Statement Regarding Police Shootings April 2021

–Statement by the Central Committee of Workers’ Voice/La Voz de los Trabajadores
On April 11, 2020, Daunte Wright,  a 20 year-old Black man, was shot dead by a Brooklyn Center, Minnesota police officer during a traffic stop. This murder would be an unconscionable incident of police impunity under any circumstances, but is particularly outrageous given that it occurred a mere 10 miles away from Minneapolis, where the murder trial against Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd is taking place.
The Brooklyn Center police department’s defense is that the officer accidentally shot Wright with a gun instead of a taser, an explanation so brazenly inadequate that it defies reason. We could point out that tasers are designed to be immediately distinguishable from firearms, that the shooter has been a police officer for 26 years and was actively training a new police officer when she murdered Daunte Wright, refuting any claim of inexperience that could have explained the mistake. We could point out that even firing a taser at Wright would have been an unjustifiable escalation of violence given the circumstances of the traffic stop. Once more, the brutal, racist indifference of the police is on full display, caught on camera, right as the country’s attention is fixed on another instance of police murder a few highway stops down the road.
Four days later, on April 15th, police killed Miles Jackson during a routine patdown at a hospital, shocking him with a stun gun before shooting him to death. That same day, Chicago authorities released body cam footage of the shooting of Adam Toledo, which shows 13-year-old Adam with his hands in the air and unarmed at the time he was killed. Mayor Lightfoot and the police department had previously withheld the footage for nearly three weeks while misleading the public into believing that Adam may have been armed when shot.
In Minnesota, the city and state government’s response has been to deploy police forces and 500 National Guard members to repress protests. On the other hand, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 100 workers have refused to collaborate with city police or let them use city buses to transport arrested protestors to prison, and other workers from CWA, MNA and UBC expelled National Guard soldiers who were occupying a local union hall. Acts of solidarity like these are crucial in the struggle against police brutality, organized political actions by workers to deny the state’s forces the resources to repress mass movements.
Racism and violence are the backbone of the American policing system, whose history is long and well-documented. Regardless of the  fates that await George Floyd’s and Daunte Wright’s killers in blue, the problem of racist policing will not disappear until the whole institution is done away with. We demand an end to qualified immunity for police officers that allows them to act with impunity, as well as the defunding, disarmament, and disbanding of the police force, to be replaced by democratically-controlled community self-defense organizations that work to protect, not terrorize, people of color and working class communities. Workers’ Voice marches in solidarity with protestors demanding justice in Minnesota, Chicago, Ohio and all over the rest of the US.
Justice for Adam Toledo, Daunte Wright, and Miles Jackson! Abolish the police!

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