Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Many More "Zimmermans"

(PR) 7/18/2013 - George Zimmerman, the self-appointed neighborhood watchman, acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin, is not alone. In 2012, police officers, security guards and self-appointed keepers of the peace killed 313 Black men, women and children.  Like the killing of Trayvon Martin, 288 of these 313 extrajudicial killings involved unnecessary, excessive force. Yet, only  26 of the killers were ever charged with a crime—that is the judicial system ruled 91% were justified.

After the Zimmerman verdict additional research found that of the 15 security guards and self-appointed  keepers of the peace charged with a crime, only four have been convicted. And of the 11 police officers charged, none have been convicted.

“This data demonstrates that Zimmerman’s acquittal follows the norm that systemically criminalizes Black people and institutionalizes denial of our human rights,  ” says Kali Akuno, an organizer with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM).

"Any one of these people killed could have been my son or your husband or daughter”, remarked Arlene Eisen, member of the Malcolm X Solidarity Committee and author of the Report. “The more research I did, the more obvious it became, that lawsuits and tweaking laws won’t protect our children or prevent the next George Zimmerman.”

Akuno  announced a comprehensive campaign of mass action to challenge hyper-surveillance, stop and frisk, mass incarceration and executions of Black people. “Now is the time for direct action to educate and exact a price for the continued denial of Black peoples’ human rights. We join the Boycott of Florida and the call to Free Marissa Alexander—the Florida Black woman sentenced to 20 years for firing a gun in the direction of her abusive husband.

This data comes from  Operation Ghetto Storm: 2012 Annual Report on the Extrajudicial Killings of 313 Black People by Police, Security Guards, and Vigilantes, by Arlene Eisen, MA, MPH, published by Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, April 2013.

Impunity in the Judicial System for Extrajudicial Killers?

UPDATE: July 19, 2013 - Only 4% of officers who committed homicides of Black people in 2012 were ever charged with a crime. All the rest, 91%, of the extrajudicial killings were ruled “justified”. Of the 25 killings by security guards and vigilantes, 15 were charged—including Zimmerman. So far no officers and only 4 security guards and vigilantes have been convicted.

Fundraising Campaign for Officer Wilson Suspended 

The Darren Wilson GoFundMe pages have raised over $400K for the officer suspected of being responsible for the killing of Michael Brown, according to ColorofChange. Currently that site is not taking donations.

A few of the donor comments below.

"Waste of good ammo. It's my privilege to buy you a replacement box.”

“I thank all Police…protecting normal Americans from aggressive and entitled primitive savages."

"Black people can be their own enemy and I am not white…He was shot 6 times cause the giant wouldn't stop or die. Evil people don't die quick.”

“Let this ‘GoFundMe' serve as an example to all cops in America: The general public will support you, especially if you pull the trigger on violent criminal thugs.”

Battle of Crowdsources?

“The public outcry and pressure forced GoFundMe to take down the hateful comments listed above, but the fundraising pages are still up.

Building a just world means confronting those who profit from injustice. So, we're joining the community of Ferguson, ColorOfChange, and other allies across the country in calling on GoFundMe to put an end to their racist profiteering.” - Statement from Presente.org.

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