

"What if?...."


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We had a lot of discussion with many different people about this—that first day after Richard’s murder and in the days since then. We worked to very scientifically get into with people how this system is also to blame for the violence among the people, and how in coming to see that, people can find their unity in fighting the real enemy, getting rid of this system, and bringing into being a whole new society where nobody has to go through this kind of pain anymore.

One of the deepest examples of this was when we came back the next night and brought the “moving movie theater” truck with us and put on video clips from Bob Avakian for people to watch. We showed the clip “What if...”—from BA’s Dialogue with Cornel West—to two Black women in their 20s. At the end of it one of the women said that’s a lot of “what if’s” and was questioning whether it was really possible to achieve that whole vision. She was challenged with what BA says in that clip that achieving a radically different world is not just a dream but something for which there is a definite basis in reality and it is up to us together with people just like us all over the world to make it into a reality.


Then we got deeper into problem and solution with her, in particular a back and forth on how capitalism actually works, and the basis for the world to be radically different. She talked about trying to get out of poverty and a desperate living situation and how you can’t really do that even though you are trying very hard. As we went back and forth, she at one point described what was going on in her thinking as being like chewing gum, you start off with this little piece of gum, and then you blow a bubble and it expands way out, but then it only goes so far and pops back to just being a little piece of gum. She said her thoughts kept expanding out all over the place but then kept being drawn back in. It was a great analogy for how people’s thinking gets limited by not being able to see beyond the limits of capitalism, which is what we told her. She remembered learning about capitalism in school and we talked about what it actually is.

She and her friend both then began to talk about how we would never be able to get rid of this system and get to a different kind of world because people can’t unite. They themselves were torn by not being sure they could forgive people in another neighborhood for their loved ones that have been killed by them. We put on the clip from BA, “A better world is possible,” from his 2003 Revolution talk. They responded vocally and viscerally as they watched it, in a lot of agreement with what was being said. But after watching it, they still said they didn’t think other people could take up that understanding. We challenged them to see that who is responsible for the deaths of their loved ones is not “those people over there” but actually this capitalist-imperialist system and that this system is also responsible for the same pain that “those over there” are going through. And we posed to them that if you see how this system has set it up this way, then you could see the basis to come together to fight the real enemy and bring into being something new and better for humanity. After some back and forth, one of the women said maybe she could come to see this but that others could not, that others were just too deep into it.

From the Revolution Talk, 2003.

Learn more about BA here

We broadened out the discussion to not just what is happening to people right there in that neighborhood, or just what is happening to Black people, but how this system works and what it does to people all over the world, including the degradation of women here and all over the world. The more we talked, and consistently put to them the challenge for them to join the Revolution Club and be part of carrying out the strategy for revolution, they got more and more interested in the Club, with questions like how to be part of it, what does the Club do, and asking some of the various Club members how they got involved. At some point they came back to the possibility of people from the projects marching with Richard’s family to the police station that killed him. They were concerned about walking through rival neighborhoods, but suggested if people wore the REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirt, or even if everybody just wore black, it would be clear that they weren’t marching for gang reasons, they were representing something else.

The two women left with a DVD of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! and a stack of the RCP Central Committee’s Message to distribute door-to-door near where they live. They said they would watch the film right away and joked that they would make their young relatives come sit down and watch it with them. First they said they would trick them into it by telling them they were showing popular kids’ movies, but as they went through titles of movies, one of the women said, “We’ll tell them it’s Transformers,” and then thought about it and said, “Hey, actually it is!” And then she went on to joke that she would tell them the movie was The Day After Tomorrow.

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