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(en) US, NYC, JOHN BROWN CAUCUS of SDS/MDS* statement on the NYPD Murder/Shooting]

Date Fri, 01 Dec 2006 23:27:24 +0200

Why is the NYPD still shooting young unarmed black men? How could the spectre of three African American males sitting in a car unleash a barrage of police firepower (50 bullets) enough to leave one man dead and two others fighting for their lives? Rather than preparing for his wedding day, why was bridegroom-to-be Sean Bell being zipped into a body bag?
We in the John Brown Caucus of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS) strongly condemn the latest shooting and cold blooded murder perpetrated by members of the New York City Police Department. We have watched this same scenario played out too many times at the hands of the police.

We have seen the massacre of Amadou Diallo, the senseless homicide of Qusmane Zongo, and the savage brutalization of Abner Louima and we say what we are witnessing is a systemic pattern of police violence against people of color.

We demand it be called what it is: state racism. The type of institutional racism that advances the idea that a young black man is a threat, worthy of suspicion, and should always be approached and treated as a threat. It's the type of racism that suggests that the sight of three young black men in a car requires several clips of ammunition, as in this case, one officer had to literally stop shooting and re-load before he could resume firing. Even officers of color are susceptible to this kind of racism. The only two colors that really matter for this racism to persist are the black shade of the targets skin and the set of ingrained presumptions and expectations that come from wearing a uniform of blue.

This weeks shooting and murder fits into a long trail of police misconduct and profiling. It is yet another in a history of racist shootings, abuses and arrests, and we demand the police be held fully accountable for their actions.

We urge all SDS/MDS activists to call actions on their campuses and in their communities to protest not only police violence against people of color but the internal colonization of people of color that facilitates it.

We urge all civilians to join Copwatch organizations or to start one should none exist in their community. Building wider public awareness of ongoing police misconduct and brutality is essential to combating it and external oversight and review is desperately needed.

* An antiauthoritarian anticapitalist network
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