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

Inglewood, California:
A Murderer Murders Again

Jul 28, 2008

On July 21, police officer Brian Ragan gunned down 38-year-old Kevin Wicks, a postal worker, at the door of Wicks’ apartment in Inglewood, near Los Angeles.

Wicks is the second black man Ragan has killed in less than three months. On May 11, Ragan and another cop riddled a car with bullets, killing 19-year-old Michael Byoune and wounding two other young men. The four young men in the car were unarmed.

In fact, even police officials admitted that the May shooting was “unjustified,” that is, murder. Ragan was put on leave, but not for long. Even while still “under investigation,” he was put back on street duty–armed and ready to kill again. And kill he did when he was sent–by mistake–to the wrong apartment.

Neighbors say that four cops came pounding on Wicks’ door at 12:30 a.m., without identifying themselves. The cops also claim Wicks opened the door with a gun in his hand. That’s such an old lie–why would anyone believe them? But even if he had, anyone would be worried about their safety in that situation when four strange men show up at your door like that.

In working-class neighborhoods, especially if the residents are black, cops shoot first and ask questions later. The fact that Ragan was put back on the street after the first murder shows that the powers that be have given them free license to do so.