As 2020 comes to a close, two old stories are put to rest. Or so the cops and capitalist politicians hope. Those are the stories of Tamir Rice and Breonna Taylor.
Tamir was the 12 year old black child who was shot and killed by the cops in Cleveland, Ohio. In that 2014 case, somebody had called 911 to report that a child in a park was playing with a gun, which the caller had said was “probably a toy”. The police rolled up and in less than two seconds on the scene shot and killed Tamir. The assassins have already been cleared of any crime by the state. Two days ago, the US Department of (in)Justice cleared them of any federal crime.
On the same day, the Louisville Chief of Police, Yvette Gentry, announced that the cops who’d shot and killed Breonna Taylor would be fired. Not for the assassination. No, that was justified, according to Gentry, but they were fired because they’d been caught lying. (In general, the police departments see nothing wrong with their cops lying; it’s getting caught lying in a high profile case that is the problem.) Neither cop was charged with any crime.
And why, after all, shouldn’t the powers-that-be in capitalist America entertain every hope that these two stories would be put to rest? After all, who remembers James Taylor? In 2008, the Louisville police shot and killed him while his hands were handcuffed behind his back. They claimed he’d attacked them with a knife!
No, we won’t forget Breonna Taylor. We won’t forget Tamir Rice. We won’t forget James Taylor. We won’t forget George Stinney, who at 14 years old was framed up and executed (lynched) by the State of South Carolina in 1944. Nor will we forget the many tens of thousands of black people lynched legally and extra-legally in racist capitalist America.