From Homeowner to 10-Year-Old Kid... Black People in the Crosshairs of Armed Pigs

August 30, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Indianapolis, Indiana—Early in the morning of August 23, Carl Williams, a 48-year-old Black man, called 911 after his wife ran into the house screaming that she’d just been forced to hand over her car keys to an armed man in front of their home. Williams expected help from the police. Instead, when the police arrived, they shot him. He had only made it a few steps out of the garage when a police bullet tore into his groin.

Williams didn’t end up as one of more than 750 people killed by police across the U.S. just since the beginning of this year—but he was seriously injured, with bullet fragments in his body. He said, “The only thing I can remember is intense pain and falling on the ground and telling the police officers ‘I am the homeowner. Why did you shoot me?’ My life is in turmoil because they did the wrong thing.”

The police labeled this outrageous shooting a case of “mistaken identity.” The description that Carl Williams gave of the man who robbed his wife was nothing like Williams... except that they are both Black men.

Newark, New Jersey—Legend Preston, a 10-year-old fifth grader, didn’t end up murdered by police like 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland... but he very well could have. On August 14, he was shooting hoops at a court near his home when the ball rolled into the street toward a police car. Legend said later that when he went to get the ball, “Some police started coming this way with guns pointed at me, and then I ran into the backyard... I ran because they thought that I rolled the ball into the street on purpose, and they were just holding shot guns at me trying to shoot me.”

Bob Avakian on "Emmett Till and Jim Crow: Black people lived under a death sentence"

Transcript of this clip available here.

Who is Bob Avakian?

Because of Bob Avakian and the work he has done over several decades, summing up the positive and negative experience of the communist revolution so far, and drawing from a broad range of human experience, there is a new synthesis of communism that has been brought forward — there really is a viable vision and strategy for a radically new, and much better, society and world, and there is the crucial leadership that is needed to carry forward the struggle toward that goal.

Find out much more about Bob Avakian here.

Neighbors who saw what was happening had to form a human shield around Legend to protect him and prevent the armed pig marauders from brutalizing him. One of the neighbors said, “He’s only 10 years old, how you all chasing him? He’s only a kid. I’m like, ‘that’s messed up.’” Legend’s mom, Patisha Solomon, said her son has been having recurring nightmares of being chased by cops and shot in the leg. “These policemen who had guns drawn on my child are still on these streets.”

The police have not even issued an apology, saying that Legend “fits the description” of an armed robbery suspect. The alleged robber, a 20-year-old man with facial hair and locks, looks nothing like Legend Preston... except that they are both African-American.


The shooting of Carl Williams and the terrorizing of Legend Preston point to a reality of Amerikkka. In the Jim Crow South, every Black person lived under a death sentence, which might or might not be carried out—threatened with torture and execution at the hands of a white lynch mob. Today, under the New Jim Crow, it is the police who mostly carry out the role that the lynch mobs played. And all Black people—whether they’re a homeowner, a kid playing outside, a youth just hanging with friends on a corner, a professional driving a car, etc.—have a target on their backs, subject to being harassed, brutalized, and even murdered by the brutal enforcers of this system.

It is doubtful that there is a Black male anywhere in the U.S., South or North, who doesn’t walk around every day with a real fear of being brutalized or even being killed at the hands of the police. (See the clip Emmett Till and Jim Crow: Black people lived under a death sentence” from Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian.)


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