The reign of police violence in the US claimed 16 more victims over the last week of August. Christian Taylor, an unarmed 19-year-old black man, was killed in Arlington, Texas by a police officer who shot him four times. The officer, Brad Miller, unaharmed and has been placed on administrative leave.
Matthew Russo, a 26-year-old white mand, died after a Hartford, Connecticut police officer responding to a “medical-related disturbance” shocked him with a Taser.
These are only the latest in an endless series of cases in which unarmed workers and youth, posing no threat to the police, are gunned down, tasered or beaten to death. The police do their best to cover up the facts, often lying on incident reports.
There have been so many unarmed people killed by police in recent months that it is impossible to list them all.
It is one year since 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead by officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. Since then, 1,144 people have been killed by the police, or more than three per day.
What accounts for the regularity of police killings in the United States? Abuses at all governmental levels are too great to tolerate.
The political establishment, led by the Obama administration, has responded to growing popular opposition to police brutality with empty gestures of concern, while helping shield the vast majority of killer cops from prosecution and seeing to it that the killing machine continues.
To the extent that the question of police violence is discussed within the political establishment, it is universally presented as a question of race relations, in which white officers kill black people.
While there is no doubt that racist and other backward sentiments are encouraged among police officers, this official explanation ignores the fact that, according to a survey compiled by the Guardian newspaper, nearly twice as many white people were killed by police this year as blacks.
Killer cops murder Blacks in America with virtual impunity hundreds of times a year- on city streets, in rural areas, private homes.
At the same time US-led NATO forces are continuously slaughtering innocent blacks, African, Iraqi and Libyans in the name of so-called Global War on Terror by air strikes and drone attacks.
While the US accuses others of inhuman persecution and despotism, it holds the world records for police violence, caging non-violent people, violent killings of civilians, spy surveillance of everyone, and mass murders of innocent people across international borders.
Two days of non-violent protests expressed justifiable anger over no redress from continued out-of-control police abuse (with likely more coming). Demonstrators declared a “day of civil disobedience”.
They marched from St. Louis’ Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral to the Thomas Eagleton federal courthouse. Dozens formed a living chain – chanting “No justice, no peace,” “The people united shall never be defeated”.
They expected police brutality, including multiple arrests. Dozens of arrests were made. Cops attacked crowds violently-tear gas and pepper spray used against peaceful demonstrators.
St. Louis County executive Steve Stenger declared a state of emergency – circumventing rule of law principles, violating constitutional protections, authorising police to “exercise all powers and duties necessary to preserve order, prevent crimes, and protect the life and property of our citizen” — code language giving them authority to crush legitimate activism for justice and kill with impunity.
Homeland Security officers were involved – collaborating with local police, part of Obama’s war on freedom, using legislative and street brutality tactics, including cold-blooded murder to suppress the constitutional right to petition government for redress of grievances.
Americans today are threatened by terrorism, police state injustice, hot wars, financial ones, anti-populism, mass incarceration, erosion of fundamental rights.
In the US’s so-called War on Terror, by far the greatest and most systematic terrorisation of civilians is in fact perpetrated by the US state itself.
Unarmed citizens are murdered across the country and the world as ‘collateral damage’, ‘illegal enemy combatants’ or other license of impunity. The US state conceives itself as above international law but this reality is taboo to report.
Obama has increased the number of drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. Indeed, most people who have looked at the numbers believe that Obama has killed many more civilians with drone attacks than Bush did using the same method.
And the process for deciding who to put on the “kill list” is flawed. People are often targeted by the metadata on their phones, a former top NSA official called the drone assassination programme “undisciplined slaughter”.
Many immigrants who seek refuge in United States from the four corners of the globe in search of a better and more prosperous life think of America as an absolutely free, democratic and open society with abundant opportunities for economic and social progress. However, they have argued, as many scholars did, that the United States is a police state.
One can truly say that “the historical record demonstrates the US is provably guilty of continual lawless mass murder of civilians across the world,” but the truth is unthinkable within the ruling ideological regime.
Consider for example, the US-led deadly civil wars and coup d’etats in Venezuela and Ukraine as well as Libya and Syria. They mass terrorize and destroy societies into defenseless dependency so that their resources, lands and markets are “free” for transnational corporate exploitation.
After more than a dozen years of raging bloody counterinsurgency wars against darker-skinned people abroad, the US Empire has come home to treasonously roost, now in its first phase of war attacking American people.
By Clement Kpeklitsu