July 27, 2016
Just before midnight in Watts on July 25th, Southwest division sent an extra patrol into the Nickerson Gardens public housing project. This led to a deadly confrontation by police and the execution of an 18 yr old named Richard Risher by an officer. Following the murder, community and neighbors gathered and the police responded by mobilizing riot police and putting the area under lockdown amplifying their terror and repression.
The extra patrols that led to this execution are part of a recent escalation ordered by the head of police Charlie Beck who deployed more helicopters and 500 more police to reinforce regular patrols. This move is directly responsible for the policing that led to the murder of this Black youth, Richard Risher Jr. who was in the area visiting friends.
Beck sent a video to his officers about a week ago, saying he wanted to make sure that officers were “as safe as we can be.” “Watch your back,” he said. “Watch each other.” LAT
Does “Watch Your Back” and “Watch Each Other” refer to an extra patrol going into a predominantly black and brown community and dispersing a group, by chasing and killing one of the people? We don’t know who or what happened, who fired the first shot, but we do know a black youth is killed. The culture of militarized police occupying a neighborhood does not bring safety.
The LAPD used organized violence to disperse residents of Nickerson Gardens in defense of their shooting. They did this because they do not exist to protect the majority of black and brown folks generally, and in public housing particularly. The Chief of police has been talking about a “change of approach” toward “community” policing, but from policing and police executions, to the way they beef up patrols, violently disperse crowds and repress grieving family and neighbors after executing a youth, the police continue using escalation as a primary strategy.
Despite hot air about “police reform” or “retraining”, police continue increasing their enforcement with deadly consequences. Use of force and use of police is not changing on their end. And so use of force/defense and enabling of the police must change on ours.
Initial reports were undetailed, yet focused on a minor police officer injury rather than the death of an 18 yr old son, cousin, nephew and loved one. Police media relations did not provide information whether body cam footage exists or will be released. LAPD media relations indicated a press release would be issued and that the story continues changing. They said the press release would be issued around 7pm July 26th and one has not been issued yet.
- We do not trust the state to investigate it’s own acts of execution
There are narratives counter to the police, people in the neighborhood said he was running away when he was shot. Even the LA Times reported conflicting accounts between his mother and the police.There were over 30 shots with several shots in the back. And there are so many questions not being asked, left unanswered that I feel raised.
- Why did police escalate against a crowd of people intending them to “disperse”?
- Why did they then pursue anyone, escalating the situation further?
- The police chose to disperse a crowd by provoking a “gun battle”?
- Did the police roll up and decide to detain the group?
- Why are the police using deadly force to detain people?
To the people who justify police terrorism, why do you expect people to be attacked by the police without fighting back? Why is it that you only mourn unarmed victims, especially when one cannot trust the police for the truth (and the police are always armed)? The police have killed over 600 people so far in 2016 and the estimation is that they kill at least 1,000 people that we know of per year. This is more than mass shootings combined. But when you think of gun violence, you aren’t always taught to think of the police, or the enforcement of mass incarceration, poverty and systematic racism.
LAPD Southwest division killed him. The organization of the police continues killing people routinely. And it needs to stop. Love to the family in mourning.
If anyone would like to add comments or expand on what happened here, please reach out firstname.lastname@example.org Support for the families who have lost their loved ones to state terror, to all those fighting state terror.
Fight the police for murdering people. Abolish the organization of the police, as an act against institutional racism. Alternatives for police and support to areas/ & communities now. Alternatives to prison now. Cops out of our unions, and out of our schools. Strike against police terror and for general autonomy and collective pwr to change this world. All love to those grieving, and to those with resistance in their hearts.