Two more atrocities prove that police in the United States almost never face any consequences for killing Black people. On April 17, grand juries refused to indict police for the deaths of Jayland Walker in Ohio and Timothy McCree Johnson in Virginia.
Twenty-five-year-old Jayland Walker was a DoorDash driver who the Akron, Ohio, cops chased shortly after midnight on June 27, 2022, for an alleged traffic violation. Walker’s real crime was Driving While Black.
After Walker got out of his car and ran, eight police officers fired 94 times at him. Forty-six of the bullets struck the Black man.
Jayland Walker’s “body was riddled from his face down to his knees,” said the Rev. Roderick Pounds, pastor at Akron’s Second Baptist Church, who saw a video of the shooting. After butchering Walker, the cops still proceeded to handcuff him.
Timothy McCree Johnson was executed in Fairfax County, Virginia―outside Washington, D.C.―on Feb. 22. The unarmed Black man got the death penalty for allegedly shoplifting a pair of sunglasses from the Nordstrom department store in a Tyson Corners shopping mall.
Even the police admit that Johnson was fatally shot after he had stopped running. He was complying with the police order to “get on the ground” when he was killed.
People in Akron took to the streets on April 17 to protest the whitewash of Jayland Walker’s killing. Cars converged on the site where Walker was shot so many times.
“I just stood there, thinking, ‘Really? Out of 46 shots, it’s OK?,” Toni Weems told the Akron Beacon-Journal. “It doesn’t make sense. How can an officer shoot somebody when they’re just running away?”
Raina Lasley thought the grand jury let the officers get away with murder. “Now everybody is going to be afraid for their lives,” said Lasley. “We can’t just let this go or it’s going to keep happening.”
No justice, no peace!
More protests in Akron followed on April 19. People marched and blocked intersections demanding justice. Cars formed a convoy.
Police viciously used pepper spray and so-called chemical irritants against demonstrators. That’s gas warfare against Black people.
One onlooker, William Dancy, held his fist up. “This is to let them know that we’re ready for change, we’re not going to allow this to keep going on,” he said.
People are demanding justice for Timothy Johnson in Fairfax County, Virginia, as well. During the 83-year existence of the Fairfax County police, only one cop has ever been convicted of homicide.
Officer Adam Torres was convicted of manslaughter after fatally shooting John Geer, who was standing unarmed in the doorway of his Springfield, Virginia, home. Torres spent just 10 months in jail for killing a human being.
Compare that to Timothy Jackson, who is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for supposedly shoplifting a $159 jacket from a New Orleans department store in 1996.
Also serving a life sentence in Louisiana is Ronald Lee Washington, who was convicted of swiping a basketball jersey from a Shreveport store. Paul Lewis Hayes got a life term in Kentucky for passing a $88.30 bad check.
A total of 3,200 inmates in the United States are serving life sentences for similar non-violent offenses.
Killer cops go free while Omali Yeshitela indicted
The Ohio and Virginia grand juries didn’t operate independently. As former Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals Solomon Wachtler noted, a district attorney can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich.
In Virginia, it was police that influenced the grand jury not to indict police Sgt. William Shifflett on manslaughter charges for killing Timothy Johnson.
Under federal law, the police killings of Jayland Walker and Timothy McCree Johnson were certainly violations of their civil rights. What’s more of a right than the right to live?
This federal civil rights statute was passed after decades of lynchers, like those who tortured 14-year-old Emmett Till to death, being let free by racist courts.
Biden called the bogus charges of war crimes issued against Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin “justified.” Biden’s Justice Department has just indicted African People’s Socialist Party Chairman Omali Yeshitela and three other activists for opposing the proxy war against Russia.
The 81 million people who voted for Joe Biden didn’t cast their ballots to jail the 81-year-old Yeshitela for exercising his right to free speech. The feds should prosecute the killer cops in Akron and Fairfax County instead.
We need to organize the power of the people to make them do it.
Join the Struggle-La Lucha Telegram channel