The Communist Party of Ohio is outraged and heartbroken at the murder of Jayland Walker by Akron police on the night of June 27. Jayland, a 25-year-old Doordash driver, was shot in a hail of bullets – 60 gunshot wounds were found on his body – following a traffic stop in which he exited his car and was running away from police. Eight police officers fired an estimated 90 rounds at Jayland, who was unarmed; they continued to shoot him at close range when he was already on the ground. Unbelievably, the police then proceeded to handcuff his lifeless body.
While his family and community mourn the profound loss of this young man, police scramble to invent a narrative that will deflect blame to the victim. “Actions by the suspect caused the officers to perceive he posed a deadly threat to them,” according to an official police statement released last week. But the bodycam videos released Sunday clearly show that Jayland was running for his life, away from the police officers. Walker family attorney Bobby DiCello said at a news conference, “The law requires use of force that is reasonable… As he’s running away, what is reasonable? To gun him down?”
The murder of Jayland has brought attention to the contrast between the ways police confront young people of color and the ways they seem to coddle young white men who have been caught in heinous acts of terror. “We know that pulling over for the police is often a death sentence,” said the Akron Branch of the NAACP. “This doesn’t happen to white people in America.” This differential treatment is a feature of the system-deep white supremacy that has been the foundation of policing as an institution in the United States. It is built into police culture, training, and history. As Molly Nagin, chair of the Cleveland Club of the CPUSA, pointed out, while young Black men and boys are gunned down by police, “white supremacist terrorist organizations like the Proud Boys are allowed to openly organize, harass, and even assault their fellow Akronites, for the simple fact of being Black.”
Frank Chapman, chair of the National Alliance Against Racism and Political Repression, advocates for, in his words, “the democratic right to say who polices us.” Last year the NAARPR succeeded in organizing a coalition of 150 organizations who joined together to persuade the Chicago City Council to pass the Empowering Communities for Public Safety Act, which is now law. It aims to give elected representatives from each police district a chance to oversee police and to make policy to change the way police do their work.
Comrades and friends should seek out and join with local organizations which recognize the need for communities to control the police forces and want to address the problem of racist police violence, over-policing, and police murder of innocent citizens. We can join with the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, the Freedom BLOC, the Akron Branch of the NAACP, the Ohio Poor People’s Campaign, and other organizations fighting systematic police racism, and work together to demand accountability, justice, and people’s control over the safety of our communities. As we do so, we continue to fight for justice for Jayland Walker and all victims of police murder
Source: Communist Party U.S.A.