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

Police Shooting in Roseville Is Murder

May 9, 2022

Cops in Roseville, Michigan shot and killed a man who got out of his car after crashing head-on with a semi-tractor trailer. Two cops showed up and approached Frank Robles.

One of the cop’s bodycam video shows Robles standing with his hands down by his sides with something in one hand. One of the cops approaches Robles, then moves away. Robles slowly takes about two steps when the cop shoots him four times, after which Robles collapses to the ground. As he tries to get up, the cop shoots him five more times, killing him. The cop is heard saying, "He’s got a knife. He came at me with a knife."

Robles, an avid fisherman, was holding a four-inch fishing knife, which he kept in his truck. He was certainly disoriented by the serious head-on accident.

Robles was a veteran who had served in the military in Kuwait and Afghanistan between 2008 and 2012. Friends of his say that he may have been experiencing some sort of mental crisis at the time of the incident.

Whatever was the case, the cops had other options than immediately pouring nine shots into his body.

Robles was white. The victims of police shootings in this country are disproportionately black, nevertheless white people, particularly poorer white people, are also killed by cops. In fact, over half of those killed are white.

It is also true that cops are generally quicker to shoot in a confrontation with a black person, but as the killing of Robles shows, they can also be quick to shoot a white person.

Whatever else they are, cops are an occupying force in working class and poor neighborhoods. An important part of the black population has long been aware of this reality. But white workers sometimes don’t realize the situation they can be put in, having viewed the whole problem through lenses coated by the racist propaganda we are subjected to in this country.

There is a commonality of interest among all parts of the working class. It is vital we recognize this.