Thursday, June 23 - Be In the Streets to Demand Justice for Freddie Gray!
Crenshaw and Slauson, 3 pm
Called by the LA Revolution Club @revclub_LA
We received the following statement from Carl Dix, co-founder with Cornel West of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and Spokesperson for the Revolutionary Communist Party.
Verdict in Case of Cop Who Gave Freddie Gray the “Rough Ride” Due 10 AM Thursday
COURT MOVING TO LET KILLER COP OFF—BE READY TO TAKE TO THE STREETS TO DENOUNCE AN OUTRAGEOUS VERDICT!
The closing arguments in the trial of officer Caesar Goodson, the cop who gave the “rough ride” to Freddie Gray, amounted to more grease on the skids that would lead to letting this killer cop slide out of court free, or at most end up with a slap on the wrist for conviction on a minor charge. The prosecution never even said in its closing argument that Gray had been given a rough ride. Instead, they cited video of the police van making a “rolling stop” (one where the van never came to a complete stop before proceeding thru the stop sign) and a wide turn as evidence that Goodson intended to do Gray harm. When asked by the judge during their rebuttal what was their evidence of such an intent to cause harm, all the prosecutor could say was that “logical inferences” could be made from the sequence of events during the ride that Goodson “intended for it to have consequences.” These weaknesses in the closing arguments of the prosecution flow from the way they “forgot” how to prosecute in their conduct of the case, and from the way the cop who was initially the lead investigator sabotaged their case by testifying for the defense.
(EDITORS NOTE: It was early on a Sunday morning—April 12, 2015—when six Baltimore police, working together, murdered Freddie Gray. Freddie committed the “crime” of making eye contact with the police, and then made the perfectly rational decision to try to run. In less than a minute, police chased him down and had him on the ground, brutalizing him to the point that one neighbor described him as being bent like a pretzel. Then they threw him into a police van, handcuffed and then later they shackled his feet. He was not seat-belted as he should have been, but left on the floor of the van unable to protect himself. At which point, Goodson, the pig on trial now, took him on what the pigs call a “rough ride.” During this ride, he was slammed into the walls of the van for 45 minutes. At the end of this torture, Freddie’s spine was 80 percent fractured and his voice box crushed. He died a week later.)
The trial of pig Goodson is the third trial of the six police to be conducted. The first ended in a mistrial…the second in a not guilty verdict. The authorities are moving, step by step, to exonerate each of the pigs who killed Freddie Gray. This must be countered with protest across the country. These trials would not even be happening if people hadn’t rebelled after Freddie’s murder. Justice for Freddie Gray depends on us. As the United Call for Action says “We must take things into our own hands and demand Justice for Freddie Gray, and for all the victims of brutal, murdering cops.”
For its part, the defense’s closing argument came down to oinking that Gray was responsible for putting himself at risk of serious injury because he refused to remain in the position he was placed in the van. In other words, Gray was supposed to lay still face down in the van with his arms shackled behind his back while the cops drove him around for 45 minutes. The defense also argued that the decision to not give Gray the medical care he requested was made together with the other officers, so Goodson wasn’t responsible for that. To them it is OK for these pigs to arrest Gray for nothing, beat and torture him, throw him into the police van bent up like a pretzel and crying in pain and give him a rough ride, but then to point the fingers at each other to dodge any responsibility for their murderous actions.
The back-and-forth during the closing argument was most intense when the judge questioned the prosecution over whether the failure to give Gray emergency medical care or fasten his seat belt when he was placed in the van was a criminal violation or a civil one. This case is supposed to be about police having murdered a Black man, yet the legal back-and-forth has descended to the level of whether one of the killer cops should get a conviction that would amount to a slap on the wrist or be subjected to a civil suit.
This amounts to the system declaring that its police can brutalize and murder Black people and get off without any punishment; that Black people have no rights that the police are bound to respect. When people rose up after the murder of Freddie Gray, the authorities indicted the cops in an attempt to cool out people’s spirit of resistance. Now they are conducting trials that are a mockery of justice, aiming to crush people’s sense that what they do can affect things. We must meet this with powerful resistance. When this verdict comes down on Thursday, June 23, we must mount powerful outpourings of protest, in Baltimore and all across the country. This will give heart to all those who hate the way police murder Black and Brown people again and again and the way the system exonerates them almost every damn time.
TAKE IT TO THE STREETS IF GOODSON WALKS OR GETS A SLAP ON THE WRIST!
IF YOU’RE IN BALTIMORE, BE AT THE COURTHOUSE AT CALVERT & LEXINGTON STREETS AT 10AM ON JUNE 23.
AND WHEREVER YOU ARE BE IN THE STREETS ON THURSDAY, JUNE 23!
JOIN US IN SAYING THAT POLICE GETTING AWAY WIITH MURDER MUST STOP!
In LA: CRENSHAW AND SLAUSON, 3 PM