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Having a Mental Breakdown While Black = Police License to Kill

Ryan Gainer, 15, murdered by police


Ryan Gainer, 15   

On Saturday, March 9, the San Bernardino pigs murdered Ryan Gainer. Ryan was a 15-year-old Black child with autism who was in the midst of a mental breakdown. The police knew this since this was the fifth time Ryan's family had called the police to help bring Ryan to a mental health facility for emergency medical care.

After some outcry, the sheriff released the full body cam footage of the incident. What you see in this footage is how—at every single point—these pigs gave ZERO care for the life and humanity of Ryan Gainer. 

Thirty seconds was the time from arriving on the scene, with one pig having his gun out pointed at Ryan. Ryan was running toward him, still in the midst of a mental breakdown, with a sharp-edged garden tool.

Seven seconds was the time in between running backwards and threatening Ryan that two pigs shot to kill. 

Sixty seconds was the time that Ryan was laying on the ground, bleeding out and dying, before those pigs offered Ryan any medical attention. His mother was wailing, prevented from holding her baby, and what were the pigs doing? Hollering for the family to keep their distance as Ryan struggled for breath. Walking slowly over to a car to get themselves rubber gloves. Again, paying attention to their own “safety,” and fuck any urgent attempt to save Ryan's life.

The sheriff repeatedly defended these pigs, at one point referencing Ryan’s “physically fit” “large stature.” This kind of dehumanization of Black boys has existed throughout the whole history of this country of slavery and lynching and has served as justification for police murder and mass incarceration.

Ryan was a human being! He had curiosity, hopes and dreams. In a video filmed by a fellow high school student that has now gone viral, Ryan says: “to all the viewers, make sure you have a great day. Be the spark and make sure you spread kindness.”

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His family said, “Ryan was very active in our community; involving himself with tutoring kids afterschool, assisting with robotics programs, community clean up and so much more. He was a super intelligent, kind, generous, respectable, thoughtful, funny, goofy, charismatic person, who always saw the good in people. Ryan wanted to be a mechanical engineer and run track for Oregon State University one day; our hearts continue to break at the thought of him being robbed of his bright future.”

30 seconds, 7 seconds, 60 seconds—a life stolen by the armed enforcers of this system! Hundreds of years of a system that will continue to steal the lives of our Black and Brown sisters and brothers unless and until we make revolution to overthrow this system and replace it with a radically different system with a whole new way to live.

This nightmare calls to mind this powerful point from the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian about the murder of Tyisha Miller—a 19-year-old Black woman killed by Riverside, California police in 1998. Miller had been passed out in her car, resulting from a seizure, when police claimed that she suddenly awoke and had a gun; they fired 23 times at her, hitting her at least 12 times, and murdering her. In speaking to this, Bob Avakian said:

If you can’t handle this situation differently than this, then get the fuck out of the way. Not only out of the way of this situation, but get off the earth. Get out of the way of the masses of people. Because, you know, we could have handled this situation any number of ways that would have resulted in a much better outcome. And frankly, if we had state power and we were faced with a similar situation, we would sooner have one of our own people’s police killed than go wantonly murder one of the masses. That’s what you’re supposed to do if you’re actually trying to be a servant of the people. You go there and you put your own life on the line, rather than just wantonly murder one of the people. Fuck all this “serve and protect” bullshit! If they were there to serve and protect, they would have found any way but the way they did it to handle this scene. They could have and would have found a solution that was much better than this. This is the way the proletariat, when it’s been in power has handled—and would again handle—this kind of thing, valuing the lives of the masses of people. As opposed to the bourgeoisie in power, where the role of their police is to terrorize the masses, including wantonly murdering them, murdering them without provocation, without necessity, because exactly the more arbitrary the terror is, the more broadly it affects the masses. And that’s one of the reasons why they like to engage in, and have as one of their main functions to engage in, wanton and arbitrary terror against the masses of people.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 2:16

We need and we demand: a whole new way to live, and a fundamentally different system!

Revolution—Nothing Less!!

Bob Avakian on the People's Security After the Revolution

From REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN

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From the genocide in Gaza, to the growing threat of world war between nuclear powers, to escalating environmental devastation… the capitalist-imperialist system ruling over us is a horror for billions around the world and is tearing up the fabric of life on earth. Now the all-out battle within the U.S. ruling class, between fascist Republicans and war criminal Democrats, is coming to a head—likely during, or before, the coming elections—ripping society apart unlike anything since the Civil War. 

Bob Avakian (BA), revolutionary leader and author of the new communism, has developed a strategy to prepare for and make revolution. He’s scientifically analyzed that this is a rare time when an actual revolution has become more possible, and has laid out the sweeping vision, solid foundation and concrete blueprint for “what comes next,” in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America

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