!*MAJ Article Nov 18, "Just Doing My Job"

amerabo@world-net.sct.fr
Tue, 3 Dec 1996 16:18:25 +0100


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>>Return-Path: <Mumia@aol.com>
>>From: Mumia@aol.com
>>Date: Tue, 3 Dec 1996 00:00:47 -0500
>>To: Kenyatta@gnn.com
>>Subject: MAJ Article Nov 18, "Just Doing My Job"
>>
>>"JUST DOING MY JOB"
>>
>>Column Written 18 November 1996
>>Copyright 1996 Mumia Abu-Jamal
>>
>>In what has become known as the Gammage case, the acquittal of the white cop
>>charged with the manslaughter killing of Johnny Gammage sent ripples of shock
>>through the Pittsburgh and national Black community.
>>
>>Policeman John Vojtas proffered an "I was just doing my job" defense, which
>>played quite well to the all-white, imported, Lackawanna County jury.
>>
>>Vojtas' acquittal all but guarantees the acquittal of several other suburban
>>Pittsburgh cops who will be retried after a recent mistrial.
>>
>>The case is an echo of what has been occurring with deadly regularity in
>>cities across the United States.
>>
>>In New York, Puerto Rican youth Anthony Baez is choked to death by a cop,
>>Francis Livoti, who, although found "not innocent" by a judge, is acquitted.
>>
>>He was "just doing his job."
>>
>>The same day of the Vojtas acquittal, a white cop in St. Petersburg, Florida
>>is cleared by an all-white grand jury in the shooting of an 18-year-old Black
>>youth during a traffic stop.
>>
>>He was "just doing his job."
>>
>>Again and again, in city after city, a Black or Latino youth is killed, and
>>the killer cop, if charged at all, walks free: Freed, more often than not, by
>>all-white juries or grand juries, or judges.
>>
>>In case after case after case, they are 'Just doing their jobs.'
>>
>>What is their "job?"
>>
>>There are two ways of answering this question.
>>
>>1. Their job is what they say their job is, i.e. keep the peace, protect the
>>weak, etc.
>>2. Their job is what they actually do, i.e. create social disorder, repress
>>the weak, and protect the interests of the status quo--Be a defender of the
>>wealthy and powerful.
>>
>>How else could killer cops be acquitted when they say in their defense that
>>they are just doing their jobs, unless they really are doing their jobs--and
>>that job is terrorizing, and killing Black, Brown and poor youths?
>>
>>What are they telling you?
>>
>>They are also telling you that courts are halls of illusion, like the halls
>>of mirrors in the spook house, places where things are not as they seem.
>>
>>Until we truly understand this, we will continue to be shocked when we see
>>the face of injustice in U.S. courtrooms.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>

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