Alton Sterling and Philando Castile

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By Bob
First of May Anarchist Alliance Detroit Collective

“We can’t reform white supremacy; we must destroy it. It is time to face this. We can fight for reforms. We can fight for justice. But we will not end the police murders of Black people and other innocent people until we end and destroy the system of white supremacy, until we end the system built on the wealth created by genocide, murder and slavery, and until we bring down the USA and the capitalist system, once and for all.”

Baton Rouge and St. Paul now are added to the list of cities where Black men are executed by the police for the “crime” of being Black men. The list of men and women and children of color murdered by the police across this country is long and growing longer. The cops, primarily white cops, who carry out these executions are, in most cases, not indicted or ever charged with a crime. Those who are charged, in most cases, are acquitted or convicted only of a minor violation.

We all know the drill: it’s too complicated or it will take a long investigation or the officer feared for his life or it was really an accident or, and most often, the killing was justified. Philando Castile’s mother had it right: the police are hunting down and executing Black people.

In the police executions of the past week, both men were armed. Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge was selling his CD’s in the store parking lot and he had a gun on his person. He didn’t pull the gun or attempt to use it, but the 911 call said he had a gun. The two cops arrived, but he probably didn’t know why they were there. One cop went behind him and did a violent take down, once the two cops had him on the ground, they put their guns on his chest and his back and shot him point blank five times. What was clear is that the cops were afraid of him. They could have said hands on your head and taken his gun and then talked with him. Instead, the cops chose to take him down and murder him. Can anyone believe that Alton Sterling would go for his gun, down on the ground with two cops on top of him with guns drawn and where he had done nothing wrong?

In the suburb of St. Paul, Philando Castile was pulled over for driving while Black with a taillight allegedly at issue. The cop approached, Philando said he had a permit to carry and was carrying a gun. Again, the cop could have said put your hands on your head or on the steering wheel and removed the gun and proceeded with the traffic stop. Philando had his girlfriend and her four year old daughter in the car. Can anyone believe that he would jeopardize his own life and theirs over a traffic stop? The cop was afraid of a Black man with a gun, the cop shot him five times, again, point blank, as Philando attempted to comply with the cop’s request for license and registration.

Philando Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, had the presence of mind and the courage to use her cell phone to videotape the death of her boyfriend, while the cop/executioner stood at the window with his gun still pointed at Philando . In Baton Rouge a brave person in the parking lot captured the police execution of Alton Sterling on their cell phone and spread it. In St. Paul, Diamond Reynolds, used her cell phone to live stream her interactions with the killer cop and kept it going, asking for help while the killer cop stood at the window of the car with gun still drawn. According to her, the other cops then “consoled” the cop/executioner, before any attempts were made to assist Philando Castile who the cop had shot five times and who was dying.

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