The Spark

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

LAPD Murders Day Laborer

Sep 13, 2010

On a Sunday afternoon in early September, on a busy street near downtown Los Angeles, a police officer shot and killed Manuel Jamines, an immigrant day laborer. Crowds immediately formed, and people began voicing their anger. “Killers go to hell,” shouted one person. “You guys don’t have the right to come to our neighborhood and assassinate people,” another yelled.

For three nights, the streets filled with people from the neighborhood demonstrating against the police killing, and the demonstrators clashed with riot-clad cops, when the cops tried to disperse them. On the fourth night, a crowd of 300 heckled and booed LAPD chief Charlie Beck, when he promised “a fair investigation” of the murder.

The cops’ story that Jamines had threatened them with a knife was a blatant lie. Plenty of witnesses saw the cop, Frank Hernandez, shoot Jamines twice in the head at close range for merely stumbling while he was drunk.

The people, by their actions, were holding the police to their account.