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

Los Angeles:
Cops Shoot Another Young Black Man

Feb 16, 2015

On February 10, 15-year-old Jamar Nicholson stopped in an alley at 7:40 a.m. on his way to school. Jamar and his three teenage friends were rapping and dancing around when he heard someone shout “Freeze!” He turned around and saw a gun, and then fell to the ground with a bullet in him.

Jamar was probably shot before he even turned around, because he was shot in the back, near the spine. The shooter, a cop, and his partner were in plain clothes and had arrived in an unmarked car.

The cops claim they shot because they saw one of the teenagers holding a gun. Jamar acknowledged that one of his friends was holding a toy gun, but he disputes practically everything else in the cops’ story. Jamar said, for example, that he did not hear any command for his friend to drop the gun, as the cops claim they did before shooting. A neighbor, Colliene Carter, also said she never heard a command to drop the gun, although she heard everything the cops said after the shooting clearly.

Residents said they were used to teenagers stopping in the alley on their way to school. And the school’s principal said Jamar and his friends rarely missed school.

Perhaps the two cops did not know all this. But even if that’s the case, a big question remains: would they have pulled the trigger so quickly, shooting into a crowd from 20 feet away, if the four teenagers were white?

Of course not!