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

Authorities Protect L.A. Cop Who Killed 13-year-old Joyrider

Feb 21, 2005

"I was a single parent raising a son in an affluent, all-white area of San Diego in the 1970s. It was a challenge. While a teen, he stole a car and went joyriding for a week.... The people from whom my son stole the car did not press charges. The police ‘sentenced’ him to washing police cars on weekends.

"When I see the grief on the face of Devin Brown’s godmother, I thank God that I did not have to share her grief. Were things different for us because we were white, living in an upscale neighborhood? ... Devin Brown is some mother’s son. My heart bleeds for her."

These are the words of a woman, written to and published by the Los Angeles Times. This is the only reasonable human reaction anyone could have to the February 6 murder of a 13-year-old black joyrider by a Los Angeles cop.

But this was NOT the reaction of the authorities and news media. Their reaction was to protect a trigger-happy cop. For several days, every official report about the incident, repeated by the media, emphasized that "the car was stolen." This may not be true, but even it is, it’s irrelevant–because the cop who killed Devin did not know it at the time of the shooting!

The cops say they started to follow Devin’s car because they thought he might be drunk.

What kind of excuse is that for killing an unarmed 13-year-old whose only "crime" was joyriding in the car of a family friend?

Those who say over and over "the car was stolen" or "where were Devin’s parents?" are simply trying to avoid the issue. Devin is dead because he was black, and because he did his joyriding in a poor, black neighborhood.

Pretending to "look into the situation," the authorities are protecting murderous cops. That’s all there is to it.

That’s exactly why there is never an end to such racist police shootings in U.S. cities. This is exactly why racist cops can still feel that they have a license to kill anyone whose skin is dark when they are in a poor, working-class neighborhood.