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A Victim of Community Policing)
Marilyn Shaw
On Community Watch

The greatest travesty of justice has just occurred in the City of Riverside. The Riverside District Attorney has announced that the four police officers that shot and killed young Tyisha Miller will not be prosecuted. The decision not to prosecute was not a vindication, but a notice to the public that the police can get away with murdering African-Americans.

Last December, Tyisha Miller, a 19 year old African-American, had a flat tire. She called a cousin and when she arrived, Miller's doors were locked and she was unconscious. Miller was epileptic. Unable to awake her, Miller's cousin called the 911 emergency dispatch for help. The police arrived. They too could not rouse her and thereafter broke the window to the car. Gunfire rang out shortly thereafter and a call for help turned into a nightmare of ghoulish terror and death.

To add to this horrific incident, the Riverside Police Department confirmed that after the killing, racial epithets and comments were made by police at the scene. One of the most incendiary remarks was one made by a white officer, wherein he expressed that the police gathering was, "Like being at a Kwanza party." The remark illustrates this officer's disdain for this celebration of life that African-Americans embrace. His comment was also well off the mark, as the gathering had all of the characteristics a Klan rally and Tyisha Miller was the lynched victim.

For months we've waited with patience in Riverside and across this nation. We've had no civil disobedience and have protested with calm and with peace. We've played by their rules and this is all they have to give us?

We are angry and we shake our heads in the pathetic attempts of the authorities to qualify the barbarism of the four officers. To us, it was just another notch on the continuum of inequalities and injustices perpetrated by the police on African-Americans. We are not surprised though, because history has taught us that if a brutality is not captured on tape, the police's version is always considered the truth and our system of justice will side with them almost every time.

The District Attorney's decision not to prosecute those officers serves only as reminder to our fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers that all African-Americans are in a police state and are under siege. It also serves to remind us that no amount education, money or celebrity status will immune us from the scourge of racism that is so tightly woven into the very foundation of this country and the root of all police brutality. The authorities that we pay to 'serve and protect' us, are nothing less than purveyors of brutality and America's new Gestapo.

The Miller case is just one of the thousands of atrocities committed by the police in this country, daily. In the Diallo case, their 'Keystone Cop' account of how they killed this young, unarmed African immigrant should send a signal to all that they will go to any extent to cover their tracks.

As America faces the east in an attempt to resolve the conflicts of the Baltics, its head is turned away from its own atrocity of ethnic cleansing and indifferences towards people of color. It hypocritically sees the mote in the eyes of others, but cannot see the beam in its own. If it does not come home and address this fever that is running rampant in this nation, it will become even more critical, stroking out from its own doings.

This is not the final chapter of the Tyisha Miller case. Protests of civil disobedience are being planned and calls for the FBI and the Attorney General of the United States to investigate this incident are being made. To that end, we all need to participate in some endeavor to ensure that justice is served properly.

Do you believe that civil disobedience will prompt the Attorney General of the United States to intervene in this matter? We would like to know your thoughts.

Marilyn Shaw
Community Watch

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