The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Baltimore Cops Murdered Tyrone West 5 Years Ago

Jul 23, 2018

On July 18, Tyrone West’s sister, Tawanda Jones, and some supporters organized a rally on the 5th anniversary of West’s killing by the cops. At least 70 people attended.

West was a 44-year-old black artist with three children and two grandchildren when he was murdered in 2013. On every Wednesday since West’s murder, West’s sister and supporters have organized a rally to protest the murder of Tyrone and all others killed by the police throughout this country. That’s a total of 260 rallies in all ... so far. Tawanda says she will not stop until the cops who killed her brother are charged and convicted of murdering him.

Five years ago, on the evening of July 18, 2013, two white Baltimore City cops in an unmarked police car pulled West and a female friend over in a traffic stop in a residential neighborhood in Baltimore.

There was an altercation. West–who was handcuffed–was beaten and crushed to death by the cops.

The medical examiner who did West’s autopsy claimed he died from a heart attack brought on by his struggle with police and dehydration during his restraint. But not because of the injuries received from the six cops who directly beat him. The examiner was so fearful of the public reaction to his autopsy findings that he refused to release them until six months after West was killed. Later two other autopsies performed by independent examiners at the request of West’s family found he had been suffocated by the cops.

When the cocaine that the police claimed they found on West and in his car was subpoenaed by an attorney representing West’s family, the police said they couldn’t find it.

Two Baltimore City State’s Attorneys have refused to bring any charges against any of the cops involved in West’s killing. But his siblings and children were awarded a million dollars in a 2017 settlement of the family’s civil law suit. West’s sister Tawanda refused to accept her share of this money because it would have required her to cease any further efforts to force prosecution of the cops who murdered her brother.

So the weekly protests will continue.