Fanta Bility, eight years old, was the daughter of West African immigrants. On August 27, 2021, she went to a high school football game in Sharon Hill, a small town outside Philadelphia. She wanted to watch her sister, a cheerleader, and her cousin, one of the football players.
Outside the stadium, an exchange of gunfire broke out between two youths. The cops responded with a barrage of bullets, firing at a car they mistakenly said was connected to the gunfire.1 But the police bullets killed Fanta and injured her sister and three others. The actions of the police, resulting in the totally needless deaths of a little girl and injuring of others, were crimes, and these pig perpetrators should have been charged.
It’s really messed up that the youth in Sharon Hill and across this country are shooting at each other. As revolutionary leader Bob Avakian says3, this is one of the crimes of this system—“how this system denies the youth a decent future, forcibly confines so many in miserable conditions and gets them caught up in fighting and killing each other.” What happened with Fanta and the charging of the two youths for murder were yet more crimes of this system.
A legal theory called “transferred intent” was used to charge the two youths—under a twisted logic that says even though they did not kill Fanta, they are “responsible” for her death because they “set into motion” the events that led to her death. Meanwhile, the cops who are the ones who actually killed Fanta, face no charges at all.
This is just one case of how “transferred intent” is used to protect cops who murder—not only exonerating them for killing people but bringing murder charges against others on the scene who were NOT the ones who killed the victim.
If this makes you outraged, as it should—just think about the fact that similar things have happened across the country! An investigation posted at BuzzFeed News found that since 2010, at least 22 people nationwide have been charged with felony murder for deaths directly caused by police, and at least 13 have been convicted.4 There have even been people convicted of a murder who were not even at the scene when the pigs killed someone. Just a few of the examples investigated by BuzzFeed:
- January 11, 2019, Phoenix police pulled over a car with four people for an alleged armed robbery. One of the passengers, Jacob Harris, jumped out and started running, and he was shot in the back and killed by one of the pigs. Harris’s three friends in the car, ages 14, 19, and 20, were charged with his murder, and for more than two years now, they have been in jail waiting to go to trial.
- In 2019, Masonique Saunders, 16, was arrested for setting up a robbery where an undercover Columbus, Ohio cop fatally shot her 16-year-old boyfriend, Julius Tate. Saunders was initially charged with felony murder even though she was not even at the scene when Tate was killed. She ended up pleading guilty to a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to three years.
- Lakeith Smith was 15 when, according to police, he and his friends were robbing a home in Millbrook, Alabama. In a shootout, one of Smith’s friends, A’Donte Washington was killed by the cops. In 2015, Smith and three other youths were charged as adults with burglary, theft, and the felony murder of Washington. Smith didn’t fire any shots and was trying to run away when Washington was killed by the pigs. Smith declined a plea deal for 25 years and fought the murder charges. He was convicted and sentenced to 65 years (later reduced to 55 years).
It is an outrage that pigs kill people all the time and get away with it.
It is an outrage on top of an outrage that pigs kill and then other people are charged and convicted of the murder.
Yet another example of Systematic and Systemic INjustice in AmeriKKKa.