Two days ago, BBC iPlayer released Lawful Killing: Mark Duggan, a documentary about the mysterious case of the fatal police shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham, north London in 2011. The Guardian assessed it well: it ‘tries and fails to make sense of a bleak, murky case’.
For those not well acquainted with the case – police claim Duggan’s shooting was lawful and in self-defence but much evidence contradicts this claim. Duggan’s murder sparked riots and was instrumental in raising public awareness of police racism. Mark Duggan's story is a story that's been told over and over again through the years. Black people across the world continue to pay for institutionalised racism with their lives.
As shown by BBC iPlayer, public discontent with police brutality and police racism is just as rife as ever. Events that transpired last week in Chicago prove something that barely needs to be stated - police brutality and racism are also just as bad as ever.
The week before last, the night before Thanksgiving, 23 November, black 19 year old Kajuan Raye was shot in the back by a police officer who claims, along with other police officers on duty, that Raye was armed. However, after investigation, no gun was found, revealing Raye to have been unnarmed.
The police were out in response to a call reporting battery. Police reports say the officer shot Raye as he thought he ‘matched the description of a battery suspect’.
Raye’s family are up in arms and protests and vigils against Raye’s killing are being carried out across Chicago. They describe Raye as ‘scared of the police’ and despite a brief history of nonviolent crime (he was accused of theft), they believe Raye was unjustly murdered.
Chicago Police Department (CPD) Superintendent Eddie Johnson relieved the officer of his police powers while the Independent Police Review Board completes its investigation into the case. It’s the most serious action they can take until the case is complete.
Activist Ja’mal Green has revealed the name of the officer – John Poulos. Green faced backlash for posting the officer’s photo on Facebook.