While NYC mourns cops’ murders, anti-police brutality protests must continue

Ramos and LIu

NYPD Police Officers Rafael Ramos and WenjianLiu were murdered at point blank range on Saturday afternoon by longtime criminal gang member Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who traveled from Baltimore to commit the crime.

As they sat in their marked patrol car near the Tompkins Houses in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, on Saturday afternoon, New York City police officers Rafael Ramos, who is Latino and Wenjian Liu, who is Asian, were shot at point-blank range by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who traveled to New York City after shooting and wounding his girlfriend in Baltimore, where he had led a life of crime. After murdering the officers, Brinsley then committed suicide.

According to posts on his social media page, Brinsley had threatened to kill police officers in revenge for the murders of unarmed African-American males Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. As the facts emerge, they tell an irrefutable tale: Brinsley, a gang member who embraced a life of crime, acted alone and had no affiliation to any of the families whose loved ones were killed by police officers. While the misguided ambush of the police officers must be loudly condemned in every corner of society, Brinsley’s action should not diminish the worthy cause of the #BlackLivesMatter movement which seeks to bring attention to the scourge of police officers across the nation murdering unarmed African-Americans and Latinos. Ensuring the safety of all innocent lives is the responsibility of a civilized society.

Baltimore gang member Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot and wounded his girlfriend before traveling to New York City on Saturday where he murdered two police officers as they sat in their patrol car.

Baltimore gang member Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot and wounded his girlfriend before traveling to New York City on Saturday where he murdered two police officers as they sat in their patrol car.

At OnPointPress.net, we mourn the brutal and cowardly murders of officers Ramos and Wenjian. At the same time, we will always mourn the deaths of unarmed African-Americans and Latinos at the hands of police officers. In our view, no life is more important that the other, therefore all lives must be valued equally.

In that vein, we mourn the murders of: Amadaou Diallo who was executed by police officers in a hail of 41 bullets in the Bronx; Anthony Baez, who was choked to death in the Bronx by officer Francis Livotti because Baez’ football hit the officer’s patrol car; Patrick Dorismond in Brooklyn, New York;  Sean Bell who was celebrating his bachelor’s party before he was gunned down by a team of police officers in Queens, New York; Eric Garner who had broken up a fight and was merely standing on a corner in Staten Island, New York; Michael Brown, who had broken the law but did not deserve to die for it in Ferguson, Missouri; John Crawford who was shopping at a Walmart in Ohio; Tamir Rice who was playing with a toy gun in a park in Ohio, Trayvon Martin, who was walking home with candies when a thuggish, police-obsessed George Zimmerman objected, Ezell Ford, in Los Angeles, Akai Gurley, who was talking the stairs in Brooklyn, New York due to a malfunctioning elevator, Oscar Grant, who was trying to get home to his daughter in Oakland, California and the many other unarmed African-American and Latino males and females who are routinely brutalized, harassed and murdered by the very police officers who are sworn to protect and serve them.

We mourn all deaths, and we wait with interest for comprehensive, nationwide reforms to be implemented that will strengthen police-community relations, change the tone of police interactions with Blacks and Latinos to demonstrate respect rather than intimidation and racism, and we look forward to the day when Blacks and Latinos can confidently view police officers as agents who are there to protect them, like they protect Whites, and not murder them with impunity, as is often the case. So as we mourn the unfortunate murders of these innocent officers, we urge the anti-police brutality protests to continue spreading the word that “BlackLivesMatter so that the changes that we seek will become a reality–OnPointPress.net.

#BlackLivesMatter movement mobilize national marches vs. police brutality

New Yorkers hosted the "MillionsMarchNYC"

New Yorkers hosted the “MillionsMarchNYC” which had a strong, vocal turnout.

By Carmen Glover

On Saturday, December 13, several thousand protesters gathered at multiple sites across the country, united in one message: Rally against police brutality. The overall aim was to bring awareness to the scourge of police officers murdering unarmed Black men and boys while grand juries refuse to indict the officers for the murders. The protesters chanted and carried signs stating: “I can’t Breathe,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Stop Police Brutality” among others.

The largest march took place in New York City. Dubbed “MillionsMarchNYC” and organized by several young protesters and media mogul Russell Simmons, the “MillionsMarchNYC” started at Washington Square Park before the group marched uptown, shutting down fifth avenue, sixth avenue and Broadway. The protesters were joined by rapper Nas and music executive Kevin Liles as they marched. A 28-year-old Baruch College professor was arrested for assaulting a two police officers as the group splintered and marched across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Justice For All Rally in Washington DC.

Justice For All Rally in Washington DC.

The second largest march took place on the Freedom Plaza in Washington DC. That march was organized by civil rights groups such as the NAACP, National Urban League, the National Action Network and various youth-themed groups, helmed by young activists who have been vocal on the issue of police brutality.

The DC march was called “Justice For All” and “March Against Police Violence” and was attended by the parents and relatives of well-known victims of police brutality including Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother; Michael Brown Sr. and Leslie McSpadden, parents of Michael Brown; Katiatou Diallo, Amadou Diallo’s mother; John Crawford Sr., father of John Crawford Jr; the partner of Akai Gurley and the mother of his child; Samaria Rice, Tamir’s mother. “March Against Police Violence featured speakers from the affected families.

Protesters stage die-in

Protesters stage die-in

“You kept this alive for all the families. We love you all,” said Brown, as he surveyed the crowd. “My son was just 12 years old, a baby, my baby, the youngest of four,” said Rice. “This is a great moment,” said Gwen Carr, Garner’s mother.

The group then marched towards the congressional building, joined by notables such as director Spike Lee with his daughter, and New York State Junior Senator Kirstin Gillibrand.

Protesters gathered in multiple cities over the weekend to protest against police brutality.

Protesters gathered in multiple cities over the weekend to protest against police brutality.

Smaller marches took place in Ferguson, Missouri where Brown was killed by police officer Darren Wilson, Boston, MA and Oakland, CA where 21-year-old father Oscar Grant was killed on the Bart train by police officers. More marches and acts of civil disobedience are expected as protesters demand action, such as assigning a special prosecutor in any case involving a police officer, even if death of the victim does not occur–OnPointPress.net.

Ongoing protests, demands for action, only routes to meaningful change

People protest nationwide against police brutality.

People protest nationwide against police brutality.

On Saturday, December 13, various civil rights groups will gather in Washington, D.C, to demand a national response to the spate of murders unleashed on unarmed Black men and boys by White police officers, and the refusal of largely White grand juries, impaneled by White district attorneys, to indict the officers. Some supporters will march to protest against vigilante members of the public who also kill Black and Latino residents  without provocation. While still others will march to highlight members of the Black and Latino communities killing each other in a show of disregard for their lives.

Protesters in New York City march and demand change.

Protesters in New York City march and demand change.

As people of all races and backgrounds continue to take to the street en masse, blocking streets, highways, malls, businesses and municipal buildings, politicians have begun to take notice. Also, supporters in countries as far-flung as India, France and England have held solidarity protests, holding aloft banners with the timeless message: “Black Lives Matter.” There must be no tiring in the quest to elicit meaningful change in how Black and Latino people are routinely targeted and dehumanized by police officers who are sworn to protect them. The dichotomy in police relationships between the White community and Black/Latino communities require a national overall in policing strategies.

Protesters marched in 1936 for the same issue as they are marching today.

Protesters marched in 1936 for the same issue as they are marching today.

President Barack Obama’s recent request to Congress for $75 million to fund body cameras for police officers, while noble, hardly inspires comfort, given the fact that the unholy alliance between district attorneys and police officers rendered two videotapes of Eric Garner’s chokehold murder by Staten Island detective Daniel Pantaleo unpersuasive to a predominantly White grand jury. However, it is a step in the right direction. New York Mayor Bill deBlasio’s joint announcement with his police commissioner Bill Bratton that all 35, 000 New York City police force will immediately undergo re-training is also a good step, despite the cries of hysteria espoused by Petrolmen Benevolent Association( PBA) President Patrick Lynch.

“Re-training the police force on new ways of dealing with the public and better use of force will reduce these tragedies,” deBlasio said over the weekend.

Protesters stage die-in at Grand Central Station in New York City to express outrage that the grand jury failed to indict the officers who used an illegal chokehold to murder Eric Garner.

Protesters stage die-in at Grand Central Station in New York City to express outrage that the grand jury failed to indict the officers who used an illegal chokehold to murder Eric Garner.

But those steps are just the beginning of what will be a long journey towards the type of systemic change that is necessary for Blacks and Latinos to feel safe in their homeland of America, the land of the free. It is unacceptable for Blacks and Latinos to be victimized, harassed, assaulted and murdered with impunity by police officers who run the streets like lawless gangs who answer to no one. This must stop. The anguish that is felt by the families of Garner, Amadou Diallo, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, Ezell Ford, Oscar Grant, Sean Belll, Anthony Baez, Abmer Louima, Patrick Dorismond, Jordan Davis and countless others across the country needs to be assuaged.

Black and Latino children grow up fearing the police who are sworn to protect them.

Black and Latino children grow up fearing the police who are sworn to protect them.

The trauma experienced by members of the Black and Latino communities when an innocent life is cut down by police officers whose primary responsibility is to protect but whose presence engenders fear, last a lifetime.  Police brutality targeted towards Black and Latino communities need to stop and the protests, marches and acts of civil disobedience are vital actions that must be taken to keep the issues in the public consciousness.–OnPointPress.net.