This Week In History: 12-year-old Palestinian boy Muhammad al-Durrah is shot to death in his father’s arms by Israeli troops
On September 30, 2000, the second day of the second intifada, the father and son were caught in a cross fire and hid behind a concrete cylinder. For 45 minutes Jamal al-Durrah shielded his son from Israeli fire as several bullets narrowly missed them. He desperately waved and shouted: “Don’t shoot!” but to no avail.
Muhammad al-Durrah was shot four times and eventually slumped across his father’s legs, who was also shot and lost consciousness.
An ambulance driver who tried to rescue the boy and his father was also killed, along with a jeep driver, and a second ambulance driver was wounded. Muhammad lay bleeding for at least 17 minutes before an ambulance was able to pick them up.
Bay Area cops kill Black man in front of his own home
Police story contradicted by witness and survivor
In the early hours of Sept. 2, the Vallejo Police Department claimed its fifth shooting fatality in four months. Mario Romero, a 23-year-old African-American father, died after two cops fired 31 rounds into his vehicle.Romero and his brother-in-law, 21-year-old Joseph Johnson, were sitting in Romero’s car talking in front of Romero’s house. Suddenly, a police cruiser pulled up in front of the car and a bright light was shined into the eyes of the two men. The cops started screaming at them to put their hands up but never identified themselves as police.
The police claim that Johnson put his hands up but that Romero opened the car door and appeared to be exiting. The cops maintain that they saw a gun in Romero’s waistband as he was exiting while simultaneously claiming that their view of Romero was obscured by the open car door. Under this pretext the police justify their shooting Romero.
After being shot, police say Romero appeared to be clutching something from behind the car door. They say he did not put his hands up when ordered to do so a second time, so the cops then fired a total of 31 rounds into the vehicle, killing Romero and severely wounding Johnson. After the shooting, the cops allege they found a pellet gun, which is neither dangerous nor illegal, in Romero’s car. No actual gun was found in the car.
What the cops did not know was that there was a witness in the house. The bright lights and screaming that preceded the shooting awoke Cynquita Martin, Romero’s sister. She looked out her window and saw cops pointing guns at her brother and brother-in-law as they sat in the car. She says that the cops started shooting instantly after ordering the men to put their hands up. Romero never even began to leave the car. After firing several rounds at the two men, Martin said one of the cops “hopped on top of the car and he was just letting his gun loose. He was just shooting and shooting.”
After hearing Martin’s account of the events, the police acknowledged that one of the cops jumped on top of the car after the shots were fired but claimed the officer was checking to see whether there was anyone else in the vehicle beside Romero and Johnson. This is hardly a more comforting account of the incident. From his hospital bed, Johnson has backed Martin’s version of events. He maintains that there was no pellet gun in the car and that neither he nor Romero ever exited the vehicle.
Romero’s relatives have set up daily protests outside the Vallejo Police Department. Martin has been a vocal leader, demanding answers: “All this inside stuff—all these internal investigations—they aren’t working. We need answers. This needs to end.”The family has found support from Adam and Jeralynn Blueford, who have become leaders of the anti-police brutality movement in the Bay Area since their son Adam was killed by an Oakland cop on May 6.
Vallejo police chief Joseph Kreins made this disgusting defense of the officers involved in the shooting: “When dealing with violent confrontations, our officers are trained to use whatever force is reasonable and necessary to effect an arrest or eliminate a threat. In this case, [the officers] fired several rounds, stopped firing, re-evaluated the threat and then continued firing until they perceived that the threat was no longer imminent.”
In other words, when cops accost a person of color, and “feel threatened,” it is alright for them to shoot that person until they are certain the person is dead.Martin has said: “It’s unjust that [Romero] couldn’t come home. This is supposed to be his safe place. When you go home that’s supposed to be your safe place. And they took that away from all of us in this house.”
A civil rights lawsuit filed against the City today alleges that a NYPD detective “viciously and unjustifiably” choked a Brooklyn man sitting on a bench in Crown Heights “to the point of unconsciousness.” The complaint alleges that after Detective Jay Rivera choked James Young, he handcuffed Young to the bench while he was unconscious with “his eyes rolled back in his head and with foam around his mouth,” and “failed to provide any medical assistance to Mr. Young or to call an ambulance.” Young, a 49-year-old father of three, lapsed into a coma and died four months later.
Ellen Borakove, the spokeswoman from the City Medical Examiner’s office confirmed that the first line of Young’s death certificate states that Young died of “Anoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Complicating Cardiac/Respiratory Arrest During Restraint By Police Officer.” The second line, which indicates “significant contributing factors,” lists “cocaine and opiate abuse.”
The complaint requests a jury trial on behalf of Young’s widow, Faith Young, and names Rivera, the City, and other police officers, John and Jane Does #1-10 who all allegedly failed to assist Young. Detective Rivera was working in the narcotics unit at the time of the incident.
“We don’t know exactly what happened,” one of Young’s attorneys, Samuel Shapiro, says of the circumstances surrounding the strangling, which the complaint says occurred on June 3, 2011 near the intersection of Utica Avenue and Eastern Parkway. “We know he was arrested, but because he fell into a coma and never woke up, we have to rely on the discovery process.”
Another one of Young’s attorneys, Norman Siegel, says that Young’s sister went to the location the next day to look for people who had witnessed her brother’s strangling, and was told that one of the police officers on the scene saw Young foaming at the mouth and claimed he was “faking it.”
The sequence of events alleged in the complaint were pieced together with the help of an investigator and witnesses accounts. Requests for comment made to the NYPD have not been returned. A spokesperson from the City’s Law Department said they were currently reviewing the complaint.
“These are folks who are not looking to make this a TV item,” Siegel said of Young’s family. “They’re still hurting from the loss of James, and they don’t want to talk to the media. They simply want to know how James died, and hold those people responsible.”
Excuse me….sex work? Oh you mean prostitution. This isn’t a hate crime…She/He was involved in a dangerous line of “work” that often has repurcussions such as death, murder, etc. Sad story but stop trying to turn it into something it clearly isn’t.
You got to be fucking kidding me. The NCAVP ‘is working to determine if gender identity or race were motivators in the crime’. We’re not 100% sure yet if Kendall’s murder was a hate crime but I’m assuming you have inside knowledge of the case since you so easily came to the conclusion that this is due to her sex work and has nothing to do with her gender non-conformality. Or maybe, judging by your condescending attitude and derogatory language, you are transphobic/homophobic. The later seems more probable so do me a favor and unfollow me.
"My name is Kenneth Chamberlain. This is my sworn testimony. White Plains police are going to come in here and kill me." And that’s just what they did.
In the early hours of Saturday 19 November, 2011, US marine veteran Kenneth Chamberlain Sr accidentally hit his LifeAid medical-alert pendant, presumably while sleeping. The 68-year-old retired corrections officer had a heart condition, but wasn’t in need of help that dawn. Within two hours, the White Plains, NY, police department had broken down his apartment door and shot him dead. Chamberlain Sr was African-American. As with Trayvon Martin, the black teenager recently killed in Florida, there are recordings of the events which include a racial slur directed at the victim.
The opening quote, above, was related to us by Kenneth Chamberlain Jr, when he appeared on the “Democracy Now!" news hour talking about the police killing of his father. Chamberlain Jr was holding on to the LifeAid pendant that his father wore around his neck in case of a medical emergency. Perhaps unbeknown to the White Plains police who arrived at Chamberlain Sr’s door that morning, the LifeAid system includes a box in the home that, when activated, transmits audio to the LifeAid company, where it is recorded. Chamberlain Jr and his lawyers heard the recording in a meeting at the office of the Westchester county district attorney, Janet DiFiore.
Funeral of murdered gay man held in Chile
Thousands mourn Daniel Zamudio, who was beaten and branded with swastikas by neo-Nazis.
The murder of an eight year old child from the Awa-Gwajá indigenous community, allegedlyburnt alive [pt] by loggers in the state of Maranhão, Brazil, has caused outrage throughout the Internet, as well as disbelief by many in the face of such cruelty.
The Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) confirmed [pt] that “suspicions indicate that an attack has occurred between September and October against the camp of isolated indigenous” of the Araribóia reserve, and added more information:
According [pt] toRosimeire Diniz, CIMI’s coordinator in Maranhão state, “the situation has been reported for a long time. It has become a frequent occurrence, the presence of these logging groups, putting the isolated indigenous in danger. No concrete measure has been taken to protect this population”.