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May 16, 2015
From Diane Bukowski, the staff of VOD, and many others:
First, please sign the petition at the bottom of this post, to President Barack Obama and three others, asking for justice for Aiyana.
Also see information on the May 21 Black Spring Campaign for Women of Color killed by the police below that.
Today is the fifth anniversary of beautiful little Aiyana Jones’ death at the age of 7. VOD hopes to comfort her family with this post, her mother, Dominika Jones, her father Charles Jones, her grandmother Mertilla (Maria) Jones, and the dozens of extended family members we have met since May 16, 2010.
Many stories on Aiyana’s killing by Detroit cop Joseph Weekley, now back on the streets, and a vicious police raid team, as well as her father’s frame-up have been posted on VOD–just put “Aiyana” in the search engine and they will all come up. But this is not a news story–this is a tribute. Our hearts still ache for this precious little girl, but we want her family to know she will live on in them forever. Everywhere across this city, this state and this country that we have seen the young people of the U.S. rising up against police murders, we have seen Aiyana’s name and photo on signs and banners.
AIYANA WILL BE LOVED AND REMEMBERED FOREVER!
Published on Mar 12, 2015
“Youth Of The Nation (Acoustic Version)” by P.O.D
Written by Jasiri X of San Francisco, and featuring 10 year old Hadiyah Yates, “Three Little Girls” was produced by GM3 and directed by Paradise Gray.
“Three Little Girls” tells the stories of the senseless murders of Christina Taylor Green (9 yrs old), killed during the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Brisenia Flores (9 yrs old), gunned down by anti-immigrant militia intent on starting a race war, and Aiyana Jones (7 yrs old), shot to death while asleep in her home, by the Detroit Police Department, while they were filming a reality TV show.
Please click on link above, as requested by Aiyana’s family, to sign petition to get justice for their little girl. Five years have gone by, and Aiyana’s killer walks the streets while her father is in prison, framed-up.
They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds. Now Black Spring is in full bloom… May 21st, join the campaign to stop police violence against women and girls of color! For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/825982420817036/ #blackspring #invisiblevictims #aptp #blackbrownsolidarity Raquel Manzo-Portillo Cadine Williams La Mesha Irizarry Mollie McKinnon Costello Ralowe Trinitrotoluene Ampu Irina Contreras Cat Brooks Trishia Andrea Daniela Kantorová Melissa Or Shakes Yvonne Metiche Xan West Asantewaa RN Florencia Rojo Adriana Camarena Alma Jurado Marissa M Carolyn Shmarolyn Luz Calvo Catriona Rueda Esquibel Zakiyyah Iman Jackson Sharena Diamond Thomas Eric Stanley Carroll Fife Robbie Clark INCITE Community News Incite L.A. Wild Tigers Antoinette Chen See M.i. Jazz Freeman Inés Ixierda
The ongoing white-out of Detroit: over 800 largely Black Brush Park residents were driven out from late 90’s through recent years
Only 20 percent of housing in new $70 million plan for “low-income” residents
Dan Gilbert’s 8.4 acre project part of 30 acre Brush Park plan including Brewster Wheeler Rec Center, Brewster Douglass site
Rec Center awarded to suburbanite whites Curt Catallo, Keith Crain
By Diane Bukowski
March 14, 2015
DETROIT – Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, with his crony Steve Rosenthal of billionaire Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock Real Estate Services, announced a $70 million plan May 6 to re-develop 8.4 acres of Detroit’s 100-acre Brush Park neighborhood. So far, the price the developers are paying for the land, which is adjacent to downtown, mostly city-owned and “primarily vacant,” has not been disclosed.
The plan still must be approved by the Detroit City Council, a mere formality since the state-appointed Detroit Financial Review Team (DFRT) still dictates what the city’s elected leaders do under terms of the city’s bankruptcy. Ironically, one member of the “Brush Park Redevelopment Partners” (BPDP) handling the project is Darrell Burks, who sits on the DFRT.
During a press conference, the developers said they will rehab four historic mansions and build 337 units of housing for sale and rent, as well as retail and green space. They announced that home mortgages will be available through Gilbert’s Quicken Loans, currently being sued by the federal government for fraudulent lending practices.
“I love these old houses, and I love seeing them restored,” Duggan said. “The city let too many of these treasures go. This is a red-letter day. People will want to live here.”
Only 20 percent of the housing would be set aside for “low-income” residents, with a household income of $21,060, 80 percent of the city’s average median income. Detroit families have a 39 percent poverty rate, with children at 59 percent. Only families with 4 or more members could meet even that income rate.
The 8.4 acre BPDP redevelopment is only part of the complete “white-out” of Brush Park and its history.
Duggan earlier announced a $50 million redevelopment of the former Brewster Wheeler Recreation Center in Brush Park, with a restaurant, 150 residential units, and retail stores. That project has been awarded to restaurateur Curt Catallo of Clarkston, Michigan, and Keith Crain of Crain Communications, who has dozens of prestigious addresses ranging from Bloomfield Hills, MI to Vero Beach, FL.
The city also plans to redevelop the 18 acres of land where the former Brewster Douglass housing projects stood, for a total of 30 acres of land. The last of the Douglass high rises were demolished in 2014, completing the goals of President Bill Clinton’s “HOPE VI” plan which has razed low-income housing across the U.S.
“They’ve come out with a lot of plans and allocated a lot of money over the years, but all I’ve seen is people chased out, and the neighborhood burnt up,” said Gwen Mingo, a Brush Park resident renowned for the long battle she waged in the late’s 90’s and 2000’s to save the homes and apartments of predominantly Black residents in her district.
“It was my obligation as head of the Brush Park Citizens District Council to fight to protect the rights of everyone living in that district,” she said.
Mingo was also chair of the city-wide CDC panel.
It is estimated that over 800 mostly Black residents living in both homes and apartment buildings there were driven out during that period. City officials and developers used tactics ranging from de-funding of the CDC’s, mass evictions, arson, asbestos contamination, arrests (Mingo herself faced ongoing harassment by the police), and likely even murder.
Former Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr abolished the CDC’s in October, 2014 with a stroke of his bankruptcy pen, replacing them with neighborhood “managers” appointed by the mayor. His action was part of a long assault on the CDC’s which began during the Archer administration, which included de-funding and other strategies.
But, Mingo said, “They still can’t re-design the area without our input. They’ve never approached me or sent me a letter about the new plan. They know I’m still here. This is illegal. Anytime they develop an area, they are supposed to consult with anybody in a certain radius. They’re just tearing up and banking the land and it’s going to be a disaster once again.”
Gilbert already owns over 70 parcels of prime downtown Detroit property, most of them as yet incompletely developed. Of those that are complete, most, marked by “Opportunity Detroit” signs, are still unoccupied.
Mingo lives in a historic home on Watson, adjacent to the parcel targeted by the Gilbert consortium. She said the devastation of the original Brush Park neighborhood began in in the 1970’s and even before.
She noted Brush Park boundaries originally extended west of Woodward and east of I-75 to include the fabled Paradise Valley of Black-owned businesses and entertainment venues, parts of the “Black Bottom” neighborhood, occupied by Black participants in “The Great Migration” from the south beginning in the 1920’s, and the Brewster-Douglass apartments and townhomes, the first housing project built to provide decent housing for Blacks in the U.S., under the auspices of Eleanor Roosevelt.
Reporter Ron Seigel chronicled the city’s deliberate devastation of the remainder of Brush Park in an extraordinary series in the now-defunct Michigan Citizen. He describes what happened in a companion article for the Voice of Detroit (shortly to come). Meanwhile a chronological compilation of his articles is available in a link below this story.
In contrast, the City’s Request for Proposal (RFP) on the project claims, “The 1960’s saw the Brush Park neighborhood substantially deteriorate, with a high incidence of vacancy, crime, and abandonment with subsequent demolition. Since the mid 1990’s the City of Detroit has initiated an aggressive campaign in order to save the remaining historic properties, and to promote historically influenced residential infill of the vacant land left by demolition.”
That “historically influenced” infill has so far included the blandly modern Crosswinds Communities condominiums lining Woodward, built by notorious real estate mogul Bernie Glieberman, who defaulted on $100 million in corporate loans in 2009.
According to the project RFP, the city has invested $39 million over the last 13 years in Brush Park, “inclusive of infrastructure, demolition, acquisition and historic rehabilitation,” Mingo, however, states that figure is more likely in the hundreds of millions.
BPDP, however, is spending a mere $7.8 million on the project. Duggan denied the project is getting tax credits, so the remaining financing is still a mystery.
“This neighborhood goes back to early 1800’s and used to be called Little Paris,” Charlie Beckham, Duggan’s group executive for Detroit neighborhoods, said during the press conference. “You see some of the architectural renderings and motifs on the buildings here. We’re going to try to maintain that. Hopefully the families of Brush and Adelaide and Edmund and a lot of the names that you see on the streets right here will be happy with what we’re doing.”
Joe Foster, a major Black landholder in Brush Park through the late 20th century, must have been ready to rise up from his grave at Beckham’s remarks. He and his fiancée were murdered in 1997 in cases that have never been solved. Many felt their deaths were linked to a land grab by whites abetted by the city government.
Beckham’s comments were historically inaccurate. According to various records, Edmund Brush, the wealthy son of Elijah Brush, the second mayor of Detroit in 1806, developed the area for the city’s “elite” citizens, naming the streets Edmund, Alfred, Adelaine and Brush after his family members.
Elijah Brush held African Peter Denison in indentured servitude for a year. When he tried to free him, Denison’s “owner” Catherine Tucker appealed, winning a decision by Judge Augustus Woodward which upheld slavery status for all who had been kidnapped before 1796, when the British turned the Michigan Territory over to the U.S.
Denison became a prominent leader, heading a Black militia that fought alongside U.S. forces and Native Americans against British forces in the War of 1812, then migrating to Canada, where he was no longer considered a “slave.”
During the press conference, Duggan thrust Mona Ross, of the Brush Park Community Development Corporation (also known as a CDC), into the spotlight, falsely claiming it was the first time neighborhood representatives have been involved in planning new developments.
Ross, who runs a bed and breakfast out of one of Brush Park’s historic mansions, gave thanks to God, then to Duggan, Gilbert, and other BPDP partners, for the opportunity.
“This is nothing but identity theft,” Mingo reacted. “They are making people think the Citizens District Council is involved because of the same initials, but a Development Corporation is not an elected or governmental agency. It’s a private corporation.”
WISCONSIN DA: NO CHARGES V. COP IN TONY ROBINSON, JR. KILLING
Young, Gifted & Black calls for school walk-outs, recalls Aiyana Jones, 7, killed by Detroit police May 16, 2010
Protesters flood Madison streets
May 13, 2015
MADISON, Wis. (AP)
The mother of an unarmed biracial man who was killed by a white Madison police officer March 6 is questioning the official investigation of the incident.
Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said Tuesday that he won’t charge Officer Matt Kenny for shooting and killing Tony Robinson. The announcement triggered new protests Tuesday and Wednesday from those who want Kenny to stand trial.
Andrea Irwin says she doesn’t think the authorities have released all of the facts regarding her 19-year-old son’s death. She disputes Kenny’s account of the moments leading up to the shooting.
Kenny told investigators that Robinson hit him in the head and he feared Robinson would take his gun. Irwin says there’s no way Kenny’s story could have played out in such a short amount of time.
People angry about a prosecutor’s decision not to charge a white Madison police officer for killing an unarmed biracial man have conducted a mock trial of the officer in protest.
About 150 to 200 protesters marched through the streets of Wisconsin’s capital city on Wednesday before gathering outside of the Dane County Courthouse to stage the fake trial.
The crowd cheered when actors said they would charge Officer Matt Kenny in the March killing of 19-year-old Tony Robinson. Members of the Young, Gifted and Black Coalition, which has led protests since the killing, said the demonstration was intended to represent the processes they wished Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne had used.
Ozanne said Tuesday that he believes Kenny’s actions were justified and didn’t warrant charges.
Madison Mayor Paul Soglin says any protesters who break the law should expect to be arrested.
Scores of people are marching through the city to protest a prosecutor’s decision not to charge Madison police Officer Matt Kenny for shooting and killing an unarmed biracial man in March. Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said Tuesday that he believes the shooting was justified.
Soglin says the city will provide “the greatest latitude” for anyone expressing their beliefs. But he says police won’t tolerate illegal acts such as the blocking of ambulances. He also urged protesters not to interfere with the arrests of others.
The mayor acknowledged that many community members are unhappy about Ozanne’s decision, but he said there are many who support it.
Hundreds of protesters are blocking a downtown Madison intersection as they rally against a prosecutor’s decision not to charge a white police officer in the death of an unarmed biracial man.
The crowd blocked the intersection for about five minutes Wednesday morning during a march to the Dane County Courthouse, where they plan to stage a street trial of the city’s police department. The demonstration’s leaders say they need to put their bodies on the line to show the public that black lives matter.
Officer Matt Kenny shot 19-year-old Tony Robinson in an apartment house on March 6. According to investigative reports, Robinson was high on mushrooms and punched Kenny in the head.
Scores of protesters have gathered outside of an apartment house where a white Wisconsin police officer shot and killed an unarmed biracial man in March.
Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said Tuesday that he wouldn’t charge Madison Officer Matt Kenny in 19-year-old Tony Robinson’s death because he believes the shooting was justified.
About 100 demonstrators had gathered by 9:30 a.m. and were shouting protest slogans, including “No justice, no peace, no racist police.”
They plan to march downtown and conduct a street trial of the Madison Police Department. Volunteers from community groups such as 100 Black Men and the Urban League are watching the protesters and plan to advise anyone who appears to be on the verge of committing a crime to think twice.
Protesters are gathering outside an apartment house where a white Wisconsin police officer shot and killed an unarmed biracial man in March.
The Young, Gifted and Black Coalition (http://www.ygbcoalition.org/) is asking people to leave work and school Wednesday and join them on a march from the apartment house to downtown Madison, where they plan to set up a street court to try the Madison Police Department themselves.
Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said Tuesday that he wouldn’t charge Officer Matt Kenny in Tony Robinson’s death because he believes the shooting was justified.
About a dozen people had gathered at the apartment house as of 9 a.m. with wagons loaded with coffee and water bottles.
An activist group that has led several demonstrations over the police shooting of an unarmed man in Madison is calling for a widespread walkout.
Young, Gifted and Black is calling the effort Black Out Wednesday. They say it recognizes the death in March of Tony Robinson Jr., as well as struggles such as poverty and mass incarceration that blacks face in America.
The group is staging its effort one day after a Wisconsin prosecutor declined to charge a white police officer in the death of Robinson, who was biracial. The prosecutor said the officer used lawful deadly force after he was punched in the head by Robinson and feared for his life.
Some 300 people staged a peaceful march Tuesday from the apartment building where Robinson was shot to the Capitol.
YGB needs your voice in order to get an investigation by the United Nations as we elevate the conversation of oracial disparities in Madison and fight for justice for Tony Robinson, the unarmed black teen murdered at the hands of officer Matt Kenny of the Madison Police Department. SIGN THE PETITION HERE.
Dane County, District Attorney Ismael Ozanne announced Tuesday afternoon that he would not bring criminal charges against the Madison, Wisconsin, police officer who shot and killed unarmed 19-year-old Tony Robinson, Jr. on March 6 of this year.
Nervously dabbing sweat from his face during his 30-minute statement, the DA told reporters that he had concluded that Matt Kenny used a “lawful amount of force” when he ended Robinson’s life.
The killing of Robinson sparked walkouts and protests by thousands of students and workers in the state capital. Kenny, who had previously shot and killed a mentally disturbed white man in 2007, was placed on paid administrative leave.
To prove his bona fides, Ozanne began the speech by referring to the fact that, like Tony Robinson, he is biracial, and that his African-American mother participated in the civil rights movement in the 1960s. He also drew attention to the fact that he is the first non-white DA in the history of the state.
“My decision will not bring Tony back. My decision will not end racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system. My decision is not based on emotion. Rather, this decision is based on the facts as they’ve been investigated and reported to me—guided by rule of law and the oath I took to uphold the constitution of the United States and the state of Wisconsin,” he said.
Video above: part of massive protests across the state after Robinson killing
He then launched into an official account of the moments before Robinson’s killing. According to Ozanne, Kenny and other officers were responding to 911 calls reporting that Robinson had assaulted one of his friends and was assaulting pedestrians and disrupting traffic. The young man was apparently having a negative reaction to hallucinogenic mushrooms that he had ingested a short time before.
As Kenny arrived on the scene Robinson had already returned to his friend’s apartment. Ozanne reported that Kenny then entered the second floor flat through a door that had already been broken open by Robinson after he heard a disturbance.
According to Ozanne, the officer announced himself, after which Robinson allegedly rushed the officer, hitting him in the face with his fist, knocking him back against the stairwell wall. As he retreated backward down the stairwell the officer opened fire seven times, emptying his gun into the unarmed Robinson, hitting him seven times. Robinson was pronounced dead at the hospital with bullet wounds in his head, torso, and right arm.
Dashcam video released by police shows cop shooting rapidfire into the building Tony was in; there is no footage of Tony himself.
The family’s attorney, John Loevy, questioned the DA’s accounting of the event, highlighting video evidence that reportedly shows the police officer firing the seventh and final shot which killed Robinson from outside the house. Loevy also stated that Kenny was warned by dispatchers not to pursue Robinson and unnecessarily escalated the situation.
The district attorney concluded his news conference Tuesday by quoting Martin Luther King, Jr. as a warning to those who might protest his decision, encouraging them to instead turn their anger and frustration back into the electoral system. “I am reminded that true and lasting change does not come from violence but from exercising our voices and our votes,” he stated. “The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said ‘violence brings only temporary change, violence by creating many more social problems than it solves never brings permanent peace.’”
Ozanne’s remarks gave expression to the deep concern amongst the ruling elite about growing social opposition, especially in the wake of mass protests against the killing of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland, where the National Guard was deployed for a week in order to suppress popular anger.
Police officers were mobilized in advance of the DA’s news conference to respond to any spontaneous protests in response to his decision. Several hundred protestors holding banners which read “#JusticeforTony” and “Black Lives Matter” marched on the State Capitol building Tuesday evening. The protest organization Young Gifted and Black has called for students to walk out of school Wednesday to protest the decision not to bring charges.
Robinson was just one of more than 100 people killed by the police across the United States in March. According to killedbypolice.net Robinson was the 192nd person killed by police since the beginning of 2015, and since his death another 227 people have been killed as the result of an encounter with the police.
“As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problem. I have tried to offer my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through non-violent action. But they asked, and rightfully so, “What about Vietnam?” Their questions hit home and I knew I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.”
A Jan. 15, 2015 Counterpunch article by Eric Mann titled “Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition” explains how Dr. King used non-violent civil disobedience as a strategy, while aiming at the overturn of the entire racist, imperialist, capitalist system in the U.S.
(VOD is re-publishing this article by an independent writer, from the Washington Post, to remember all our mothers throughout Detroit and surrounding areas who have lost their children to the police, or fought relentlessly to free their children from prison or from the hands of State Child Protective Services. Some of their photos have been inserted, but they represent only a few of the many who have lost children to police killings or who have had children snatched by the criminal justice system or by Child Protective Services.)
By Brigid Schulte May 9 at 9:15 PM
They wore photos of their dead sons’ faces on buttons pinned to their chests, like joyless Mother’s Day corsages. They wore T-shirts emblazoned with their dead sons’ names. They carried signs that read, “Stop Racist Police Terror” and “We Are Not Criminals” and “They are ALL our sons.”
Like incantations, they chanted the names of their unarmed sons who they said were shot in the back, shot point blank in the chest, shot 14 times, shot on their bikes, shot in parks, shot after leaving a dance, or left to bleed to death in the street. They chanted the names of those whose deaths inflamed a nation: Freddie Gray. Michael Brown. Amadou Diallo. Tony Robinson.
And the names of those perhaps remembered only by the grieving mothers themselves, such as Tremaine Flythe, who was shot by two D.C. police officers while walking to his mother’s house for breakfast the day after Christmas in 2009.
For several hours Saturday afternoon, more than a dozen mothers from around the country whose sons or daughters had been killed by police, or who died while in police custody, were joined by several hundred protesters in a “Million Mom March” to the steps of the Justice Department to demand sweeping police reforms.
“Not another life. Not another son. Not another daughter. We will not stop. We cannot stop until the killing ends,” pastor Traci Blackmon, of Ferguson, Mo., shouted to the mournful and angry crowd.
“We have come here because a blue uniform does not make you God.”
The march, which is not associated with another Million Mom March to protest gun violence in 2000, was organized on a shoestring by Maria Hamilton, who founded Mothers for Justice United in Milwaukee after her son, Dontre, 31, was shot and killed by a police officer in 2014.
Dontre Hamilton, who had a history of mental illness, had been sleeping in a park when employees from a nearby Starbucks called the police to complain three times. A scuffle with a police officer who responded ended when he shot Hamilton 14 times.
Maria Hamilton buried her son one year ago to the day. Organizing the protest, she said, was a way to help with the shock and numbness that set in after he died. The recent death of Freddie Gray, who suffered a severe spine injury while in police custody in Baltimore, steeled her reserve.
“This is something that had to be done,” she said, noting that, in many of the cases, including Dontre’s, the officers have gone unpunished.
“The officer shot Dontre 14 times, emptied his clip, reloaded, and shot him in the back. And the district attorney found that that wasn’t excessive force. I won’t be satisfied until I see true change.”
After a spirited but peaceful march down Constitution Avenue, in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol, the mainly African American mothers and a diverse crowd of marchers waited on a hot day for nearly an hour to deliver their 13 demands for police reform.
They want the Justice Department to compile a public directory of all officer-related deaths in the past five years, as data like that is hard to come by; to require independent investigations when someone’s been shot or killed by a police officer; body cameras and better training; and to put an end to racial profiling and arming local police with military-style weapons.
Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for the Justice Department, took the demands, promised that the department would review them and spoke briefly to the crowd.
“No officer should be above the law,” he said.
Many of the mothers met with White House officials Friday in what Lewis described as a “productive and very emotional” meeting.
Many of the group’s demands are already under consideration — including gathering better data on police shootings, better training to reduce bias and examining the distribution and use of military-style weapons — as part of the soon-to-be-released recommendations of the White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
Obama appointed the task force to assuage what he called “deep-rooted frustration” over law enforcement practices in communities of color.
Marchers thrust photos of dead sons, dead nephews, dead brothers at Lewis as police sought to lead him out of the crowd.
“I’m sorry for your loss,” he told one. Just before he addressed the crowd, Lewis, 32, who is African American, embraced a weeping Maria Hamilton. “I told her I very well could have been her son,” he said.
Marion Gray-Hopkins, a retired bank executive in Maryland, marched so the world would not forget her son, Gary Hopkins Jr., who was shot and killed by police in November 1999 after a dance at a local fire station. He was 19.
Andrea Irwin flew in from Madison, Wis., so the world would not forget her son, Tony Terrell Robinson, who was shot in the chest, face and back by police officers March 6. He was 19. She wore a T-shirt with a photo of the 6-foot-4 Robinson, smiling and dressed in a suit.
“I called him my gentle giant,” she said, wiping her eyes.
Janet Baker, a recently laid-off human resources worker, paid her own way to come from Houston to remember her only child, her son, Jordan, who was killed by an off-duty police officer while riding his bike because the officer thought the 26-year-old looked like a suspect.
“I feel like I’m walking around with a terminal illness, like I have no heart,” she said. “He was my everything. Now, fighting for justice for Jordan is my everything.”
Betty Flythe found out about the march Saturday morning. And though nearly crippled with arthritis, she leaned on her cane and marched to remember her son, Tremaine.
“It felt good to yell out his name. To finally tell people his story,” she said. “And to let them know, he would have had a good life.”
Brigid Schulte writes about Good-Life: work-life issues, time, productivity, gender and income inequality. She is the author of the bestselling Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play when No One has Time.
“Can’t stop, won’t stop until killer cops are in cell blocks”
Speakers say Kellom killing recalls assassination of Iman Luqman Abdullah, other I.C.E. raids
I.C.E. also involved in bringing drugs across U.S. borders
Water shut-offs, foreclosures cited as part of broad attack on Blacks
VOD, Freep file FOIA requests for Kellom autopsy
By Diane Bukowski
May 9, 2015
DETROIT – A coalition of groups gathered outside Detroit’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office on East Jefferson May 8, to demand justice for 19-year-old father Terrance Kellom, shot to death April 19 by ICE officer Mitchell Quinn with Detroit police. Speakers said they wanted ICE to stop taking part in multi-jurisdictional task forces, and called for transparency in the investigation of Kellom’s death.
They chanted “Can’t stop, won’t stop until killer cops are in cell blocks,” and “No justice, no peace, no racist police.”
The groups included Michigan United, Black Lives Matter-Detroit, the Coalition for Black Struggle, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan, the National Action Network, the Northern Borders Coalition, the Michigan Council on American Islamic Relations (Mi-CAIR), and the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, Inc. according to a release from Michigan United.
“We want law enforcement to respect our people and not be involved in extra-judicial killings,” Imam Dawud Walid of Mi-CAIR, said. “I.C.E. was also involved in the assassination of Imam Luqman Abdullah in 2009. The autopsy report in Iman Abdullah’s case was withheld just as in the Kellom case. We had to go to court to get it. This just fuels more distrust of the entire criminal justice system.”
Sixty-six federal agents, with local officials, slaughtered Imam Abdullah, leader of the majority-Black Masjid El-Haqq mosque on Detroit’s west side, on Oct. 28, 2009. He sustained 21 gunshot wounds, a broken arm, and lacerations to his face and upper body, resulting from police dog bites, during a raid on an abandoned Dearborn warehouse. The Imam and his members had been set up on conspiracy and theft charges by the FBI, using confidential informants.
Walid said Imam Abdullah’s family has a lawsuit pending in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, naming then Detroit FBI director Andrew Arena and others as defendants. Arena now heads the non-profit Detroit Crime Commission.
Kellom was shot to death nine times. His distraught father Kevin Kellom witnessed only the first two shots by Quinn before he was pulled away from the scene by police. He has repeatedly denied police claims that his son threatened police with a hammer. According to Ron Scott, who said at a vigil for Kellom that he had seen the autopsy report, the young man sustained seven gunshot wounds in the front of his body, and two in his back.
Kellom was laid to rest Wed. May 6, with over 200 attending his funeral. Young relatives and friends gave the “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” and power fist signals l as his coffin was carried out for burial.
Many in the community are now questioning whether Detroit police as well as Quinn shot Kellom. Family members have not been given a copy of the autopsy report, which Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced this week would be sealed. Some members of Kellom’s extended family issued a press release demanding a copy May 5.
“I believe there may be a cover-up. . . . There was no need for such a slaughter,” Jerry Bell, a cousin of Kevin Kellom’s, said in the release. “My cousin was turning his life around, because of his children, and he would not have caused his own death by confronting the police.” (See full release at Terrance Kellom press release.)
Both the Voice of Detroit and the Detroit Free Press have filed Freedom of Information Act requests demanding copies of the report. The Freep earlier won a case, Swickard v. Wayne County Medical Examiner (1991), which held autopsy reports to be public record. It is questionable whether Worthy has the right, independent of judicial proceedings, to seal the report.
During the rally, Grover Easterling III, a youth working with the Coalition for Black Struggle, said, “American law enforcement is killing our people. We want an end to the militarization of the police and task forces like the one that killed Terrance Kellom. We also stand in solidarity with other organizations fighting water shut-offs and evictions, another form of violence against our people.”
Monica Lewis Patrick of the People’s Water Board and Dianne Feeley of Detroit Eviction Defense also spoke. Detroit is expected to begin more water shut-offs this month, while Feeley said activist Cheryl West was evicted from her home May 7 after a long battle. She noted that victims of shut-offs and foreclosures in Detroit are predominantly Black.
“For many decades now, I.C.E. has been abusing its power on the southern borders, including many killings,” said a spokesman for the Northern Borders Coalition. “Now they are escalating actions in the north, where 80 percent of the immigrantss it has detained in raids are held on nothing more than traffic violations.”
Luis Valencia, a former reporter in Mexico, said his brother was killed by the drug cartels there, and his life and that of his mother were threatened. They fled to the U.S., only to experience more brutality from I.C.E., he said.
“In 2007, I.C.E. raided my workplace and ordered everybody to drop on the floor. I could not because of my hip injury, so they shoved me down and kicked and yelled at me. They told a judge that I tried to run away, but I showed the judge how I can barely walk. That was the only reason I was released from detention.”
In a federal trial in Chicago during April 2011, Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla, a top leader of the Mexican Sinaloa drug-trafficking cartel, claimed to have been working with the U.S. government for years according to pleadings filed in federal court in Chicago.
Zambada Niebla said he was working “on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration (‘DEA’); and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (‘FBI’); and the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (‘ICE’).” He said they gave the Sinaloa cartel permission to traffic drugs in the U.S. as part of a scheme to capture members of a rival cartel.
According to a story by Deborah Dupre in the Examiner, Niebla is also connected to the Gulfstream II jet that crashed in 2007 with four tons of cocaine aboard. European investigators linked the wrecked plane’s tail number, N987SA, to CIA “rendition” operations. (See link below.)
For further information, contact Erik Shelley of Michigan United at 248-982-6326.
WHO TO BELIEVE? Man allegedly seen on Baltimore CCTV with a gun, then ran and tried to pull it out. BIG BROTHER IS NOW A REALITY.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CALL 313-460-3175
See full Channel 7 report at
200 remember Terrance Kellom with sorrow, prayers, call for justice
Candlelight, balloons and floating lanterns provide comfort in midst of grief
Did DPD shoot 19-year-old father too? Autopsy alleged to show 7 shots in front, 2 in back, despite Chief Craig’s denial that DPD “took action” at scene
Uncle: Family members with toddlers were in home when police, including DPD, invaded
May 2, 2015 By Diane Bukowski
DETROIT — When a squad of cops shot Terrance Kellom to death April 19, their bullets also entered the hearts of hundreds of his family members and friends, who crowded his father’s front yard today to grieve for the 19-year-old father of one baby son, who will never see his second child born.
They wore dozens of varying T-shirts commemorating the young son, brother, cousin, and friend they called “Tee Tee.” “I will truly miss my Tee Tee,” one young woman said. “He was at my home every weekend with my brothers, and I’d be tripping over bodies. Now that he’s gone, I wish he was back.”
Another young woman remembered “Tee Tee” cutting off his sister’s ponytail when he was a child, then going on to collect other ponytails as well, for which he was whipped.
His father Kevin Kellom bent over in tears at first, comforted by his cousin Jerry Bell and other family members, before telling the crowd how much he appreciated the outpouring of support to lift him up at this time.
Bell told VOD that his “little cousin” was getting his life back together, knowing he would have two children to raise. Kellom’s “Auntie Bobbie,” related to both sides of the family, called on them to keep their heads up.
“They were here for me when I lost my daughter at the age of 18,” she remembered.
Sandra Hines said, “They’re telling a lot of stories right now. But no matter what the story is, they didn’t have to shoot him. It was a slaughter. They took one of our precious loved ones again, and we cannot continue to stand for this.”
Detroit Police Chief James Craig has told the media that Kellom threatened Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) agent Mitchell Quinn with a hammer before the agent shot and killed Kellom, allegedly wanted on an armed robbery warrant. Craig said Detroit police who were part of the multi-agency fugitive task force that barged into the Kellom home “took no action” themselves.
But Kevin Kellom showed VOD today how his son was brought downstairs with two cops in front and two in back. He said he witnessed the first two shots by the agent, then was dragged into the dining room as a volley of other shots went off.
The mainstream media has basically debunked police claims that Terrance Kellom jumped on the second floor storage place until he fell through, startling the cops. A tour of the house showed there was no damage to the crawl space floor.
Kellom said that his son could easily have been arrested earlier when he took a walk with him to the local gas station.
Police have admitted that they had the family under surveillance. Chief Craig alleged that the senior Kellom has an outstanding warrant, but claimed he would “give him time to grieve” before arresting him. However, Third Judicial Circuit Court records show no such warrant. Kellom’s last encounter with the courts was in 2008, when he was given probation for the offense in question.
Family members also present at the scene, including Kevin’s brother Tony, told VOD there were numerous Detroit police in the home at the time. Tony Kellom said he, his brother, two of his brother’s daughters, and three little grandchildren were there during the raid.
“I’m here to help my brother get justice,” he said. “I heard my nephew call out, ‘Dad and Uncle Tony, help me.'” He said he was in the home’s basement during the invasion.
During the vigil, Ron Scott reported “unofficially” that the completed autopsy shows Kellom was shot seven times in the chest and twice in the back, which would make it highly likely that cops other than Quinn also shot the young man, in what the elder Kellom has called an “assassination.”
Police reported in their search warrant return that they had recovered seven shell casings and four fired bullet fragments from areas including the hallway at the bottom of the stairs, adjacent bedrooms, the bathroom and the molding of the door leading to the stairway. A funeral for Terrance Kellom is planned for Wed. May 6, 2015, according to a family member.
But chief on today’s agenda was the huge outpouring of support from all over the city, including the North End where much of the family grew up. So the rest of this story is being told in pictures, so that the community of Detroit and police of all agencies may know who else was shot in the heart that day.
Kevin Kellom tells protesters April 26 about his son’s “execution,” posted by Keith Horton on Youtube. Related: http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/04/30/police-assassination-of-terrance-kellom-19-detroit-chief-craig-feds-have-blood-on-hands/