Trump and Sessions Call for MORE Police Terror Against Black and Latino People of Chicago

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On October 5, a jury found ex-Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke guilty of murdering 17-year-old Black youth Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke started shooting at Laquan as he was walking away and fired 16 bullets in total, most as he lay near death on the ground. The uncovering of the video of the murder sparked huge and widespread outrage. And the struggle of the people forced the very rare conviction of a killer cop—a taste of justice after decades of police and racists getting away with murder across the country.

Three days later, Donald Trump stood before a cheering crowd of police chiefs in Orlando, Florida, and basically called for an escalation of police terror in Chicago. Claiming to be moving to “straighten out” the situation marked by waves of heartrending shootings among the people, Trump declared that the police stop-and-frisk program should be brought back. Under the guise of “stopping crime,” stop-and-frisk policies in Chicago, New York, and other cities blatantly targeted Black and Latino people. Just in one summer, in 2014, Chicago police stopped and harassed 250,000 people—72 percent of them Black, while Black people make up only about a third of the city’s population. The police in Chicago and New York have been forced to curtail stop-and-frisk because of major protests and exposures. This white supremacist police tactic is what Trump called for openly bringing back.

Trump was quickly followed by his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, who announced that the Department of Justice had filed a court motion asking a federal judge to reject a consent decree on police reform in Chicago. The consent decree aims to put some restraints on the police—through things like establishing an “independent monitor” to issue public reports on the actions of the department, training cops in “de-escalation” techniques, requiring cops to file a report every time they draw their guns, and so on. These constraints do NOT fundamentally alter the essential nature and structure of the police, as Bob Avakian has said:

The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and the order that enforces all this oppression and madness. (BAsics 1:24)

These slight concessions and attempts to somewhat “moderate” the actions of the Chicago PD were made in the face of the massive nationwide protests of 2014 to 2016 that shut down Chicago for parts of November and December in 2015. The consent decree was initiated by Obama to maintain the overall legitimacy of the pigs’ role, and taken up by some other forces to more fully drag what the police actually do (which is normally covered up) out into the light of day.

Yet even this is too much for Trump and Sessions, who are determined to implement a full-on fascist program with a very strong and blatant white supremacist juggernaut as part of its cutting edge. Sessions had come to the Chicago area twice during the Van Dyke trial to rail against the consent decree and any sort of restrictions on the police and to blame protesters for the violence among the youth—and flew there on October 18 to do so again.

We’re talking about Chicago, a city almost synonymous with “police brutality.” A city where in 2012, an off-duty cop shot into a group of Black youths hanging out on the street because he thought they were too noisy, killing a 22-year-old bystander, Rekia Boyd. And he walked. Where unarmed, 15-year-old Dakota Bright was killed by police with a shot to the back of his head in 2012. And that killer cop walked too. Where, over a 20-year period, Detective Jon Burge tortured confessions out of 200 “suspects” using cigarette burns, electric shock, and suffocation. Where for 11 years, cops maintained a secret “black site” in a warehouse, interrogating 7,000 people without letting their lawyers and families know where they were.

In other words, this is a city where Black and Latino people are already subjected to a state of terror at the hands of the pigs. Now Trump and Sessions want to ramp this up to an even higher level.

These sharp divisions at the top, focused now in particular around the consent decree, reflect the fact that the rulers as a whole are confronting a potentially volatile situation. Their system has absolutely no solution for the situation where millions of oppressed people face an utterly hopeless future—no solution except more repression, whether it be straight-up fascist crackdown or with promises of reforms to curb the most egregious racism and brutality among cops.

Prepare for Struggle

The moves and threats by the Trump/Pence regime to intensify police terror and brutality must be taken very seriously—and opposed with urgency and determination, right now, by broad numbers of people. By all those who are angered when they see outrages like Van Dyke savagely murdering Laquan McDonald, the separation of thousands of immigrant children from their parents, the degradation and violence women face, the U.S.-backed genocidal war in Yemen, the planet-threatening despoliation of the environment, and many other crimes of this system.

This struggle needs be part of preparing for an actual revolution that can put a stop for good to police terror and murder and other outrages of the system. As HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution says:

Thousands need to get organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution. We have seen the potential for this in the protests that have taken place against police brutality and murder, and other ways in which large numbers of people have gone up against the established authorities and the political “rules of the game.” But this needs to be transformed, through struggle, into revolutionary understanding, determination, and organization.


We need to oppose and disrupt the moves of the ruling powers to isolate, “encircle,” brutalize, mass incarcerate and murderously repress the people who have the hardest life under this system and who most need this revolution. We need to “encircle” them—by bringing forth wave upon wave of people rising up in determined opposition to this system.

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