Archive | 6:14 pm

May 17th: Mario Madrigal Jr.

17 May

On August 25, 2003 in Mesa Arizona, Mario Madrigal Jr., 15, was threatening to kill himself with a knife. His parents called the police in a panic, looking for help. They ended up watching the police shoot and kill Mario. He was not a threat to anyone but himself. However, a police squad lacking training and understanding to deal with both mental illness and the hispanic population of Mesa is turning to murder to deal with situations they fail to understand.

An internal investigation cleared the police in the shooting of any wrong doing. The family is conducting a private investigation and plan to take the officers to court.

Mental health is a huge area of concern where the police almost across the board fail to do the best thing for the patient. The ignorance of the police compounds the problems that the individual person with a mental illness already has, and can often lead to that person being in a worse situation than before the police arrived. Our communities need competent people to help folks with mental illnesses when they are in crisis. We do not need to handcuff, arrest, jail, or shoot these people. Traumatic situations should be avoided.

May 16th: Aiyana Jones

17 May

I’m really sad to add this name to the list of people killed by cops. This happened on May 16th, 2010 in Detroit. Police  were searching for a suspect, and entered a home by use of flash grenade. Aiyana Jones, a 7 year old, was asleep on the couch. When the cops entered the home one of them bumped into a Aiyana’s grandmother, and fired his gun, killing Aiyana. She was hit in the neck and pronounced dead on arrival. While the police conducted their search of the home, Aiyana’s father, Charles Jones, was forced onto the ground with his head in his daughter’s blood.

The news reports about this incident are dancing around the fact that the officer fired his gun and killed a child. They are using phrases such as “gun went off” as if guns just went off on their own. This clearly reveals media bias. Police are supposed to be trained on how to use their weapons, and their guns should not go off uncontrollably. This whole tragedy could have been avoided if the police had just entered the house in a civilized manner. Flash grenades disorient, frighten, and terrify people, which makes it understandable as to why Aiyana’s grandmother would have bumped into an officer.

There are protests in Detroit over this incident. Al Sharpton said he is going up there to join in.

Additionally- apparently the suspect the police were searching for was not even suspected of being in the apartment where Aiyana Jones lived. There were 2 apartments in the house, and so it was unnecessary for the police to raid both. Other reports have said that the raid was being filmed for a TV show, which is why the police were acting so irrationally, and intentionally trying to make a good show. I have also heard that the flash grenade they threw through the front window landed on Aiyana.

May 15th: The Haymarket Martyrs

17 May

May 4th, 1886, Haymarket Square, Chicago.

There was  rally in support of striking workers. When the police went to break up the gathering, an unknown person threw a bomb at the police. The bombs and ensuing police gunfire resulted in 8 dead pigs, and an unknown number of dead and injured civilians. About 60 police were also injured. Much of the police injury was from friendly fire.

8 anarchists were tried for murder.August SpiesAlbert ParsonsAdolph FischerGeorge EngelLouis LinggMichael SchwabSamuel Fielden and Oscar Neebe.

Originally, 7 men, with the exception of Neebe were sentenced to death. After lengthy appeals process, 2 men had their sentences commuted to life in prison.

Louis Lingg committed suicide in prison.  On November 11, 1887 Spies, Parsons, Fischer and Engel were hung for murder.

The prosecution admitted that none of the men were actually guilty of that bombing. Many people were of the opinion that the media frenzy around the case and the politics of the men were the reason for their murder by the state.