The Spark

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

Lima, Ohio:
Racist cops kill, then stonewall

Feb 4, 2008

Early in the evening of January 4, a Lima, Ohio SWAT team burst into the home of Tarika Wilson, guns drawn. Moments later, they had killed Ms. Wilson, 26, and shot her 14-month-old son.

Police SAY they were looking to arrest Ms. Wilson’s companion, Anthony Terry, on a drug charge. But they admit that Ms. Wilson was never a suspect. And yet they opened fire on an unarmed woman and her baby. The man they came for wasn’t even there.

Lima is a small industrial town of 38,000 people. 27% of the population is black; but only two of its 77 police officers are black. Black residents have long complained of harassment by white cops on the force, yet nothing had changed.

Then this happened.

This time people reacted immediately. Shortly after the shooting, about 50 neighbors gathered outside the house and shouted obscenities at the cops. The very next day, 300 people gathered at the house and marched to City Hall, two miles away.

People have continued to march on a weekly basis ever since. They demand answers from the city: Why is Ms. Wilson dead? Why did cops shoot her and her baby?

So far, the city has refused to say anything regarding the case. The only thing they’ve done so far has been to suspend one of the police officers at the scene – with pay.

Something smells foul in the city of Lima – and it’s not just from the industry in the area.