By Carl Dix (10/10/14)
A white off duty St. Louis cop gunned down Vonderrit Myers Jr., an 18-year-old Black man, last night. One day short of 2 months after the police murder of Michael Brown, another Black life is stolen. THESE POLICE MURDERS MUST STOP, and it's up to us to stop them.
The police say that Myers and several friends ran when the off duty cop tried to make “a pedestrian stop” on them and that Myers shot at the cop first. So, according to them, the 17 shots the cop fired were in self-defense. Witnesses to the incident say Myers was unarmed, that he had just bought a sandwich and that’s all he had in his hands when he was chased and gunned down. People gathered at the scene of the murder to protest it within minutes and soon the crowd had grown to several hundred angry people. A resident whose son had been with Myers on Wednesday night said, "They have been harassing him all day like they do all the time, pulling him over, stopping him." "That's how it is. They harass the kids in the neighborhood. Our kids walk around in their own neighborhood and get harassed for it." This is the reality of life in this country for Black people. It has become a daily fact of life that Black youth have to fear for their lives, and face the danger of summary execution by police at any time, for doing anything, or nothing.
Why does an off-duty cop feel like he can be making “pedestrian stops” of Black youth while he's moonlighting as a security guard? This killing and the story the police are using to justify it reflect how Black people are criminalized in this society. Some Black youth walking together are suspicious and need to be jacked up by a cop, even if the cop is off duty. This is like the Black Codes that southern states, including Missouri, enforced during the days of slavery which gave whites the power to break up any gatherings of 3 or more Black people. And it brings to mind the 1857 Dred Scott decision by the U.S. Supreme Court which said that Black people had no rights that white people are bound to respect.
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