Repression & Resistance: Week in Protest January 8-14

Minneapolis, MN

Proceedings in the cases against the officers who participated in the murder of George Floyd have seen delays and attempts by defense attorneys to claim that a fair trial is impossible because of their clients own oppositional defenses. Read more here.

From left to right: Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao

New York City, NY

The New York attorney general has announced a lawsuit against New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York Police Department, accusing the department of excessive force in its response to the protests against police violence throughout last summer. The stunt is yet another attempt of liberal politicians and officials to traffic in the people’s struggles as protests have waned. Letitia James, the Attorney General, has expressed her intentions to run for New York City mayor in the past.

Iowa City, IA

An Iowa man, 45-year-old Michael Ray Stepanek, who drove into a protest in Iowa City last August, striking several people, has avoided a jail sentence after entering a guilty plea for a felony charge of willful injury resulting in bodily injury. He will have the charge expunged as long as he does not commit a crime in the next three years.

During a summer protest against police violence, Stepanek grew angry when stuck behind other vehicles waiting for the march to pass. Stepanek made a u-turn, and drove to a street where there was no obstruction between his vehicle and protesters, turned off his lights and drove into the crowd, with one protester being carried on his hood for a short distance. Stepanek was quoted in a police report saying that he believed the protesters needed an “attitude adjustment.”

Stepanek’s attorney blamed social media for being influenced to see protesters as ‘dangerous criminals’ and said that Stepanek believed he was legally justified. Other protesters in support of Black Lives Matters in Iowa City still face serious charges, while the judge presiding over Stepanek’s case waived his $1025 civil fine.

Michael Ray Stepanek

Newark, NJ

More details continue to emerge on the New Year’s Day police shooting of 39-year-old Carl Dorsey III, known to family and friends as ‘Turtle’. A witness to the shooting has said, “had his hands up and was backing away from the officer when he was shot,” by an undercover detective.

The Newark AntiViolence coalition held a vigil in Dorsey’s honor with about 30 people in attendance at the site of his killing, where a speaker said, “…we don’t need [the police] here. This block right here, no other block I know protects theirs like this block right here.”

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