Revolution #242, August 14, 2011

Statements from press conference condemning police rampage,
City Hall, Chicago, August 3

Minister Collier Baggett, Grandmother of Jimmell Cannon

I want to ask a question, a very important question. I want to ask the mayor, Rahm Emanuel, has he given orders to shoot to kill our Black children? My 13-year-old grandson was shot by the Chicago Police Department—but he's not the only victim that has been shot by the Chicago Police Department. I have a letter that I want to hand deliver to our president—President Obama—requesting that U.S. Attorney Perez, Luis Perez, come to Chicago to investigate to find out what kind of orders we have against our children. To find out if Black men are in danger of the Chicago Police Department.

This is supposed to be someone who's protecting us. Now we have a fear of who to go to if you need help today. Who do you call if you need help today? Our children are taught to respond to the police officer. They are told to go to them in time of need. If they're in trouble or they're in danger they're to go to the Chicago Police Department. But when Chicago Police Department start being the ones who's destroying our children, hurting them and shooting them—who do we go to then? So I want to deliver my letter to the president. I want to ask him to ask Mr. Perez to come here to Chicago to investigate to find out if Emanuel ordered to shoot to kill our children in the streets of Chicago. It has to stop. It has to stop now. My grandson is hurting, he's in pain. He's a child—he should not be a victim of a gunshot wound.

I'm a grandmother that's distraught. My daughter's distraught. I mean, "how much more?" I have more grandsons—are they going to be shot? Are children in Chicago going to be shot down? I've heard it said, "He missed the curfew." But you don't have a curfew if you're out with adults and with your family. But even if he was alone—are you going to shoot all the kids of Chicago that break the curfew? I thought they were supposed to get taken home and get a ticket. I want to know, "What has Emanuel done? What has Rahm Emanuel done in the city of Chicago?" Was this a gag order that was delivered before he was put in office? Or is he enforcing on what was already done? Is he putting in new orders to kill our children? How long are you all going to stand back and watch our children die through the streets of Chicago?

You are supposed to protect our children. We do not want our children to die by your hands. Our children are supposed to bury us, we are not supposed to bury our children. There are too many mothers that are suffering today, lost in their minds because their children are the victims of the Chicago Police Department. If they are not shooting our children they are beating them.

 I want to ask you, "Is it a gag order just against Black kids? Are you just going to shoot the Black kids in Chicago? How many times are our kids going to fall victims in the streets?" I mean they have everyone to look out for. Is this a new slavery? Is this a NEW SLAVERY? IS THIS A NEW SLAVERY FROM THE CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT?

Patricia Hill, Executive Director of the African American Police League, and co-convener of the International Year of People of African Descent (IYPAD Chicago).

2011, which has been proclaimed the International Year for People of African Descent by the United Nations, has manifested thus far as a record-breaking year for people of African descent being shot and killed by Chicago Police Department. According to media reports at least 42 persons—all African American males—have been shot by Chicago police officers within the first eight months of the year 2011. That is already twice the number of civilians shot by the police in the entire year 2010. With four months remaining in the year 2011 this will undoubtedly be an unprecedented year for violence against the people by the police.

One would think, with the level of technology being what it is today, police departments would incorporate more efficient ways of deterring and apprehending alleged suspects. The standard party line, that while chasing a suspect and without warning the suspect turns and shoots or displays a weapon in the direction of officers, is no longer a credible explanation being offered by the police department. Therefore, human rights organizations in Chicago will be filing a Human Rights Complaint to the high commissioner of the Human Rights council of the United Nations on behalf of the people in Chicago.

It is clear at this point that the people of this city are living under a police state. As a member state of the United Nations the United States, and all of the state and city government agencies that comprise the United States, are obligated to respect and uphold the human rights of all people as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Article three states: "Everyone has a right to life, liberty and security of person." Article 5 outlines the following: "No one shall be subjected to torture, or to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment."

We are of the opinion that the Chicago Police Department has assumed the position as an armed, municipal militia in the communities and neighborhoods that are predominantly inhabited by people of African descent. The rules of engagement that would ordinarily apply domestically seem to have been abandoned in these communities. An atmosphere of an occupying force exists in these communities. In a participatory democracy, in a member state of the United Nations, this status is unacceptable.

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