Remember Kids, The Only Good Cop Is A Dead Cop

The Police Murder Of Timothy Thomas

We are saddened and outraged to have to announce that the life of yet another African American has been taken by America's police. Timothy Thomas, an unarmed 19 year old Black man, has been shot and killed by a white Cincinnati police officer.

The officer, Steven Roach, alleges that he was trying to arrest Timothy for failing to appear in court over traffic and misdemeanor charges. Roach shot and killed Timothy while he was running away.

Timothy Thomas is the 15th African American to die in the hands of the Cincinnati police since 1995, and the fourth since November. The response of the Black community in Cincinnati was to take to the streets on Wednesday, April 11. However they were prevented from exercising this basic democratic right by the same people who have killed 15 members of their community. Police on horseback prevented Black protesters from marching through downtown Cincinnati, and when protesters then attempted to organize a protest in front of the city hall, they were blocked by police in riot gear. This blatant and unnecessary provocation, and we believe that is the right word for it, seems to have been what sparked the subsequent "rioting." Angry youth took to the streets in the predominantly Black Over-the-Rhine neighborhood where they smashed windows and attacked businesses in an attempt to relieve their anger and frustration.

Police roamed through the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood arresting over 70 African-Americans for alleged disorderly conduct, rioting and obstruction. In the process, its been reported they injured over 70 people, some requiring hospitalization. A curfew was issued for the entire city, and the mayor of the city threatened to call in the National Guard. One police officer was shot, but uninjured because of a protective vest.
In a hypocritical attempt to contain the outrage over the shooting of Timothy Thomas, the FBI and Attorney General's Office have started an investigation into the shooting, and the officer responsible for the murder has been put on paid leave. There have also been announcements by the city that studies will be conducted on how to alleviate "racial tension."

Outraged community activists however, Black and white, are demanding justice and an end to the seeming blatant targeting of the Black community. "Black men, African-American men, in this city have a reason to be afraid," said James Diamond, dean of Christ Church Cathedral. "As a white person, I'm afraid for them." The unprovoked firing by police of non-lethal projectiles at mourners attending Timothy Thomas's funeral procession illustrates well Diamond's remarks.

Youth for Socialist Action vehemently condemns the killing of Timothy Thomas, and the Cincinnati police department for its brutality towards the Black community. We recognize that it is this that is responsible for the "rioting" that subsequently took place in Cincinnati. We call on everyone to reject the attempts by the city of Cincinnati and the media to portray outraged protesters as crazed or opportunistic vandals. We demand justice for Timothy Thomas, and all victims of police brutality and murder.