Raleigh, North Carolina: Police Gun Down Javier Torres, Hundreds Mount Angry Protest

| revcom.us


About 6:45 pm on March 10, a Raleigh, North Carolina cop shot 26-year-old Javier Torres in his abdomen. Police claim they had responded to a call about a man with a gun.

A video from one of the cop’s body cam shows that a group of pigs began chasing Javier Torres through Raleigh streets. He was carrying a pizza box. They cornered him in what appears to be an alley, where one of the pigs shot him. Police claim Torres had a gun--at one point in his waistband, at another in his hand. This is not clearly evident in the video released by Raleigh police.

As Torres writhed in agony on the ground, he repeated “I’m unarmed, I’m unarmed.” He was taken to a nearby hospital, and as of this writing, his condition is unknown. Police charged Javier Torres with resisting arrest, altering or removing the serial number from a gun, and “going armed to the terror of the public.” None of the pigs who chased and shot him have been charged with anything.

Whatever details and facts emerge about what led up to and what happened during this incident, the fact is that Javier Torres was unjustly gunned down on a back alley in Raleigh.

Protesting Through the Night

Even as Torres was lying in the alley, the streets around the scene of the shooting began to fill with angry people. As the night went on, hundreds of people chanting “no justice, no peace,” began marching through downtown Raleigh, facing off with what the Raleigh Observer called a “heavy police presence.” Protesters shut down streets, and rallied outside the home of the Raleigh police chief. They went to the governor’s mansion, and tore down the U.S. and North Carolina flags. Both were burned on a Raleigh street. Protesters stayed in the streets until 3:00 a.m., in a righteous, furious outpouring, that people across this country should learn from.

Cassandra Deck-Brown, Raleigh’s police chief, claimed that “reckless and false information that has been spread on social media” enraged people and “incited” the protests.

A Deadly Epidemic That Must End

No! – people are enraged by the reality that there is an epidemic in this country – an epidemic of police brutalizing and murdering people, especially Black and Latino Youth, and getting away with it time after time. According to the website, “Killed by Police,” as of March 3, 175 people have been killed by police already this year. Javier Torres is the latest in a long, painful list of people shot by police across the country, and on the streets of Raleigh. Last year, in the same neighborhood where cops shot Javier Torres, 30-year-old Soheil Mojarrad was shot eight times and murdered by a Raleigh pig. The cop has not been charged with anything.

Kerwin Pittman, described by the Associated Press as a “community activist,” told a reporter that “The city is fed up. We feel there is always something happening with the Raleigh Police Department. We feel like they are brutalizing us.”  Rolanda Byrd told the Raleigh News and Observer that her son, Akiel Dinkins, was shot and killed by a Raleigh pig in 2016. She said to the crowd, “Thank you for the love that you have shown for the young man (shot) tonight. That’s why we are standing here tonight. Because they did that to my son four years ago. We are not going to stop.”

How long is this brutality going to last? How long are we going to mourn and protest the police shooting our youth?

STOP! The Genocidal Persecution, Mass Incarceration, Police Brutality, and Murder of Black and Brown People!

Raleigh, North Carolina, March 11. Photo: AP

The Oppression of Black People and Other People of Color

A speech by Bob Avakian

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