Cover photo by Jenna Watson
“Repression and Resistance” is a column from Tribune of the People that highlights rebellions and repression happening in protests across the US each week. If you want us to cover a protest happening in your city, please send us a pitch.
This week protesters took to the streets after it was announced that none of the police officers involved in the murder of Dreasjon Reed would face criminal charges. A wanted poster of Officer Dejoure Mercer, who fired the 13 shots which killed Dreasjon in May, was projected onto the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has drafted new legislation which would expand the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, making it legal to shoot ‘looters,’ as part of his reactionary agenda against the movement for Black Lives. DeSantis has previously pushed to increase penalties for property damage or ‘attacking’ police, and this latest move is another electoral stunt but one that serves the federal government’s efforts to criminalize protesters. The first wave of the Black Lives Matter movement can be traced back to the murder of Trayvon Martin by racist vigilante George Zimmerman, whose legal defense relied on ‘Stand Your Ground’ to secure his acquittal.
This week the Philadelphia Police Department requested an additional $17.7 million for its budget to cover expenses associated with its repression of protests since the May Uprisings but also for pay raises and bonuses. This is separate from a previous police department request for $14 million to equip officers with more tasers. The ask comes only weeks after the police murder of Walter Wallace, Jr., which sparked the largest rebellion in the city since May.
As part of the city’s budget hearings this week, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability presented a report that showed over 500 complaints had been filed against the police department since May. Among the types of complaints were excessive force, failure to identify as police, verbal taunting, and absence of body cameras. Despite eight officers being relieved of duty as a result of these complaints, these firings meant to placate the people so that the rest of the police can continue to brutalize and abuse protesters.
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