La Riva Speaks on Police Acquittal
Statement from PSL's La Riva/Puryear presidential campaign
When the police arrested a man in New York City for pickpocketing $22, Justice Arthur Cooperman sentenced him to 15 years to life in prison. When three New York City police murdered Sean Bell and wounded two others in an unprovoked 50-shot assault against the unarmed men, Justice Arthur Cooperman acquitted the police officers and let them walk free.
New York’s Black community and all who believe in justice are up in arms today. Anger, disbelief, outrage: these words do not come close to conveying the sentiments of millions of New Yorkers.
Once again the courts have sent out the message that police have a license to kill young Black people. The racist NYPD is the ultimate expression of an organized crime ring. They arrogate to themselves the role of judge, jury and executioner.
Judge Cooperman is simply their cheerleader and defender. This is not a problem of a single bad judge. Cooperman is a symptom. The disease is institutionalized racism and the epidemic of police brutality directed against Black and Latino communities and especially young people.
Killer cops walk free again today just as they did when they killed Amadou Diallo in a hail of 41 shots. Again, the armed thugs of corporate capitalism, the defenders of the rich and mighty, walk away without even a slapped wrist, while the prisons and jails of this country overflow with more than 2.3 million working class young people.
The actual ethnicity or national or “racial” identity of the killer cops is immaterial. The NYPD is an army of racism. It occupies and murders inside the Black and Latino community. Its principal function is to defend the property of Wall Street corporations and the property of the billionaires and multi-millionaires who are the dominant power in NYC. Mayor Bloomberg went out of his way to call striking transit workers “thugs,” but no similar language is used by him to describe the cold-blooded killers in blue.
Today, in the face of this colossal injustice John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as yet have not a word to condemn this travesty. The Democratic party seeks the vote of the Black community to win office, but turns its back on the community in its confrontation with the forces of racist police violence. It could not be otherwise. The Republican and Democratic parties, and the respective candidates, vie with each other to be the voice of the status quo and the police power which functions as its armed guarantor. The armies of police and military power exist to protect the ultra rich and the status quo, from the people who are suffering from unemployment, foreclosures, hunger, galloping poverty, and union-busting. The candidates of both the Republican and Democratic parties are ardent defenders of this system.
The VotePSL La Riva/Puryear 2008 campaign will be in the streets today and every day to demand justice for Sean Bell. Killer cops and all those who commit acts of brutality against our communities will be the focus of the wrath and mobilization of the people.
Jail Killer Cops! Money for Jobs, Schools, Housing and Health care.
To contact the La Riva/Puryear campaign, call Ben Becker at 410-371-7203 or visit the website at http://www.votepsl.org/.