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

Cleveland Cop’s Acquittal:
A License to Kill

Jun 8, 2015

A judge acquitted a white Cleveland police officer, Michael Brelo, of manslaughter in the shooting deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. Russell and Williams, both unarmed, were killed in 2012 after a car chase involving 13 cops, which started when Russell’s car backfired outside a police precinct and the cops mistakenly took it for the sound of gunfire.

Brelo and the other cops fired more than 100 shots into Russell’s car, and then, even after it was clear the car was stopped and the other cops had stopped firing, Brelo reloaded, jumped on the hood of the vehicle and fired 15 more shots through the windshield.

The judge ruled that the prosecutors couldn’t prove it was Brelo’s shots that killed the pair even though some of the shots definitely came from Brelo’s gun. He also ruled Brelo and the other cops had reason to believe they were at risk because other officers at some point along the way had said Russell and Williams had weapons.

Cops are trained to know the difference between a car backfiring and the sound of a gun. These cops simply used the car backfiring as a pretext to carry out a chase and murder. They were like a street gang, and once the chase got going it reinforced itself. They acted just like the KKK out to hang someone.

The judge’s ruling is a statement that any cop can kill anyone at any time so long as he can say he “feared for his life.”

Since the ruling, an arbitrator also overturned the suspensions of four police supervisors and another ruled a supervisor who was fired had to be rehired.

These decisions are an official answer to what the young people in Baltimore did when they went into to streets and forced prosecutors to put the cops on trial for the murder of Freddie Gray. In this situation, the court’s decisions mean the judicial system has declared it’s open season for the cops.

Don’t believe the cops have no license to kill.

The Cleveland decision reinforces what Obama said when he called the young people of Baltimore “thugs.”

If the young people of Baltimore are thugs, then we all better be thugs. It’s the only way to face down the REAL thugs, the cops. Otherwise, we’ll all have to lie down in front of the cops, even when they assassinate us.