What Part of ‘Killed_Unarmed_Black_Man = Murder’ Doesn’t OPD Understand? (2 articles, video)

...If we win any justice for Derrick Jones it will only come through the same protests and mobilizations. This will have to start with people getting the word out and mobilizing--in churches, in streets and in schools. It will come through not being afraid to stand up and speak out, even if we have to yell over carols at City Council meetings.

Demanding Justice for Derrick Jones    By Francois Hughes   December 15, 2010

OAKLAND, Calif.--Some 75 protesters gathered at a City Council meeting on December 14 to protest the killing of Derrick Jones and the inaction of the city government in the face of racist police murder. videophotoVideo and Photo

Derrick Jones was murdered on November 8 while running from police--he was shot eight times. It has been over a month since Derrick Jones was killed, but there has been no discipline or prosecution of Oakland police officers Omar Daza-Quiroz or Eriberto Perez-Angeles.

The Oakland police department had allegedly harassed Derrick ever since his family won a suit against the police 20 years ago, which resulted in the firing of two officers.

The rally was organized by the civil rights activist group By Any Means Necessary. Participants came from a number of groups, including many who have been organizing around the case of Oscar Grant, an unarmed man who was shot and killed by BART transit officer Johannes Mehserle in the early morning hours of January 1, 2009.

The protesters held a rally outside Oakland City Hall and then went inside for public comment. Inside, only 15 people were allowed to speak to the City Council--while the council allowed speaker after speaker from the Fruitvale Merchants' Association to ask for more police patrols in their neighborhood.

This was too much for those protesting Derrick's murder. Many could not keep silent and interjected with shouts of "No police!" and "Police don't make me safer!" After all of the merchants spoke, the council cut off public comment. Activists then raised fists and chanted "Justice for Derrick Jones." We flooded up the aisles to the front of the room.

The council would still not let the anyone from the crowd speak, but promised to have a meeting about Derrick Jones and police bias on December 16. The Council shut down discussion, saying that there "wasn't time."

Then, councilors proceeded to what they thought was the more important business--singing Christmas songs. A local choir filed into the chamber and led the city officials in song, complete with audience and council members jangling keys like bells. Those fighting against police murder regrouped outside to the sound of merry caroling and put their names down again to comment on the next item.

The council got an earful. Council member Desley Brooks and Jean Quan, the newly elected mayor of Oakland, couldn't muster the courage to look anyone in the eye. Ronald Cruz, a lawyer representing Derrick Jones' brother, Michael Jones, spoke to the Council about the case.

According to Cruz, police picked up Michael after a recent rally for his brother and charged Michael with driving while intoxicated. According to Ronald Cruz, "Then Oakland police told Michael Jones 'We'll kill your whole family,' and called him the n-word." Oakland police allegedly used similar tactics in the Oscar Grant case, with police repeatedly arresting, threatening and harassing Oscar's family and friends who witnessed his murder.

Derrick's family friend, Madison, also came to the stand. She talked about how well liked Jones was in his neighborhood. Jones ran a barbershop that was a community gathering point. Madison talked about Derrick's barbecues, the way he was "goofy" and how he used to feed homeless folks. She compared the treatment of Derrick Jones to the treatment of a pit bull recently shot by Oakland police. The pit bull was shot in the leg and survived, while Jones was shot eight times.

The Oakland police department is conducting it's own internal affairs investigation, but internal review is a sham. Even an independent review board (like exists San Francisco) or a police auditor (like exists in Sacramento) frequently do not punish crooked cops. In San Francisco, police will often quit before being judged, and then are able to keep their pensions and avoid sanction.

But as the Oscar Grant struggle has shown, mass mobilization can force the state to grant us a small bit of justice. Oscar Grant's murderer Johannes Mehserle received a sentence of two years in jail. This is, of course, not nearly enough. However, the fact that he was locked up at all is a rarity in police shootings.

If we win any justice for Derrick Jones it will only come through the same protests and mobilizations. This will have to start with people getting the word out and mobilizing--in churches, in streets and in schools. It will come through not being afraid to stand up and speak out, even if we have to yell over carols at City Council meeting.
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What part of ‘killed_unarmed_Black_man = murder’ doesn’t OPD understand?

SF Bay View  November 10, 2010 
by mesha Monge-Irizarry, Idriss Stelley Foundation

March for justice for Brother Derrick Jones Thursday, Nov. 11, 3 p.m., from Bancroft & Seminary to Oscar Grant (Fruitvale) BART Station

Another unarmed Black brother, Derrick Jones, 37, a beloved Oakland barbershop owner and father of an infant girl, met a violent death on Monday night, Nov. 8, 2010, shot and killed by two white Oakland police officers while “fleeing,” after they “thought” they saw a metallic object in his hand.

This OPD homicide occurred only THREE days after Judge Robert Perry sentenced the killer of Oscar Grant III, Johannes Mehserle, to two years in jail, less credit for 146 days of time served plus another 146 days for “good behavior” for a total of 292 days, for “involuntary manslaughter.”

This is the third OPD officer-involved homicide of people of color in 2010.

Photo: CBS

Derrick Jones’ grieving family has retained the services of John Burris, Oscar Grant’s family’s attorney.

‘This incident has nothing to do with the case of Oscar Grant’

The next day, Tuesday, Nov. 9, I caught the end of a Channel 7 talk show, during which a complacent African American conservative anchor contended, “By the way, it is my belief that the Oscar Grant shooting was ACCIDENTAL.”

He interviewed a white former OPD officer and current prosecutor who exhorted the public not to jump to racially biased policing conclusions: “This incident has nothing to do with the case of Oscar Grant. Grant’s killing was involuntary, while yesterday’s shooting was voluntary. You must understand that officers have to make split-second decisions when they have a reasonable belief that a suspect is armed and dangerous and constitutes a life and death threat against themselves or others. Please, you have to understand that it is the scariest scenario in an officer’s life.”

The day after the shooting, OPD’s official version of the killing keeps changing. The corporate press trickles cautious tidbits of information throughout the day.

At first, the race of the dead brother and of the shooting officers is hidden from the public.

Then an OPD spokesperson reluctantly admits that Jones was UNARMED and that a “confrontation” occurred. Note the constrained terminology.

Initial communiqués from police usually emphasize: “Suspect lunged at the officers who feared for their lives” or “Suspect pulled out a gun, knife” etc. or “Suspect turned around and repeatedly screamed ‘C’mon, M-F-ers, go ahead and kill me’” or “Suspect made a sudden furtive move.”

Initial communiqués from police usually emphasize: “Suspect lunged at the officers who feared for their lives” or “Suspect pulled out a gun, knife” etc. or “Suspect turned around and repeatedly screamed ‘C’mon, M-F-ers, go ahead and kill me’” or “Suspect made a sudden furtive move.”

Apparently there was no physical confrontation in Jones’ case. Throughout Tuesday, the official party line kept changing, from “confrontation” to “appeared to reach for his waist band” to “officers thought they saw a metallic object in the suspect’s hand.”

Hit list on Oaktown contemporary plantation continues to grow

Remember young Brother Laronte Studesville, 15, shot by OPD in 2007 while fleeing and attempting to pull up his sagging pants? Luckily, the child survived after two weeks in intensive care, scarred for life, shot in the back of his neck while running, the bullet came out of his chin.

Derrick Jones

Or Brother Jody “Mack” Woodfox, shot in the back and killed in 2008 while “fleeing”? Both were shot by OPD, and the hit list on Oakland’ contemporary plantation, the land-of-the-proud-and-the-free-OPD is endless and continues to rage on.

Yet in one year, two months and two weeks or maybe sooner, killer cop Johannes Mehserle is “eligible for release.”

‘He is portrayed as a monster, and he wasn’t; this is all so senseless’

The Associated Press, in its Nov. 9 story, “Family says man shot by Oakland police was unarmed,” reports:

“Loved ones of a barber shot and killed by officers during a foot chase disputed police’s account Tuesday that he appeared to be reaching toward his waistband for a weapon.

“Family and friends of Derrick Jones, 37, called Monday’s shooting unjustified and said witnesses did not see the Oakland man make such a move. They also said Jones was unarmed and that police used excessive force.

“’My cousin is not the type of person to harm anybody,’ said Charles Jones … ‘It’s outrageous for somebody to just kill him like that.’

“Police have declined to say how many times Derrick Jones was shot or whether a weapon was found on him, citing the ongoing investigation. …

“When officers arrived, Derrick Jones fled on foot, apparently ‘to escape arrest for assaulting the woman,’ Israel said. …

“But family and friends said Tuesday that Derrick Jones is being wrongly depicted as a ‘monster’ and was only trying to fend off an ex-girlfriend who came to his barbershop causing trouble.

“… (T)he two officers repeatedly told Derrick Jones to stop and tried unsuccessfully to use a stun gun on him. He said the officers also saw Derrick Jones refuse to put up his hands, and he reached toward his waistband several times.

“… (O)ne of the officers saw a metal object in Jones’ hand, Israel said. …

Derrick Jones, a barber for over 20 years, had owned this shop for eight years. – Photo: CBS video frame

“An attorney representing Jones’ family, John Burris, said Tuesday that witnesses he has spoken to said Derrick Jones was unarmed and was not reaching toward his waistband when police opened fire. …

“’Any time a human life is lost, the surviving family suffers the grief of that loss, so I offer my sympathies to the family of the man who lost his life last night,’ (Oakland Mayor Ron) Dellums said.

“Family and friends said Jones is the father of an infant girl, has been a barber for more than 20 years and has owned his barbershop for the past eight years.

“Scott Riley, 40, another childhood friend, said Jones served about a year behind bars for carrying a gun to protect himself after he was robbed at his barbershop.

“’He’s being portrayed as a monster, and he wasn’t,’ Riley said outside police headquarters. ‘This is all so senseless.’”

What part of killed_unarmed_Black_man = murder doesn’t OPD understand? Too little too late … enough!

Is the Mehserle verdict ensuring OPD’s license to kill with impunity? Is there no correlation between the murders of Derrick Jones and Oscar Grant III?

Apparently, civil rights attorney John Burris does not think so. Neither do we … or the 152 Oakland protesters arrested on Nov. 5 after the public release of the Mehserle sentence.

Mayor Ron Dellums slapped together hasty damage control “condolences” to Brother Derrick Jones’ grieving family. Too little too late, enough!

Legendary warrior against police abuse mesha Monge-Irizarry, who founded the Idriss Stelley Foundation following the murder of her only child, Idriss Stelley, by San Francisco police, can be reached on ISF’s bilingual crisis line at (415) 595-8251 or on Facebook.

 

http://sfbayview.com/2010/what-part-of-killed_unarmed_black_man-murder-doesnt-opd-understand/